Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Interview with Romance Writer Taryn Raye

We're taking a break from The Ruby Brooch today to welcome romance author Taryn Raye. Taryn is giving away a copy of her book Castaway Hearts to a randomonly selected commenter. So leave a comment and tomorrow morning a name will be drawn out of a hat. 

Also tomorrow, we'll pick up the Kit and Cullen saga with Chapter 19 and find out what happens when Kit is challenged to a horse race.   

Now, Taryn, tell us a bit about yourself and where you live and work:

The daughter of a carpenter and a homemaker, I grew up in Central Kentucky and spent the first 26 years of my life in the same small town of Lawrenceburg. Now I live much further south, almost at the Tennessee border (you cross the state line within 10 minutes of driving south) with my husband of nearly 10 years, my 13 y/o stepson, our 9 y/o daughter and our 9 y/o female catbaby, Miscellaneous. I’m a wife, mother and writer. I enjoy my 8 hours of quiet time now while the kids are at school and hubby’s at work. My current “office” space is in the bedroom, typing on my laptop. We live in the country, so this spring I’ve been writing with the window open so I can hear the birds and feel the breeze through the window.

Describe your journey to becoming an author:

I trace my journey all the way back to when I was ten. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a writer. I would pen silly happily-ever-after short stories, illustrate/color them on regular lined notebook paper, and then staple them together as a book. I don’t remember how many I actually wrote, but my friends from the neighborhood remember them fondly. Fortunately, I destroyed any shameful evidence of it years ago. Through my teens, most of my writing consisted of poetry- really badly rhymed poetry over my first crush. {Rolls eyes} What did I know?

Most of what I wrote I scribbled in those old brightly colored and patterned Lisa Frank notebooks. Some had pastel pink or blue sheets of paper. When poetry wasn’t enough, I started writing several young adult stories, which I still have somewhere, but they’ve lay unfinished for years and when I look them over I feel “out of touch” with them to some degree. The one that I took most seriously was a story I began when I was in my early 20s. This one came from a place deep inside where hurt, anger and fear lived. I thought it would be good therapy to write out what I needed to get out of my mind and my heart. I completed approximately ¾ of it but I reached a scene I was unable to write because it called on me to face something in myself that I’d been afraid of all along. For that very reason, I tucked the story away and tried to forget that writing was my dream. It took ten years, but I finally dragged it out and I finished the scene and the manuscript. It was the first one I was able to put The End on. Since then, I’ve written more than I ever thought possibly and I now have one published novel and plans for more.

Do you gravitate toward specific genres in your writing?

I would say that, though my debut is a historical romance, I generally write contemporary romance, though I have one finished manuscript—the first novel I ever finished—that I would categorize as more women’s fiction, but something’s missing and I’m trying to figure out what it is. I have another that I think of more as a family saga- that perhaps fall more into the category of general fiction and I have plenty of ideas for contemporary, historical, possibly paranormal, women’s fiction and maybe someday young adult (which was what I started out writing as a teenager). I prefer to think I write “stories with heart”— categorizing them comes later.

Tell us about your latest published novel. Where can readers purchase your book?

Castaway Hearts is my debut novel, a historical romance, set in Virginia in the 1790s. Catherine comes from England to live with her remaining relatives- her grandparents, the Barretts as well as to be close to her aunts, uncles and cousins. She feels like an outsider, especially since she has to keep her engagement to a ship captain a secret and discovers his brother despises keeping the secret, as well.

Feeling alone, Catherine sneaks out to the beach at night and that is where Dawson, whose own past marital tragedy is a sore spot, discovers the softer side of the young woman. A friendship is born, bound by the various secrets they share, but it grows into something more. When her intended dies at sea, the secrets that once bound them to each other seem to unravel. If not for Dawson’s watchful eye and enduring love for Catherine, she might succumb to the grief and guilt she feels for betraying the man she had promised herself to, while she fell in love with his brother.

Castaway Hearts is available in eBook & print from:

Who are your favorite authors and how do they inspire your work?

My favorite authors are many and varied, but my two favorite are Tanith Lee to V.C. Andrews. I think what most inspires me about these writers is that they have a special gift for taking written word and using it like paint on a canvas. Each one creates worlds that are so realistic and vivid to me that it’s almost as if you could reach out and touch it with your hands, smell the odors in the air, feel the breeze against your face or rustling of your hair against your shoulders. Whether in Tanith Lee’s fantasy, and V.C. Andrews’ tragic reality, they reveal their talent for being masters of the words they use. Anyone can throw sentences together, but when those sentences become fibers in the fabric of the story, each intimate stroke of the artist’s brush across the canvas, something magical happens. I want to create that kind of magic, that sense of awe and excitement. It inspires me to write like that, to weave the words together in a way that will bind them beautifully for someone else’s enjoyment, as well as my own.

What is on your reading list right now?

Wow…not counting all my bookcases full of TBR print books? In print, I’m currently reading Elle Jasper’s Afterlight, the first in her Dark Ink Chronicles. On my Kindle I’m reading Mac Liam by Renee Vincent and Sapphire Ice by Hallee Bridgeman—oh, and also on Kindle I’m reading Jack Hunter: Secret of the King by Martin King, a children/young adult adventure novel to my 9 y/o daughter, who is loving it. I’m also in a hurry to get to read The Ruby Brooch, too.

Tell us about your current project:

Currently, I’m working on manuscript #11, tentatively titled Perfect Recipe for Love, which is the 3rd book in the 2nd series I’ve written. I started it for National Novel Writing Month in 2010, made the 50k word count to “win” and then put it on the back burner while I did edits on other manuscripts, submitted and contracted Castaway Hearts and just haven’t gotten it finished yet with all the changes going on in my life. Here’s the blurb-

Restaurateur and young adult mentor, Ben Pryce wasn’t looking for love when he entered Ripple on the Pond Commune to hire out help with some go-green projects for his restaurant, Ben There, Ate That. In fact, he’s the playboy of the restaurant biz, wooing with delectable concoctions and the finest wines, but the dates he has never go much further. The idea of building a rooftop garden for his business seems like a simple matter of moving with the time, being cool and saving money, until he meets Sunflower “Sunni” Fields.

Free spirited and earthy, Sunni Fields needs extra cash to start her own small restaurant at the commune where she grew up. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have taken the outside job to begin with. Hoping to help out with costs now that her aged grandfather has come to live with them, and tired of bending to everyone else’s will, Sunni wants a small taste of freedom, even if it means stepping outside the little world in which she’s spent the majority of her life. Handsome restaurant owner Ben Pryce looks like juicy forbidden fruit, wrapped in a tempting package, especially since her parents keep trying to pair her off to a young man in the commune who makes her skin crawl and who’s unwarranted possessiveness makes her want to leave the commune for good.

From such different worlds, can Ben and Sunni walk away from this attraction when their two worlds collide or have they found The Perfect Recipe for Love?

Author Bio:

A romantic at heart, my love of storytelling began in childhood with the typical fairytales and my membership at age 10 to the Just for Girls Book Club. I grew up on classics and contemporary tales, but it wasn’t long before my tastes also matured as I ventured into my mother’s stash of Harlequins and Silhouettes, too. Born and raised in a small town in Central Kentucky, I now reside in the southern part of the state with my husband, stepson, daughter and my mischief-making cat named Miscellaneous, aka Mizzy.

Castaway Hearts Blurb:

Twice orphaned, Catherine Barrett arrives in Virginia a stranger to her closest kin and secretly engaged to the one man her family would disapprove of- her seafaring grandfather’s apprentice. Add to her troubles, the rich and intriguing older brother of her secret betrothed, Dawson Randolph, a plantation owner who is as heartless as he is handsome. Heartbroken when her intended sets sail for his maiden voyage, Catherine finds it difficult to adjust to her new life, hoping to befriend the one man who is, undoubtedly, the match her grandparents wish for her. Dawson’s distaste for her secret engagement to his brother makes it clear he has no designs for marriage to anyone. Especially her.

Ten years since the tragic loss of his young wife and infant son, Dawson Randolph is convinced love and marriage is a fool’s game and resents being pardon to his brother’s hidden engagement. Damned by his instant attraction and his own growing desire, Dawson vows to befriend her against his better judgment. Determined to bring her happiness in a time of fear and uncertainty, Dawson puts aside his animosity to become her confidant, only to realize Catherine holds the key to his heart. When tragedy strikes at sea, Catherine’s guilt pushes Dawson to the fringes of her life as madness consumes her.

Can his love save her before she drowns in her own grief? Or is he doomed to love her from a distance, always in the shadow of her love for his dead brother?

Here are just a few places you can find Taryn Raye


Teresa Reasor said...

Excellent interview Taryn. And I love the blurb of your current work. I've already gotten Castaway Hearts and am reading it now. I'll be looking for the next book!!!
Teresa R.

Taryn Raye said...

Thank you Teresa! I hope you enjoy CH.

Thanks for stopping by!

mbagessler3 said...

I have YET to get the book and LOVE historical romance stories. Would love to win a free book!!! :)
What a great interview. Good Luck to you Holly in your journey in writing :) Can't wait to read it!!!

Janie Emaus said...

Did we all start of writing bad poetry! Great interview

Taryn Raye said...

Hello Becky! Glad to see you here and thanks for stopping by!

Taryn Raye said...

Janie- LOL Perhaps we all did cut our teeth on bad poetry. Oh, the angst-ridden emotion of adolescence! ;)

Glad you stopped by!

Unknown said...

The comments about writing bad poetry crack me up. I'm guilty, too!!

Taryn Raye said...

I'm just glad to know I'm not alone, Kathy! ;)

I know I wrote some stinkers in my day (but I still have them all in a big binder- last I checked, I think I have right at 200)

Holly Gilliatt said...

Like to hear that you genre hop a bit...I do, too, and I love that you describe them as stories with heart. Sometimes I think pegging the genre is overrated. Telling a good story is what matters. Can't wait to read yours!

Margaret said...

Great interview, Taryn! Your TBR pile sounds as stacked and varied as mine!

Cherie Marks said...

Great interview. I can't wait to read Castaway Hearts. Summer can't get here fast enough.

Taryn Raye said...

Hello Holly, Margaret and Cherie! Thanks so much for stopping by!

Variety is the spice of life, I dare say!

Cherie, I bet you can't wait! School is winding down. Won't be long now.

Suzanne Lilly said...

Fab interview, Taryn! I'm all for summer reading too. Five weeks and counting down. CH is on my list!