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