You don’t know the New York fashion world until you know its haunts.
In the months since Pandora English left the small town of Gretchenville to live with her mysterious great aunt in a supernatural Manhattan suburb, her whole world has been turned upside down.
Pandora has discovered she is the chosen one, the Seventh Daughter of a Seventh Daughter, and during the impending Revolution of the Dead, she alone will have the power to save all life as we know it. The Agitation is unfolding, building towards the Revolution, and Pandora can no longer deny the truth in these incredible prophecies. But what will she do when the moment comes? How can she stand against the army of the dead?
Pandora’s relationship to her spirit guide, Lieutenant Luke, is intensifying. She’s had to grapple with ghosts, vampires and necromancers. Now, with the Blue Moon approaching and a new exhibition opening at The Met, which celebrates an ancient female pharaoh done wrong in antiquity, powerful forces threaten to upend the balance of life and death.
Pandora is given the chance to find out what happened to her parents all those years ago, but first she must put her own supernatural gifts to the test.
From the best-selling author of The Blood Countess, The Spider Goddess and The Skeleton Key.
The Cobra Queen fits into my 21 year project of centring women’s stories in genre fiction and non-fiction, taking aim at my beloved genre of paranormal fiction, as I have throughout my Pandora English series. This adventure focusses on the history of an ancient Egyptian queen and Pandora’s role as the chosen one.
Tell us something about yourself that not many people know.
I have an ancient Egyptian shabti from the late dynastic period, like those in The Cobra Queen.
Why did you choose these themes in your book and were you aware of them from the outset?
This is the fourth in my Pandora English series, the first of which was The Blood Countess, first published in 2010. From the beginning I had a strong idea of the playful and feminist take on paranormal and gothic fiction and mythology that I wanted to create.
How difficult was it for you to write this book? Did you face any obstacles?
This has been an interesting one for me, because it was delayed by 7 years as I switched publishers. That meant I wrote some of the scenes years ago and got to dive back into the manuscript once I had a publisher and a publication date again. I think there has been some subtle changes in my writing and approach in the interim, but the story stays true to the previous books and Pandora’s journey.
Do you always write in this genre or do you like to break out of the box?
I have written in four genres – contemporary crime thrillers, paranormal fiction, non-fiction and historical. A good story is a good story, and I find it natural to jump between genres to tell the stories I want to tell.
What are your writing habits or idiosyncrasies?
I am very disciplined but not routine oriented. There literally is no typical day for me.
What would you do differently next time?
I always want the writing process to be more straightforward, less painful, but it never is. 14 books in, I know each book is a new adventure. I can never know what it is like to write a particular book until I’m doing it.
With hindsight, what would you say to yourself as a fledgling writer?
Don’t write it right, just write it and then make it right later. If you tie yourself in knots about what you’ll write, anxious to make each word perfect as you go, you will never finish your book. You may never even start it. Write today.
If you worked with a professional editor, what was the experience like?
The publishing house is always helpful with any structural edit critiques or line to line checks and edits once I hand in my manuscripts. I edit and cross check my own work a lot before I submit it – rewriting is a big part of what being a writer is about – but fresh eyes make a big difference. I won’t always agree or accept particular edits, but that independent reader is vital.
What’s next for your writing?
I am writing my 14th book, which is the second in my new historical crime series, with PI Billie Walker. It is the follow up to The War Widow/Dead Man Switch, which I am launching into Canada this month, and the US and Germany later this year.
Tara Moss is an author, novelist, documentary maker and presenter, speaker and human rights advocate. Since 1999 she has written 13 bestselling books, published in 19 countries and 13 languages, including the acclaimed Mak Vanderwall crime fiction series and the Pandora English paranormal series. Her first non-fiction book, the critically acclaimed The Fictional Woman, was published in 2014 and became a number one national non-fiction bestseller, and her iconic cover design, featuring her face labelled with ‘fictions’ or stereotypes about women won Best Non-Fiction Book Design. She is a PhD Candidate at the University of Sydney and has earned her private investigator credentials (Cert III) from the Australian Security Academy.