Author Marissa Moss is here at The Hiding Spot to answer a few questions about herself and her newest novel, Mira’s Diary: Home Sweet Rome! I’m relatively new to the world of Mira and her time-travelling mother, but I remember reading her Amelia books (Amelia’s Notebook) and loving the illustrations littered throughout the novels and the unique format! The Mira books continue this format and add a fun twist to history!
Did you have trouble writing any of your characters or specific scenes within the novel? Or, were any characters or scenes particularly easy to write?
The scenes with Giordano Bruno were tricky because he was such a brilliant thinker and I wanted to give some sense of his genius while still engaging the reader. I think he’s someone who should be as famous as Galileo. He was a fascinating blend of physicist, philosopher, writer, mathematician and social thinker, a true Renaissance man, like Leonardo da Vinci.
Has the title changed or stayed relatively the same as your novel journeyed towards publication?
The title started out as Arrivaderci, Roma, then Ciao, Bella, and ended up as Home Sweet Rome. I think titles are sometimes the hardest part of writing a book!
What book or author has most influenced you as a writer or in general?
I don’t think there’s any one book, but I’m influenced by a broad range of writers, from Roald Dahl to Karen Cushman to Sharon Creech to Sharon Draper. I have a lot of writer heroes.
What jobs did you have on your way to becoming a writer/published author? Is there a certain work experience that has shaped your writing?
I waited tables for a looooooong time while trying to make it as a writer, an experience that didn’t benefit writing, but didn’t take away from it, either. I also worked for a couple of years teaching art to elementary school kids, and although that was a lot more fun, it drew on the same creative energy that writing does, so was much harder to do while trying to break into publishing.
If you had to pick a favorite word, what would it be and why?
One word only when the English language is so incredibly rich? If I have to pick one word to sum up my writing career, it would be “determination,” because that’s what it took, a lot of determination.
My blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Who, what, or where can be credited as your personal escape from reality?
I’m not sure I’d say books are my escape from reality — to me, they’re another reality, equally valid and as compelling as the one we live in. As a writer, telling stories is definitely my refuge.