Tara Nina Interview Published on: 01, May 2021

What hobby do you miss most from your childhood? Why?

As a child growing up in South Carolina, I spent time fishing with my Dad. Those afternoons floating on a lake were memorable whether we caught anything or not.

I lost my Dad to a stroke a few years ago. It’s a memory I shall cherish forever. He had the greatest sense of humor and could make any day fishing fun. Of course, we always came home with a new version of the tale of the biggest fish that got away.

Were you an avid reader as a child?

Yes. I remember the day I got my first library card. I was in the third grade and my Mom took my sister and me to the Florence County Library. All the books overwhelmed me. I had difficulty selecting until Mom explained, “After you read the ones you choose, we’ll come back and exchange them for others?” To me, it meant an unlimited supply of great reads.

Do you still read books?

Constantly. My co-workers know I’ve always got a book or two in my bag. One of them once asked how many books I read a month. I replied, “As many as I possibly can without going blind.” I basically average 1 to 2 per week depending on subject matter or the author.

What inspired you to become a writer?

I was in Cancun on a vacation with the Hubby. The kids were at Camp Grandma for the week. I’d made the mistake of picking up a book in the airport before boarding. It was a number one best seller so it had to be good. When I reached the end, I was upset and dissatisfied with the ending. I threw it across the room, stood up and told my husband, “I could write a better book than that.” Of course, I had no clue where to start or how. That didn’t stop me from trying.

At what age did you write your first book? Did it get published?

In my thirties, I wrote my first manuscript. It was the typical first timer’s ‘great American novel’, over 100,000 words of unedited, misdirected plot, head-hopping conversations, and one-dimensional characters.

Absolutely not. I’ve still got the stack of rejection letters from all the attempts at getting it seen by a top-notch editor.

What inspired the plot of your book, Mindwarp?

My husband is a History channel addict. One night, we watched a documentary on Fort Knox and how impenetrable it was built to be. That got me thinking, “Well what if…”

How did you begin writing the Cursed MacKinnons series?

I’ve always loved the myth behind the gargoyle. Alive at night to protect those who live within the castle. Asleep in stone by day, trusting the humans to reciprocate that protection for them as they slept. It was another ‘what if moment’. In this case, I wondered what would happen if a group of brothers were cursed to exist as gargoyles until the woman of their destiny found a way to release them. My favorite place to visit is Scotland. It’s a land filled with castles, myths and legends. That’s why I set it in Scotland.

How did you come up with the character of Sergeant Mitch Sinclair in "All I Want For Christmas Is A Marine"?

Marines are sexy (even though I married a Navy man.) I should rephrase that to say a man in uniform is sexy. The name Mitch Sinclair stuck in my head and that character started whispering what he wanted to do, when, where and how. I couldn’t shut him up until I had his story on paper.

Which is more important thing to remember while writing a romantic suspense novel?

Plot and timeline. I keep a storyboard as I go, containing: main plot, what happens when, characters and all the players, and locations.

When are you most satisfied with a book or piece of writing? Do you often edit things OUT of your books?

After I’ve gotten it back from my crew of sizzling sisters, who edit, read and tell me the truth about the story.

I do and I slip them in a file as I go along, titled “Crappy paragraphs.”

What is the best advice you can give someone to master the art of writing?

Read the following books: The Elements of Style by Strunk and White; Goal, Motivation & Conflict by Debra Dixon; Write Tight by William Brohaugh. I lean on these 3 books constantly. Also, join a writers group. Not only will you learn the writing process, you’ll make friends that’ll last a lifetime. Easiest way to find one near you is to Google it. LOL.

What are the best things about being a romance book author?

Letting the imagination run wild. The story can be located anywhere, any world, any setting. The characters like to speak their minds and I try my best to listen and tell their stories.

Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

I think anyone can be a writer as long as they put their minds to it and make use of every available resource. Even an emotionally strong writer can produce an unreadable manuscript, if they don’t get it professionally edited.

What are the wisest quotes you've ever heard or read?

The head thinks one thing, the hand writes another, and the eye reads something totally different. Which basically means, NEVER send in your first draft. What you thought you put on paper is not what happens. Always, reread, rewrite and reread again.

What are you currently working on? May we know when we can expect a new book?

Two novels at once. I’m in the process of rewriting the 6 th book of the MacKinnons series, Cursed and Crazy. I started a brand new romantic suspense titled: Deceptions.

Hopefully, by June 2021.

How has your experience of being associated with AllAuthor been?

I’m enjoying every moment and spreading the word for my fellow authors to join. When AllAuthor promotes a cover, it leads to more sales. I’m thankful for any help I gain in the effort of reaching more readers and AllAuthor is a tremendous team, who push in that direction for all their authors.

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