What made you want to write?
I've been a bookworm ever since I was a child, but when I was given a Buddy L typewriter at age eleven, I became a writer as well. I converted my vanity into a desk and started writing and illustrating my own stories. I also wrote a bunch of poems. My fifth grade teacher predicted I'd be a best-selling novelist one day. I'm working on it. She inspired my dreams.
How long have you been writing fiction?
Since elementary school.
Do you write anything else?
Yes. Poetry, essays, short stories, I blog. I was blogging even before I had an official blog. I have several three-ring-binders full of articles I never submitted anywhere. I just needed to write. I also used to love wading in on controversial topics, under various pseudonyms of course. For example, I had followers on Huffington Post, but once I was published, I had to ease off and avoid writing anything incendiary. I did weigh in on politics during the last election and discovered someone at Yahoo news was following my comments because less than an hour after I wrote something on Rick Santorum they posted a story using my first line as their headline then followed up on what I'd said, in order, adding links and expanded content on the things I mentioned. It was both wild and flattering. They also referred to something else I'd written elsewhere on another occasion. What else have I written? Hmm. I wrote a play. I wrote a non-fiction book in nine days once called, Women Drivers Have the Right of Way, though that’s lost forever on an old floppy disk. I've also drawn a few editorial cartoons. I’m planning to write an autobiography one day because I've had a strange and adventurous life. The title of that will be, Don't Forget To Light The Toilet. Very amusing.
What is your preferred genre and why?
I'm such a romantic. I've adored fairy tales for the longest time and I really love the idea of a charming prince sweeping in and earning your heart. Notice I didn't say stealing? He has to deserve it. Sappy, I know. Can't help it. I discovered romance novels in my teens -- Valerie Sherwood could do no wrong. Loved those handsome buccaneers. I branched out from there, but really didn't try penning my own until I was in my late 20's. It deserved to be tucked under the bed and lost among the dust bunnies. But everything we write teaches us something and I'm still learning. I never had the benefit of formal training so I'm always hungry to learn more and improve as a writer.
What is your muse?
My muse is a shopper. I don't know what her name is, but she's tall, sleek, looks great in sunglasses, she can actually walk in high heels, and loves to disappear when I need her most. She takes off, doesn't answer my harried and desperate calls. When she pulls that kind of crap, I always picture her lounging on a beach somewhere, flirting with the handsome waiters bringing her drinks with umbrellas in them. I really should fire her. I need someone who wants the job. Someone who will goad me and harp when I spend too much time on Facebook. My muse is a seductive tart who likes to send me text messages that I can't use. I just learned what cock-blocking means. Took me long enough. See, she needs to explain these things. I didn't know I did that to her. I'm still apologizing.
What other interests do you have?
Well, I read everywhere. If I'm not writing, I've got a book nearby. I'm also a big movie buff. Love all kinds. I also like playing games. I just don't have much of a killer spirit. I actually apologize when we play Sorry if I can't avoid hitting someone. I'm useless at Monopoly. Hate it. I also like taking walks. Really. I know a lot of people like to use that as a pick-up line in their dating profiles,but for me it's true. I also enjoy going out in boats, I'm just not a great canoeist. At least that's what my husband says. He makes me pull my paddle up because I always countermand him.
What type of music do you like?
Adult alternative, some jazz, classical, singer songwriter, and rock. I'm a child of the 80's so my husband gives me a lot of ribbing for some of my old favorites. I'm crazy about harmony. I once made my husband stand outside waiting for tickets when I learned Manhattan Transfer was coming to town. That concert was awesome! I used to fantasize that he and I would do something like that. He's really talented and we sing beautifully together. I always get the melody because he's much better at harmonizing. Sometimes it gives me chills.
Have you ever had an incredible vacation you will never forget? If so, tell us about it.
My husband and I went to Kauai on our 25th wedding anniversary. A couple years later, we went again with our oldest son and his wife. We like to talk about eventually retiring there. Love the people, love the pace, love the setting. So laid back and unassuming. I can totally relate.
What are some of your favorite movies or books?
I have an enormous movie collection and I'm a member of Netflix. It would be impossible for me to narrow a question like this down. We'd have to start by country and go from there. I love so many dramatically different things, comedies, dramas, action/suspense, sci-fi, family, documentaries, and nature films. Same with books. I'm never reading one book. I've usually got a few going at the same time so I can grab whatever feeds my mood at any given moment. I'm also a research junkie so a lot of the books that appeal to me aren't on your average to-be-read-shelf.
Is there anything else you would like your audience to know about you? What makes you special?
I've lived off-grid for over sixteen years. For several of those we used to snowmobile for miles each day just to get to the nearest plowed road and our parked cars. I've had close encounters with moose, wolves, bears, birds, and a fox that likes to hunt for mice under my bird feeders. I was actively involved in building our house, putting in windows, doors, the cabinets, wiring, I installed our toilet by myself and helped with the rest of the plumbing. My husband bought me my own chainsaw for Christmas one year. I'm mechanically inclined, and I've broken every finger on my left hand, a few more than once. It makes typing a little difficult, but I manage.
What is your next book to be published with Crimson Frost Books and when do you expect it to be published?
I just signed with Crimson Frost to publish my contemporary short story, If You Want Me. I'm not sure what the release date will be yet. I'm hoping to submit more. I guess I'd better get busy writing.
Visit Tara Mills Romance or find me on Facebook.
Visit Tara Mills Romance or find me on Facebook.
Thanks very much for this wonderful interview. We are happy to welcome Tara to our house. We look forward to sharing her wonderful new book, If You Want Me.
Readers, stay tuned for so much news from Crimson Frost and Midnight Frost Books. We are so pleased with our growing family.
Celeste Brammer and Patricia Bates