On Tour with Losing Normal by Francis Moss and Meet the Author

I wouldn’t go as far as saying I hate TV, because I’m not, but I don’t love it either. I like series and watching an episode every now and then, but I don’t get stuck with it. And being like this makes it easy for me to like this book.

The story is Losing Normal by Francis Moss, a Dystopian, Young Adult novel.

Everyone we love, everything we know, is going away… and only an autistic boy can stop it.  Alex knows exactly how many steps it takes to get from his home to Mason Middle School. This is normal.

Alex knows the answers in AP math before his teacher does, which is also normal.

Alex knows that something bad is coming out of the big screen in his special needs class. It’s pushing images into his head, hurting him, making him forget. Alex pushes back, the screen explodes, and nothing is normal any more.

Giant screen televisions appear all over the city. The programming is addictive. People have to watch, but Alex cannot.

Sophie, the sentient machine behind all this, sees the millions and millions of eyeballs glued to her and calls it love. To Sophie, kids like Alex are defective. Defectives are to be fixed…or eliminated.


To know more about the book or the author, follow the tour. You can find the schedule here (

Chatting with the Author

Francis Moss has written and story-edited hundreds of hours of scripts on many of the top animated shows of the 90s and 00s. Beginning his television work in live-action with Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, he soon starting writing cartoons (“a lot more jobs, and also more fun”), staff writing and freelancing on She-Ra, Princess of Power, Iron Man, Ducktales, and a four-year stint on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, writing and story-editing more episodes than you can swing a nuchaku at. 
One of his TMNT scripts, “The Fifth Turtle,” was the top-rated script among all the 193 episodes in a fan poll on IGN.COM. A list of his television credits is at IMDB.COM.
Francis, in partnership with Ted Pedersen, also wrote three middle-grade non-fiction books: Internet For Kids, Make Your Own Web Page, and How To Find (Almost) Anything On The Internet. Internet For Kids was a big success, with three revised editions and twelve foreign language versions. He’s the sole author of The Rosenberg Espionage Case.
After high school where he grew up in Los Angeles, Francis had one dismal semester at a junior college, and then enlisted in the Army. He became a military policeman and served in Poitiers, France, falling in love with the country, taking his discharge there and traveling around Europe (including running with the bulls in Pamplona) until his money ran out. 
He attended the University of California, Berkeley and became active in the civil rights and anti-war movements, still managing to earn a BA and an MA in English lit (“the major of choice for wannabe writers”). 
Francis is married to Phyllis, a former music teacher and active viola player. They have a son, a daughter and one grandson. They live in Joshua Tree, California.

Hi Francis, and thank you for being here today. Honestly, you’ve done so much. Professional screen writer, writer, the Army, traveler, student at Berkley, kids…. how did you do it??? What propelled you to take so many different roads?

That is a good question. I know because it makes me think about my choices. Also because I hate it. I was reminded of the Robert Frost poem, “The Road Not Taken.” My version goes, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I took both of them.”

My snarky answers: “I have a hard time making up my mind,” or, “I’m easily distracted by shiny objects,” have some truth in them. For a lot of my early life, I just went along with someone who had a plan, because I didn’t have one of my own.

My best friend was enlisting in the Army and I convinced me to sign up.  My best friend Mark persuaded me to enroll at UC Berkley. When my girlfriend joined a spiritual group, and had an out-of-body experience, I said, “Oooh, I want one of those,” and I joined the group (out-of-body experiences eluded me, though). When friends decided to move to Los Angeles, I said, “sure, why not?” 

But, underneath all the wishy-washy, I knew I always wanted to be a writer. I have a vivid memory, sitting at our dining room table, typing on my parents’ Underwood. Here is one of my early efforts. I was maybe eight years old:

What were there six of on the airfield? What happened to my O.S.S. agent? We’ll never know. But my prose shows promise.

I’d played at writing in college, doing articles for the school paper and a few underground newspapers. I wrote a truly awful book, now hiding in my files.

Then, I got my last piece of advice from a friend. She said, “If you want to write, write for television. That’s where the money is.”

That set me on the path. I started taking my eight-year-old self seriously. I wrote for television for almost 25 years.

With my now-deceased writing partner, Ted Pedersen, I wrote three non-fiction books for middle grade readers: Internet For Kids, Make Your Own Web Page, and How To Find (Almost) Anything On The Internet.  My fourth book, The Rosenberg Espionage Case was as a sole author.  Losing Normal is my first novel.

Keep in touch with Francis here:

Giveaway: Tour-wide giveaway (INT)

  • $25 Amazon gift card


Xpresso Book Tours

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