*picks up microphone* So, Tamara, I hear you wrote this super steamy romance novel that made Marisa cry. Can you give us a hint at what part of the novel induced tears?
Tamara: I've heard a few people cried while reading TBLP, but there was one scene that takes place on a bathroom floor that kicked her in the heart. :)
Oh! On the bathroom floor! Is it "that" kind of book? No, seriously, give us a couple words to sum up the idea of this story.
Tamara: You never know what someone's history is based on their appearance. Even the most perfect looking people are carrying the weight of their years inside their hearts. Some people are better at letting go of that weight than others. Also, who DOESN'T love a hot guitar player, and a woman who knows what she wants?!
Sounds extremely profound. Care to share which character you relate to more closely? Malcolm or Jayne?
Tamara: That's tough. Like Malcolm, I found healing through music. I experienced bullying - though not to the levels explored in the book (except for that time I got stabbed with a pencil). I definitely relate more to Malcolm, and his emotionality.
*grabs tissues* Bullying? Stabbed! Tough subjects, indeed. But since it's Swoon, I'm going to assume he gets some action *wink, wink* in the bedroom too?
Tamara: Oh yeah. I don't want to spoil anything, but guitar players have *nimble* fingers.
I heard a rumor this is your first contemporary romance novel ever, and I also heard you wrote it in like an insanely short period of time. Explain! Your! Method!
Tamara: I've written other romances, but this is my first dual POV, which really let me get into both the characters' heads. Not only that, I really went in depth and focused on the relationship between Malcolm and Jayne. It's definitely the hottest thing I've ever written as well!
I'd written one scene of it last November, and put it away. My critique partners began baying for blood, and demanded I finish. I opened it up again in May, and finished drafting it in about three weeks/ a month. There isn't a big secret, but writing is like a muscle - you HAVE to write. Inspiration isn't always waiting or you when you wake up. Sometimes you have to top that little effer, and just get the words on the page. Writing time doesn't magically appear - I sacrifice other activities I enjoy to have more writing time.
OR I have a TARDIS and a Time Turner.
Speaking of critique partners... how do yours work? Like, what's your process?
Tamara: I have a few different CP's, and all of them have different strengths. I write the first draft, then revise. When I'm happy with it, I send the draft to whichever CP's are right for the project (if it's "their" genre) and have time. Crit Partners are NOT free editors. POLISH before sending your work. I revise based on their feedback, and send the shinier copy to a couple more CP's. Because I have more CP's than average, I don't require as many beta readers after the CPing. Being a crit partner isn't just about critting. Just because you've given me critique, doesn't mean you're my CP. Me critting your work once doesn't make me yours. It's a partnership, and about support, and truly being there for each other every agonizing, emotional step of the way!
As someone who has followed your writing journey, I know you signed with The Seymour Agency after hosting that pitchy thingy last December. That's less than a year after finding an agency. Was the journey what you expected?
Tamara: The journey was what I expected - I went into it with my eyes wide open. But I never expected how HARD it would be, and how wearing it would be. My rejections were POSITIVE! I never had any that told me I suck, or a manuscript was bad. I had referrals to colleagues, and 'This is great but not a good fit for our list at this time. What else has she got?' But even though they were positive, they weren't a YES. It's no secret that I write a lot. My journey may have been tougher on me because at one point I had four manuscripts out there on submission at once. Hearing 'Great voice, but not for us,' on ONE manuscript is bad enough. Hearing it on FOUR AT ONCE feels like everyone hates everything you write. But you've gotta keep writing!
What advice would you give to writers at these stages in their journey:
1. half way through the first manuscript? YOU CAN DO IT! Your words are important! The laundry can wait!
2. one complete manuscript? YAY! YOU WROTE A FREAKING BOOK! AMAZING! Now write another.
3. three complete manuscripts? Kick ass! Look at the first manuscript you wrote. Compare it to your newest. We should grow better as writers, the more we write. There should be visible growth in your writing. If there isn't, dig deeper. You're doing it wrong.
Anything you want readers/fans to know about your book before they read it?
It's not just about the sexytimes. The Best Laid Plans deals with some very serious issues too. I wish people would know that even if they feel broken, IT GETS BETTER. I hope you all find your own happy endings. No pun intended. Okay, it was intended.
Where can readers connect with you online?
THE BEST LAID PLANS
Jayne Griffin isn’t looking for Mr. Right. She’s looking for Mr. RTFN and a toe-curling good time. Malcolm Black is unrecognizable as the band geek he used to be, but the pain still haunts him. The sexy guitarist hatches the perfect plan: Seduce Jayne into falling in love with him, and then shatter her heart. It all goes so smoothly until feelings start to develop . . . and that invitation to their ten year high school reunion lands in their inboxes.
Jayne wants the perfect lover. Malcolm wants revenge. But you know what they say about The Best Laid Plans!
Want to Read on Goodreads?!?
So what do you think of her cover? Here's what I want to know: what brand are those jeans?