Monday, February 20, 2012

Monday Author Interview with Tara Lain

This week we are welcoming the fantastic Tara Lain to the Menagerie! I’m stoked to have her here as I’ve read most all of her works. I’m a fan. Thanks for stopping by! Let’s get going on this interview! Where are you from?

I’m not exactly from anywhere. I’m an Army brat. I was born in Augusta, Georgia but left when I was six months old and have never been back. I lived in Austria before I was five and Japan before I was 12. In between and around those places we were in California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. But if I call anyplace home it’s Washington, DC. My grandparents lived there and that was my home when I was very young and my father was overseas. Then I went to college there and lived there a few years after college before moving permanently to California. I love DC -- all seasons. It’s a beautiful city.

I’ve been to DC. It was pretty when the trees were in bloom. I know you’re busting to tell us your latest news, so go ahead!

As I’m writing this, it’s the day before my one year anniversary as a published writer of romance fiction. (I’ve been a non-fiction writer for a loooong time, but am new to fiction). My first book, Genetic Attraction, came out on Jan 4, 2011 and I have five more books released since that time and three more book contracts for 2012. That, in itself, is a huge vote of confidence for a new writer. Then I learned that Genetic Attraction was nominated for a CAPA Award in Contemporary Romance and that I was nominated for Favorite Author! Holy COW! This award includes some of my great heroes and I can’t believe I am even on the list with them. And to top it off, I was nominated for the LRC Best of 2011 Awards as Best Author of 2011 and Best Series of 2011 for the Genetic Attraction series which includes The Scientist and the Supermodel, Genetic Attraction and Deceptive Attraction. Talk about ending a year on a high note!! With this kind of competition, there is little chance of winning but the encouragement to a new author is incredible!

Congrats! Do you have a specific writing style?

I always try to write in deep point-of-view. This means that the only thing the reader sees, feels, senses, and knows is what the POV character can see, feel, sense and know at that moment in time. If the character is ignorant, so is the reader. Of course, I generally have more than one POV character in a book since I write in third person so that expands the readers’ viewpoint. The result for me is a very stream-of-consciousness style. As if the words were coming from the character’s mind. Short, choppy, incomplete sentences often. I also tend to be very emotional. I like to tap into the feelings of even the most taciturn characters. People often say I bring romance to the erotic. And a touch of humor seems to show up even in my very serious books.

Humor is always good. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

My books always seem to turn out to be about people living authentic lives. It’s not necessarily what I start with, but those are the ideas that my characters express. This is especially true in my book, Deceptive Attraction. A young soccer player struggles with signing a contract that will make him a big star when he feels called to serve people more directly. He is also gay and doesn’t want to stay in the closet to protect his team. Meanwhile, he meets a man as pretty as a woman who is fighting his own battles with authenticity, and a smart, adorable tomboy who makes him question his sexual identity. Authenticity is also a theme in my upcoming paranormal romance, Spell Cat, in which my hero is a gay witch master who has to struggle against enormous forces to save his community and live the life he wants -- all with the help of a very powerful cat!

You’re always original. Do you have any strange handwriting habits, like capitalizing all your “r”s or dotting your “I”s with heart (or anything like that)?

Yes, I tend to write i as a lowercase letter. Only one person, author GG Royale, has ever asked me about it. It comes from studying yoga for many years. In yoga, the student tries to see the real without constantly being blinded by ego. I got in the habit of reminding myself to do that by making my “i” a bit smaller! LOL

Interesting concept. I tried yoga once and it ended in embarrassment. What is your favorite animal?

Even though I own a papillon dog who I adore and think is the cutest beast on the planet, my favorite animals are cats and snakes. Don’t scream and run!! I find snakes to be beautiful and fascinating. I enjoy handling the ones that won’t kill me. Cats are a family tradition. My father used to say anyone who didn’t like cats was a rat in a previous incarnation. Just kidding! But I do love their independence, sassiness and sinuous beauty. I adored writing Spell Cat which has a particularly great feline in it. I hope to write several more books about Aloysius.

Considering I have two cats and two dogs, I’m easy to get along with. Snakes might get you the boot, but since there aren’t any around, I’ll live. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I never planned to write fiction or romance in particular. Since I make my living as a non-fiction writer, the idea of writing at night and on the weekends wasn’t appealing. And then I found erotic romance--specifically Jet Mykles, Lynn Lorenz and Z A Maxfield. These three writers inspired me! I loved their work so much I couldn’t help myself. Writing a book suddenly sounded like FUN! Since that inspiration, all three of these writers have become my friends. They have helped me, answered my questions endlessly, bucked me up when I was feeling down and constantly set new bars for how good erotic romance can be. I am grateful to them every day!

Grin. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I have the most fantastic readers. Because I do a lot of social media and have two blogs, I get to talk to my readers a lot. Plus, I send out an informal email newsletter and encourage my readers to write back. They are amazing. I get emails telling me how much they love my books and how I should bring out the next book quick! I love my readers. If I do a blog hop or an online party or visit a blog and gain one new reader I consider it a treasure.

Here’s the official bio and links for Tara Lain!

Tara Lain never met a beautiful boy she didn’t love – at least on paper. A writer of erotic romance, mostly ménage and male/male, Tara loves all her characters, but especially her handsome heroes. A lifelong writer of serious non-fiction, Tara only fell in love with EROM in 2009 and, through perseverance and lots of workshops, had the first novel she ever wrote published in January of 2011. After an exotic life of travel all over the world and work in television, education and advertising, Tara settled in Southern California with her soul-mate husband and opened her own small marketing business. She paints, collages, and started practicing yoga “way before it was fashionable”. Passionate about diversity, justice, inclusion and new ideas, she says on her tombstone it will read, “Yes”.
Tara Lain's Books are available at Loose Id, Etopia Press, and Amazon

Want to learn more about Deceptive Attraction? Here you go!

Caleb Martin faces a life crisis -- and he’s pretty embarrassed about it. A talented soccer star, he has the chance to sign a lucrative five year contract and be rich and famous. Two problems -- Cal is gay and signing the contract means he has to stay in the closet, maybe for life. Plus, he’ll have to spend his years diving for soccer balls when he’d like to be helping people like the rest of his family. A one-night stand with a beautiful man rocks Cal, but the guy vanishes only to reappear where Cal is house-sitting. Too much coincidence? And then a cute tomboy throws Cal’s life choices into confusion. How could he wind up with a commitmentphobe and a woman dedicated to her work in Africa? Oh yeah, and then there’s a big surprise in a snowstorm. Cosmic joker strikes again.

Available here:


Lena Grey said...

As one of Tara's faithful fans, I'd like to say thank you, great blog as always, and snakes? really? yes, I agree they are beautiful and I do admire them, but considering my penchant for ratties, I couldn't add any to my menagerie because I wouldn't be able to bring myself to feed the lovely creature.

Tara Lain said...

Oh so true, Lena. Feeding snakes is the downside of the relationship! LOL. I must confess the ones i love the best are the dangerous ones. They are so gorgeous. But i only look. No touching. : )