Tamara Moss is the author of the novel, Lintang and the Pirate Queen. This is her first book, and we asked her to tell us about what writing means to her and how that translated to producing this story. We love what she wrote for us!
Let me tell you about adventures.
When I was young, I dreamed of having adventures. I’d stare out the classroom window and imagine walking out the school gate. Just walking, walking, with nowhere particular in mind. Better than being at school, right?
I also wanted to travel over the mountains. The ‘mountains’ in Perth are the line of hills to the east. I wanted to catch a bus and journey past there and just… experience stuff.
Well, one day in Year Twelve, I did. It was part of a school programme in the holidays. I literally got to sit on a bus and go past the mountains and journey around the centre of Australia.
Can I let you in on a secret? Adventures, real adventures, are not what you expect. I sat on that bus for two weeks. Saw some cool things. Climbed Uluru. Rode a camel. But I had to pee in the bush. And man, does your butt ache after so many hours of sitting. Also, it was boring – lots of sand and shrubs and not much else.
Reading about adventures in books, though… that’s something totally different. The adventure can suck – rain or injuries or cold or exhaustion – but you’re sitting comfortably at school, or lounging on your couch, or hiding in your warm bed under a blanket with a flashlight because your mum’s told you to go to bed four times already. You get to experience all the stuff without the discomfort.
Writing about adventures. Because you can go anywhere you want. Anywhere. And it can be whatever you want it to be. You can even create your own country, like the fantasy world in Lintang and the Pirate Queen. I made Lintang more courageous than me, because I wanted her to do all the things I was too scared to try. Then I threw her out in that make-believe world, onto a ship (which is something I’m way too nervous to do myself – I’m terrified of the ocean), and had her battle mythical creatures. I live her adventures through my writing, which is an adventure all in itself.
Where would you go, if you could go anywhere? Egypt? Japan? Antarctica? Would you prefer to fall into a magical world? You can do all of that by writing.
And yes, writing is a lot of sitting.
But wow, do you get to experience some stuff.