Fun and Fantasy with Tara Smith

Today I welcome my friend from “across the pond” Crimson Romance
author Tara Smith. It’s so nice of you to visit today, Tara. Please tell us a
little about yourself.


Well, I think the first thing anyone
should know about me is that I’m a little loopy. I have a warped sense of
humor, and find amusement in almost any situation. This is probably why my
debut novel ended up being a little off the wall. My husband can often be found
giving me “that look” – the one that clearly says “you are deranged”. And my
kids have pretty much given up on the idea of having a sane mother!

Apparently humor influences many
areas of your life. Tell us about the funniest/craziest/most interesting thing
that has happened to you as a writer.

I think it would definitely have to
be writing If the Shoe Fits, for a couple of reasons. Before writing my
quirky fairy tale, my greatest love was writing fantasy – as in the magical
kind – and I had never attempted a romance before. The comedy aspect wasn’t
such a huge leap for me, as I’d dabbled with it before, but still, writing a
novel length rom-com was definitely a leap in the dark for me. To add to this,
I actually wrote the novel in a month, and the second crazy aspect of writing If
The Shoe Fits
was that it was originally written for the sole purpose of “winning”
the NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) challenge back in 2009. I had no
idea at the time that it would end up being my first published work!

Writing can be a solo exercise, and
it sounds like you really dug in for NaNoWriMo. Where do you get support?
Do you work with a conference partner, writer’s group or
other organization?

I initially tested the writing
waters by writing fan fiction. I was (and still am!) a huge Harry Potter fan,
and cut my teeth on writing stories about my favorite characters. I had such a
marvelous group of readers, some who wrote stories themselves, and we all
supported each other. The fan site where we posted our work eventually shut
down, but I’m still in contact with many of my readers. Several of us also
formed a private writer’s group, where we share our current projects, and we
all help with beta reading, reviews, and just general cheerleading when we need
it.

Also, I have to give a shout out to
my fellow Crimson authors. They have been fabulously supportive, and though I’m
still a “newbie”, I very much feel part of the family already.

I agree that Crimson Romance authors
are incredibly supportive. We’re a diverse group that write many genres. What
books have influenced you as a writer?

The Harry Potter, obviously, by J.K.
Rowling. I fell in love with them, and it was because of this that I started
writing. From the romance genre, I have a huge partiality for Mary Balogh’s
regency novels; she just characterizes so beautifully, and her stories are so
richly detailed. Also, I have to mention Julia Quinn, who again writes regency.
She also has wonderful characters, and she has such a witty writing voice that
the plots fairly bounce along.

Tara, how would you describe your
writing process? Do you outline? Let the muse lead you? Or something else?

I’m a pantser, definitely. Which
probably explains how I ended up writing a rom-com when my experience is usually
more fantasy orientated. I decided a couple of days prior to the NaNoWriMo
challenge that I would do it, even though I swore I wouldn’t get involved. I
panicked slightly – as I am wont to do – and pulled the idea for If The Shoe
Fits
virtually out of thin air. I figured if I loosely based the plot on
Cinderella, if would help me figure the story out, as I literally had no idea
what I was doing. The feline fairy godmother character was named ‘Muse’ as an
homage to my so-called writing muse, who doesn’t co-operate nearly as much as I
would like, but when she does, she’s awesome.

Where is your muse leading you? What
are you currently working on?

I’ve just finished working on a
novella – another love story, though this one is definitely not a
comedy. As well as writing fantasy, I also tend to write darker stuff as a
rule, and this story definitely digs a little deeper into how relationships
work. After I’d wrapped this one up, I went straight on to working on the next
book in my fairy tale series, this one loosely based on Beauty and the Beast.
I’m going to be putting my fairy godmother through her paces again, and several
characters from If The Shoe Fits will have recurring roles.

What is your research process like?
Do you enjoy it?

I don’t really have a research process;
I just read lots of books. Read, read, and READ. Anything and everything. I
always have at least three books on the go, usually in the romance and the
fantasy genres. I think anyone who wants to write needs to read as much as they
possibly can. You learn so much, and because reading is so enjoyable anyway, it
doesn’t feel like work – which is a bonus as far as I’m concerned!

Thanks for having me, Betty, and for
giving me such a lovely set of questions to answer!

It
was great to welcome you as a guest, Tara. Order your copy of If the Shoe Fits at:
Amazon.com

Contact Tara at:

13 thoughts on “Fun and Fantasy with Tara Smith

    • I love to hear how fun/crazy you are – I think we have that in common. My family knows that I love to sing, and if they say a phrase that reminds me of a song, I'll break out in that song no matter where we are. They never ask what day it is on a Tuesday because I sing the Mickey Mouse Club "Tuesday Song." My students found out and asked me every week. LOL

    • Ha!! I love that you break into song! And you know, I think most writers tend to have a little something that is quirky in their nature. We all need an outlet, especially when the muse is not co-operating. LOL!

  1. Another Harry Potthead? AND You write Fan fiction? I think I'm in love! lol – I'll definitely be checking out If The Shoe …sounds like a fun read! All the best to you both!

    • Yep, I'm a Harry Potthead, and I'm not afraid to admit it! And it's been a while, but I wrote tons of HP stuff. Still have a few things saved, but lost around 40 short stories when the fansite shut down. 🙁

    • Thank you, Samantha! I love Harry Potter, too. When we went to Universal Studios, we waited in line for 90 minutes to go on the Harry Potter ride. I didn't realize it was like riding a Quidditch broom, and I am afraid of heights. I rode the whole thing with my eyes closed, and even though he couldn't see me in the dark, my husband knew because I wasn't screaming and squeezing his hand to death LOL

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