Peter Moore

Peter Moore is an Australian travel author. He has written ‘No Shitting in the toilet’, ‘Swahili for the broken hearted’ among others. Check out his website.

I interviewed him a while back and this is what he had to say.

1. What was your first phone?

Gosh. It was some big, clunky Nokia that gave you muscle strain just lifting it to you ear.

2. Who/What inspired you to write?

Writing and travelling have been the loves of my adult life. I guess reading Paul Theroux and Bill Bryson made me consider trying to do it for a living.

3. When did you realise you wanted to be a writer?

I always loved writing and telling stories. Composition was by far my best subject in primary school. So I guess the first time I got 10 out of 10 for one of my stories. (It was about a giant iron terrorizing my family. I wonder what Freud would make of that?)

4. What is your writing routine?

I don’t have one. When inspiration strikes I just bunker down and write.

5. Have you ever suffered writer’s block? What did you do to overcome it?

I’ve been suffering it to some extent or another ever since my daughter was born six years ago. I’m still trying to figure out how to beat it.

6. What’s your advice to writers (especially up & coming ones)?

Persevere. You don’t know when your moment of dumb luck will come. You’ve just got to make sure you’re around when it does.

7. If you were to change jobs, what profession would you get into?

I’ve always fancied being a DJ. Just as long as I’m allowed to chose my own songs.

8. If you could meet anyone dead or alive, who would it be and what would you say to them?

My dad. I’d just say thanks and tell him I missed him.

9. What is the longest period you have gone without a shower?

I got stuck on a barge for six weeks going down the Congo River once. But I did splash myself with a bucket of water every couple of days. Does that count?

10. If I came to your home and looked inside the refrigerator, what would I find?

A nutritious selection of healthy fresh food. (My wife’s doing.) Beer, a couple of cans of Coke Zero and a bottle of Nandos Lime and Coriander peri-peri marinade. (My doing.)

11. Of the all places you’ve been to, which one is the most beautiful? Why?

That’s a tricky one. I’ve been to so many beautiful places. I remember spending Christmas in Lamu one year. That was pretty special. Not just because of the view across the straits, but because I was hanging out with a fun bunch of people, listening to cool music and just generally chilling out.

12. What is your favourite book & movie?

Book: The World According to Garp by John Irving

Movie: Usually the last one I saw that I liked. Movies don’t seem to have as lasting an impact on me as books.

13. What are you currently reading?

Just finished The Devil’s Star by Jo Nesbo. I’ve got a bit of a thing for Scandinavia at the moment – music too – and Harry Hole is such a great character. Nicely flawed with very few redeeming qualities, but they are ones that matter.

14. If you were abandoned on a deserted island what 5 things would you want to have?

  • A knife
  • Matches
  • Sleeping bag
  • A bottle of Single Malt Whisky
  • A guitar. I can’t play, but maybe after a few whiskys I could convince myself I could.

15. If you were a car, which one would you like to be? Why?

Can I be an old Vespa instead? A bit rough around the edges but with a certain charm? Not that I’m necessarily like that, but that’s how I’d like to see myself.

16. From a very general perspective, how do you handle change?

I’m OK with it. I think if you travel a lot, change is kind of the appeal. Things are different every day. You’re away from your routine.

17. If you had a superpower, what would you like it to be?

Hmmm. I don’t think I’d want one. As Uncle Ben says in Spiderman: “With great power comes great responsibility.” But if I was pushed, one that let me make sure my daughter had a happy, care-free and fulfilled life.

18. What is the latest track you’ve downloaded on your iPod?

Legally, Kaboodle by The Muffs.

Not so legally, Binadamu Hatosheki by Prince Khonjo, which I download from a fantastic website called Awesome Tapes From Africa. I’ll have to make sure I buy a proper copy when I’m in Nairobi

19. When was the last time you cried?

Last week. It was the anniversary of my dad’s death.

20. When were you happiest?

When I got my Sudanese visa in Addis Ababa. The consul there had made me jump through some many hoops, getting the visa felt like one of life’s great achievements.

21. Who should we follow on Twitter?

It’s not about who you follow on Twitter, but making sure everyone wants to follow you.