In your own words, please describe your book…. Basically, Ring the Alarm is a love story. Not on is the love between the two main characters developing, but love with all of the characters. In the aftermath of a tragedy, Happye is pulled out of the safe shell she’s existed in. Not only does she have to face the unknown when braving to start a relationship with Drake, but she meets four women who really opens her up and have her doing things she never thought she would be brave enough to do. I think, during all of this, is when she really finds out who she is.
What is the genre? Steamy contemporary romance.
What inspired you to write this book? The character Happye came to me years ago. I started writing a book about an overweight woman who was unhappy with her weight, in love with a man who she didn’t think really saw her, so she did something about it. It wasn’t until she lost the weight that she was assaulted, sending her on a downward spiral, blaming her weight loss on all the bad things that was happening to her. For some reason, I couldn’t finish that book. I couldn’t get a handle on Happye, couldn’t figure her out, and I just couldn’t stand who Joie was in the book. Happye’s love interest was very shallow. Last year, I pulled out the old manuscript and completely redid it. I love the concept of have an assemble cast of characters, women who develop a strong bond with each other. It wasn’t until I added the other girls, the other Misfits, and Happye’s relationship to them that I began to know her and the story developed from there.
Will this book be a standalone or part of a series? The book is the first in a series, The Clique of Misfits. You meet all of the Misfits in the first book, and the rest of the series tells each character’s story as they find love while getting in all kinds of trouble in what they consider their fight for justice.
What message would you like to convey with this book? The undeniable power of love. Romantic love. Sisterly love. Love for family. Once you have those things, there’s nothing you can’t do. These women find that type of love, with their men and with each other, and that gives them the strength to go up against true monsters and come out victorious.
What books are similar to this one? If I had to choose a series that I’ve read that resembles this one it would be Kristen Ashley’s Rock Chicks series in the sense that these women get into just as much trouble as the Rock Chicks. There is a sense of humor like with R.L. Mathewson’s books. And, the Misfits respond to each other like the first three books in the Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor series.
Where can readers find your book? Ring the Alarm is available at all the main ebook retailers, such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple’s iBooks, Kobo and Smashwords. The print copy is also available at Amazon and CreateSpace.
Can you tell us some about the writer behind the book? At the heart, I am like any other book lover out there. I love meeting new characters, seeing new places and experiencing new things. That is why I am very organic with my writing. I don’t plan too much beforehand, instead I let the characters lead me through the story. That way, I am experiencing it for the first time like any other reader.
Tell us one thing about you we wouldn’t know? I am addicted to Korean dramas. Like really addicted. My taste in music is all over the board. On one playlist, a Taylor Swift song will play right after a 2Pac song, followed by Kings of Leon and then Yolanda Adams. There’s really no method to the madness when it comes to my playlists other than I like storytelling no matter in what form it comes in or what beat accompanies it.
What has been the best moment in your writing career? It was seeing that first book sold a few hours after it was published on Amazon. At that moment, I felt like a real writer. I’d wrote a book and someone bought it. I didn’t tell my family or friends that I wrote and published a book, and at that point I hadn’t done any promoting. So, it was some stranger out there that thought my book was interesting enough to spend their money on, it really touched me.
How do you come up with the titles of your book? Coming up with titles for my books are really difficult for me, I don’t know why. I like to write about complex characters going through complex things and to come up with a couple of words that covers all of that really perplexes me. So, I just think of a theme for what the story is about. Ring the Alarm comes from not only Happye’s trepidation at starting something with Drake, but it also is for the Misfits who have all these warning bells blaring in their heads about the situation surrounding them and their efforts to bring it out into the open.
How long does it take you to finish a novel? It depends on the novel. If I have a good ideal in my head about the characters and the story, then I can finish it in just a few weeks. I type really fast. Editing, however, is another story. I spend more time editing than I do actually writing the first draft.
How can readers connect with you? I blog quite frequently on my website: www.taraannwrites.com. I am also on Twitter and Facebook quite frequently. I believe in keeping my readers updated on what I’m doing and the progress of what I’m working on.
What are you working on now? Faith’s story from the Clique of Misfits is done, so I am preparing to publish that. I am also working on Mercy’s story and a standalone that I also plans to publish soon.
Do you have any other books already released? Not yet, but really soon.
Thanks for letting us interview you! No, thank you. It’s been fun.