Author Friends: Tarina Deaton

Are you a panster or a plotter?

I’m a plotser. A plotting, panster. I have a general outline of where the story needs to go and certain things that need to happen, but I still let inspiration take me where it needs to. It doesn’t always work out the way I think it’s going to, but I know that’s where the story needs to be. I will also write scenes completely out of sequence. I have one of those water proof note pads in my shower because I would get so many ideas for a scene or a conversation & then forget them as soon as I was dry (I would really like to see a scientific study one day as to why so many great ideas occur in the shower. Seriously, someone fund this.). How did my characters get to that point? Where do they go from there? I don’t always know where those scenes will end up in the story, but part of the fun is figuring that out.

 Do you believe in Writer’s Block? If so, how do you kick its arse?

 If Writer’s Block exists, it hasn’t hit me yet. Lack of motivation and/or time? Those exist. As a full-time working, single mom of young twins time is a commodity I have very little of and sometimes I want to turn off my brain and veg. So I let myself indulge for a day or two and then I get right back to it. People are always astounded when they find out I write in addition to everything else and ask when I find the time to write. You know those long, boring staff meetings that suck time out of your day that you’ll never get back? Perfect time to write! Everyone likely thinks you’re taking notes on something important, so it has the added benefit of making it appear as if you’re actively engaged. The trick is to look up every now and then and actually listen to what someone is saying, then go back to writing.

 What book is your comfort read on a bad day? The one you go back to reread over and over.

 For an emotional punch, it’s Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley. For pure suspense and storytelling, one book that I’ve read many, many times is one that my step-mother lent me when I was 15 – Lightening by Dean Koontz. It made me an instant fan. One of my all time favorite series is the Belgariad by David Eddings – I love it for the world building. For pure classic romance, it’s Pride and Prejudice. It almost broke my heart when my niece said she’d never read it. So I sent her a copy and there will be a test.

 Describe your perfect writing space:

I’m one of those people that has to have some kind of noise in the background so I look for spaces that provide that — a busy coffee shop, a boring staff meeting, the Pandora app… In a crunch I’ll put on a movie I’ve seen a thousand times just to have some white noise.

When I wrote my first book, I was an instructor and when classes were going on, I had to be IN the classroom whether I was on the podium or not. So when I wasn’t in front of the class I was writing in my note book in the back of the room. I probably wrote 75% of the book while at work (I couldn’t do actual work because the keyboards clicked too loud and students complained they were distracting).

 Do you write your title first or story first?

 This question stumped a little and I had to think about it. I have come up with titles first and then think, “What would that book be about?” Then I try to figure out that story. A lot of times though, I imagine a scene or a conversation between two characters and wonder what got them to that point. Most of my notes for future books are simply that — a scene with little to no context and I’ll have to work forward and backward to get to that point. It may stay the same, it may not, but so far they’ve all ended up in the books.



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