Tara Moss began her career has an international model, but she soon found a passion for writing and has since become a crime thriller novelist. Her latest installment, ‘Siren,’ is her fifth novel about a woman on a mission to find a missing 19-year-old.
13 Questions with Tara Moss
1. How do you keep your work on the cutting edge?
I research my novels heavily - spending time in morgues, cop cars, at crime scenes and most recently being set on fire and choked unconscious for scenes in my fifth novel, ‘Siren.’ I find that having a totally hands-on approach keeps my books fresh, exciting and different. I am particularly drawn to taboo subjects, or experiences others might shy away from.
2. How do you reset yourself to become creative? Do you have any rituals?
Once a book is off to the printers I begin the process of letting go of it, and moving on to the next story. Once I have a solid inspiration about what I want to write next, I throw myself into the research first - and headfirst - studying and having any kind of wild experience I might be able to use. I might not write a word of a new novel until I have already researched it for several months.
3. What is an example of a time where you have thrown away an existing idea to force yourself to find something new?
I have on a number of occasions thrown away planned plot lines to follow new directions mid-book. Sometimes the book you think you will write is not the book you end up with. I feel it is important to remain flexible with the creative process and always be prepared for new ideas. I have even spontaneously killed off characters I didn’t know I would murder!
4. How did you get involved in writing and what motivates you to continue?
I was raised in a household of books, and I always sought out the books I wasn’t allowed to read. I hid copies of Stephen King novels in my mattress, and at the age of ten I was writing Stephen King-style horror novelettes for my classmates. My friends wanted to be written in and killed off, such is the morbid curiosity of children, and so my first stories involved a demonic car killing them off, Christine-style (the King novel, ‘Christine’). They used to wait for class to get their own handwritten chapter.
5. How significant are the topics of cool hunting and trend spotting in the world of fiction?
I think it is vital to stay up to date with what is going on in the world, and to have a sense of the ‘modern life’ in contemporary writing. I often include gadgets, Internet trends and new technology in my stories, because it adds more realism, depth and relate-ability to the characters I am writing.
6. How do you define cool?
Real cool is ineffable, undefined, but absolutely undeniable.
7. How do you define a trend?
A trend is a collective excitement about something new. Trends come and go, but the really interesting and clever inventions and fashions have a way of staying on and remaining relevant long after the trend has passed.
8. What is the coolest aspect about your latest novel?
My main character, Mak, is the coolest aspect of my novels. She is tough, sexy, and smart, and she lives in a dangerous, exciting world.
9. Professionally, what do you want to be doing in 10 years?
I want to be writing, and traveling the world as pilot of my own light aircraft - an authoress and adventuress.
10. If you weren’t a writer, what would your dream profession be?
If I wasn’t a writer - which I can’t honestly imagine - I would certainly be a psychologist. I am fascinated by human psychology and motivation, and many of my plots are driven by psychology.
11. What are your favorite hobbies?
Riding motorcycles, playing with big pythons, learning new skills, and collecting licenses for everything from reptile handling, to PI work to race car driving
12. If you could work with anyone in the world, who would it be and what would you do?
The late, great erotic writer and intellectual Anais Nin. We would work at getting ourselves into trouble. Which wouldn’t be hard.
13. Who is your favorite writer of the moment, and what makes them cool to you?
Stephen King will always hold a special place in my heart. And Anais Nin. And Roald Dahl. And Mary Shelley. And Bram Stoker. And Thomas Harris. And Ian McEwan. And Charles Bukowski… and… As you can see, I have too many literary loves.
To hear more from Tara Moss, check her out on Twitter.
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