Interview with Riyaad Moosa

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I wake up thinking, “I’m still alive. Great.” Then, I thank God Almighty for all the blessings He has bestowed upon me. When I really feel like sleeping for another hour, I think of “The Money Chant” from the movie The Wolf of Wall Street. That gets me out of bed lickety-split.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yeah, I do. I was doing this basic course after I completed high school. The lecturer that taught English Communication for Business had us write a story about anything. At that time, I was reading a book about serial killers, so it felt easy enough to write a story like that. It was about a guy who stalked this young woman, violates her and then finally kills her. Strangely enough, I got a high mark for it.
The weird thing is the teacher made me stand up in front of the class and read out loud, the story from beginning to the end. :-0
What is your writing process?
I don’t have one per say, but I make use of whatever works. Depending on the subject matter, mind-maps help with the overall idea. Or it’s a bullet point list. Or its scribbling a few lines in my diary before or during work. Most of the time, it’s when I feel inspired, I just let it out onto paper.
Describe your desk
It’s a blue patio desk in a really small room. There’s a 17-inch LCD screen with its desktop counterpart hidden away at the bottom of it. My netbook rests on its surface, joined by a jumble of papers, a large brown envelope with miscellaneous bits of paper.
Underneath the mess, there is an exam pad. In between all of that is a Pilot Hi-Tec V7 grip pen in a colour other than blue.

Can somebody tell me why these pens are so expensive in South Africa??
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
It was The Gingerbread Man from Ladybird Books. I would read it over and over again. The Gingerbread Man came across as a very daring and adventurous character. I still don’t understand how he suddenly became alive…just like that *snap*.
What do your fans mean to you?
Without them I am nothing. ‘Nuff said.
What are you working on next?
I find it difficult to concentrate on one piece of work all the time. Sometimes I’m working on a novel, then suddenly I will be inspired and find myself writing poetry. In between, I scribble down story-arcs for a comic book script.

Right now, I’m penning a book about Muslims in South Africa, the direction we are going and our future role in the world at large. The next work after that is suspense novel based entirely here in Cape Town.
Who are your favorite authors?
William Gibson, Karen Armstrong, Paulo Coelho from the traditional industry of writing.

But I have to give props to those writing icons from the comic book industry like Mark Waid, Warren Ellis and Brian Azarello to name a few. I just discovered the infamous works by Will Eisner and like, wow…seriously….this guy rocks!
How do you approach cover design?
Lacking the funds to employ a professional, I do it myself. I normally try to get the message across quickly and easily.
For instance, my book, “The Recognition of My Dad Through God”, I wanted to illustrate how the common thread from the 3 major religions assisted me in healing my spirit. So, I asked my brother to take a photo of me, holding the symbols which I felt represented the 3 major religions.

After cropping and resizing the photo, it was playing around with different fonts for the title.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I get to express myself, confront whatever is bothering me and let go of it. It also allows me to explore and expand anything that creeps into my mind.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a full-time day job which allows me to be a cog in the great machine of economic slavery. Sometimes I try to assert my humanity by imagining what it would be like to a full-time comic book writer.

When I’m not fantasising about having my own booth at the San Diego Comic-Con, I do Tai Chi in the early mornings of my short weekends. Shopping, watching movies and chatting to my pals on Facebook, fills up the rest of my itinerary.
Published 2014-02-16.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.