Eating Authors: J. D. Moyer

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J. D. Moyer

Over the last few years, SFWA has been changing its annual Nebula Conference from a small convention with a banquet and an awards ceremony to a conference offering much more in the way of professional development (and a banquet and an awards ceremony). In addition to bringing in speakers from author relevant concerns like Amazon, Kickstater, and Creative Commons, they’ve also been promoting the tradition of “paying it forward” by pairing newcomers with more experienced mentors. I’m happy to say I’ve taken on a mentee for each of the past three conferences.

This is of course a segue into this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest because last May I had the privilege to play mentor to J. D. Moyer (which means I get to take credit for any all of his accomplishments from here on out, right?).

He’s spent a great deal of time in the music business as variously a producer, label runner, event promoter, and not surprisingly DJ. But he left all that glamor behind to write fiction and has been building up a repertoire of impress short fiction, exploring themes of genetic engineering, the sociological effects of climate change, virtualized consciousness, and evolutionary divergence. You don’t see a lot of this in popular music, and perhaps that’s why he moved to fiction (a much more entertaining explanation than the birth of his daughter). In 2016 he won the Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction contest for his story “The Icelandic Cure.”

J.D.’s first novel, The Sky Woman comes out from Flame Tree Press on Thursday. Keep an eye on him, he’s going places (and I get all the credit).

LMS: Welcome, J.D. Talk to me, please, about your most memorable meal

JDM: My most memorable meal consisted of slightly burnt popcorn cooked in the plaza of a mini-mall on the north coast of Kauai. I was eighteen, and my friend and I had just hiked the entirety of the Napali Coast trail in a day. We were absolutely exhausted and famished, having run out of food (except for popcorn) that morning. It was late, and all the shops and restaurants were closed.

The Sky Woman

Camping at Kalalau beach, at the other end of the trail, we’d overstayed our rations. Kalalua was a paradise of white sand, waterfalls, and footpaths winding between palms and crossing clear brooks, all of it shadowed by soaring cliffs. A loose tribe of hippies lived there year round, evading helicopter patrols by the rangers. Ron, an ex-cab driver from NYC, was their de facto leader. One night he cooked us a delicious soup made from green papaya, local herbs, and crustaceans plucked from the creek.

Back at the mini mall near the trailhead, I cooked our popcorn on a small camp stove while my friend ran an errand. A woman approached me. I wearily looked up. For the next five minutes she berated me for hanging out in a mini mall instead of enjoying the glorious natural sights nearby. Too tired to protest, I meekly endured her admonitions until her breath was spent, all the time worrying if I was overcooking the popcorn.

It’s true that hunger is the best sauce. The burnt popcorn was delicious.

Thanks, J.D. I hope in this case, the sauce was a buttery one.

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

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