Exclusive Interview with

Tara Eldana

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When did you start writing?

I started seriously writing romance about nine years ago, after some life-changing surgery. I've been writing short stories forever. I recently retired from my 20-year day job as a newspaper reporter - covering human interest, murders, crime, government and schools. I want to write stories with happy endings.

Tara Eldana
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What makes writing your passion?

I love to tell stories. As a reporter, there was always more to the story. In fiction, it's fun to tie up all the loose ends, something you can't do in non-fiction.

Tara Eldana
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How long have you been writing?

Tara Eldana
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What was the feeling when you published your first book?

Gratitude and validation that I hadn't been wasting time and energy.

Tara Eldana
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What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

They come to me, (hopefully) as inspiration from God or whatever higher power provides that.

Tara Eldana
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What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

I wish I could spend more time in the creative process and less time in promotion. Writers are expected to expend a lot of time, and in some cases money, to promote their work if you are not a blockbuster writer with a big pub house.

Tara Eldana
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How do you get over the “writer’s block”?

Julia Cameron's the Artist's Way was a godsend when I became blocked after my big, bad surgery.

Tara Eldana
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We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?

Don't give up. Learn all you can, but keep writing. You will only get better.

Tara Eldana
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If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?

Don't stress about stuff you can't control. And rest when you are out of sorts, the world will go on.

Tara Eldana
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Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?

Bad ones suck, right? I skim them, and remind myself that when people look to see how many reviews you have, it shows up.

Tara Eldana
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What is the feeling when you get a good review?

I love the feeling that the story and characters connected with or engaged readers.

Tara Eldana
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Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

Yes, all the time. I can draw on a lot of what I learned on the job as a newspaper reporter, in court, talking to police, and interacting with a wide variety of people.

Tara Eldana
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Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?

Jessa in "Taking the Lead" is a newspaper reporter with health issues. She's the closest character to me that I've written. Although I had a loving and very present father, and she is searching for hers.

Tara Eldana
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What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?

Yes. It's often what draws me into exploring if the book is something I want to read. Also, it's a another way to express your story, although most traditional publishers control the cover and writers have little control of that.

Tara Eldana
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Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?

Tara Eldana
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How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?

Awesome. That has happened for me as a reporter, winning awards and having folks say "good job." As an author, it's great when as editor or reviewer gets excited about your work.

Tara Eldana
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Who is your favorite author? Why?

It changes, based on what I'm reading. Lately I'm hooked on the Outlander series, so Diana Gabaldon. I love her and hate her. That woman can rock out a story.

Tara Eldana
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What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?

Tara Eldana
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Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?

Yes, my mermaid series published with Black Opal Books. I see ways they could be better.

Tara Eldana
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If you could switch p