Have I got a treat for you. Author, Tara McTiernan is here to talk about her new contemporary fiction book, Barefoot Girls, and answer a few questions for us. She has also kindly offered up an ecopy of her book to a lucky reader. See the giveaway after the interview.
So Tara, please tell us about your book.
First of all, thank you for interviewing me on your blog, Freda! I’m excited to be able to reach out to your readers and let them know about my new women’s contemporary fiction novel, Barefoot Girls. The book is currently available in ebook only; the print version will be released this late spring/summer.
Official Product Description:When her hometown newspaper reviews Hannah O’Brien’s newly released novel, the nature of her book is called into question when the reviewer suggests it is a memoir depicting her neglectful alcoholic mother – Keeley O’Brien Cohen, the most beloved of the Barefoot Girls - a little too accurately for fiction, citing rumors rather than sources.
Deeply hurt and betrayed, Keeley cuts Hannah out of her life. Desperate, Hannah does everything she can to apologize and explain, but her pleas fall on deaf ears. Meanwhile, the rest of Hannah’s life starts to unravel, pushing her to risk her engagement to Daniel, the one man who had been able to scale the high walls around her heart. At the eleventh hour, the Barefoot Girls are able to convince Keeley to send Hannah the keys to the Barefooter house, the home and heart of their friendship. Barred from their clubhouse since she was twelve, Hannah grabs the chance to visit the little shack filled with memories and perched at the tip of Captain’s Island in the Great South Bay on Long Island, New York.
As Hannah battles to come to terms with her equally blessed and troubled childhood and understand her mother and her sister-close friends, she’s confronted with the power of forgiveness and the dangers of holding on to the past.
Who or what inspires your writing?
All kinds of things: a view, a song, a person, a dream. Often other people’s stories inspire me – whether it be written or in a movie or even in a song. I love the way great stories can affect our lives so deeply by changing the way we view the world, opening our minds, taking us to places we had only dreamed of.
When did you know you would be a writer?
When I was a little girl and wrote my first story at the age of eight. I loved telling stories verbally, too. I was fairly famous in my grade school for being a “natural writer” according to many. One teacher in particular, Mrs. Hannigan, my teacher in fourth grade, took me under her wing and made me a bit of a teacher’s pet. Not very good for my social life – teacher’s pets are rarely liked by their peers - but it was great for my writing.
How long did it take you to write your first novel?
My first novel, written when I was in my twenties, was written in a year, and then re-written to death for about two years. The original manuscript was completely destroyed by all the re-writes, but the process taught me a great deal.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Getting stuck in a story and not being certain about the direction or questioning the direction a story is going. Usually this is a sign that I’m going in the wrong direction and need to back up, redraft.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Not really – just forcing yourself to sit and do it is the key. Even when I’m nervous about it, I really just try to remember that it’s starting that’s the hardest.
Have you written any thing else?
In addition to my first trunk novel and Barefoot Girls, I’ve written many short stories, some of which have seen publication in literary magazines.
Any advice to aspiring writers?
Start by reading a lot of fiction. Then make yourself write a lot and plan on all of it being terrible for the first year or so. The first million words are usually pitiful – full of copy-cat work, cartoonish characters, ridiculous story lines, and over-description/lack of forward motion. While writing those first million words, it’s a good idea to pick up some of the better books on writing (On Writing, by Stephen King, Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell, The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes by Jack Bickham, etc.) and study them.
Who are your favorite Authors?
I have far too many to list – I could fill up a book with names of authors I adore.
What are your favorite books, or which book has impacted you the most?
Same answer, except it would be three or four books filled with names of novels and stories and their authors.
What are you currently reading?
I’ve finally bitten the bullet – I’m reading The Hunger Games. What a great story! And such fantastic tight pacing!
How do readers find out more about you?
They’re very welcome to check out my blog for more information and news about upcoming releases, sweet deals, and other good stuff!
Thanks Tara for answering our burning questions.
If you have a question for Tara that was not asked above, then here is your chance to ask it and possibly win an ebook.
a Rafflecopter giveaway