Thursday, April 29, 2021


I want to thank TARA WYATT so much for agreeing to my interview!  💗


Tara Wyatt is a contemporary romance and romantic suspense author.  Known for her humor and steamy love scenes, Tara's writing has won several awards, including the Golden Quill Award and the Bookseller's Best Award.  In addition, she was a 2018 RITA® Finalist for her novella, Until the Sun Sets.

Tara has been writing since 2013, and her first book, Necessary Risk, was published in 2016.  Since then, she's written three more books, three novellas, and has co-written three books, with many more projects in the works.

When she's not hanging out with your next book boyfriend, she can be found reading, watching movies, and drinking wine.

Tara lives in Hamilton, Ontario with the world's cutest dachshund, as well as, her husband and daughter.

When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Ever since I was young, I always loved books and had a very vivid imagination.  I'd spend hours daydreaming and making up scenarios, and then in my pre-teen/teen years, I started writing fan fiction about my favorite boy bands, Hanson and the Backstreet Boys.  I studied English in university and always thought I'd try writing a book, and I did.  I tried writing literary fiction, historical fiction, chick lit.  Then I realized that I should try writing romance, since that was what I enjoyed reading the most, and romance definitely felt like the right fit for me. 

Did you have any influencing writers growing up?

I read a lot of Nora Roberts as a teenager, and that was a huge influence.  I also loved Rosalind Miles, who wrote really lush, romantic historical fantasy.  I was always drawn to stories with a strong romantic element and read female authors almost exclusively (and I still do!).

Are any of your characters based on people in real life?

Not usually, no.  My characters are my own inventions, sometimes influenced or inspired by either people I know or celebrities/people in the news.  But I wouldn't say that any of them are based on anyone I know in real life.

Where do you draw your book inspirations from?

Everywhere!  Movies, TV shows, music, books, real life events, news stories---anything can trigger an idea.  And sometimes ideas just come out of thin air, too.  That's why I think it's so important for writers to make sure they're refilling that well as often as they can, with reading, movies and TV shows, experiences.  A full life is rich with inspiration.

Do you use have a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way?

Nope, I'm not an outliner at all.  I need to write the story to know what it is.  When I'm starting a new book, I've usually been daydreaming about it for several months (while I'm not an outliner, I am a planner and I know what the next several books I'm going to be writing are, so they're percolating while I work on something else) and I have a decent sense of the characters and the overarching story.  But I don't usually know more than the 2-3 scenes as I'm drafting and after 20 books, I know that I get my best ideas while drafting.

When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration?

Usually, yes.  I often will find models or actors who embody the character and this helps me picture them as I'm writing.

Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation.   What is your favorite way to sit back and relax?

I love reading, bingeing Netflix, playing with my two-year-old daughter, and spending time with my husband.

Who are your favorite current authors to read?

I'm loving everything Katee Robert's been doing lately.  I also really enjoy Nana Malone, Melody Grace, Max Monroe, and Sarina Bowen, just to name a few.

What are your favorite books by others?

My all time favorite books are the Guenevere Trilogy by Rosalind Miles.  I also really loved the Tumble Creek series by Victoria Dahl because those books were what really spurred me to start writing romance novels---Victoria Dahl was a huge influence when I was starting out.

Do the locations in the stories have any meaning to you?

Not always.  I prefer to set my stories in big city settings.  I've written books that take place in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Dallas and my current series takes place in New York City.

Do you write in single or multiple POV?

All of my books are duel POV, with the herione and the hero getting almost equal time.

What do you find to be your best research tool?

I use Google Maps a lot when writing my books to make sure I'm getting the geography of the city where the book takes place right.  I also use to research housing and often will pick out a home for the characters.  While I'm writing, I often consult the Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi.  It's a great resource for make sure emotions I want to convey to the reader are coming through on the page.

Do you write under a pen name?

No, Tara Wyatt is my actual name.  😊

What genre do you write and why is this your preference?

I write contemporary romance.  I love writing romance because love is such a universal experience.  We've all been in love, we've all had our hearts broken.  Everyone wants to love and be loved---it's so relatable.  And I love the happy endings guaranteed in romance.  Life is so full of hardship and uncertainty that there's a huge amount of comfort in reading a book you know will end on a satisfying, happy note.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Read a lot and pay attention to what you like and what you don't like.  Keep a journal so that you can write down your observations about technique, characterization, pacing, etc.  Read voraciously.  Then read some more.  Also, write a lot, and know that what you write when you first start out isn't going to be very good, and that's okay.  The only way to really learn how to write is to do it.  And then do it some more.  Read a lot.  Write a lot.  Those are the two most important things an aspiring writer can do.

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