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?
Taryn: 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?
Taryn: 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.