About Author

Jean Cooper Moran

Jean Cooper Moran
  • Genre:

    Children's
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Books: 1
  • Profession: Author
  • Born: 27 October
  • Member Since: Dec 2021
  • Profile Views: 8,154
  • Followers: 165
  • VISIT AUTHOR: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon,
BIOGRAPHY

I love world-building and populating those worlds with stories and that’s why I write.

I was a science and technology person in my working life and some of that is useful to the stories but the main aim is to make my worlds readable and a delight for readers. ‘Travellers’ is the first in a series about the Museum of Worlds and the people who populate it

Jean Cooper Moran's Books

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Travellersby Jean Cooper MoranPublish: Apr 09, 2022Series: Travellers: Museum of WorldsChildren's

Jean Cooper Moran's Series in Order

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  • Travellers: Museum of Worlds

    1 Travellers - Published on Apr, 2022

Jean Cooper Moran Interview On 13, Sep 2022

"Jean Cooper Moran's childhood dream was to become a vet. Jean’s background is in technology, overseas development, and medical research and she uses some of that experience in her poetry and novel writing. In 2021 she was awarded the first poetry prize in the Hammond House International Literary Competition. Her debut novel, Travellers’ is the first in a series about the Museum of Worlds and the people who populate it."
What is one lesser-known fact about your childhood?

When I was ten, I created a puppet theatre in my dad’s tool shed and wrote and acted stories to entertain my friends and family. Dad was very patient with a dozen children crammed into his precious carpentry space.

Which of your childhood dreams was the first to die?

Becoming a vet; I love animals but my chemistry and physics grades weren’t good enough.

What do you love the most about world-building?

The sense of freedom for the imagination to launch out and create something amazing, and developing the skills needed to make that vision seem real for readers of all ages.

At what age did you write your first book? Did it get published?

In childhood I was always writing stories for my family but the first published book, apart from magazine articles on health and science, was an analysis of research into Alzheimer’s Disease in 1993 sold internationally by the ‘Sunday Times’ bookshop.

What sparked the idea for your book, Travellers?

My sister’s triplets were born in the 90s and I wanted always to write a story for them, something they might read and like when they were older. ‘Travellers’ is a fantasy and sci-fi combination with two heroes, a boy and his sister, and of course, a dog. The Museum of Worlds in ‘Travellers’ gives me the chance to world-build on the grand scale.

As a teenager, what were you obsessed with?

Like others in the Sixties: music, books, going to Kensington Market to meet friends, walking, and animals. Our generation saw the birth of the Beatles and the Stones, the death of Kennedy and his brother, a Moon landing and the Vietnam war. It made us aware of the dark side even in an era of peace movements.

Are any of your stories inspired by a real-life incident or anecdote?

Yes, many; like other writers I carry a notebook and pen at all times. You never know what you might find on a walk/in a paper/magazine/ on the news/overheard on a bus etc.

My latest short story was inspired by a local news item about the discovery of a seventeenth century warship ‘Gloucester’ on the bed of the sea near Norfolk. It sank while carrying the future James II of England to be reunited with his wife in Leith, Scotland.

Do you ever get writer’s block? How do you overcome it?

Yes, often. The worst was when something really bad happened in my life and I 'dried up'. All I can say for the latter case is that it takes time and I did try each day, to sit down and put something - anything - on paper. I wrote short stories and poetry in that period rather than a novel. It's important to keep going, and keep the faith in you, your work and your goal. They say 'imposter syndrome' can cause a block or result from it. But I believe blocks are there to be dealt with; they're not symptoms of inspiration drying up, just rocks in the path. Keep hammering away. You can do it. Go for walks, do stuff you like, listen to music, dance, help someone. It's amazing how taking the focus away from the problem can make it lessen.

According to you, what is literary success?

My only criterion is producing something that readers like and want to read. To know whether you’re doing that is key, and feedback from readers is really valued.

What is one book you wish you could be the original author to?

Good question and very hard to choose among the ‘greats’ but I recall being really immersed in the world created by Paulo Coelho for ‘The Alchemist’. His hero’s journey is fabulous and fascinating, covering so many themes we all share.

What are some new things that you want to experiment with within your future books?

Science-as-magic, magic-as-science, kindness, survival in an urban environment. In the latest ‘Travellers’ book, a man and a boy from the highly sophisticated, advanced society in the Museum of Worlds find themselves dropped into Gloucester city in 2023, and have to find a way to live there

How do you spend “quality time” with yourself?

We have a large garden, which is great for ‘thinking-working’, meaning your body’s occupied with planting/weeding, leaving the mind free to roam around and play with ideas. We live in a Forest so ‘tree-bathing’ (going into the forest and listening to what’s around you), is another great way to relax. And live music is always accessible in our area, as are craft lessons in wild food gathering, willow-weaving etc.

What are your hobbies apart from writing?

Definitely the garden; my local conservation group does ‘mini-conservation’ projects which cover the small stuff like litter-picking, making runways for small mammals, and ‘seeds for bees.’ I love cooking although my husband’s dairy-allergic so it’s a bit of a challenge. I’ve been studying Tai Chi and Qui Gong lately, matching that to music, and Yoga for flexibility.

What are you working on at the moment? What is it about?

A YA novel with a hero who discovers she has the ‘Dragon Gene’ which means that in a certain part of the world, she can summon and control dragons. The discovery also means her mother is not her birth mother, and she persuades her best friend to help her embark on a search for the truth. Meanwhile, her real family need her gift to help them perform a dangerous task, and they come for her. She can’t face them, skips school and goes on the run.

How do you usually promote your books? What do you think of AllAuthor and would you recommend it to your other author friends?

Mainly by email, family and friend networks, social media, book fairs at writers’ conferences, local radio and where possible, readings in schools. I’ve been introduced to AllAuthor and its offerings for writers by a friend who has self-published a number of books, and would recommend it for new authors especially. It’s important to a first-time author to find support in writers’ groups, web networks and the like. What AllAuthors offers is a chance to get to know an international community, learn from their example and feel supported by an organisation with a lot of helpful ideas.

Ask Jean Cooper Moran a Question

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      • Jean Cooper Moran Jean Cooper Moran 1 year ago
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      • It varies because I'm also a carer for my husband and that takes priority. Sometimes I can write for two hours in the morning, sometimes I reserve a couple of hours in the evening. I set a limit of 2000 words a day - it can be a struggle and at times music helps. But I also take time to read and see what people are saying about other books and authors. Even if you're isolated as many of us are now, by Covid and the need to shield someone, it's important to stay in touch. I start by re-reading what I wrote the day before, and put myself back 'in the world'. When I'm there, I can see where the story needs to go next. I do have a project plan and character descriptions of course, plus the details of the worlds I'm in - geography, relations with other places, plants, animals, climate, and anything special that needs its own life-story, such as Chass or Pirrix animals.
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    • AllAuthor AllAuthor 1 year ago
      Allauthor
    • Have you ever experienced "Writer's Block"? Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?
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      • Jean Cooper Moran Jean Cooper Moran 1 year ago
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      • Yes, often, sometimes for a day and the worst was when something really bad happened in my life and I 'dried up'. All I can say for the latter case is that it takes time and I did try each day, to sit down and put something - anything - on paper. I wrote short stories and poetry in that period. It's important to keep going, and keep the faith in you, your work and your goal. They say 'imposter syndrome' can cause a block or result from it. But I believe blocks are there to be dealt with; they're not symptoms of inspiration drying up, just rocks in the path. Keep hammering away. You can do it. Go for walks, do stuff you like, listen to music, dance, help someone. It's amazing how taking the focus away from the problem can make it lessen.
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      • Jean Cooper Moran Jean Cooper Moran 1 year ago
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      • A lot. You need to have the determination to do this and do it well. And you need, at least I need, to be organised and know where to go for help. And always back up your files. Yes, I know you all do that. But in my case I nearly lost an entire chapter and now I'm a backup convert. Publication made me re-assess how I spend my writing time too. We're lucky that long-published writers are so generous with their time and advice. There's a plethora of good resources out there, and when you've gone through the process of developing your story through to publication then you can look back and see a lot more clearly where the important milestones are, and how to plan better next time. I bought 'Scrivener' because of my science background that makes me think, 'plan this properly' and because the software offers a lot of good options for book creation. I write in Word and use its functions too. It's just the way I do it. You can do exactly the same with paper and pen. It just takes a lot of paper, filing, and organisation. Going back to the question, I learned from the experience, and I hope to put those lessons into practice.
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      • Jean Cooper Moran Jean Cooper Moran 1 year ago
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      • I only wish I knew more about what makes a story readable. I'm a first timer in fiction publishing but I do realise we're in the business of selling our story and our vision to readers. And we keep our readers in mind from A to Z when creating the story. All the people I've spoken to about writing, from authors I've read, from workshops, online and YouTube tutorials emphasise that. It applies from the initial setting, the plot, characters and their development to sentence structure, word choices and theme. For me, the underlying foundation of good writing is the good sentence. It should be clear, focused and make a contribution to the narrative. I cut more than I keep and although that hurts, I learn from it. Editing is a valuable skill and although good editing is the province of the professional I try to apply as much as I can of the principles when I re-write. Its part of the attraction of writing - learning the craft every day.
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    • AllAuthor AllAuthor 1 year ago
      Allauthor
    • Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?
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      • Jean Cooper Moran Jean Cooper Moran 1 year ago
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      • Huge sympathy goes to anyone experiencing that. It's frustrating and in the family context, can be especially harmful. I joined a writers' circle early on, and found good companionship with people keen to learn more about, and talk about, writing. It does make you feel good to be part of a group, whether online or in person when permitted by the bug. Good groups encourage their new members and their ambitions, and a wise choice can help you when you're feeling like nothing's going right. The calming and soothing effect of music is well known. I use a few good 'ambient' music tracks when writing. It's something to do with the effect on brain wave rhythm and the creative side of the brain. Exercise is a must if you're a full time writer. They all tell us that, and I do try and exercise regularly. Part of my career was spent peering down a microscope and part locked onto a PC, so I do appreciate how the body muscles can feel. A stressed body is not what you need if you're feeling emotional stress too. So yoga and walking, swimming and a few 'Mum dances' are a part of the writing routine. And if you're nervous about putting your writing in front of an agent or editor, a writers' group can help and reassure you by being readers or beta-readers (as long as you're able to respond in kind or other thank-you). Dealing with stress caused by rejection is a huge topic, All I can say is that no-one's immune and we all share it.
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