Tara's Visiting Today! Also ROW80, Blog Blitz, ISWG, Ninja Captain Alex's Giveaway, and Mini Book Reviews

Got a visitor today!

Happy to have Tara here, talking about her new book and other writing related chat:

Thank you so much for having me, Deniz, but also for all of your support over the last handful of years. It means an awful lot.

Hands-On Therapy
After yet another failed attempt at meeting a worthwhile man, in-charge businesswoman Marie Reid drunk dials a so-called sex therapist. Not one to back down from a challenge, she keeps the meeting even after sobering up and vaguely recalling some reference to spanking. When the guy shows up with endless blue eyes, sexy bare feet, and a commanding demeanor that literally wets her appetite, Marie’s reluctance vanishes in a wave of lust. But submitting to just a few deliciously sinful nights of hands-on therapy has her already falling for her very hands-off counselor.

What's your earliest memory related to writing?

The year the space shuttle Challenger exploded my 6th grade English teacher assigned the class to write a poem about the tragedy. She entered mine in a state-wide competition and it got 3rd place. That's my earliest "big" memory I guess. I was writing poetry and song lyrics before that.

Who inspired you to write?

I wouldn't say any one particular author since I admire so many in so many different genres, but my mother's love of reading was passed to me so I suppose in a round about way my mom did. And all of my incredible friends from the Books and Writer's Compuserve forum inspire me on an almost daily basis, and have been for five years.

Which scenes are hardest for you to write?

Sex scenes. There are times I'm rearranging the pantry or folding laundry, or doing some other inane chore, and I realize I was smack in the middle of a sex scene a few moments before and have no recollection of making a conscious decision to get up and do something else! I think highly charged emotional scenes overall have that effect on me, but sex scenes in particular definitely take the top spot.

What's the weirdest thing you've researched?

Good grief, the list is so long I can't even think of anything specific. I also do this for my day job, which means my history is pinging multiple bright lights off every watch list out there, lol!

Do you have a method for creating your characters, their names and what you think makes them believable?

All of my stories, with the exception of Hands-On Therapy, have come from dreams. I dream vividly, and lucidly, and wake up with pretty much the main characters and the basic story arc. They almost always have names already, too. If they don't, I start writing and usually just type a name out automatically. This is how my secondary characters typically get their names, too. I think changing names causes the biggest rebellion from my characters.

How's the indie/self-publishing journey been so far? Do you have any advice for others who might be attempting that route?

I've been happy with it. Formatting was far easier than I thought it would be on Amazon. And once a friend emailed with a tip for Nook that was easy, too. I have yet to figure out Kobo so I'm not sure when I will get my book up there! The support I've received here in the writer blogosphere, from forumites (see Compuserve reference), and from my best friends has been amazing. And the personal feedback I've received on the actual book so far has been astounding.

As far as advice for self-pubbing... I'm going to beat the dead horse: professional editing. It makes all the difference. If you can't afford it, use your CP's and betas to their fullest. For example, I know you are fantastic with both overall arc and grammar, so I save your beta for the last round to make sure I fixed my story arc/continuity issues and also to help me catch those pesky missing words, comma splices (of which I am a ninja master), etc. I have another beta who is phenomenal at the both small and big picture content so she gets it in the first round to save me some embarrassment from the next group reading the original trash.
[Aww, thanks Tara! *blush* I'll put in a plug for the Compuserve forum too - that place is wonderful!]

Which is the most embarrassing song, book, movie or TV show that you love?

Wow, there's a long list. I will cop to liking Barry Manilow. How's that for embarrassing?

T.L. Watson is a South Floridian transplanted to North Carolina, a wife, a lucky mom of twins, and a lover of Happily Ever After. She writes romances that range from sticky sweet to spicy, and beyond. She can usually be found scribbling hieroglyphics on the wall of her Word cave, and doesn't like chocolate, so in case of emergency lure her out with pumpkin lattes.

Blog | Purchase Links: Amazon Nook

Win a copy of Hands-on Therapy!

I've read two other great books this past week, both widely different to each other but fun and intriguing in their own way.

The first was Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada The Wonders of Winter: 101 Stories about Bad Weather, Good Times, and Great Sports.

Very appropriate for the freezing cold weather we've been having lately! Featuring all sorts of essays and remembrances from various Canadians, including NHLer Vincent Lecavalier (a local boy!).

The second book was Dr. Anthony Martignetti's follow-up to Lunatic Heroes:

Beloved Demons stretches slightly further in time, chronicling early teenage and then early university-era memories. In some parts it's darker than the previous book, and yet not (can't get much more heart-wrenching than Swamp, featuring Bullfrog). But for those of you who have beloved pets, you'll love the two chapters on the love between a man and his dog (you know when you reach that point where you see your pet's face everywhere? A hippo in a National Geographic - looks like Sam!) and on a cat named (sometimes) Java (sometimes) Mocha. The eBook version comes out on Valentine's Day!

Today is also Insecure Writers' Support Group Day! Check out the IWSG Facebook page here.

I've blabbing about three promotions that'll help us celebrate fellow authors.

The first is the upcoming A to Z Challenge!

Have you signed up yet? There are over 500 of us so far. Visit the A to Z blog to meet the hosts and co-hosts and sign up on the linky list.

And help spread the word! Ninja Captain Alex is hosting a giveaway for when he reaches 2000 followers.

Leave a comment on his post here. Meanwhile, all this week CassaFire will be 99 cents on both Amazon and Alex's publisher's page!

Finally, there's our Blog Blitzes, hosted by DL Hammons!

Sign up on the linky list to become a member of the Blog Blitz team. Every once in a while DL picks a blog - and you can recommend blogs too! - and on the appointed day we all visit that blogger and leave a comment on the most recent post. I've seen bloggers get close to 200 comments in one day - what an awesome feeling that must be!

As for ROW80, my main update is that I've been moving forward on the submission front. I'd like to try submitting my SIWC-shortlisted story to magazines, and I'm going to focus on Canadian magazines for now. Got a list of ten options, and now comes the fun part - reading a couple of their latest issues to see which one might be a good fit for my story!

Which new releases are you celebrating this week?
Hope your writing projects are going well!


Zan Marie said…
Hi, Tara and Deniz! [big wave from down south...though not that far south of Tara! lol!]

It's fun to see two of my favorite Forumites in one visit. You both have supported my efforts. I have to say, Tara, HOT is as hot as it's initials. ;-) Love it! So did my hubby.
Zan Marie said…
oops. Should of caught that typo. It's its! Really, I know better. [color me red] ;-)
Tara said…
Thanks for having me, Deniz! So you're doing A to Z huh? I've debated every year then chickened out at the last minute each one. ;)
Tara said…
Hi Zan Marie! Originally the book was titled Crash Course. It wasn't until shortly before pubbing I thought Hands-On Therapy worked better (because that's the male MC's website in the book), and it wasn't until after that I realized what the initials were, lol.
Anonymous said…
Very evocative title and cover, Tara! Good luck and thanks for the advice.

Deniz, good luck with your submissions!

Thank you so much, Deniz.
stu said…
It sounds like there's a lot going on at the moment for everyone.
I know I couldn't write sex scenes! My first big memory is men walking on the moon.
Thanks for mentioning the Epic 2000 and the Challenge!!
Crystal Collier said…
Whew! There's so much awesome in this post my brain almost melted.

I'm excited for Tara, and anyone who hasn't joined the Blitz team totally should. I'll be A to Z-ing too. *high five*
Anonymous said…
Hi, Deniz! Good luck with your ROW80 goals and your submissions process. I will have to check out Blog Blitz--don't think I've heard of it before.
Liz Blocker said…
Congratulations, Tara! The book sounds sexy and intriguing and fun - and what's better than that??
M Pax said…
What a fun plot, Tara! Congrats!

Best with your goals, Deniz! Happy Wednesday.
Tara said…
Thanks, Vicki. :)

Alex, don't sell yourself short. i bet you could!

Thanks for your support, Crystal!
Tara said…
Aww, thanks so much, Liz.
Tara said…
It was a lot of fun to write, Mary. Those two really just fell for each other quickly, but very silently!
Jemi Fraser said…
I'm a Barry Manilow fan too! :)

It's amazing how close we get to people we 'meet' online and how much a part of our lives they become!
Sherry Ellis said…
I can't even imagine how difficult it is to write sex scenes!
Tara said…
Hehe, thanks for the back-up, Jemi. :D
Tara said…
I admit, Sherry, there have a been a couple of my characters characters whose sex scenes were far easier than others, but still not without some difficulty.
S.P. Bowers said…
Yay Tara! Compuserve is the best!
Tara said…
It sure is, Sara. :)
Julie Musil said…
Tara, your story sounds awesome, and your cover is delish!
Lara Lacombe said…
Congrats, Tara! I'm so happy for you! :) And you should do A to Z this year--it's a lot of fun :)

I'm not usually one for romances per se, but I love this premise! Sounds like there's lots of room for steamy conflicts...I think I'll need to be checking this one out!


As always, it's delightful to see you. I'll be A to Zing - third time! I plan to explore a series of flash/short fiction around a common theme that's been rolling around in my head since LAST winter!

I didn't know about the Blog Blitz OR the Compuserve forum, so there's some new stuff for me to check out...hooray for new adventures!

Wishing you oodles of fun exploring your magazines, and the best of success with the submissions! =)

Carol Kilgore said…
Wonderful interview! My secondary characters get named in just the manner you described. My fingers type out a name I hadn't thought of before.
I'm a member of the blog blitz team. It's fun to do!
Tara said…
That's funny Carol, since we have a number of the same names! :)

Thank you. I hope if you decide to check it out you enjoy it!


That's a lot of blogging for someone who struggles to keep up with once a week!
Jennifer Shirk said…
HI, Tara! Great interview!

(I like Barry Manilow too. And ABBA.) :-)
Hi Deniz and Tara .. crazy you can move from a sex scene to folding the laundry ... but fascinating to see how you started out writing - and gosh coming 3rd in that poetry competition must have been amazing.

Good luck .. cheers Hilary
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks for all the support, everyone!

Still loving that HOT acronym, Tara :-)

Now to think of an A-Z theme...
Tara said…
Thank you, Jennifer! Not an ABBA fan, but Hubs is.

Hi Hilary! It was pretty exciting to win that poetry contest. :)

Deniz, thank you again for having me.

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