Interview with Jaime Lee Moyer

Jaime Lee Moyer’s A Barricade In Hell went on sale today! We had the opportunity to ask Jaime a few questions about her newest book.

A Barricade in Hell by Jaime Lee MoyerWill you tell us a little about A Barricade In Hell and what inspired you to write it?

A Barricade In Hell takes place in 1917, just before the U.S. entered The Great War. The U.S. was split over the war, with one faction urging the president to declare war on Germany, and a large segment of the population declaring we should stay out of what they saw as a European conflict. It was a time of uncertainty and change, and the war in Europe touched and overshadowed almost everyone’s lives. That included my characters.

I’ve always had this horrified, sad fascination with The Great War that dates back to childhood. Nine million soldiers died in that war, something I have a hard time comprehending.

I have an equal fascination with early female evangelists, women like Mary Baker Eddy and Aimee Semple McPherson.  The scandals that revolved around some of the early women evangelists, especially McPherson, were the equal of today’s tabloid stories about movie and TV stars. And yet, people continued to flock to their appearances and believe in their message.

These two things came together in my head to explain why the U.S. took so long to enter WWI.

What’s the most bizarre thing you learned while researching A Barricade In Hell?

That Kaiser Wilhelm’s inner circle of advisers was deeply into the occult, and that the Kaiser himself was involved in their séances. Wilhelm’s top-level military officers were horrified by this and urged the Kaiser to distance himself from any association with the occult.

What’s your favorite word?

Possibilities.

Which books are currently in your to-read pile?

I won’t give you the whole list, just the top five that I plan to read next.

I’m about half way through Elizabeth Bear’s Steles of the Sky.

Cold Steel by Kate Elliot

Pegasus by Robin McKinley

The Secret History of the Mongol Queens by Jack Wetherford

Ancillary Justice by Ann Lecke

What’s the first book you remember loving?

The Borrowers by Mary Norton. I was probably eight or nine when I found Norton’s books in the library. I read The Borrowers and the sequels at least a dozen times or more.

What’s your favorite method of procrastination?

My absolute favorite is going through old picture archives, places like The Library of Congress, The National Archives, or historical societies that have digitized their files. I tell myself it’s “research” and I’m really working, but that’s not always true. Sometimes I just like looking at old photographs.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Only one; music. Every book and story has a soundtrack that sets the mood, the tone and emotion.

All three Gabe and Delia books had the same soundtrack. I listened to Apocalyptica’s haunting cellos and Ludovico Einaudi’s ghostly piano for more than three years. These are the only books or stories I’ve ever written to instrumental music, or anything approaching classical.