Friday, December 09, 2011

Tips From a One Year Old Author

My guest today is Tara Lain.
Tara Lain never met a beautiful boy she didn’t love – at least on paper. A writer of erotic romance, mostly ménage and male/male, Tara loves all her characters, but especially her handsome heroes. A lifelong writer of serious non-fiction, Tara only fell in love with EROM in 2009 and, through perseverance and lots of workshops, had the first novel she ever wrote accepted for publication in 2010. She’s now on book six. After an exotic life of travel all over the world and work in television, education and advertising, Tara settled in Southern California with her soul-mate husband and opened her own small marketing business. She paints, collages, and started practicing yoga “way before it was fashionable”. Passionate about diversity, justice, inclusion and new ideas she says on her tombstone it will read, “Yes”.
Now, here’s Tara:
I’m delighted to be here with Rochelle celebrating the release of my new holiday book, Mistletowed. This contemporary, paranormal, M/M erotic romance is my sixth book this year since Genetic Attraction was published Jan 4, 2011. In addition to these six, I have one book that will come out in the spring, another at the publisher awaiting their input, and a work in progress. While I wrote three of those books in 2010, it’s still been a busy year! Here are a few things I’ve learned since I started a short time ago. See if you agree.
·         Heroes can never be too beautiful. I know it’s fun to have heroines that have a real-world quality, but some heroes (mine, anyway) just have to be yummy (even if confused and angst ridden). In my books, there always seems to be at least one hero who is unearthly beautiful. Roan Black in The Scientist and the Supermodel and Genetic Attraction is a heart-stopper. Trelain Medveyev in Golden Dancer is exquisitely beautiful and a great ballet dancer as well. Other authors may write “everyman” quite wonderfully, but I like my beautiful boys. 
·         Menage is a very fun dynamic as long as all the participants have a real depth of feeling. I’ve written two m/m/f ménages and two m/m/m ménages (Golden Dancer is a M/M/M meange) as is my summer romance, Volley Balls. Same rule applies.
·         Deep point-of-view, where you are locked into the character’s thoughts, feelings and viewpoint completely, is the whole deal in creating a great story. The reader will feel cheated if the author doesn’t use DPOV, though they may not know why. DPOV is hard! It takes practice and rewrite.
·         All conflict is internal to start, but a great external villain can sure make a plot go easier. In Golden Dancer, I even have a son-of-a-Nazi! In Deceptive Attraction, it’s a manipulating financier. In Mistletowed, the owner of the company turns out to be a man you want to hiss.
·         I’m part plotter and part pantser (seat-of-the-pants writer). A plotser? I seldom write plot outlines, but I do plan out the story in my head before I write. My current WIP is a contemporary M/M fantasy. I’ve been walking around staring into space for three days. Now I’m writing!
·         Characters grab you and won’t let go til their story is told. I have three books in one series and there may be a fourth, because the characters just keep talking. The most recent is my new release, Deceptive Attraction. Volley Balls called to me and my most recent book was a sequel starring a minor character from the first book.  
·         Ideas for stories come from everywhere. I created a ballet-themed collage for a friend for Christmas last year and it inspired me to write a story with a ballet dancer hero -- Golden Dancer. My current WIP has a loose connection to a fairy tale.
·         Writing sex scenes is fun, but you have to lock into deep point of view to show the feelings or it becomes all about hands and legs and body parts, especially in a ménage!
·         Writing a M/M/M ménage in third person POV is hell on pronouns! He, he and he. LOL.
·         Because I’m a nonfiction writer in my day job, I can only write fiction at night and on the weekends if I’m passionate about the story. I’ve discovered I have a passion for passion!
·         I’m so grateful to the world of independent, digital publishing for making it possible for writers of subgenres like me to find their audience and express their creativity.
I’m so grateful to all the readers who have said they like my books and encouraged me to keep going. I love to write and would probably do it no matter what, but it sure is fun to have readers!

Mistletowed by Tara Lain; M/M, Mistletoe and MAGIC!

Available December 13 from Loose Id.


Five friends, one piece of mistletoe. Christian Elliott has the perfect life -- right girlfriend, right job, right house and car. How come he’s only really happy when he’s with his best friend, Jason? Melanie Cantrell has everything she wants. Why can’t she stop cheating on her boyfriend with her yoga teacher? Buttercup Allender adores her stable life with Winston.  But she can’t give up her secret desire for BDSM. Stir them all together at a holiday party with a beautiful rock god and a submissive stockbroker and what do you get? It could be love and it could be magic.


Buttercup looked up from the book she was reading. She flipped it over so her customer couldn’t see the title. Jeez, BDSM was not exactly New Age. She had to smile at the adorable redhead cruising into her shop, though. Da-yum, that guy was cute. Tall, with straight auburn hair that hung to his shoulders, nice dark eyes, and ears decorated with four or five gold hoops each. And he sure had an interest in New Age philosophy and spirituality. He came in a lot. “Hi, Donnie. What can I do you for?”
“Hi, B. Just browsing for a new book. Got anything to recommend?”
Hmm. Maybe she could recommend the book she was reading. She grinned. Down, girl. “You’re into music, right?” She’d heard he was a musician. Would that be a good match with a mathematician? Jase would be crazy not to like this guy.
“Yeah, I play the guitar and sing. Maybe you’d like to come and hear me sometime?”
“Oh, I’d love to. Winston’s not too musical, but I could come with a girlfriend or, uh, come alone.”
That got her a huge flash of his perfect white teeth.
She tried not to blush. She hoped her friend found this guy as gorgeous as she did. “Anyway, I was going to recommend Gurdjieff. He has a lot of cool stuff to say about octaves and the music of the spheres.” She pointed toward a lower right shelf.
“Thanks.” He squatted down, and she got a good look at his tight butt in its worn jeans. Double da-yum. “Uh, Donnie. Can I ask you a kind of personal question? No, make that very personal.”
He looked up and gave her another big smile. “Ask me anything.”
“Are you gay?” Oh hell’s bells, that came out a bit more straightforward than she’d intended. She was usually easy talking to people, but this guy had her all flustered.
For a moment he seemed suspended with his mouth open, and then he started to laugh.
“Oh hell’s bells, I’ve insulted you. I’m so sorry.”
He held up a hand and stood up. “No, no, I’m not insulted at all. But here I think I’m coming on all macho and alpha, and all the time you’re seeing right through to my soft, gooey center.”
“So you are gay?” Funny how she felt a little disappointed.
“I’m bisexual. Never could bring myself to choose.”
“Cool.” She clapped her hands together. Okay, try to be a little cooler, Buts. “So you’re into alternative lifestyles, huh?”
She said it jokingly, but he answered with a straight face. “Actually I am.”
Jeez Louise, this guy gave her chills. “Uh, how would you like to go to a Yule party on the twenty-first with an adorable mathematician? He’s one of my best friends, and even though he’s kind of shy, he is smart and nice and, in my opinion, a real catch.”
He cocked his head, still grinning. “I don’t usually have to resort to blind dates.”
“I’ll bet. I mean, he wouldn’t either if he wasn’t so shy.”
“Are you going to be at the party?”
“Okay, I’ll come.”
She gulped. “You’ll really like Jason. I mean…uh, oh hell’s bells. I just realized I can’t make a date for you guys. You really should meet first and see if you like each other, okay?”
He kept staring at her with a slight grin. “Okay.”
“I’ll just give you Jase’s number, and then I’ll leave it all up to you and butt out, right?” She grabbed a sticky note and scribbled her friend’s number, then held it out to him.
He sauntered over and stooped a little from his six feet or so of height to present his forehead. It took her a second before she grinned and plastered the sticky note below a swatch of auburn hair. The edge hung down between his eyes. He stared at it crossed-eyed, which made her laugh. “This way I’m sure not to forget to call.”
He stared at her, standing close enough that she could feel his breath on her cheeks. Hell’s bells, his eyes were dark green. “Well, good. I sure would like it if my friend met a nice guy like you.” Even in her own ears, her voice sounded phony. Get a grip, Buts.
“How do you know I’m a nice guy?”
Well, shoot. She kind of hoped he wasn’t. That remark about alternative lifestyles had her intrigued, since she’d always had a fascination with BDSM and ménages. Maybe she could ask him some questions about her reading. Yeah, right. Around him, she was lucky to be able to talk. “You’ve been coming in here a few times a week for a month. I’d know if you were an ax murderer.”
“Or maybe it would just depend on your definition of nice. Some women think I’m very nice.”
Hell’s bells.

Thank you so much for inviting me here today. Would you like to win Mistletowed or Deceptive Attraction? Just leave a comment here with your EMAIL! Don’t forget the email so I can find you if you win. You will be entered in the drawing to be held on Dec 16. And if you go over to and comment with email and FOLLOW the blog, you will receive another entry in the drawing.  Want to talk some more? You can reach me here: