Long and Short Reviews welcomes Tara Wyatt who is visiting with us today.
Tara enjoyed writing short stories when she was a kid and teenager and, while she was in university, she took a creative writing class.
“I was a chronic non-finisher of projects,” she admitted, “and finally, about 3 years ago, I got serious about writing and haven’t looked back.”
Tara told me that sometimes she suffers from writer’s block and that if she’s stuck, it usually means she’s taken a wrong turn somewhere along the way.
“So, I’ll go back and try to figure out what that wrong turn was. Maybe a character did something that doesn’t fit with who they are. Maybe I included a scene that doesn’t belong. Once I figure out where the problem is, and I fix it, I can move forward.”
Typically, Tara writes in her office at home. I asked her to tell us about it.
“It’s the smallest bedroom in our house, and I have a pretty white corner desk where I sit. There’s also a bookcase (overstuffed with romance novels) and a comfy armchair that my dog usually naps in while I’m writing. Sometimes, I need a change of scenery, and I’ll write in the living room, or the basement. I write almost exclusively at home. I find I can’t focus if I try to write in a coffee shop or other public place.”
She has a full-time job, so she mainly writes in the evenings and on the weekends.
“I try to write for at least two hours a day, and for much longer stretches on weekends when I’m able,” she told me.
Tara is kind of a hybrid of pantser and plotter, although she leans much more heavily towards pantser. She comes up with the characters first and a very general outline of the story.
“I know where I’m going (I know what some of the bigger things are: the first kiss, the first time they have sex, the black moment, etc.), but I can’t tell you specific scenes when I’m just starting out,” she said. “Typically, I’m thinking a few scenes ahead, but not usually more than that.”
“Do you listen to music while writing?” I asked.
“Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It depends on my mood, and if I have song that inspired the scene I’m working on. I do find music really inspirational, and I make soundtracks for all my books. Primal Instinct has mainly classic rock on the soundtrack, so I was listening to a lot of stuff like The Eagles, ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones when I was writing it.”
If she were going to adapt her newest book, Primal Instinct, into a movie, she would cast
Jensen Ackles (from Supernatural) as Colt…”so yummy!” she said… and Caity Lotz (from Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow) as Taylor.
Finally, I asked, “What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?”
“I would suggest joining a writers’ circle or critique group and finding people to exchange work with—you’ll learn lots from other aspiring writers. If you’re writing romance, join RWA and find your local chapter. Enter contests, if you can. I learned a ton from the feedback I got from contest entries. Take online classes—both RWA and Romance University offer different ones. Finish what you’ve started. Having a finished manuscript is a huge first step toward getting published. And finally, read. Read voraciously.”
The first time he lays eyes on Taylor Ross in a bar, Colt Priestley does something few men would dare to do. He approaches the world-famous singer, shamelessly flirts with her, and gives her a night in his bed that neither of them will soon forget.
When Taylor’s record label hires a bodyguard to keep tabs on the out-of-control rocker, she’s less than thrilled to find it’s her off-the-charts one-night stand who shows up for the job. She’s terrified of letting herself fall for the damaged ex-Army Ranger, and she’s determined to push him away. Yet every moment they’re together simmers with tension. As the danger from an obsessed stalker mounts, Taylor and Colt are tempted to cross that line again-baring their hearts and souls as well as their bodies-and there’s no telling how hot this song will get.
About the Author: Tara Wyatt is the author of The Bodyguards series, published by Forever Romance. Her debut novel, Necessary Risk, was published February 2016. Known for her humor and steamy love scenes, Tara’s writing has won several awards, including the Unpublished Winter Rose, the Linda Howard Award of Excellence, and the Heart of the West. A librarian by day and romance writer by night, Tara lives in Hamilton, Ontario with her dog and husband.