My guest on my blog today is one of the sweetest people I've ever had the pleasure to meet – the lovely Tara Lain. Tara has a new release in her Balls to the Wall series, "Snow Balls", on December 7th. Welcome Tara and thank you for being here.
1. How about we start with some basic information – tell me a little bit about yourself? Where did you grow up? What kind of student were you? What was your favorite activity when you were growing up? Anything you want to share is fine.
First, thank you for that wonderful welcome! I’m so delighted to be here. So, about me. I’m an Army brat so I grew up all over. I lived in Europe and Japan as well as in several places in the US before I was in high school. I call Washington, D.C. home even though I wasn’t born there because my grandparents were there and we came back there after travels. I also went to college there. I studied theater but ended up in marketing which is still my day job. I own a small ad/pr firm. As an adult, I have kept up the traveling and have been all over the world, mostly with my wonderful husband to whom I’ve been married for 31 years. I live in Laguna Beach, California where I set many of my books including the entire Balls to the Wall series.
2. How did you start writing m/m romance? Do you write in any other genres?
I blame Jet Mykles for my becoming a MM writer. I actually came to this novelist thing late in life even though I wrote my first books at five. I’ve been a non-fiction writer forever as part of my marketing. I’ve literally written hundreds of magazine articles under other people’s names. I didn’t decide to write a book until after I read my first erotic romances. I’d always thought writing a book sounded like just more work since I already wrote all day. But when I found erotic romance, I was delighted. Now this sounded like FUN! So I decided to write a MF erotic romance about an older woman scientist and her younger research partner. Then I ordered Jet’s book, Heaven Sent, from Amazon. I didn’t know it was MM when I ordered it! But I read it and LOVED it. I was hooked. I added another man to my love story and it became a MMF ménage. The book is Genetic Attraction which was nominated for a CAPA last year. So yes, I also write ménage in which all three lovers have sex with each other.
3. Did you have any early influences either in this genre or any other when you were first starting out?
I always give credit to my three biggest influences -- Jet Mykles, Lynn Lorenz and Z. A. Maxfield. Reading their books showed me the excellence possible in the genre and pointed me toward the kind of writer I wanted to be. It’s so nice to be able to say that they are now all friends.
4. What is your favorite sub-genre to write and to read? For example – I can never pass up a story with a rockstar in it or more often than not, cowboys.
Hmm. I do love pretty boys, even to the extent that i enjoy stories about cross-dressers sometimes. I know the books when I see them but it’s hard to say how I know! LOL
5. Do you have any writing or reading quirks or squicks? Anything that you just can't read or don't think you'll ever write. Anything you have to do before you start or as you write – certain music, computer facing west, etc.
I am the odd duck that can’t listen to music when I write. I think I’m so left-brained as a writer that the music and the story try to occupy the same space. Aside from that, I’m very flexible. I have to be. I write all day for my job and still squeeze in six to eight books and stories a year. I doubt that I’ll ever write BDSM. I have some light spanking and bondage in my books, but I don’t think I’ll ever get into it in a big way.
6. Are you a plotter or pantser?
I’m a plotser. I have a general idea of the story before I begin -- the characters, arc, highpoints and ending. I seldom write it down, although sometimes I do. Then I just start writing with the framework generally in mind. The rest is pansted and I listen to my characters tell me their stories. I’m always surprised!
7. I won't assume you celebrate Christmas but if you do, what are your favorite parts of the holidays?
I love decorating the Christmas tree and then sitting and looking at it. This year I have no tree up because we’re selling our house and I don’t want to add the extra hassle. But I will miss looking at it --even though I won’t miss all the boxes and mess.
8. Tell me about your muse – if you have one of course.
I don’t have a sense of a muse. What I am aware of is the creative process. I think about my story often as I drive or as I’m falling asleep. But when I’m ready to write, I just sit at the computer, put my hands on the keyboard, clear my mind, and let it flow. I love the feeling of the writing happening by itself.
9. Have you ever based any of your characters on real people?
Only one. Shay Shaleen in Genetic Celebrity (a MMF ménage with ford porn!) is based on Andrej Pejic. Shay is not transsexual just androgynous, but he resembles Andrej.
10. Finally just a few multiple choice questions: (you can take them any way you like)
Rock, country or classical? I love them all depending on my mood but country the least of the three.
Giraffe or monkey? Giraffe. I have a neck like one.
Tea or coffee? Tea if it’s a chai latte.
Who would win in a fight – vampires or werewolves? Vampires.
Series or one-shot? Series
Beach or mountains? Beach (but maybe forests most!)
Eyes or smile? Eyes unless the smile is completely captivating like Tom Cruise. I don’t even love Cruise, but that smile is amazing! Gernerally, I love sexy eyes.
11. Finally, tell us about your next release or what you're working on now.
I’ve just completed a story for Valentine’s Dayish time period. It’s called Hearts and Flour and it’s an unlikely love story between a guy who is a passionate raw food vegan who falls for the owner of a cupcake store before he knows who he is. Like most of my stories, it’s a combination of light-hearted, romantic and emotional, with some serious themes. And now you have caught me in the run-up to my next book. I have several books I want to write this year -- the next Aloysius Tale after Spell Cat and Brush with Catastrophe, the next two Balls books, and, surprisingly, a scifi dystopian MM. BUT, right now I’m exploring a whole new contemporary with a wedding theme. I think it gets written next.
TARA LAIN biography
Tara Lain’s first erotic romance novel was published in January of 2011. She’s now on book 16. Her novels have garnered awards for Best Series of 2011, Best Contemporary Romance, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm, and she carries her promotional instincts into her writing career as well. She lives with her soul-mate husband in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences , Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”! You can check out all of Tara's book on her website.
Would you like to win your own Balls book? You can have your choice of Volley Balls (the Aussie sandwich), Fire Balls (the artist and the firefighter) and Beach Balls (enemies to lovers--underwater). Just leave me a comment with your email, please. If you’ve read the first three Balls books, we’ll work something out! Contest will be open from December 5-7 - winner will be announced on this post on December 8.
Special thanks to K-Lee for this wonderful invitation. It’s such a joy to be here! :) *hugs*