Interview with Tara Wentz, author of “Deception by Design”

A common misconception entwined with authors is that they are socially inept, how true is that?

I think it depends on the author. I don’t feel socially inept at all.

Do all authors have to be grammar Nazis?

No, that’s what editors are for!

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

That’s a great question and one I don’t really have an answer to…but if I had to choose something I’d probably say The Scarlet Letter. That was an awesome book.

What makes this particular genre you are involved in so special?

It’s who I am and when I first started reading lesbian fiction there was not a lot to choose from. It’s amazing to see how far it has come in such a short time.

How important is research to you when writing a book?

VERY. You don’t know who is going to read your book, but you make a mistake because you didn’t research and somebody is going to see it.

What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?

I usually start with just a pen and paper. I find it easier.

When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?

When I couldn’t find the story I wanted to read.

What inspires you to write?

The desire to write what I want to read.

How often do you write?

I try to write every day, but that usually doesn’t happen.

Do you have a set schedule for writing, or are you one of those who write only when they feel inspired?

I don’t have a schedule although I probably should. Being inspired comes at odd times so it’s best to run with it when it’s there.

How hard was it to sit down and actually start writing something?

For me? Really hard because I never know how to start. Usually I end up writing other scenes first and then the beginning comes to me.

Writers are often associated with loner tendencies;is there any truth to that?

For some, I’m sure there is… I like my alone time when I’m writing but overall I am not a loner. Very much the opposite, actually.

Do you think writers have a normal life like others?

I can’t speak for anyone else, but yes, my life is as normal as anyone else’s.

Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?

I like to start with a plot and sometimes I even write out an outline.

What would you say is the easiest aspect of writing?

Easiest aspect? Hmmm, probably when I write The End.

Have you ever experienced “Writer’s Block”? How long do they usually last?

Oh yeah!! I had it last for a few years. Not a good feeling.

Any tips you would like to share to overcome it?

I can only give the tips I was given and that is just to sit down and write…anything!

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I am a voracious reader. I love Gerri Hill. I buy her books sight unseen. I have a lot of authors I enjoy.

Over the years, what would you say has improved significantly in your writing?

I think point of view has been my biggest improvement. Oh, that and show vs. tell.

Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?

I do my best to turn in the best product as I can. Then I let the editors take over.

What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title?

I think it’s very important. You have to draw the reader in somehow. If the cover catches their eye, they will pick up the book and look at the synopsis.

Have you ever designed your own book cover?

I gave ideas, but not the whole concept.

How would you feel if no one showed up at your book signing?

Ouch…that would hurt. But you move on and forge ahead.

Do you read and reply to the reviews and comments of your readers?

I do if it requires a response. Sometimes it’s best not to engage.

Does a bad review affect your writing?

I try to take all reviews into consideration. If they have validation, it can only help me become a better writer.

Any advice you would like to give to your younger self?

Lots of things! LOL Advice on writing though. I would just tell myself to do it!

Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?

Write, write and write some more.

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