Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together. Eugene Ionesco

Tamara Hughes Interview Published on: 19, Oct 2018

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your life growing up in a small town. How did you first get into writing?

Like many authors, I’m an introvert. I also love solving puzzles and reading. Because I grew up in a small rural town, there weren’t a ton of things to do like in a big city, and I needed a car even if I wanted to do what there was. Instead, I spent a lot of time reading and watching television. I love stories, especially love stories. As a kid, I would fantasize being in my favorite TV shows. I got hooked on romance novels as an adult, and when I was on maternity leave, it dawned on me that maybe I should try to write one. Because I love puzzles, my books are filled with plot as well as romance and humor.

You write Paranormal Romance. Have you ever experienced any paranormal activities in your real life?

I’m really not sure. I would like to say I’m open-minded to the possibility of ghosts, spirits, and magic, but for some reason, I feel like I block anything from happening to me personally. I mean, at times it seems like I’ll see something out of the corner of my eye, but that probably happens to everyone.

Who is your target audience? What are some things you wish your readers would take away from your books?

My target audience would be anyone who enjoys romance novels that are just a bit out of the ordinary. For instance, my historicals are either pirate books or Victorian romances set in the United States, and my paranormal romances have supernatural situations and creatures that I create. (Although I’ll admit there are witches in Bewitching The Beast, the beast is actually a dragon spirit possessing the hero of the story.)

How did your friends and family react to your first book? Do you often take suggestions for your stories from them?

My friends and family have been very supportive of me, which is amazing. My oldest daughter has an interest in writing, so we frequently talk about our stories with each other, and my closest writer friends are also my critique partners. Needless to say, I get a lot of suggestions from them.

I must say that Beauty's Curse is a fast paced and adventurous read. How did you come up with this story? What kind of research did you have to do for this book?

I’ve always been fascinated by the concept of luck, how some people seem lucky and others don’t. With that thought in mind, I decided that my heroine in Beauty’s Curse would be unlucky, or at least appear unlucky to her and those around her. She’s been told her entire life that she’s the cause of her family’s every misfortune, and after years being blamed, she starts to believe it as fact. The hero of this story doesn’t believe in luck, and he sets out to prove her wrong. As for research, the most research I did for this particular story was for the hero’s backstory. He became a pirate after he escaped from slavery in Madagascar. To understand what it might have been like for him, I read Robert Drury’s journal. Supposedly, Robert Drury was held captive in Madagascar in the early 1700s. Although there have been doubts as to whether Robert Drury made up the story, experts believe the depiction is accurate.

Do you wish to produce any of your books into a movie or screenplay? If yes, which one would it be and why?

It would be amazing if one of my books was ever make into a movie. If I had to choose one, I guess it would be Bewitching The Beast. Since that’s the most recent story I’ve published, the scenes are fresh in my head. I can see them on the big screen without any trouble. Plus, I love paranormal movies!

What struggles did you go through while trying to find that creative outlet you craved? How difficult was it to write your first book?

All books are difficult to write, but that first one was particularly challenging. I wrote it on my own just to see if I could finish a whole book. After it was done to the best of my ability, I joined the Romance Writers of America. It was then that I realized how many mistakes I had made. I joined a critique group, who ripped the story apart and taught me how to write. I will forever be thankful to them.

In your book Bewitching The Beast, you love your heroine Tess. What made you fall in love with her?

Tess is such a funny character. Her humor is so off the wall. I didn’t know what kind of person she would be until I started writing, and what ended up on the page just cracked me up!

What inspired you to write the character, Catherine Fry in your book His Pirate Seductress?

I was writing a pirate series, and in my research, I came across women in history who were pirates. That really got my wheels turning. I just had to explore what it would be like to be a female pirate, and what could be more fun that having her meet the hero of the book than by attacking and taking over his ship?!

Would you rather live in a huge mansion with a large estate? Or in a gigantic cruise ship?

Okay, this may sound dumb, but when I think of a mansion on a large estate, all I can think of is how much work it would be to maintain. I’ve taken a few cruises in my life, and well, everything is done for you. Now that’s what I’m talking about! I’ve got to choose the cruise.

How difficult it is to write Historical Romance? Do you have any plans to write in any other genre? If yes, which genre would it be?

I love writing historical romance, but the research can be overwhelming. For each book, I need to find out what clothes were worn, the hairstyles of the time, etiquette, and even if coat hangers were used instead of hooks. Every detail needs to be verified. In addition to historical romance, I also write paranormal romance. I love the freedom of creating my own paranormal details. In the short term, I have no plans to write in other genres besides these two, but someday, I might have to play with a science fiction story.

What sort of advice do you have to any novice writers out there?

Hone your craft. There’s nothing more important than learning how to write a great story. The marketing and business side of everything should be secondary to the product you provide.

Where do you like to write most and at what time of the day?

My best writing time is in the mornings. I’m usually on my living room couch with a cup of coffee beside me (and my cat Oscar). I love all the windows providing natural light in that room.

You enjoy stories with interesting twists and characters. What are some of your favourite books?

The book that hooked me on romances (way back when) was A Rose in Winter by Kathleen Woodiwiss. I’m not sure that all of her stories would go over so well today, but she had a way of putting together intricate plots that I admire. Similarly, A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole was the first paranormal book I read. It’s a great book that made me want to read more about supernatural creatures.

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