The new Pandora English novel.
Tara Moss and her supernaturally-gifted new heroine Pandora English return with the third book in the bestselling Pandora English series, following on from The Blood Countess and The Spider Goddess.
By day, Pandora English is a lowly fashion assistant.
By night, she is a supernatural scion.
The Crow Moon is rising and Pandora has a date with Civil War soldier Lieutenant Luke, who will be flesh-and-blood for one night only. When Lieutenant Luke disappears, Pandora must unlock the mysteries of Number One Addams Avenue with her skeleton key and discover the secrets that lie in the forgotten laboratory of Dr Edmund Barrett.
For Pandora has been warned: a powerful force is in the house.
As Friday the Thirteenth looms, Pandora English and the citizens of Spektor are in grave danger.
For the dead will rise and terror shall reign
Tara Moss wrote her debut novel, Fetish, when she was twenty-three. Since then her novels have been nominated for both the Davitt and the Ned Kelly crime writing awards, and hit Number 1 on numerous bestseller lists.
Her in-depth writing research has seen her earn her private investigator credentials; spend time in squad cars, morgues and prisons; take polygraph tests; shoot weapons; conduct surveillance; acquire her CAMS race driver licence; be set on fire by Hollywood stunt company West EFX and be choked unconscious by Ultimate Fighter 'Big' John McCarthy.
Born on Vancouver Island, Moss is a dual Australian/Canadian citizen. When not writing her next novel she enjoys reading voraciously and riding her motorcycle (though never at the same time); spending time with her pet python, Thing; collecting morbid Memento Mori and Victoriana; and serving as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and ambassador for the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children. She is married to Australian poet and philosopher Dr Berndt Sellheim and they have one daughter.
The Skeleton Key
Author: Tara Moss
Question: What inspired the story of The Skeleton Key?
Tara Moss: The Skeleton Key is the third novel in the Pandora English series and the story involves a lot of reveals that have been hinted at in the previous books. The novels are set in an alternate New York, inspired by a mix of ancient mythology, folklore, historical events and retro-horror homage.
Question: Do you look to newspapers for inspiration?
Tara Moss: I research widely and I like to keep up on current events, but a lot of my research for the Pandora English series comes from historical textbooks and books on ancient folklore and mythology. Modern newspapers are between one century and four thousand years too up to date for many of Pandora's supernatural troubles.
Question: What research went into this specific book?
Tara Moss: For The Skeleton key I researched everything from ancient beliefs about the underworld to burial practices of the nineteenth century. For the fourth in the series, which I am writing now, I am concentrating on ancient Egypt.
Question: What was the best thing about creating the character of Pandora English?
Tara Moss: After 15 years of writing a crime series based on heavy research and real investigations, it is liberating to create a world of fantastical possibility where I can adapt historical and mythological figures and ideas to a modern, alternate New York. It's awfully fun.
Question: How do you go about developing a character throughout a series?
Tara Moss: I begin with an idea of someone and with time and a lot of writing, I find that my characters become full enough to take on their own personalities. Once developed, characters can't really be told what to do. If something does not fit with their personality or motivations it simply won't work. The important thing is to keep challenging a character and forcing them to evolve - making it more interesting for the reader and the writer.
Question: How many more books will we see in the Pandora English series?
Tara Moss: I will write Pandora's story until I feel it is fully told. I think that will be at least another three novels. Time will tell. Or rather, Pandora will tell me, I suspect.
Question: What's next for Pandora English?
Tara Moss: I could tell you, but then I'd have to, you know...
Interview by Brooke Hunter