Welcome to my weekly blog feature, Sexy Saturday! This week we have Tara Lain as our sexy guest!
Let’s jump right in!
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!
1) What was your first experience with erotica / erotic romance?
I’ve always loved reading romance and generally preferred it to be on the steamy side. I was an early fan of Sandra Brown’s category romances and was a good personal friend as well as fan of Suzanne Forster. While these ladies wrote “traditional” romance, they were always on the hawt side! I don’t remember exactly how I first read Jet Mykles Dark Elves series, but I really enjoyed those erotic fantasies. When I ran out of the elves books she had written at the time, I ordered another book from Amazon called Heavensent. I didn’t pay a lot of attention to the description of the book. Imagine my surprise when it arrived and was a MM romance! I didn’t really know such things existed prior to that, but I became an instant devotee and have been reading MM erotic romance ever since.
2) Describe your journey from reading to writing to publication.
I’ve always been a writer by profession. I work in marketing and have made my living writing magazine articles for PR, brochures, blogs, ads, videos, and other marketing materials. People always told me I should write a book, but it sounded like so much work! I couldn’t imagine writing all day, and then writing at night and on the weekend. Then I found erotic romance and discovered something so fun that it made it enjoyable to write all the time. I decided on a whim to write an older woman/ younger man romance. Since I have contact with a lot of interesting professions in my day job, I made my heroine and hero genetic researchers. But then I read my first MM romance. It only took one to make me a passionate fan. I love the lack of gender roles, the battle for dominance, the fluidity, and the “true love” of this trope. So I added another man to my book! In one swoop I was not only writing MM, I was writing ménage. I knew nothing about publishing books, but I chose the publisher of all my favorite authors at the time — Loose Id — and submitted to them. They came back and suggested changes and I went to school online to brush up my grasp of deep point of view and other fiction writing skills. I polished the book (called Genetic Attraction), they accepted it, and that is almost 3 years and 20 published books ago. It’s been a happy journey.
3) What scene or book was the biggest challenge to write?
My first romantic suspense, Golden Dancer, was a big challenge. It’s a MMM ménage which is complex by itself. Then I layered in the mystery of a stolen art object which made the plot more intricate. For a character driven writer, romantic suspense is new and different, but I must confess the book is one of my personal faves from my backlist. Also a challenge was Mistletowed, a book I just re-released last week on Amazon. Mistletowed is a really quirky idea and involves 7 main characters in a novella-length book. I conceived of a group of friends who are all in relationships that aren’t quite satisfying, but one holiday they may or may not come under the influence of some presumably magical mistletoe that allows people to find their soul mates. Unlike most books that focus on a single type of romantic pairing, this book is MM, MF, and MMF ménage! It took me a while to get my rhythm when writing this book, but once I realized whose story it was, everything else fell into place.
4) Do you have any tips or advice for aspiring writers of erotica / erotic romance?
You need to love writing erotic romance to do it well. I’ve met people who give it a try because they think it’s popular (which it is), but you have to enjoy writing love scenes all the way to their conclusion to be convincing. I also think you need to write those love scenes integrally rather than coming back later to add them as I’ve heard some people describe. Otherwise, the sex can get mechanical and readers will skip it which is the death knell in erotic romance. Sex scenes are like other scenes in that they need to advance plot and elucidate character. If they don’t do that, there’s no reason for them to be there. The reader needs to know they will miss a lot if they don’t read the sex scenes. We should know much more at the end of a sex scene than where the parts fit together! LOL
5) Tell us a bit about your latest release.
There are all kinds of releases to tell you about. Most recently, I re-released my holiday romp called Mistletowed. This is the quirky romance I described above. Here’s the blurb:
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 won’t she stop mooning over 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 or they could be Mistletowed.
This book is available for 99 cents at Amazon.
Speaking of Amazon, I also have a recent MM release which is one of the most popular books I’ve ever written. It was number one in gay romance for days and days and is still in the top 40 almost 2 months later. It’s called Love You So Hard, and it’s also available for 99 cents at Amazon.
And my next release comes out on January 8th from Dreamspinner Press. It’s called The Pack or the Panther. My first werewolf book! But, since I love cats, I had to get a feline in there too. There will be a FB Party and a Blog Tour with lots of prizes. We’re doing a Cover Reveal on December 19th.
Thanks for being my guest today, Tara! Congratulations on all your success and recent releases — and I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for your cover reveal of The Pack or the Panther!
If you’d like to connect with Tara, check out the following links:
- Website: http://www.taralain.com
- Blog: http://www.taralain.com/blog
- Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4541791.Tara_Lain
- Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/taralain/
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/taralain
- FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/taralain
And if you’d like to find some of her books online, check out these links:
- Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Tara-Lain/e/B004U1W5QC/
- B&N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Tara-Lain?keyword=Tara+Lain&store=book
- ARe http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html?searchBy=author&qString=Tara+Lain
(And for all the people who check out my blog for my book reviews — sorry about the delay, but there are some more coming! I’m trying to surpass my record last year of having read 66 books in a year — so I’m busy reading as I’m currently at 63! And it’s just my luck that I chose a couple long books to read. The book reviews will make a return very soon!)