WP: What do you write?
T: I write all over the place, it seems. Paranormal / vampire, Christian, Regency, Historical U.S.
WP: Why do you choose the genres you do?
T: I love each of the genres I write -- when I’m there. It’s not so much that I pick the genres as the characters tell me where they fit. I’ve had some pretty hairy moments. In my historical U.S., of which False Notes, the first in a series is with Whimsical Publications, there are two secret service agents. Their stories lead them to trouble and romance throughout the country. While I was finishing up False Notes, which I tend to think of as Simon’s story, I could hear Luke (the other agent), telling me to hurry it up. I needed to get to his story and while I was dithering, his romantic interest, Maj, was getting further away. The man would not shut up. And when he wasn’t talking, he was stomping around in his boots. Very annoying. He finally settled down when I was half way through his story.
These men are men of action, but very much of their time, 1874, U.S. The world was a fascinating place: constant discoveries, the transcontinental railroad, and overall faster moving than the decades before the Civil War. As secret service agents, they were among the first of their breed. Their role was primarily seeking out counterfeiting then later expanded to dealing with issues of national security.
WP: What made you first want to be a writer?
T: When I realized I couldn’t afford my reading habit -- somewhere around third grade, I thought there simply had to be a way to get more books. It finally dawned on me -- actually, I think my father told me -- someone had to write those books. After that, I kept a yellow pulp tablet and a BIC ballpoint pen under my bed for some time. This was heady stuff. In the parochial school I attended we didn’t get to use ink until the middle of third grade! I think my parents felt sorry for me, and by the next Christmas I had my very own (toy, but working) typewriter. It only typed in caps, but I was a happy person. I used that typewriter for about 3 years when I graduated to a real one.
WP: What inspires you?
T: Everything and nothing.
WP: What kicks the brain into gear when you have writer’s block?
T: I would like to say I never get writer’s block, but it’s simply not true. The best way for me to overcome it is to -- not write. I either totally immerse myself in some major house cleaning project or a different craft. When I get caught up in either, all these little people in my brain start yammering at me to finish and please get to the keyboard already.
WP: Who is your favorite character you have created?
T: They’re all my favorites! I love each one of my heroes, although Simon from False Notes, is holding the place of honor at the moment. He’s very confident, always on the move, a bit brash, and yet is totally blown away by the heroine.
WP: Is there any genre you want to try, but haven’t yet?
T: While most of my books have an element of mystery to them, I haven’t written a straight cozy mystery. I think I should enjoy doing so but haven’t got around to it yet.
WP: What do you hope readers will take away from your stories?
T: I want readers to be entertained, to be taken away to a different time and place, at least for a short while. I want the reader to experience the adventure of the emerging frontier along with Simon, Luke, Kirsten and Maj in False Notes, or the ball rooms and country side of the English Regency and the gentle caring and loving that weaves its thread through all of my stories.
WP: What’s your latest news and do you have anything releasing soon?
T: Heart Quest, was released two weeks ago. This is the second book to President’s Orders, of which False Notes was first. I have another vampire / urban fantasy book coming out at the beginning of February.
WP: Where can we find you on the web?
T: I love connecting with readers and other writers! You can find me on the web at:
Manic Readers: http://www.manicreaders.com/TaraManderino/