James A. Moore contributed the short story Of Blood, Of Clay to the Odder Jobs short story anthology. You can read his biography here (taken from Odder Jobs).
How did you get involved with ODDER JOBS?
Well, I know Chris Golden, we’ve been friends for years. When I ran across ODD JOBS, I explained patiently that if he ever did another anthology for HELLBOY and didn’t tell me about it or offer me a chance to submit a story, I would have to kill him.
What made you want to write a Hellboy story?
I am a huge fan of Hellboy. He’s always been one of my favorites and really, Mike’ s stuff is just amazing.
For your contribution, you chose to write a story featuring Roger, the homunculus. Why?
Roger fascinates me. What an amazing concept! As soon as Chris asked me if I would be interested, I thought of Roger. Here’s this poor bastard of a character who has been locked away for hundreds of years, who should have no humanity whatsoever after all he’s endured, and after “borrowing” Liz’s power, he awakens as one of the most unusually human characters. So the idea of having him in conflict with another being that has suffered a similar fate fascinated me. I wanted to examine the differences between them more than the similarities. On a side note: I’ve heard rumors that Roger was going to be the next movie and then wasn’t going to be in there and all I can say is “Poop.” I really would love to see what Mr. Del Toro could do with him.
You write a great fight sequence between Roger and the golem.
For those writers out there, what are some tips to writing fight scenes?
I think the biggest mistake anyone can make is trying to get too detailed in a fight sequence. “Paint in broad strokes.” Short stories should have a certain visual element, but they aren’t comics and you can’t really get mired in the finer details without bogging down the story’s pace. Having said that, the writer should know exactly what everything looks like and where everything is situated. Just as with sequential art, there should be a certain amount of flow.
You also do some writing for the gaming industry. What do you like about writing for games, and what makes it unique to writing a standard narrative?
RPG and Game writing is a double-edged sword. I loved doing it and I still do it from time to time, but it can be very time consuming. The money is normally nice, but with a lot of what I did for White Wolf Games I had to do some serious research on different locations, mythologies and times. More importantly, RPG writing is often a lot more challenging because you have to write not just one story, but one story with numerous variables. In a novel or graphic novel, you have a simple progression from Point A to point B to Point C, etc. In RPGs if you are writing an adventure you have to be able to figure out as many variables as possible, because the characters involved in the game not only can but I can almost guarantee WILL do exactly what they should not do to make the story move faster and smoothly. You can go from Point A to Point H and then backtrack to Point C before traipsing merrily off to Point N. It’s a wonderful experience for examining worst case scenarios and being able to keep a realistic perspective.
What advice would you give to writers who want to start writing RPG games?
The exact same advice I give to anyone who wants to write: Read a lot and write every day. There are a few addition bits, however. KNOW THE MARKET. If you want to write for WIZARDS OF THE COAST, you’d best have a good idea of what they are already doing and be familiar with the styles they like to see used. Most companies have a bible for their writers and they don;t mind sharing. Request one and study it along with the product they have delivered.
What projects are you currently involved with?
It’s been a very busy year. I am ghost writing four young adult books, and aside from that I have just finished the manuscript for BLOOD RED, a novel coming out from Earthling Publications. I am putting together a short story collection as well. I have six novels coming out this year and now I have to try to scrounge together a few more novel deals in order to get a few set up for next year. I just did a substantial revamping of SERENITY FALLS, which is coming out as a trilogy from Jove books, and I have RABID GROWTH hitting the shelves right now. I’m co-editing an anthology of original fiction and I am co-writing a chapbook with Christopher Golden, but we can’t talk about that one too much as yet. I think it will be amazing.