Today's a very special day for me, because I'm interviewing my CP, Tara Leigh Coons. Tara and I met on eHarlequin last June when she posted looking for a CP. I pounced on her immediately and we've been talking about writing, music, life and everything else since. She's my biggest cheerleader, an amazing CP and most importantly, a really good friend. So without further adieu, please welcome Tara.
1) You write fanfiction mainly about Jon Bon Jovi and his bandmates, so I have to know: which came first? The love of writing or the love of Jon? And how did each enhance the other?
That’s a great question. I’ve loved Jovi since ’86, but didn’t actually do the whole Jovi FF thing until 2002ish. Back then the FF was nothing serious, just a way to entertain one of my best friends. I’d been doing that since I was 14 actually. (Ahhh, freshman year in HS. LOL)
We’d get bored with TV in the summer—not to mention she hated all the shows I did, so we built this little world and let the main characters be famous people.
People from Def Leppard, Slaughter, *groan* Nelson, Trixter, Jovi, Hardline—if the guy had long hair, he pretty much did it for us. Most of the stories were epically horrible. LOL Like a Rock Soap Opera. If I got bored, I’d do radical things like kill everyone off so I could start over.
But then I started taking writing classes in school. FF took a back seat to art school and college. I took more writing classes and started working on more novel type things. It helped that I had a wonderful teacher in college, she was very supportive. Unfortunately the only thing we didn’t agree on, was that writing romance is just as good as regular fiction.
2) What do you feel are the pros/cons of writing fanfiction? Will you continue to write it after you get published?
Oooh look at you with the positive thoughts! WHEN I get pub’d! Such a good CP you are. LOL.
Pros and cons…Well, the obvious pro is dayum the man is hot and I get to play with him. Ahem. LOL Sorry, but Jon Bon Jovi is super delicious. That’s why I started writing about him in the first place. He’s got this charisma and then all that talent. He’s easy to play with—but at the same time, he’s very challenging. He’s a real life person and I do have to keep with certain mannerisms and timelines if I want to be true to the character and the man. That’s one thing I am a stickler for. I may romanticize him a little, but overall, I try to put myself in his shoes. Even when he’s being a bit of a bitch. Though I kinda like the cranky Jonny ;)
Con – keeping him in character falls into that too. I can play with eras (Album releases and timelines) but for the most part, he’s got certain traits I have to stick with or I might as well write a non-ff story.
Pro – Fans. I have a really great fan base. There’s a lot of ff readers out there—especially Jovi. I’ve been blessed to have them follow me and my story. The thing with FF is that you get that instant response to your work. Sometimes good and sometimes bad.
I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to turn off the fun of writing Jon and Co. I know I won’t be able to do something as epic as Home again. Not if I want a serious writing career.
3) Outside of fanfic, what genre(s) do you write? Any you'd love to try you haven't yet?
I love romance. That’s my favorite genre by far. I love the smutty delicious, erotica types when I’m in that kind of mood. Just recently I’ve been drawn to the paranormal fictions. It’s fun to put a twist on a real life character. I don’t know that I’ll ever be the type to world build like authors have to do in fantasy stories, but I do love to give my characters a gift or two to put up with in their story.
4) You're starting a paranormal series now...can you give us a little teaser about what it's about?
Ah, my Zoe Group series. Donovan St. Clare and his band of gifted agents. Donovan’s sister was kidnapped as a child and he’s been looking for her ever since. In trying to find her, he built an empire helping others. But don’t call him altruistic—the more power he has, the more connections he gathers, the closer he gets to finding out what happened to Zoe. He believes in using the conventional and the unconventional to find her. He can be ruthless in getting what he wants and finding Zoe is his obsession.
Book 1 – Strength in Numbers – Jake Owens and Sophie Grey. Sophie is one of triplets, all with special gifts. Sophie is a seer who lost her gift until a vision of Jake’s death brought her abilities back in screaming Technicolor focus. Jake is a telepath, hiding his gift from the world at the pinnacle of stardom as Never Bend’s lead singer.
Only working together can they keep Jake safe and find the first clue about Zoe’s disappearance in 15 years.
Is that teasing enough for you?
***Hmm, I suppose it's enough for now. We'll do another interview when it's time for you to tease for Book 2. ;)
5) World-building. It's kinda my nemesis, because I'm so used to thinking in boxes that I find creating my own fantastical world challenging. You, on the other hand, love plotting out your world. Any tips on how to make world-building a little less intimidating?
Well don’t put me in with Fantasy and SciFi world building. I’m low key world building. I do love creating a cast of characters and supporting cast to create a series though. Go big or go home is my motto these days when it comes to writing. Write a simple Nocturne-esque novel Tara—no, I’d like to start out with a series, thanks. Oy!
My best tip—figure out your characters and use index cards.
You don’t think you’ll forget things like hair color, eyes and who’s related to who—but you do. Trust me! Plot out the roughs of your stories at the very least. Things are always subject to change when you’re working with a series, but at least have a game plan down. And finally, don’t be afraid of your imagination. What’s paranormal romance for except pushing boundaries?
6) And for fun...man sandwich with your two loves, Jon and Matt Nathanson. Who comes out on top? Oy vey, I can only imagine your creative answer to this question...;)
You’re just mean! The man who makes me sigh, both the good and the naughty ways is always going to be Jon Bon Jovi. Case in point - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-DAwDpEx4U
The man I’d end up with is Matt Nathanson. LOL As much as I love Jon Bon Jovi, the guy that ultimately snags me is the goofy guy with pop culture references, open blog posts about how shitty writing can be sometimes and that can make fun of himself and the audience and still be beloved. http://blog.mattnathanson.com/ Become enamored, you can’t help it. He’ll amuse you, I can almost guarantee it. I’m determined to win more fans for him, he so deserves them! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDhLhH9WIGU
Isn't she delightful? As if this interview wasn't enough, everyone who posts a comment today will be entered into a drawing to win a $10 gift card to Books on Board, a fabulous ebook retailer. So get commenting! I'm sure our resident FF and paranormal goddess would love to answer any questions you may have.
Interested in learning more about Tara's fanfiction Home? Or in more about her? Just check out TaraLeigh's blog or Home's site, updated regularly. At least until she ends the story and moves on to conquering new frontiers. ;)