Tuesday, 25 June 2013

AUTHOR INTERVIEW - TARA ELIZABETH

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Tara Elizabeth and I was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana. I moved away to go to college at LSU in Baton Rouge, lived in Houston briefly, and then returned to Lake Charles after my first child was born.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I’ve always wanted to be an artist; I just wasn’t sure what kind until recently. Writing is an amazingly fulfilling form of art.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Yes, I am also a freelance graphic designer and a stay-at-home Mom.


What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Zoo is a fast-paced, Young Adult/Sci-Fi novel with a splash of romance and a hint of sarcasm.

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
I self-publish.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
It usually takes me about 9 months to finish writing and editing a book. I am only able to work during my children’s naptime. I wish I could work faster because I have so many ideas.

Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
Emma, the main character in Zoo, was easier to write because she is from 2013. She thinks and speaks like we do. She was a fun character to write. However, the book as a whole had a lot of challenges. There are characters from different times and cultures.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I think I will stick with Dystopia and Sci-Fi for Young Adults. This is the genre that interests me the most. I have lots of ideas for new stories.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I am currently writing DENOUNCED (EXALTED: Book 2). There will also be a third and final book in the EXALTED series (no title yet). I have plans for a book called Rebel, which will be Volume 2 of The Enclosure Chronicles. It will follow Kansas’ story. Lots of exciting things to come!

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
My favorite character is Mena from EXALTED. She is a strong, young woman that makes her own decisions.

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
I would choose to be Mena from EXALTED. I envy her strength, both physically and mentally.     

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
Yes! I have as many people as I can read them before they are released. Spouse, friends, parents, and my editor.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Absolutely! I love to gifts ebooks to people that enjoy my work. I want to thank them in some way for their support. Sometimes, I randomly pick people that like the same genre. I want to know what they think of my work.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Yes. I try to read all of my reviews. Of course, I love positive feedback, but constructive, negative reviews are also good to read. They can help me improve my craft.

What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
Great reviews are when someone really gets the character you’ve written. One reviewer on GoodReads said, “Tara Elizabeth was able to perfectly capture a teenage girl thrown from an easy existence into this strange society where humans are kept in captivity (and I would know since I'm Emma's age and I definitely would have reacted the way she did).” I love this! Thank you, reviewer!

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
No, never.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
Titles are usually very easy for me. They are always an important element in the book itself. I design all of my own book covers. I also have a side business providing book covers for indie authors. I love to design.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
The title comes after the idea for the book, but not necessarily after the book is written.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
Yes. When this happens, I go back to some of my reviews and remind myself that people are waiting for the next book.

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
Amanda Hocking really influenced me the most. She got me started. Her story is inspiring. Well done, Miss Hocking!

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
My favorite book is The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I have read it three times. 

Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
I think they are encourage to read, but I do not think they are encouraged enough to do any imaginative writing. I know that I was never asked to write an essay or short story that I created while in school.


Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. My grandmother would read this to me all the time.


Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
If you are into Romance look out for Taylor Anne. She is a new author that shows great promise. Her first book will be released late April 2013. It is called Heat Flash.

What do you think about book trailers?
I think they are lots of fun! I wish I had one or two.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Just write. If you have a story, get it on paper or in a computer. Worry about all the other stuff later.

Where can readers follow you?
https://twitter.com/A_TaraElizabeth (I have to admit that I am not a big Twitter person. It stressed me out. LOL!)

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