Sometime last year I met this super cool author on Twitter.
She shared some really interesting “facts” about her WIP (work-in-progress) that had me immensely intrigued and really wanting to read.
As I got to learn more, I continuously liked her tweets and often shared how much I liked what she was sharing.
Then one day she reached out to me asking if I wanted to beta read it.
I was pleasantly shocked, but at the same time I pretty much was jumping up and down with excitement because I totally said yes.
So started my friendship with author Yaasha Moriah, an amazing writer and encouraging friend (who has definitely made sure that if I need to work through some writer’s block, I can talk ideas with her).
Grab a blanket and a few pillows for my fun chat with her about reading Hebrew, spiders, and her novelette, Project Minerva.
Yaasha Moriah writes mostly speculative fiction (which incorporates fantasy and sci-fi), though she occasionally branches out into historical fiction or contemporary fiction. She grew up reading C. S. Lewis, Lloyd Alexander, Madeleine L’Engle, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the many and various “greats” of literature, as well as newer authors like Margaret Peterson Haddix and Lois Lowry.
In the second quarter of 2015, Yaasha Moriah earned Silver Honorable Mention for her short story “Wings Beneath Water” in the international L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future speculative fiction contest.
She is the authors of five books:
Reflections, a fantasy novelette in which reflections betray their owners
Immersion, a speculative fiction novelette in which one writer’s abilities can make, or unmake, the very fabric of reality
Project Minerva, a science fiction novelette in which a young woman begins receiving memories from her dead roommate
Prometheus, a science fiction novelette in which a brother and sister fight to survive the Shimmers who have taken over the earth
Ready For Him Today: Preparing Wisely for the Future, Living Fully in the Present, a book for Christian single women on faith, purity, relationships, and readiness
Yaasha believes that rich writing comes from a rich life, so she is not just an author. When not writing, she is hiking barefoot in her home state of Vermont, working as an administrative assistant at a local office, and serving women who are facing unplanned pregnancies.
– I am SO excited to have you on the blog! For those who don’t know you, can you share three words to describe yourself?
I chose adventurous, curious, and imaginative, but I think it’s funny that my mother’s picks for me were completely different: self-motivated, compassionate, and creative.
(And now I have sneakily described myself in six words, but you don’t notice that, right?)
– That was quite clever! I noticed on your blog that you can read Hebrew and Greek, which is totally awesome. Where did you learn to read both of these languages?
My father loves to study Hebrew and Greek and has tons of language and translational aids in his personal library. He wanted each of us to at least learn basic Biblical languages while we were being homeschooled, so I can read both Hebrew and Greek.
Reading the language doesn’t mean that I can understand it, though I can take a pretty good stab at translating from Greek if I’m looking at the first chapter of John.
Hebrew is really interesting; you literally read it right to left for the consonants and up to down for the vowels.
Greek is a lot easier to remember and read, particularly since a lot of English words have Greek influence.
– That is so cool! I know another friend who is homeschooling her girls to learn Hebrew. I also noticed on your blog that you love spiders. Have you always been fond of them or just when you got older?
Oh, I’ve always loved spiders! When I was a kid, I think half the fun was creeping out my siblings by my proximity to arachnids. But spiders are also just plain fascinating. I remember watching a spider spin a web in the basement and catch a fly, and being completely enthralled with the process. I mean, here’s a creature that can spin some of the strongest substances on earth; make it sticky or not, depending on its needs; and weave it in patterns while on the go. I have mad respect for spider skills.
– I admire you friend because I can’t say I have had made respect for them, though you argue their case quite nicely. 😉 Project Minerva was amazing and I’m still trying to wrap my head around how flawlessly you brought everything together. How were you able to keep all the details organized and flowing?
I tend to edit and come up with ideas as I write, so when I sit down to write for the day, I reread the last several pages that I wrote. That reminds me of where I am in the story and all the little threads of sub-plot that I’m working with.
I also backfill. If I get an idea for Chapter 10 that needs some foreshadowing, I go back to Chapter 5 and add a conversation or a detail that will set up for Chapter 10’s revelation.
When I’m done a story, I walk away from it for several weeks or months and come back to review it with fresh eyes. That also helps me to catch loose threads that I didn’t see before, so that all the pieces work together.
– That makes sense and definitely sounds effective. I’ve heard on numerous occasions that most authors can’t choose a favorite character, BUT I am curious about who you would want to hang out with for a day. Who’s the lucky character to hang out with you? What would you guys do?
I want to hang out with Otz. He’s so chill and thoughtful, unlike Sophia, who would probably want to engage me in lively conversation and then decide I’m boring, or Jennifer, who probably wouldn’t be much of a conversationalist.
What would we do? Well, I’d like to walk around the Theatron and sit on the edge of the fountain. Maybe do some people-watching and compare observations and ideas.
– Otz would be cool to hangout with, especially when it’s a relaxing one. What originally inspired the idea of writing about integrated humanity?
The idea came from a dream. I dreamed that I knew something of grave importance, but a shadowy organization had caught me and wished to silence me. As they euthanized me, it was like my perspective switched and I was now the friend of the euthanized girl, receiving her memories as she died. I remember panicking in my dream, knowing that I could never reach my friend in time to save her.
That was the idea that started it all, but I changed a lot in the story as it flowed onto the page. That tends to happen: the idea starts a chain reaction and usually the final story looks almost nothing like the original thought.
– Whoa! What a dream! Would you consider yourself a pattern-finder like Sophia or Jennifer?
Nope. That’s more of a math-related activity and, while I have high respect for math, it’s not the sort of thing that gets me out of bed with excitement every morning. I think if Otz tested me, he’d find I’m more of an intuitive: I see possibilities in totally subjective things, like people. People don’t make sense. They have certain patterns, sure, but they’re massive contradictions and sometimes they do completely unpredictable things. However, if you know the root of human nature, you can start predicting them more accurately and reading their moods more deeply.
Thanks for having me on your blog! This was super fun and I enjoyed answering your creative questions.
– Yeah, I am with you there. Haha! I appreciate you stopping by today and sharing about Project Minerva, Yaasha.
Connect with Yaasha
About Project Minerva
Integrated Humanity is the future of mankind, and the Generations Program leads the world in training the world’s most flexible minds for that future. When one of the girls in the Generation Thirteen program dies mysteriously, Jennifer begins receiving the dead girl’s memories. Each of the ten memories reveals part of a truth that forces Jennifer to choose: Where do her loyalties lie?