MEET THE AUTHOR TARA SEPTEMBER

  • You have several stand-alone titles, but there aren’t any series do you plan on writing a series?

Yes! While I prefer the variety of reading stand-alone books, several of my readers have asked for an update on Gwen and Reade from my first book, Jesse’s Girl. I’d always planned to turn it into a small-town series but was too busy writing out the other stories that were in my head first. I’m finally getting down to business though writing out Danielle and Hunter’s arc, which I briefly teased in JG for that reason. Although, to be honest, at the start of this year, I almost gave up on the idea thinking no one cared. But then received a Facebook message asking when they would be able to read their story, so it was the motivational kick in the butt I needed. I’m hoping to have a draft for my editors by the end of the year.

  • How do your hero and heroine meet in your latest book?

In Don’t Start Now, the hero Adam, and heroine Eve (yes, Adam & Eve, it’s a cute bit referenced in the story too) are journalists at odds with one another. However, our hero is crushing on Eve, but she doesn’t know it. Instead, she erroneously thinks he is mocking her talent, instead of flirting with her. Regardless, Eve has sworn never to make the mistake of dating a coworker again and is set on focusing on her career only.

  • Without  giving spoilers how did you exploit tension in your book?

Oh, I definitely exploit the tension! The two are forced to work together on a he said, she said travel piece aboard a new cruise ship. Thus, getting them out of the office and away from their daily routines, so they can lower their guards. Plus, throw in some tropical drinks, a romantic setting, a friendly bet, close quarters and a fake relationship, and the tension ensues.

  • What was the hardest part of your book to write? What was the easiest ?

The easiest part was the setting since I love cruising. I’ve also had the opportunity to go on several media trips previously as a journalist, so I was able to add authenticity to their assignments too. The hardest part for me is always writing the ultimate conflict keeping our characters apart and then of course resolving it. But in Don’t Start Now, it was fun layering the drama in and keeping the hero’s secrets hidden until the end.

  • How do you handle writers’ block?

Writer’s block is something I always battle with, but I finally realized it was my own fears keeping me from my craft, so I do my best to curb my inner head trash and push forward. I’ll often write up dialogue and initial ideas in an email to myself, as I find it’s less pressure than staring at a blank Word Document.

  • Are you a plotter or a pantser? Have you ever tried to write the other way what was the result?

I’m a total pantser as I LOVE the freedom to change things up. The idea of lists and plotting only increases my writer’s block and destroys my creativity. It’s not to say that I don’t plot at all, but it’s mainly a general direction that I have in my head for the story and my characters. I’ll know their meet-cute, the drama, and how it gets resolved, but it’s not till I’m sitting down to write that I am able to connect the dots.

  • What is your secret writing power? What are you especially good at writing and how do you know it?

Banter! I was a class clown growing up and am addicted to making others laugh with my wit or a smart comment. As a result, I’m always writing down dialogue or funny comebacks, which I then try to assign to my characters if it fits. My favorite reviews are when readers say they laughed out loud, it’s the best compliment ever. 

  • Do you have a special ritual that helps you write?

The only ritual I can think of is that I must have a cup of jasmine tea with honey on the mug warmer next to my computer. This little device keeps me from having to leave my desk to keep microwaving it. Total savior!

  • What‘s the jam that helps you write?

Raspberry jam with a warm croissant, yum! 😉

Although my book titles are based on songs, I don’t like to listen to popular music while I write. I can have jazz playing or Bocelli’s Italian operettas, but nothing with English lyrics otherwise I’ll sing-along and lose my train of thought. Or worse, I’ll look down at my computer and see I’m simply typing the lyrics like a stenographer.

  • What household task do you loath and what do you do to get out of it?

I loathe all household tasks, except cooking! But the worst is laundry. I try to make a game of it now though. I’ll throw a load in the washer and see how much I can write before the alarm goes off. It’s like the homemaker version of the Pomodoro technique, lol.

  • Have you kissed the blarney stone? The blarney stone is the stone that blesses the story teller.

No, this is news to me. I’ve heard of the Blarney Stone in passing but didn’t know it, blessed storytellers. Count me in though! I’d kiss a frog if it would help.

  • What do you do when you’re not connected to the internet and you’re not writing?

Yikes, I’m always connected to the internet since I also blog and have an influencer Instagram account @TaraMetBlog. It’s another creative outlet and passion for me. But when I finally put down my phone, I love to travel. You’ll find me traveling on at least one flight or two each month. I just got back from a trip of a lifetime, skiing in Meribel, France with a catered chalet only walking distance to the lift. And right now, as I type up these responses, I’m in Disney World at the Wilderness Lodge hotel with my family.

But besides travel, skiing, and avoiding laundry, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our twin nine-year-old boys, as well as petting my three kitties. 

  • What’s your book do you go back  to again and again? Why?

Every year, I’ll do a Julie Garwood and Judith McNaught reread. Garwood because I love the historical escapism, it’s a palate cleanser compared to the contemporary writing that I do, and Judith because she reminds me of why I fell in love with romance books in the first place.

MARCH QUESTION OF THE MONTH

What’s at the end of your rainbow?

Happiness. It’s my ultimate end goal and what I work for. I’ve made the same wish on every star, on every penny thrown into fountains, and each pinky pull since I was a child – “I wish for a happy future.” I also figure if I’m not specific I’ll never be disappointed and when things are hard, then I have something to look forward to eventually.

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