First Look at Tara Moss’ First Non-Fiction Work The Fictional Woman

“The year is 2002, I am 28 years old and I am sitting in a small, unfamiliar hotel room hooked up to a lie detector machine…”

Tara Moss has worn many labels in her time, including ‘author’, ‘model’, ‘gold-digger’, ‘commentator’, ‘inspiration’, ‘dumb blonde’, ‘feminist’ and ‘mother’, among many others.

Now, in her first work of non-fiction, she blends memoir and social analysis to examine the common fictions about women.

She traces key moments in her life – from small-town tomboy in Canada, to international fashion model in the 90s, to bestselling author taking a polygraph test in 2002 to prove she writes her own work – and weaves her own experiences into a broader look at everyday sexism and issues surrounding the underrepresentation of women, modern motherhood, body image and the portrayal of women in politics, entertainment, advertising and the media.

Deeply personal and revealing, this is more than just Tara Moss’s own story. At once insightful, challenging and entertaining, she asks how we can change the old fictions, one woman at a time.

For more about Tara Moss’ The Fictional Woman click here

The 2013 Sydney Writer’s Festival In Focus – Part 1

In the lead up to the 2013 Sydney Writer’s Festival we’ll be featuring a few of the key events we’re really looking forward to.

We’ve also highlighted some great books to prepare you before basking in the warm glow of the festival.

Here’s a couple of events that caught our eye…

Continue reading

Countdown to Australia’s Favourite Novelist: 40-31 as voted by you

Welcome to day two of the unveiling of Australia’s Favourite Novelist, as voted by you. Here’s the story so far:

50. Peter Temple
49. Jay Kristoff
48. Nikki Gemmell
47. Charlotte Wood
46. Andy Griffiths
45. Di Morrissey
44. Christina Stead
43. Christos Tsiolkas
42. Rachael Treasure
41. Morris Gleitzman

Don’t forget to pencil in January 25th as a big day on the calender as we celebrate the Australia Day weekend in style with the announcement of Australia’s top 10 Favourite Novelists, as well as the launch of our Australian Stories Initiative. There will also be loads of discounts and freebies on offer for the weekend.

But here we are. The countdown continues, 40-31 as voted by you.


40. Fleur Mcdonald

Fleur McDonald grew up in Orrorroo, South Australia but completed her secondary education in Adelaide.

After school she spent a couple of years jillarooing in South Australia and Western Australia.

Our Pick

Our Pick

Fleur lives with her husband and two children on a station near Esperance in Western Australia. She is highly involved in the daily management of their 8000 acres.

She is the author of the bestselling novels Red Dust, Blue Skies and Purple Roads.

Click here to go to Fleur Mcdonald’s author page


39. Jackie French

Jackie French’s writing career spans sixteen years, 42 wombats, 120 books for kids and adults, translations into nineteen languages, and slightly more awards than wombats, both in Australia and overseas.

Our Pick

Her books range from provocative historical fiction such as Hitler’s Daughter and They Came on Viking Ships to the hilarious international bestseller, Diary of a Wombat with Bruce Whatley, as well as many nonfiction titles such as The Fascinating History of Your Lunch, and To the Moon and Back (with Bryan Sullivan), the history of Australia’s Honeysuckle Creek and man’s journey to the moon.

In 2000, Hitler’s Daughter was awarded the CBC Younger Readers’ Award. To the Moon and Back won the Eve Pownall Award in 2005. Macbeth and Son, and Josephine Wants to Dance were both shortlisted for the 2007 CBC Awards.

Click here to go to Jackie French’s author page


38. Colin Thiele

Colin Milton Thiele (1920 –  2006) was renowned for his award-winning children’s fiction, most notably the novels Storm Boy, Blue Fin, the Sun on the Stubble series, and February Dragon.

Our Pick

Our Pick

Thiele wrote more than 100 books, which often described life in rural Australia, particularly the Eudunda, Barossa Valley, and Murray River/Coorong regions of South Australia. Several of his books have been made into films or television series.

In 1977 he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia, the second highest level of the order, for his services to literature and education.

Click here to go to Colin Thiele’s author page


37. Colleen McCullough

Colleen McCullough was born in western New South Wales in 1937. A neuroscientist by training, she worked in various Sydney and English hospitals before settling into ten years of research and teaching in the Department of Neurology at the Yale Medical School in the USA.

Our Pick

Our Pick

In 1974 her first novel, Tim, was published in New York, followed by the bestselling The Thorn Birds in 1977 and a string of successful novels, including the acclaimed Masters of Rome series.

In 1980 she settled in Norfolk Island, where she lives with her husband, Ric Robinson, and a cat named Shady.

Click here to go to Colleen McCullough’s author page


36. Fiona Palmer

Fiona Palmer lives in the tiny rural town of Pingaring in Western Australia, three and a half hours south-east of Perth.

She discovered Danielle Steel at the age of eleven, and has now written her own brand of rural romance.

Our Pick

Our Pick

She has attended romance writers’ groups and received an Australian Society of Authors mentorship for her first novel, The Family Farm. She has followed on from its success with two more novels Heart of Gold and The Road Home.

Click here to go to Fiona Palmer’s author page


35. Patrick White

Patrick White was born in England in 1912 and taken to Australia, where his father owned a sheep farm, when he was six months old. He was educated in England and served in the RAF, before returning to Australia after World War II.

Happy Valley, White’s first novel, is set in a small country town in the Snowy Mountains and is based on his experiences in the early 1930s as a jackaroo at Bolaro, near Adaminaby in south-eastern New South Wales.

Our Pick

White went on to publish twelve further novels (one posthumously), three short-story collections and eight plays. His novels include The Aunt’s Story and Voss, which won the inaugural Miles Franklin Literary Award, The Eye of the Storm and The Twyborn Affair.

He was the first Australian to win the Nobel Prize for Literature, in 1973, and is considered one of the foremost novelists of the twentieth century.

Click here to go to Patrick White’s author page


34. David Malouf

David Malouf is the author of ten novels and six volumes of poetry.

His novel The Great World was awarded both the prestigious Commonwealth Prize and the Prix Femina Estranger. Remembering Babylon was short-listed for the Booker Prize.

Our Pick

He has also received the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He won the inaugural Australia-Asia Literary Award in 2008

He has lived in England and Tuscany however for the past three decades most of his time has been spent in Sydney.

Click here to go to David Malouf’s author page


33. Tara Moss

Tara Moss is the author of the bestselling crime novels Fetish, Split, Covet, Hit and Siren. Her novels have been published in seventeen countries in eleven languages, and have earned critical acclaim around the world.

Her non-fiction writing has appeared in The Australian Literary Review, Vogue, ELLE, The Australian Women’s Weekly, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian, among other publications.

Our Pick

Moss hosted Natgeo Presents and the international crime documentary series Tara Moss Investigates on the National Geographic Channel, and has participated as a guest and panelist on numerous popular TV programs. She has also conducted hundreds of talks at literary festivals, schools, universities and corporate events.

Click here to go to Tara Moss’ author page


32. Paul Jennings

The Paul Jennings phenomenon began with the publication of Unreal! in 1985. Since then, readers all around the world have devoured his books.

Paul Jennings has written over one hundred stories and has been voted ‘favourite author’ over forty times by children in Australia, winning every children’s choice award.

Our Pick

The top-rating TV series Round the Twist and Driven Crazy are based on a selection of his enormously popular short-story collections such as Unseen! which was awarded the 1999 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Children’s Book.

In 1995 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to children’s literature and was awarded the prestigious Dromkeen Medal in 2001. Paul has sold more than 8 million books worldwide.

Click here to go to Paul Jenning’s author page


31. Thomas Keneally

Keneally was known as “Mick” until 1964 but began using the name Thomas when he started publishing, after advice from his publisher to use what was really his first name. He is most famous for his Schindler’s Ark (later republished as Schindler’s List), which won the Booker Prize and is the basis of the film Schindler’s List.

Our Pick

Many of his novels are reworkings of historical material, although modern in their psychology and style.

In 1983 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia. In March 2009, the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, gave an autographed copy of Keneally’s biography Lincoln to President Barack Obama as a state gift.

Click here to go to Thomas Keneally’s author page


Don’t forget to come back tomorrow at midday as we continue to countdown to Australia’s Favourite Novelist!

Three Authors Offer Advice for Writers: Tara Moss, Michael Robotham, Paul Merrill

I interview writers every week here on the Booktopia Blog.

My Ten Terrifying Questions have been answered by over 250 published authors ranging from mega selling global stars like Jackie Collins and Lee Child to brilliant, relatively unknown debut authors such as Miles Franklin shortlisted Favel Parret and Rebecca James.

In each of these interviews I ask the following question:

Q. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Now, for the edification of aspiring writers everywhere, I will pull together answers to this question from three very different writers and post them here once week. Some will inspire, some will confound but all will be interesting and helpful in their own way…


TARA MOSS

“Write. Start writing today. Start writing right now. Don’t write it right, just write it – and then make it right later. Give yourself the mental freedom to enjoy the process, because the process of writing is a long one. Be wary of ‘writing rules’ and advice. Do it your way.

Writing is a gift.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to pre-order your signed copy of Assassin (with a FREE copy of SIREN) from Booktopia,
Australia’s No. 1 Online Book Shop

*While stocks last


MICHAEL ROBOTHAM

“Write, write and when you’re sick of writing, write some more. It’s the only way to get better.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy Say You’re Sorry from Booktopia,
Australia’s No.1 Online Book Shop


PAUL MERRILL

“Give up now – there are enough books already. But if you absolutely have to write, go for mummy porn.”

Read the full interview here…

Click here to buy A Polar Bear Ate My Head from Booktopia,
Australia’s No. 1 Online Book Shop


For more advice from published writers go here

Yesterday, Tara Moss visited Booktopia and signed copies of her new book ASSASSIN

ASSASSIN + FREE copy of SIREN
by Tara Moss*

Former model turned forensic psychologist and PI Mak Vanderwall is missing, presumed dead in Paris. By hiring a hit man to kill her, the powerful and corrupt Cavanagh family aimed to silence her for good. But after narrowly escaping death, Mak has taken over her would-be killer’s world.

She is very much alive.

And transformed …

Back in Sydney Mak’s former flame, criminal profiler Andy Flynn is on the trail of a vicious rapist and murderer with possible ties to the infamous ‘Stiletto Killer’. He may have struck before and will certainly do so again. And while Andy struggles to cope in a world without Mak, little does he realise she is on her way back. And this time she’s ready to make her own justice.

TWO GREAT BOOKS FOR ONLY $23.95
Click here to order Assassin + FREE copy of SIREN

Order your signed copy of Assassin now – stock won’t last

Liz, Tara and John

Tara, thank you for dropping by Booktopia.

*What is Tara like in person? Lovely.

New Book Trailer for The Spider Goddess by Tara Moss

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Available 1st December 2011

The Spider Goddess

It’s been two months since Pandora English left her small hometown to live with her mysterious great-aunt in a haunted mansion in Spektor – the fog-wreathed suburb of Manhattan that doesn’t appear on any map.

With the help of her great-aunt and the beautiful – but dead – Lieutenant Luke, Pandora is beginning to understand the significance of the Lucasta family heritage her late mother kept secret from her. Pandora is heir to a great gift. And with that comes frightening responsibility…

Meanwhile, she seems doomed to be forever underestimated in the mortal world. Her fashion editor boss doesn’t seem to know she exists. But New York needs Pandora’s special gifts.

There is a new designer in town, and her ambitions extend far beyond taking over the fashion world one knit at a time…

Pre-order your copy of The Spider Goddess here.

Begin here with…

The Blood Countess

I’ll admit that back in Gretchenville I dreamed I might one day ride in a real limousine. I never imagined, however, that my new boss would be in the trunk, or that I would be sitting in the back with a fourhundred- year-old murderess …

Pandora English is no ordinary small town orphan. When she’s invited to live with her mysterious Great-Aunt Celia in New York City, she seizes the opportunity to escape her stifling hometown, break from her tragic past and make it as a writer.

Things, however, are not what she is expecting. For starters, her great-aunt’s gothic mansion is in a mist-wreathed Manhattan suburb that doesn’t appear on maps. And then there’s Celia herself- a former designer to the stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age – who is elegant, unnaturally young and always wearing a veil.

Pandora lands a job at a fashion magazine and her first assignment is covering the A-list launch of the latest miracle cream, BloodofYouth. But something is not right about the product, nor Athanasia, the drop-dead beautiful face of the brand. It seems there may be a secret ingredient in BloodofYouth, a secret worth killing for…

Funny, sexy, fashionable and just a tiny bit terrifying, The Blood Countess – the first novel in bestselling author Tara Moss’ exciting new Pandora English series – is True Blood meets The Devil Wears Prada in high-fashion fantasy New York.

The Spider Goddess: The Second Pandora English Novel by Tara Moss

Available 1st December 2011

It’s been two months since Pandora English left her small hometown to live with her mysterious great-aunt in a haunted mansion in Spektor – the fog-wreathed suburb of Manhattan that doesn’t appear on any map.

With the help of her great-aunt and the beautiful – but dead – Lieutenant Luke, Pandora is beginning to understand the significance of the Lucasta family heritage her late mother kept secret from her. Pandora is heir to a great gift. And with that comes frightening responsibility…

Meanwhile, she seems doomed to be forever underestimated in the mortal world. Her fashion editor boss doesn’t seem to know she exists. But New York needs Pandora’s special gifts.

There is a new designer in town, and her ambitions extend far beyond taking over the fashion world one knit at a time…

Pre-order your copy of The Spider Goddess here.

Begin here with…

The Blood Countess

I’ll admit that back in Gretchenville I dreamed I might one day ride in a real limousine. I never imagined, however, that my new boss would be in the trunk, or that I would be sitting in the back with a fourhundred- year-old murderess …

Pandora English is no ordinary small town orphan. When she’s invited to live with her mysterious Great-Aunt Celia in New York City, she seizes the opportunity to escape her stifling hometown, break from her tragic past and make it as a writer.

Things, however, are not what she is expecting. For starters, her great-aunt’s gothic mansion is in a mist-wreathed Manhattan suburb that doesn’t appear on maps. And then there’s Celia herself- a former designer to the stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age – who is elegant, unnaturally young and always wearing a veil.

Pandora lands a job at a fashion magazine and her first assignment is covering the A-list launch of the latest miracle cream, BloodofYouth. But something is not right about the product, nor Athanasia, the drop-dead beautiful face of the brand. It seems there may be a secret ingredient in BloodofYouth, a secret worth killing for…

Funny, sexy, fashionable and just a tiny bit terrifying, The Blood Countess – the first novel in bestselling author Tara Moss’ exciting new Pandora English series – is True Blood meets The Devil Wears Prada in high-fashion fantasy New York.

Review by Melody Sharpe: The Blood Countess by Tara Moss

by Tara Moss -
the first instalment in the Pandora English series.

A beautifully written novel, that takes you into the world of the paranormal, mixed in with some high New York Fashion. An intriguing story about Pandora English a small town orphan, who moves to New York City to live with her mysterious Great Aunt Celia.

After securing a job at the magazine Pandora, (with some help from her great Aunt) Pandora is assigned to cover the release of a new miracle cream “BloodofYouth”. She soon discovers however that not everything is as it seems, not the beautiful and alluring model Athanasia the face of “BloodofYouth”, nor the strange half abandon Gothic mansion she shares with her great aunt, or her great Aunt who is surprisingly youthful for her age.

A cleverly written novel that keeps you hooked till the very last page.

Highly recommended for fans of “Twilight” and “The Blue Bloods” series and anyone who loves a great paranormal book.

Many thanks to our guest reviewer, Booktopia’s own Melody Sharpe.

The Blood Countess by Tara Moss

I’ll admit that back in Gretchenville I dreamed I might one day ride in a real limousine. I never imagined, however, that my new boss would be in the trunk, or that I would be sitting in the back with a fourhundred- year-old murderess …

Pandora English is no ordinary small town orphan. When she’s invited to live with her mysterious Great-Aunt Celia in New York City, she seizes the opportunity to escape her stifling hometown, break from her tragic past and make it as a writer.

Things, however, are not what she is expecting. For starters, her great-aunt’s gothic mansion is in a mist-wreathed Manhattan suburb that doesn’t appear on maps. And then there’s Celia herself- a former designer to the stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age – who is elegant, unnaturally young and always wearing a veil.

Pandora lands a job at a fashion magazine and her first assignment is covering the A-list launch of the latest miracle cream, BloodofYouth. But something is not right about the product, nor Athanasia, the drop-dead beautiful face of the brand. It seems there may be a secret ingredient in BloodofYouth, a secret worth killing for…

Funny, sexy, fashionable and just a tiny bit terrifying, The Blood Countess – the first novel in bestselling author Tara Moss’ exciting new Pandora English series – is True Blood meets The Devil Wears Prada in high-fashion fantasy New York.

Our review – here

Order now and SAVE 19% – click here for more info.

Tara on The Blood Countess:

The Blood Countess draws on my earliest and deepest fascinations – Victorian gothic, the paranormal, the delightfully macabre, spectres, ghouls, vampires and forbidden worlds unseen to the mortal eye.

I’ve always been fascinated by the rich vein of dark mythology passed down through the ages – ghost tales and beliefs about vampirism and the underworld, and of course the legend of 16th century Hungarian noblewoman Elizabeth Bathory, The Blood Countess.

Given her reported attempts at immortality by bathing in the blood of hundreds of her servant girls, I wondered what she’d be up to now if she succeeded.’

The Blood Countess is a departure from vintage Moss territory, with grisly crime, police procedure and suspense being swapped for something a little more supernaturally sinister. Moss brings her trademark macabre and lifelong love of the paranormal to the fashion world, with a twist …

Tara Moss has answered the Booktopia Book Guru’s Ten Terrifying Questionsclick here to read Tara’s answers.

Visit The Blood Countess website – click here

Follow Tara on Twitterclick here

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tara Moss wrote her debut novel, Fetish, when she was 23 and 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, 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 choked unconscious by Ultimate Fighter ‘Big’ John McCarthy!

She hosts the true crime documentary television series ‘Tough Nuts – Australia’s Hardest Criminals’ on the Crime & Investigation Network, and as ‘Ambassador of Crime’ for 13th STREET Universal Channel she hosts ‘Tara Moss in Conversation’ where she interviews authors from around the world.

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.

Interview: Tara Moss Talks About The Latest Mak Vanderwall Novel, SIREN

In a series of video interviews Tara Moss explains what it was like writing, researching and living her new book Siren.

Tara Moss: My latest novel is Siren, my fifth novel featuring Mak Vanderwall – a beautiful, street-wise daughter of a cop, graduate in forensic psychology, and now PI. In this novel she is hired by a widowed mother,
to track down a missing nineteen-year-old who may have run off with a bizarre troupe of shady French cabaret 
artists sweeping through Australia.

Has the dark beauty of the burlesque, the magic, the mind-bending contortion, beguiled him? Or has he
been seduced by the mysterious and amoral older woman who has a terrifying starring role in the troupe’s modern performances of the 
Grand Guignol ‘Theatre of Fear’, famous in Paris in the early 1900s?

I was set on fire by Hollywood stunt company West EFX and choked unconscious by Ultimate Fighter ‘Big’ John McCarthy for this latest novel. I also descended into the Catacombs of Paris, and immersed myself in the world of burlesque, vaudeville, contortion, and magic, and researched with magician Adam Mada, in addition to getting my private investigator credentials with the Australian Security Academy.

To read Tara Moss’ Answers to my Ten Terrifying Questions – click here.

To buy one or all of Tara’s novels - click here.

Conversations with Tara Moss, Part 1: Researching

Conversations with Tara Moss Part 2: The Writing Process

To follow Tara Moss on Twitter – click here.

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