Sunday, November 5, 2017

Q&A with Shelia P. Moses

Shelia P. Moses is the author of many books, including I, Dred Scott, The Legend of Buddy Bush, and Joseph. She also is a playwright, poet, and producer.

Q: You've written fiction and nonfiction for a variety of age groups. Do you have a preference?

A: I love fiction and nonfiction but I really enjoy taking the stories about my ancestors and giving them life.

Q: When you're working on a book involving historical figures or set in an earlier time period, what type of research do you tend to do?

A: When I write about historical figures I visit their birthplace and talk to their descendants. When I was writing I, Dred Scott I spent a lot of time with his great-great-grandson James Madison. We actually became very good friends. He died years ago but I remain friends with his daughter Lynne Jackson.

Q: With your works of fiction, do you usually know the ending before you start writing, or do you make many changes along the way?

A: When I am writing I end up with about 10 drafts or more.  I have no idea where I am going sometimes but I usually get there.

Q: Who are some writers you particularly admire?

A: I love Langston Hughes and Mark Twain. Sonia Sanchez, Sharon Flake, Sharon Draper and Nikki Grimes make my heart sing today.

Q: What are you working on now?

A: I am working on a new novel, South of Baltimore, and I am super excited about my play, I, Dred Scott, opening in St. Louis on Feb. 24, 2018, at the Missouri History Museum.

Q: Anything else we should know?

A: I would love to adapt more of my books into plays and movies. The show Queen Sugar is a reminder of all the beautiful stories that still need to be told.

--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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