Tammy Moore Speculates

'I just started talking and all these dreadful things started coming out of my mouth'. Click Play Audio for a podcast with the author

Newtownards writer of speculative fiction Tammy Moore has been making waves among fantasy readers across Ireland and beyond. Her well-received debut novel, The Even, is out now published by Morrigan Books and, thanks to a grant from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, includes a series of illustrations by renowned fantasy artist, Stephanie Law.

To mark the publication of The Even, CultureNorthernIreland caught up with Moore and asked the writer to put her speculative talents to work on some obvious – and not so obvious - questions.

Fantasy seems to be an increasingly popular genre, why is that?
Fantasy has always been a bit of a ghetto genre. People didn't really respect it much but increasingly they are starting to realise that the topics addressed in fantasy, science fiction and the other speculative genres are very topical and very involved in things that are going on now.

I think it was Terry Pratchett who said 'if a fantasy novel doesn't touch a real life issue then it's not going to work as a novel'. Because it's a fantasy novel the rules can be twisted and you're able to explore issues further and really delve into things. And also, of course, they have dragons - which is very cool!

The Even touches on the apocalypse, do you see foresee the four horsemen rolling into town anytime soon?
I don’t really believe there’s ever going to be an apocalypse where the world ends with a bang of fire and fury. I think it’s more likely to be a slide into dystopian chaos and disaster… so no four horsemen anytime soon.

Will climate change kill off mankind?
In one of my unpublished novels I actually explored that. There was a big shift and the climate changed around the globe. But what actually happened was people just adapted to what was going on and they still survived just in greatly reduced circumstances. Which is great for fantasy writers but not so great for people.

Do you think the recession will be long and painful or will the economy recover quickly?
I hope it doesn’t turn into a depression because there’s no way I could survive. If it happened during World War II you could have gone out and caught a hedgehog or picked some dandelions and made some soup and you’d have been alright. I can’t do that, I don’t have the first clue. As far as I’m concerned soup comes in cans. I’m not prepared for a depression so hopefully the recession will clear up.

Do you think Gordon Brown or David Cameron will be the next prime minister?
I’d quite like it to be Gordon Brown… It would be nice to have a prime minster who is really competent and good at his job rather than a showman. All the David Cameron supporters will be sending me bad emails.

So, what does the future hold for Tammy Moore?
Hopefully I'll get more books published and I'll be able to bestride the literary world in a pair of jackboots and crush all who oppose me under my feet.

In slightly more reasonable terms, my second book (Shadows Bloom) is being published from Morrigan Books in early 2010. Hopefully The Even will be a success and that (Shadows Bloom) will be a success and I’ll have other books published by big publishing houses and I’ll become moderately successful and be able to support myself.

What do you think the future holds for CultureNorthernIreland? 
I think that climate change is going to cause a giant block of ice to fall from the sky and crush you all. Everyone will gather around and we’ll be very sad but then we’ll go ‘now we have to change!’ And we will erect a giant polar bear statue where you used to stand.

CultureNorthernIreland does show that we do have things other than terrorists. Because whenever you go away people are like ‘oh, do you still have terrorists there?’ or the old favourite, ‘have you ever been in a bomb?’ Yes, I was a component . Luckily it didn’t go off. They weren’t very good. 

Peter Geoghegan

The Even is published now by Morrigan Books. It is available in Waterstones and Forbidden Planet. To read some of Tammy Moore's writing visit www.nevertobetold.com

To hear the rest of this interview (and find out who Tammy Moore thinks is the biggest bad guy on the planet today) click here.