May 2010


Tara Moore’s debut novel RSVP was released at the start of 2010. The mother of two sons was born in Ireland but now lives on the East Kent coast in England. She is currently working on her next novel VIP. (Interview by Paula Phillips)

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  1. 1. What inspired you to write RSVP?

    For as long as I could hold a pen, I've been writing something or other, be it poetry, songs or stories. RSVP came about when one of the main characters, Coppelia, arrived almost fully formed in my mind and 'demanded' to be written about. I am also very interested in family relationships, especially dysfunctional families which of course cover every strata from the very rich to the very poor. RSVP also gave me the chance to write about Ireland from another angle. Too often people have a 'leprechaun' vision of Ireland when the truth is that economically, socially and every other way Ireland has moved on. The Celtic Tiger economy brought a lot of wealth into the country and despite the fact that the recession has now hit, there is still an awful lot of money sloshing about. There is both 'new' money and 'old money' in RSVP - the old comes from the Granville's Anglo-Irish heritage, the new from Coppelia's marriages and relationships and as far as the matriarch, Honoria Granville and Coppelia's sworn enemy is concerned, never the twain shall meet. But, of course, they do with devastating effects for both families.

  2. 2. Why did you choose to write in that particular genre?

    I chose to write RSVP in the blockbuster/bonkbuster genre because it offered a wider canvas than the standard chick lit fare. There are more characters, twists and turns and plots within plots, which I feel gives a meatier read. Oh, and also, because Coppelia told me to!

  3. 3. Is there anything of you in your characters?

    Is there anything of me in my characters? That's an interesting question but not one I am sure I can answer honestly. I certainly don't consciously imbue them with any of my own characteristics but maybe family and friends might beg to differ. I suppose my lead female characters are strong figures and I believe I am also a strong woman - except when it comes to spiders and then I turn into a gibbering wreck.

  4. 4. Have your characters been inspired by friends/family?

    Again, I certainly don't set out to base a character on any one individual, though the number of people who swear they can spot themselves or someone they know often leaves me perplexed. No point in denying that the statuesque, blonde, glamour puss in the book has no connection whatsoever with your short, dark, hirsute neighbour. As the old adage goes - a man (or woman) convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.

  5. 5. How did your book deal come about?

    My book deal with Orion came about through the auspices of Diane Banks, my agent, who loved RSVP from the start and believed in it. When Diane sent it out into the big bad world of publishers, a number of publishers were interested but Orion offered the best deal. However, just as importantly, Sara O'Keefe, my editor at Orion, shared Diane's and my vision for RSVP and, happily, it's worked out very well.

  6. 6. What are you working on now?

    I am now working on VIP which, again, is a hugely glamorous novel set in Ireland, but with cameos in Buenos Aires, Kentucky, England and Australia. Like RSVP, it features a whole raft of interesting characters - not ones you would necessarily invite to dinner but ones which you certainly won't forget. Ladies, I give you Castle McTire (the Castle of the Wolf) and the next generation of the Hell Fire Club, love, lust, intrigue and murder. And people think Tipperary is a quiet sort of place where not much happens . . .

  7. 7. How have you enjoyed doing the publicity?

    I have had a wonderful time promoting RSVP, although writers tend to be fairly solitary creatures as a rule. However, being forced out of one's comfort zone is not a bad thing and it's lovely to meet the readers - after all, that's what it's all about.

  8. 8. How long does it take you to write each book?

    RSVP, once I buckled down, took about 18 months writing part-time, although I had been playing with the concept for a number of years before. I do believe books dictate when they are ready to be written. I have a whole mental filing cabinet of characters, plots and titles, not yet ready to come out of the closet. But one day, with fine weather and a fair wind, they may emerge one by one.

  9. 9. If you had to have dinner with any three famous people dead/alive, who would you choose?

    Emily Bronte, Jane Austen and, because you have to throw a wild card into the mix - Joan Rivers. I'd sit back with a nice glass of wine, and watch the sparks fly.

  10. 10. What’s your favourite holiday spot in the world?

    I have recently fallen head over heels in love with Valletta, the capital of Malta, a real jewel in the Med. I love its history, its friendly people, the wonderful weather - everything. Happiness would be a palazzo right in the very heart. The pace of life is so much slower and relaxed. Everything will get done, except it gets done on Maltese time and there's nothing wrong with that.

  11. 11. What advice would you give aspiring authors?

    Don't 'talk' book, sit down and write it!

  12. 12 What is your favourite quote from RSVP?

    At the end of RSVP, Coppelia says "Ca plus change, Baby, mais c'est la meme chose". The more things change, the more they stay the same. I think it's important to remember that. There is nothing new under heaven. It's what you do with your slice of life that makes the difference.

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