Glamboyant mum and wife, talented author, successful TV presenter and ex-model Tara Moss has recently launched her second novel in the Pandora English series The Spider Goddess. Following on from The Blood Countess (read our review here), Tara\’s latest novel is full of ghoulish glitz and gothic glamour as her heroine Pandora moves to New York City and discovers her paranormal gifts.
In celebration of the new release last Thursday night (December 15th) Tara met fans, signed books and took part in a Q&A session hosted by fellow author Dominic Knight and we caught up with the lovely Tara for our own one-on-one Q&A:
Emily: Considering how busy you are as a mother, a writer and a TV presenter how do you find time for everything?
Tara: Sometimes with difficulty actually and sometimes I just feel very fortunate because I have a great support team and that is my husband and my employers. Foxtel have been extremely supportive about my needs, particularly as a breast feeding mum because I returned to Tough Nuts when my daughter was only two and a half months old so I needed to take breaks really regularly on set. And now that I\’m working on deadline I feel really happy that I\’ve got a husband who\’s a writer, who understands what it\’s like to be on deadline, who understands the creative process and is also a hands on dad, who really enjoys being a father, so& very little sleep and lots of support from my husband.
Emily: You mentioned you recently responded to a young woman\’s tweet offering her support and advice in a difficult situation. Do you see yourself as a role model for young girls?
Tara: I guess I\’m uncomfortable with the term role model because I don\’t know that I could live up to expectations that would be put on a role model, but I do think as human beings we need to be community aware and for me Twitter and Facebook and the larger internet is a community and when you see someone in that community hurting and reaching out it\’s natural to respond and try and offer some moral support. So that\’s all that I did and people do that all the time for others and I think that\’s really good. It\’s the kind of thing we probably do less now because we live in sort of fractured or satellite communities in the sense of not often knowing our neighbours, but on the internet you can actually help people or lighten their mood when they\’re not feeling the greatest and it\’s a really easy thing to do. It\’s amazing how much difference 140 characters can make.
Emily: What\’s your favourite thing about your character Pandora?
Tara: I love that she has great gifts she\’s so far unaware of. She has great gifts and great potential and she underestimates herself and I think that\’s something I find most compelling about her story. I think it\’s a lovely fantasy to imagine that you\’re an ordinary person in this real world and you\’re underestimated and not treated well but really, there\’s a whole other side of existence where you\’re very important and powerful and have great gifts and I think that\’s a lovely fantasy to escape into and it\’s something that\’s beautiful to write. And I think, in a real world sense, it probably does echo certain truths about the fact that we often do underestimate ourselves and underestimate people around us and everyone has a great gift of some type so for Pandora those gifts are quite extraordinary and it makes her fun to write but as the series begins she\’s a under realised person and she develops and evolves through each of the books to discover what her real abilities are and I like that as a story.
Emily: Even though she\’s a fictional character, is Pandora based on anyone?
Tara: She\’s actually not based on anyone, there are a few characters in the books who are influenced by classic horror archetypes or by people that I know â€“ never too directly, it\’s always a mix of a bit of fantasy, a bit of someone\’s personality, a bit of a great character from the Adam\’s Family or some other influence but never directly from any one source. And that\’s actually how I inform all my characters really, they\’re informed by a great number of different influences.
Emily: What are you reading at the moment?
Tara: I\’m reading the Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – it\’s delightful, really beautiful [Editor’s Note: We reviewed Night Circus, read it here, Diane loved it and rave reviews for it around the globe.]
Photography by Dave Petranker