Author Spotlight – Tara Mills

1) What is your writing schedule like?
I'm seasonally employed so I do almost all of my creative writing during the winter months.

2) Is there a certain time of the day that you tend to be more creative?
I'm best in the morning, and unfortunately, in the middle of the night. That's when words and ideas seem to flow easiest for me.

3) Where is your favorite place to write?
My writing space is in our master bedroom upstairs right by the big dormer windows facing west.

4) What type of environment do you prefer when you write? (ie complete silence, background music, etc)
I need absolute silence, preferably an empty house. I don't know why. If I could get rid of the dog when I need to work, I'd happily do that too. He seems to think I'm home simply to let him in and out all day long.

5) Are you plotter or a panser?
I've always said I'm a pantser but that's not entirely accurate. I've generally got a loose skeleton of a story in my mind, but my scenes come as they will, fleshing out the structure and characters as I go. There are some scenes I know in great detail, most simply develop organically.

6) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
The biggest revelation for me is that these aren't my stories. Because they come organically, for the most part, I reach a point where I'm discovering the story as it unfolds, one sentence at a time. I can't tell you how often I've paused to reread something I just typed, absolutely startled, delighted, or perplexed. Where do these things come from? I wish I could answer that.

7) What is the most difficult or challenging thing for you as a writer?
I'm struggling to manage the various forms of writing right now. It's not always easy to shift from editing, blogging, and general correspondence back to creative writing. It's like switching gears in your brain. Sometimes the clutch sticks if you've been focused on one more than the other too long.

8) Is there a genre you enjoy reading, but would not write?
Mysteries. I enjoy them but they take too much organizing and planning. Not my writing style.

9) Is there a genre you've never written, but you would like to try writing?
I'd like to write a paranormal. Magic has always appealed to me.

10) What advice would you give to a new writer?
My advice is always the same. Read. Read everything you can; both fiction and nonfiction. Don't simply enjoy your favorite authors—study them. Take the time to appreciate beautiful, elegant sentences, wherever you find them. Some of my favorites actually describe rather horrible scenes, but the poetry of the language shines through despite the content.

11) What are you reading at the moment?
At the moment I'm reading Emma: The Wild and Wanton Edition, Secrets of the Sky, and I'm just about to start Stardust for a book club. I rarely read one book at a time.

12) What's your favorite way to procrastinate?
Social media. That swallows a lot of time.

13) If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I've always wanted to fly.

14) Give us some links where we can find you, please.

*Leave a comment on this post to be entered into a drawing to win an eBook copy of Friends and Lovers by Tara Mills. Winner will be chosen on April 12th.*

6 Responses to Author Spotlight – Tara Mills

  • Well, can't say I've ever wanted to fly, Tara, but this is an interesting tidbit about you. And I have to admit that, like you, I also do my best writing in the morning and the middle of the night. I don't know why it happens, but I'll often wake up with a full-blown movie going on in my head, which inevitably makes its way into my writing the next day. Nice interview, btw. Definitely enjoyed it!

  • HJ says:

    Great interview. My dogs seem to think the same about me. They must be related lol

  • James Mayes says:

    Yeah, those midnight/2 a.m. writing sessions are fun, aren't they! Until you have to get up the next morning, of course. Great interview, Tara!

  • Liv Rancourt says:

    I'm scared by mysteries too, but would LOVE to try writing one. Some day…
    Nice interview, Tara!

  • Enjoyed the interview, Tarai! And obviously, you've stumbled on to a canine conspiracy to prevent all further literary pursuits!

  • Don't see my former comment, so hopefully–it disappeared into cyber space. I enjoyed the interview but (hanging head) misspelled your name. Do not know why, but I apologize, even if the other post disappeared forever!

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