Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!
CC: What gets you in the mood to write?
TL: As a friend who is a writer loved to say, It’s not a hobby. It’s a job. You don’t get in the mood to do your job, you do it. I sit down, butt in chair, open my ever-present document and keep going – 10,000 words a week. Are some words easier than others? Definitely. But sometimes the hardest words turn out to be the best. I will say it takes energy to write love scenes – so if I’m really tired, those are challenging. But since I tend to write in order, I still do it.
CC: If you could meet one author to have dinner with, living or dead, who would it be?
TL: I love Oscar Wilde. I’ve seen or read The Importance of Being Earnest so many times, it’s ridiculous. Anyone who could write these lines, is okay with me —
Cecily: Do you suggest, Miss Fairfax, that I entrapped Ernest into an engagement? How dare you? This is no time for wearing the shallow mask of manners. When I see a spade I call it a spade.
Gwendolen: [Satirically.] I am glad to say that I have never seen a spade. It is obvious that our social spheres have been widely different.
Imagine having Oscar as a dinner companion. And wouldn’t he be in so many ways happier in our world than he was in his?
CC: Is there something unusual that has influenced your work?
TL: As you know, I write gay romance primarily. While I sometimes say I started writing LGBT romance “by accident”, I realize that I’m greatly influenced by two of my dear friends growing up. One was a close friend in high school. The other was a friend of my younger brother. Though at that time, I barely knew what gay was and that was probably also true for both these boys growing up in Pennsylvania, both of them turned out to be gay. They had very difficult lives – one entering the military way before even Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Hell, it was just “don’t”. The other married and I think had kids before he knew he was gay. I think I give my heroes their HEAs partly for these friends who had a very hard time finding that happiness.
CC: Do you write alone or with others?
TL: I tend to write alone. I’m quite self-motivating, so I don’t have a ton of trouble getting myself to do my writing. At the same time, I’m gregarious and love to talk, so having others around can even be distracting – although I focus pretty well. Interestingly, one thing that does distract me is music. Unlike authors who have sound tracks for their books, I write in quiet. People can talk around me, but music throws me off. So if people play music while writing, I’m not the best companion.
CC: Are you working on another book?
TL: Always! LOL. Because I keep a pretty tight publications schedule, I often start another book the day after I send my previous one to my beta readers. Sometimes I’ll give myself a day off. Right now, I’m working on my first murder mystery romance. It’s called Death Dancer and it’s about a ballet dancer in New York who is threatened by a string of murders involving dancers. He also falls in love with the cop who’s investigating him!
Is beauty only skin deep?
Chemist Dr. Robert “Belle” Belleterre loves flowers, green trees, his best friend Judy, and “his baby:” the new face cream he developed to help put his father’s small cosmetics company on the map. Sadly he gets no help from his alcoholic, gambling-addicted father, who loses Belle in a poker game to Magnus Strong, the CEO of Beauty, Inc., the largest American cosmetics company—a man infamous for his scarred ugliness.
Belle finds himself uprooted from his home, living in a wildly crazy apartment in New York owned by Mr. Pennymaker, and completely unprepared for his mad attraction to the charismatic Strong. Feeling like a traitor, Belle fights his passion only to see more and more of the goodness and humility hidden by Strong’s ugly face. But when Belle’s family starts manipulating his life again, the odds turn against happiness for beautiful Belle and his beloved beast.
Excerpt: Beauty, Inc. by Tara Lain – With Mr. P
“Looking for someone?”
“Yes. Judy. My friend. I thought she was coming here.”
“Oh yes. She has her apartment on the ground floor. Mr. Strong thought it would be best if she didn’t have to climb too many stairs while she’s being treated.”
Belle just stared. He felt the tears welling in his eyes but couldn’t stop them. Limb by limb, he collapsed to the floor like an old plastic bag. His own father hadn’t even paid attention, and Magnus Strong put Judy on the ground floor to keep her from having to climb stairs.
Mr. P closed the door and flopped down beside him. “So, my dear, what seems to be the trouble?”
Belle shook his head and snuffled.
“I did a really bad thing.”
“What might that have been, my dear?”
He sniffed. “I humped my boss.”
“Hmm. Humped. I’m failing to get a mental image.”
Belle sighed. “It’s probably just as well. I got overzealous and threw myself on Magnus Strong. That might have been okay, but then I—” He dropped his face in his hand. “Oh God.”
“I’m starting to get an image. Continue.”
He popped his head up. “I kissed him, okay? And then, as if that wasn’t the stupidest thing ever done since W said “mission accomplished,” I managed to get my penis in contact with his and—humped. Now do you get the picture?”
Mr. P clapped his hands. “Perfect.”
“Oh, so far from perfect.” He fell back against the large Asian throw rug. “Why did I do it? Why?”
“Excellent question. Why did you do it?”
“He turns me on.”
Belle sat up, in his best Frankenstein’s monster imitation. “He turns me on like a large neon light.”
“Because he helped your friend?”
“Way before he helped Judy. Before he helped me, in fact.”
Mr. P smiled. “So you acknowledge that he’s helped you?”
“Oh hell, Mr. P, I’m so confused. I mean, getting won in a poker game doesn’t exactly kick a relationship off on a sterling foot. Plus, that was after he seemed to be stalking me. I assumed he was trying to get me here to—you know—screw me instead of my father.”
“Ah, I see. And now you’ve thrown at him the very thing you assumed he wanted—and he refused it.”
“In a word—yes. I don’t know what to think.”
“There’s only one answer, my dear. Outside the box.”
Be sure to check back next week when we find out a little bit about Nicole Dennis.