Monday, February 28, 2011

Interview With Author, Taryn Kincaid

Today, I'm talking to my friend and fellow author, Taryn Kincaid whose latest book, Healing Hearts, will release today at Carina Press. Taryn started writing as soon as she could and never stopped. At times she’s been lucky enough to get paid for it. As an award-winning reporter and columnist, she covered everything from fires and homicides, to corrupt politicians and hero dogs. And also the fun-and-fluff stuff. Not usually a bit like TV. Nowadays, she haunts courthouses. That’s not usually a bit like TV, either. Taryn reads and writes all genres. She’s a member of Hudson Valley RWA and RWA’s Beau Monde, and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapters. She’s the author of Healing Hearts, a Regency novella, and Sleepy Hollow Dreams, an erotic paranormal. If you pin her down, she’ll admit to being addicted to the blogosphere. And Twitter. You can check out her blog here. Without further ado, let’s find out the good stuff about her.

Me: Since you and I have only been friends for about a year, can you tell everyone how our friendship came about? (I love this story!!)

Taryn: Oh, sure, shame me, right off the bat! (Sigh.)

You noted above that I’m a member of the Hudson Valley Chapter of RWA. I’m also the president. And, at the time this awful saga occurred, I was a new prez, at that. So I get an e-mail from one of my members, to the effect of, “Hey, did you ever hear of this blog, Mysteries & Margaritas? They are holding a contest called ‘Hook, Line & Sinker’! How dare they!?! Do something!”

Now, it’s not like HVRWA has copyrighted the name or anything (you can’t), but our chapter has been running a contest with the same name for 25 years. We’re a teensy chapter and the contest – and dues – are our only way of making money. So without thinking things entirely through, I dashed off a snarky comment on the blog post announcing the Mysteries & Margaritas contest. About the only thing the contests had in common was the name: ours is for the first three pages of a ms. And M&M’s was the first sentence of the first chapter, last sentence of the first chapter, and a three-line blurb.

Liz graciously agreed to judge our contest for us if we didn’t get bent out of shape. (My words, not hers!) She also challenged me to enter the M&M contest. Which I did. With, believe it or not, a romantic suspense I am still working on. Of course, two other books, my erotic paranormal, SLEEPY HOLLOW DREAMS, and my current release, HEALING HEARTS, went to contract and then publication between then and now. But I’m looking forward to getting back to COLE IN HER STOCKING. Because I love those guys! (Some of you regulars may remember…I became a frequent poster here under my other name. Then real life sort of took over, as it is wont to do, and I couldn’t visit as much as I’d have liked.)

And, Liz, thank you so much for your generosity in judging our contest. We just announced the winners. Much appreciated.

(And for giving me some much-needed tips on the art of short blurb-writing!) Are you thinking of doing another contest this year?

Me: First of all, Taryn is being modest. She came in second in the blog contest. I also wanted to say, I loved judging the Hudson Valley RWA contest. It really made me aware of how you really have to hook a reader in the first few pages. The caliber of the entries was so good, I gave several perfect scores. And lastly, we are thinking about a new contest but right now, all three of us are really busy with deadlines. Thought we'd call it "Hookers"!!

Now on to the question. You write in several different genres. Do you have a favorite?

Taryn: I love reading just about everything. But my brain does not work in a fashion that would ever allow me to write a mystery, cook up a plot, introduce red herrings and tie everything up in a body bag. So I envy you that! And I’m looking forward to your Berkley series in the fall.

I think I would have to say I like writing romantic paranormals and historical romance best. For me, and I realize this sounds backwards, there is less of a need for a suspension of disbelief. I really enjoy exploring worlds that are not my own, that are so different from my day-to-day life. There is greater leeway for your fancy to take flight. As a reader, I am far more willing to put up with things that may seem a little far-fetched if they happen in another century, another planet, or the supernatural plane!

Me: Whoa! Thanks for that shout out about my new series!!Can you tell us your story about getting “The Call”?

Taryn: It’s kind of strange, actually. I had been following the news about the brand-spanking new digital-first Harlequin imprint, Carina Press, on Twitter and the blogosphere. I had followed Angela James, the Carina Press executive editor, on Twitter for a while, and I began reading her blogs on the new Carina Press blog. I was getting more and more excited about the launch of Carina Press in June. So when I saw Angela tweet that writers who wanted to be “brave” could send novellas her way, I sucked it up and sent off HEALING HEARTS the last week of May. Two weeks later, I started a new day job, with long hours. Came home one Friday night and the answering machine was flashing. Angela James had left a message earlier in the day (around noon, I think) saying she wanted to “talk” about HEALING HEARTS, and she’d call back later that day. No second call. Loooong weekend. On pins and needles. On the one hand, she hadn’t said, “Don’t bother us anymore.” But she also hadn’t said, “We want to publish it.” I e-mailed. (But of course, editors are allowed to have weekends off just like the rest of us.) I saw her on Twitter. I tweeted. She teased. Then, that Monday, this e-mail: “I'm sorry I was unable to reach you by phone Friday, and that I drew the anticipation out over the weekend, but I am happy to say that Carina Press would like to an extend an offer to publish your book, Healing Hearts.” (Yep, I saved it.) Shortly thereafter – very shortly -- The Wild Rose Press extended an offer for SLEEPY HOLLOW DREAMS. No calls there. All e-mail. And because SLEEPY HOLLOW DREAMS has an autumnal theme, TWRP wanted to get it out before Halloween. And SHD ended up being released first.
Me: Writers are always interested in how other writers get things done. Since I know your day job as a lawyer must take up a lot of time, I’m curious how you find time to write. Pantser or plotter?

Taryn: Oh, I’m a total pantser. I wish it were otherwise. I can’t. My characters lead me around by the nose. They do want they want. I’m just the innocent bystander in the mix. I can’t write during the week. By the time I get home from work, I’m brain dead. So Saturday is pretty much it.

Me: Here’s the blurb for Healing Hearts.

As a girl, Emma Whiteside asked Adam Caldwell, Viscount Riverton, to wait for her to be of marriageable age. Now, twelve years later, Emma hates Adam as much as she once loved him, holding the former army major responsible for the death of her brother on the battlefield.
Adam already blames himself for the loss of the men under his command. But the fiery young woman Emma’s become sparks his arousal, as well as emotions Adam thought long dead. The passion between them makes him want to reclaim the man he was before the war.
Though she tries to hold on to her hatred, Emma’s longing for Adam is undeniable, especially after the two share a smoldering kiss. Still, Adam is certain no woman would want a man so damaged. Can Emma prove him wrong?

Wow! There is nothing I love more than damaged characters. Who was more difficult to write with all the swirling emotions, Emma or Adam?

: I almost always seem to have a better time writing the man. Not sure why that is. Probably because I fall I love with the hero and want to give him the entire stage! Does anyone else feel that way? And because this was a novella, I had to compact a lot of emotions into a short space. Also…Adam is based on a hero I love in full-length Regency WIP, that so far has gone nowhere because the heroine gives me fits. Aspects of Adam’s story—his wounding on the Peninsula, his reluctant heroism, his pain regarding the men lost under his command--were already in my head. Emma is quite different from other heroines I’ve written, though. Her backstory was a lot of fun for me. Taking her from emotional A to B to C was something of a roller coaster ride for both of us!

Me: Is this a standalone or will there be a sequel?

I would love to write another Regency. I think HEALING HEARTS will be a standalone, though. The secondary characters in the story don’t really have enough stature. On the other hand, Adam could probably use a brother or a sister…maybe a cousin…

Me: And finally, what’s next for Taryn Kincaid?

Taryn: I’m working on the romantic suspense, have a couple of paranormals in various stages of disrepair, may revisit Sleepy Hollow, and would love to get going on another Regency. Especially now that I’m thinking about providing Adam and Emma with extended family… So many stories, so little time!

And there you have it, folks. You can connect with Taryn on Facebook as well. You can also find her at eHarlequin Community Despite Taryn's busy day job, she'll be around today to answer questions or just to chat.


Taryn Kincaid said...

Thanks for having me in, Liz. I love Mysteries & Margaritas!

And HOOKERS! That is wild. I love it!

Kari Lee Townsend said...

Awesome interview ladies. Your book sounds fabulous, Taryn!

Donna Cummings said...

Taryn, congrats on all your success. I love that your characters lead you around like that -- mine do too, but now I feel better about it. (Pantsers rule! LOL)

And I liked what you said about the hero being easier to write. I feel the same way, but didn't know WHY. Now I do!

Taryn Kincaid said...

Thanks, Kari !

So happy to have a day off to come back and visit with you guys. The camaraderie here has always been amazing!

Looking forward to meeting some of you at RWA#11 (was soooo jealous of all the fun some of you had in Orlando last year!). So sorry I won't get to meet Liz!

Taryn Kincaid said...

Hi, Donna:

Just moseyed over to your website and read the excerpt for Lord of Midnight! Love it. Wishing you best of luck and success with your submissions.

I'd love to think pantsers rule, but I wonder if they're not just the teensiest bit gluttons for punishment!

And it IS all about the hero, right? I'll be blogging tomorrow at the Carina Press blog...and guess what my subject will be?

Julie Moffett said...

Hey, Taryn! I didn't know you were a journalist. Me, too!! (Once in another lifetime!!)

Thanks for pointing out this cool website. I just clicked to follow! Looks like a fun group!! :)

Congrats on your release day! The book has just been added to my Kindle! May you have oodles more sales!! :)

oxoxox Julie

Liz Fichera said...

Lovely interview and best of luck with the new release, Taryn!

Kathy Ivan said...

WooHoo!! Taryn, congrations on the release with Carina (fellow sister in the Carina Press fold) :-).

I'm pretty much a plotter. Writing suspense, I find it necessary to know basics of where the story is going, so I can try to throw you off the track!

I love writing about the hero, too. LIke you, I fall in love with my heros and want them to have the center stage.

Great interview, my dear Liz. (See you Saturday.)

And I love this blog, come by all the time but don't always post comments.

jenniferprobst said...

HI Taryn! Congratulations on your release - I LoVE these characters and am purchasing today!! Great interview!

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Congrats on the new release! (from another TWRP & Carina author!)

Taryn Kincaid said...

Whoa! Hi, Carina Press authors! Thanks for stopping by. I think you'll like this blog!

Julie: Yep, spent half my adult life as a newspaper reporter and columnist. And the other half of my adult life in my current profession. Writing has always been in the blood. But fiction writing is the absolutely most fun!

Thanks, LizF and Jennifer, my chapter bud and newsletter editor. (I will be getting you a prez column soon. I promise.) Anyone here who has an article to share, Jen is always looking!)

Kathy: For me, it's totally all about the hero! And I wish I could be a plotter. I'm just too...disorganized. And impulsive. And my characters tend to lead me astray.

Katrina W said...

Fab interview ladies !! and Congrads Taryn ! on your release ;)
Look forward to reading it !!
FOund you over at the Sunday Sixers today :)

JoAnne Kenrick said...

congrats on your two releases, Taryn. Here's to many more! WOOT
You must have been on pins and needles the weekend you got that call from Angela! Oh my.

Wendy Soliman said...

An interesting method of making new friends, Taryn!

Liz Lipperman said...

It's me popping in to say thanks to all the nice commenters, especially the ones who complimented the blog!!!!!!!!!

Seriously, I did want to make a point. Isn't it awesome the way writers respond to each other and are genuinely happy with their successes? It would be really easy to be jealous of you, Taryn, with two books published so quickly, but they are all out here supporting you.

Writers rock!

Again, I want to remind everyone to keep coming back as we will be posting the rules for our free contest coming soon. (Thanks for lighting the fire under ...well, you know!)Winner gets read by our fabulous agent, Christine Witthohn. Since she is closed to submissions, it's a great opportunity to get your work in front of her.

Lindsay said...

To begin with, congrats of your release day Taryn. The book sound fun and since it's an ebook that makes it double fun since I'm becoming addicted to them.
Liz-Hookers. Really. That sounds so . . .

Cassy Pickard said...

Taryn! This is great. Thanks so much for joining us on M&M. You've offered some valuable insight. Clearly your success is from your knowledge of the industry. Please, come to our play ground anytime. We'd love it.

Tiffinie Helmer said...

Great post! Taryn, your books sound very exciting. I'm headed to look them up after I comment.
I'm a panster who is learning to plot more. It's hard! Like a kid forced to stay inside on recess. I've had a few less rewrites on this story, but then I wonder what great side trips I missed.

Shirley Wells said...

A great interview, ladies, and congrats on your release, Taryn!

Taryn Kincaid said...

Thanks so much, Cassy, for welcoming me back to your your playground. You guys have always been so supportive and welcoming. (I'd pop in more often, but by the time I get home from the evil day job, seems like everyone here has finished commenting for the day!)

Waves at Lindsay! (Long time, no see.)

So thrilled so many of my Carina Press, Wild Rose Press and Six Sentence Sunday pals came by. (Okay, so I know I whined and begged and all. But still.)

BTW, Six Sentence Sunday is an amazing thing some of us do on Sundays and I invite everyone here to join. Started by Sara Brookes, it began a year ago with four participants. Yesterday, there were more than 80 and I've made some terrific friends, added some great books to my TBR lists and e-readers, introduced myself to new-to-me authors...and vice versa. Each week we excerpt six sentences from a WIP or release, published and non-published writers alike! You can read all about it here:

Tiffinie: Sounds like you are hitting on what works for you. If I could retrain myself to plot, I would. I. Just. Can't. I'm a reviser as I go. Revise, revise, move on, revise. One step forward, two steps back. Also not a good thing. But this is my method.
One of these days, though, I am going to see what happens if I work from a synopsis first!

Shoshanna Evers said...

Congrats on Healing Hearts! Great interview :)

Marcelle Dubé said...

Taryn, congratulations on Healing Hearts and happy release day!

Lindsay said...

Taryn I'm here at least several time a week, usually causing trouble. I like the sound of that blog-Six Sentence Sunday.
And to all the pansters out there-we rock.

Barbara Longley said...

Wow, Taryn! Congrats on your release, and I can't wait to read (and review) your book!

Nicole North said...

Wonderful interview!! I love damaged, flawed heroes. I can't wait to read this book.

Taryn Kincaid said...

Thanks so much, Shirley, Shoshanna, Marcelle, Barbara, Nicole! Your support is awesome.

Liz -- Let me know about "Hookers" -- I'll definitely shout out to my chapter. (Ane elsewhere!)

Lindsay -- Six Sentence Sunday rocks. Give it a try!

Lindsay said...

Just finished signing up to follow Six Sentence Sunday. Now I have to figure out how it works. You know us guys-we never read past page 2 of directions

Susanna Fraser said...

Congratulations on your release, Taryn!

As for the pantser-plotter issue, I'm mostly a pantser, but I can't just jump in right after I get a new idea and start writing. It needs to stew in the back of my mind for at least a few months, or else the story comes out shallow and obvious. So my challenge is to encourage myself to always have several ideas simmering so I'll have a new one ready to go whenever I finish a project.

Taryn Kincaid said...


It's simple. On Sunday, just post six setences (consecutive sentences LOL!) from anything you've written on your blog. Before Sunday(Wednesday-Saturday) go over to the Six Sentence Sunday site ( and type in your blog address where you'll post your snippet. That's it. Easy peasy. Other participants (and assorted blog followers) will come by your blog to comment on your excerpt. You can go to other people's blogs to do the same.
It's fun. It's addicting. (And now that there are so many writers can be a sort of a time suck if you try to hit them all!)
See you Sunday, if not before!

Taryn Kincaid said...

Great idea, Susanna. (I'm simmering away. Percolating too.)

Sometimes the plot bunnies all scream for attention at once and I don't know where to go first.

Does that happen to anyone? You want to do this, you want to do that, you spread yourself a little thin?

You can't really do that though if you're facing contract deadlines.

But sometimes those characters are screaming to be heard!

Janni Nell said...

Happy release day, Taryn.

Lindsay said...

Well Taryn Healing Hearts is now in my TBR que on my iPhone. Can't wait to get to it.

Taryn Kincaid said...

Hi, Janni!

Thanks,Lindsay! Hope you enjoy! I've added you to Twitter & FB. Are you on Goodreads?

Pleeeeeeze remind me to look for your blog post if you don't see me comment!

Lindsay said...

Yes I'm on Goodreads but always forget to post. I'll send an email.

Jenny Schwartz said...

Late, late, late, I'm late to the party. I have a range of excuses beginning with the fact I live in Australia and ending with the fact I live in Australia. What a great interview! It made me smile and brightened my morning. Friendships can start in the oddest way :) But is there a friendlier group in the world than writers?

Taryn Kincaid said...

Without a doubt, Jenny!

Liz, Cassy, Kari & Mary, I had a blast today.

Thanks so much for having me in!