What inspired me to write Moxie’s Problem
I first developed a version of the Moxie character more than ten years ago. Originally, she was the protagonist in a short story. The story never sold, nevertheless I loved her character and I was determined to get her to star in a story.
I developed Moxie’s character for a novel that would include Moxie’s development from a spoiled brat to a formidable woman.
While I was writing Moxie’s Problem, it occurred to me why I couldn’t sell the short story. The problem with the short story was that Moxie was a whiney, obnoxious, teenage brat. Not a good choice for a protagonist. The difference between Moxie in a short story and Moxie in a novel is this: in the novel there is room for Moxie to grow, to learn important lessons and to change. These changes can’t be pulled off in a short story, there simply isn’t room for such complicated issues. So, Moxie’s Problem really is about Moxie growing up and facing a reality that is quite different from life in her father’s castle. Part of Moxie’s learning experiences occur when she is escorted by three apprentice Knights of the Round Table. The knights don’t care about her nobel birth, a shocking revelation to Moxie, and they ignore her commands. This forces Moxie to reflect that people outside the castle think differently that the nobles who attend her father’s court. Once she starts to examine issues like this, there is no stopping her from observing other facets of life outside the castle. This leads her to realize she isn’t trained to do anything except exist and possible give birth, but always under the supervision of an adult male, either her father or a husband. Moxie finds this situation repugnant and she develops a plan to become independent.
That last sentence is a recap of the novel from Moxie’s perspective. Another main theme is the development of Percivale, one of the apprentice knights. And then there are the subplots that revolve around Camelot. The struggle between King Artie and the Saxon warlord Hengist for domination in British football is one such delightful subplot. Another is the Knights of the Round Table (KRT Inc.) a for profit organization that has money problems. Still another is Merlin delving into the Magic of the Mind using ink blots on pieces of parchment.
With all these unique subplots going on, Moxie’s Problem really was a joy to write.
Do you enjoy untypical coming-of-age stories? Well, you won’t find one more untypical than Moxie’s Problem. Moxie is an obnoxious, teen-age princess who has never been outsider her father’s castle. Until now. The real world is quite different and she struggles to come to grips with reality. The story takes place against a backdrop of Camelot. But it isn’t the Camelot of legends. It’s Camelot in a parallel universe. So, all bets are off!