Interview: with Chris Moss
Chris Moss is a published author and an archaeologist, whose work has taken him from Murujuga to tracking down the lost colonial brothels of Perth. When not wandering the bush, Chris enjoys table-top games and dancing with his family. Chris’s first feature novel will be released in the US in 2020. His story Brought to You by Abyss Cola opens Breach #11. Find out more at chrismossfiction.com.
Hi Chris, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a published author and archaeologist living and working in Western Australia. I started writing about ten years ago while working on mine sites and ruins around the state. The greatest source for inspiration in my work comes from our own history, and I’m constantly amazed at how similar—and how different—the experiences of the different cultures of the past are to our own lives today.
Do you have any particular writing rituals you are comfortable sharing?
Planning, planning, planning! My phone is filled with a hundred little notes of writing inspiration I find throughout the day, from historic maps and letters to modern architecture.
Are there any horror/fantasy/sci-fi tropes or sub genres which you feel are played out? And vice versa, what tropes would you like to see more of?
There’s always room for new perspectives and voice in writing, especially from groups who have been historically marginalised and have been barred from getting their stories out into the public realm. As for tropes that are done to death, at this point any story involving superheroes will have to work pretty hard to impress me.
What books are beside your bed right now?
Nevernight, by Jay Kristoff. An amazing read from an Australian author. I’m also re-reading through an old favourite, Gormenghast, by Mervyn Peake.
Published or unpublished, what's the hardest scene you've written?
Probably my first attempt at writing a crime story. Crime writers are amazing and possibly supernatural creatures, able to construct a murder plot that the main character than then unravel later on. On a more personal level writing anything in which a child gets hurt. Once you become a parent, these things really hit home.
What are you thoughts on indie publishing in Australia/New Zealand? [choose which country applies]
It’s tough! I approach it as an endurance event – some months (or years) you might not see any success at all, but over time, if you stick with it, you just may get your story out there.
To what degree do you feel everything has already been written, in some form or another? Have you ever started writing a story, only to discover someone has already written it?
More than a few times! All of our stories share some similarities because we are all human. I think the secret is to not kill yourself trying to be cutting edge for its own sake. Write something that really draws people in and gives them a glimpse of your character’s secret life. Pretty soon you’ll find an original and individual story forming around that core.
Some great advice. Thanks Chris!