Tarik H. Moore has a Bachelor of Science degree from Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland and works as an Information Technology consultant and a real estate investor.
The End Justifies the Means (In Third Person Publishing, 2006) is his first novel.
In this interview, Tarik Moore talks about his writing.
How many books have you written so far?
The End Justifies the Means is my first novel, and I’m a self-publish author under my own publishing company, “In Third Person Publishing”.
The End Justifies the Means released October 18, 2006. It’s a suspense novel based out of Camden, New Jersey. A city cited by many as one of the most poorer and dangerous cities in America for the past decade or so.
It took six weeks to write the original manuscript, but the next twenty-three months were dedicated to editing, graphical design work (i.e. website, book covers, promotional material, etc). You know all the intangible things that go into producing a book.
Which aspect of the work you put into the book did you find most difficult?
My biggest challenge was producing the book. There are a lot of predators claiming to be professional editors, proofreaders, graphical artist, etc who care nothing about your story and your message but only wish to take your money. But now I have a reliable team of editors and graphic artists who I trust and will continue to be staples in my writing career as long as I have stories to tell.
Which did you enjoy most?
The day I enjoyed most was the day my proof came to my door and I finally had my first official finished product in my hand. All the hard work and money I put into it finally had paid off.
What sets the book apart from other things you have written?
Before this novel I had only written a few poems, high school newspaper articles, but nothing as personal as this story. I had this story in me for years before it ultimately came out.
What will your next book be about?
I was going to write a novel/erotica called Cyber Sex but I’ve been forced to put that on the backburner because the story wasn’t ready to shoot out of me like The End Justifies the Means did. I started writing it but I didn’t feel the same passion I felt for my first novel.
My next novel, The Sweetest Joy, is bursting out of me as we speak. I’ve had to literally force myself not to begin writing that novel until I’m finished promoting The End Justifies the Means.
The Sweetest Joy will be much darker than my first novel. It’s going to be a story about one man’s revenge and that’s all I’m going to tell you about it. It’s going to be bigger than The End Justifies the Means and people are loving The End Justifies the Means. I’m telling you now, the industry better be prepared to hand out some awards to T. H. Moore when The Sweetest Joy releases.
When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
Being an only child I had and continue to have a vivid imagination and I began writing the stories that flooded my imagination when I was in high school.
I wrote for my high school newspaper and after that I began to write the first story that I thought would turn into my first novel. Unfortunetly, I lost it to a computer crash. It’s kind of ironic considering that my career is based on computers now but since then I never wrote another story with the intent of publishing it for others to read.
Ultimately, I was working on a project in England a few years ago and one weekend I went to see a movie and the story line was so bad that I came out of the movie saying, “I could have written a better story than that.” And then it clicked in my head. I’m going to write a novel and put my money where my mouth is. Six weeks later I finished my first manuscript, The End Justifies the Means.
How would you describe your writing?
The industry would categorize me in the African-American suspense novel genre or Hood Literature based on the story back drop of The End Justifies the Means but this is the only story I have to tell that has an urban setting.
To be fair, my stories will appeal to African-American audiences but they are equally intelligently written with a message communicated through them that doesn’t glorify promiscuity, drug dealing, and violence. I tell all my readers from my book signings, “This is not your stereotypical Hood Lit” -- and after they read it they understand what I mean.
My target audience are minorities (i.e. African-Americans and Latinos) mainly because the main characters in The End Justifies the Means are those ethnicities but my stories can be appreciated by any nationality.
The majority, not all, of the books I read are by African-American authors and I don’t think we have equal presence represented in the industry so that’s why I’ve chosen my audience. Maybe one day I’ll write a story specifically for “mainstream” contemporary literature but I’m not drawn to it. I’m drawn to what my people can appreciate first.
How have your personal experiences influenced your writing?
All of my stories come from me and my personal experiences. They aren’t autobiographical but I write about what I know and have experienced.
What are your main concerns as a writer?
I don’t want to be lumped into the, “Oh, he’s an African-American writer” category. I’m just a writer who happens to be African-American. I want people to appreciate my art and talent first before my ethnicity. That’s why I decided to go with the book cover I have. I didn’t want readers to be instantly turned away from my book solely because of my book cover.
Normally, authors in my genre have cover art with African-Americans on it but if someone has the mindset, “I don’t read black authors or Hood Books” -- they won’t even pick it up to see what its about. In order for a reader not to like my story they have to actually pick it up and read the back cover or the first few pages of the book and once they do that, it’s too late. I already got you hooked.
How did you deal with the challenges you faced in producing the book?
Mostly trial and error and I had a few people willing to mentor me along the way. It’s because of those people that I have the book we have before us today. But I can truly estimate that I’ve wasted approximately $4,000.00 on would be editors and the kind. But the good thing about it is that it helped me learn the industry more thoroughly. I’m not saying everyone needs to get took to publish a book successfully but I learned very valuable lessons during those two years of producing my novel.
What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?
Well, there are two most significant achievements. One tangible, and another intangible.
I received a “New Writers Award” from a community organization based out of Camden, N. J.
The second was when the people who knew I was writing my novel finally read it and before they read it they initially thought I was just writing a book so I could say, “I wrote a novel” -- but when they completed it they realized that it was exceptional and they would have read it and enjoyed it even if they didn’t personally know the author.
How did you get there?
Hmmm, I guess I have to thank that terrible movie (which will remain nameless) that forced me to put my money where my mouth was. It gave me the much needed extra motivation to write again and publish my novel. But honestly, I’m not sure how to answer this question because it honestly wasn’t a conscious effort. I just did what I liked to do.
Do you write everyday?
I don’t write everyday, unless you count emails I write to my co-workers, family, friends, and fraternity brothers, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. (I know, I know…a shameless plug but it’s all good).