Exclusive Interview with

Tara Eldana

Let’s start with your Career as a writer!

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.

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.

How long have you been writing?

What was the feeling when you published your first book?

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

What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

What is the feeling when you get a good review?

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?

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

If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?

What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.

Have you ever created anything? Have you ever had your name on your work for all to see? Just curious.

What would you say to your readers?

Thank-you! I you liked the story, please write a review, because they are so important.

Thank you for sharing! Let’s talk about your Personal Life!

Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?

I live in southeast Michigan (Detroit area) as an empty-nester with my husband and a 50-gallon tank filled with fish. Our daughter, her husband and granddaughter and grandson live in the Austin, Texas area. Our son, his wife, and two grand girls also live in the Detroit area.

What is your day job if you have one?

What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

I , like most everyone during the shutdown advanced my baking skills. I make a mean carrot cake, banana coffee cake and recently tried homemade bread. I am a constant reader and am learning French from a free language app.

Did you have a happy childhood?

I did. Sibling stuff, like everyone. I am oldest of four. My mother read to me at a very early age. I credit her with my love of language and book, magazines, anything with words on it. And I credit my father for urging me to look up anything I didn't know or was curious about. And my awesome friends for showing me the world.

Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?

Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?

What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?

I am sorry phonics and sentence diagramming are no longer in the curriculum. As I write this, it's probably back in.

If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?

What is your favorite music?

Alternative. I like the old stuff, but I'm finding something new I like.

Share a secret with us 🙂

I'm left handed. They're aren't many females who are. When I started work at my newspaper and joined my local Romance Writers of America chapter, I saw more left-handed females in one place(s) than I did in my entire life. Interesting, huh?

Thank you! We wish you the best of luck for you and your art!