Friday, June 1, 2018

Tara Eglington Author Interview


Photo Credit: Ted Sealey

TARA EGLINGTON grew up in Byron Bay, Australia. Her hobbies when she’s not writing include watching endless cat videos on YouTube, planning pretend holidays to the Maldives, and day-dreaming about who would play Hayden Paris in a film adaptation of How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You, her first novel. She lives in Australia.

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What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing?
Do it because you love it (not to make millions (!) or become famous.

Write the stories you’re passionate about – instead of writing to what’s currently ‘hot’, or trending/making money. I think readers can always tell if the writer’s heart isn’t in something.

Know that there will be LOTS of ups and downs in your career. I’ve had lots of moments over the years (even after being published) where I’ve wanted to give up, and then lots of other moments that are way more amazing than I ever dreamed of. You need to hang in there, and keeping working HARD.

Writing isn’t all bestseller lists, publicity tours and writer’s festivals – aka the glam, fun stuff. It’s MANY, MANY hours of your life, at a computer, in your room, with the door shut. It’s working when you’re tired, discouraged, or ‘not feeling it.’ You have to be prepared to put in the time and the effort for the good stuff (aka a finished, published book). All my books are a two-year process – a year to write, and then another year of edits, and pre-pub stuff.

What were your inspirations for the character development?
Aurora herself came out of some of the diaries I kept as a teenager – when I was fifteen and sixteen I thought I knew everything about love and dating, and would try to matchmake my friends (when I’d never had a relationship myself!). Some of her embarrassing moments (like falling out of the car into a huge puddle) actually happened to me, or friends of mine.

We never had a ‘chemistry calculator’ but we did use our Statistics class to survey 30 classmates on what they found attractive in the opposite sex! ;-)

Hayden Paris was inspired by one of my high school crushes – a boy who was clever, and handsome and funny, and used to tease me all the time. We’d have battles of wit, just like Hayden and Aurora, and I’d pretend I didn’t like him AT ALL, but I secretly had the biggest crush ever, and was way too scared to ever tell him!

Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that writing was not just a hobby.
I wrote the first Aurora Skye book (‘How to Keep a Boy from Kissing You) purely for fun. I was 22 at the time, and I’d sit down every day for about four hours, and write about a girl who found herself in the most ridiculous, over-the-top situations, in the name of saving her first kiss for the right boy. After I finished the novel, I started University (College) and was very busy getting my degree. I pulled the manuscript back out again when I was 27 – wondering if I’d read over it and cringe, but I found myself pulled back into the story. I started doing some editing on it, and wound up submitting to a publisher in Australia – and eventually wound up with a two-book deal.

Since becoming a published author, I’ve had to really look at writing as a ‘job’ – I work a five day nine-to-five regular job during the week (non-writing related) as Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, and then I spend 6-7 hours on both Saturday and Sunday’s working on whatever novel I’ve been contracted to produce. I do that for about 10-12 months, until I have a finished first draft ready for my publisher. Working to deadlines definitely keeps you motivated – there’s many days when I don’t feel like writing (for whatever reason) but I make myself do it, to ensure I’m on track for submission as planned.

What was your unforgettable moment while writing KISSING GAMES
I think the thing I remember most from writing KISSING GAMES, was how much I laughed while writing it. From Aurora’s second kiss landing Hayden Paris in the hospital, to Aurora’s cringe-worthy YouTube experience, and then the antics of Aurora’s friends, I had such fun spending time in her world again, after HOW TO KEEP A BOY FROM KISSING YOU.

What part of Aurora did you enjoy writing the most? 
I actually really enjoyed writing about Aurora’s relationship with her Mum (which is very complicated). Like Aurora, my Mum left our family when I was very young, and I was raised by a single Dad. When I was a teenager, I couldn’t find any books that had missing Mum’s (or Mum’s who left, and came back, as in Aurora’s case) – only Dad’s who had left. I really wanted to write a story where the main character experienced this – and learned to process her grief and anger about what had happened.

What book would you recommend for others to read? 
I recently read ‘Words in Deep Blue’ by Cath Crowley (an Australian author). The novel is set in a bookstore – and if you love books, and reading, and bookstores, you will LOVE this story.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us? 
At the moment I’m working on my fourth book, called THE LONG DISTANCE PLAYLIST. It’s a novel told by dual protagonists – a boy called Taylor and a girl called Isolde. They live in different countries (Australia and New Zealand), but have been best friends most of their lives. The novel is set across a year, and they confide in each other about everything they’re going through – from breakups, to family trouble, friendships, big dreams and more. It’s set to be published in 2019 by Harper Collins Australia. No plans for US release as of yet – but I am hoping that will happen! J

TEN QUOTES FROM KISSING GAMES
‘For a girl who shares her name with a princess, my present circumstances were fathoms away from a fairy-tale. My kissing skills had left both parties maimed – one case worthy of the emergency room.’ (p.1)

‘Four hours ago, I’d had no idea I’d be spending half of my Thursday night in the local hospital’s emergency department, watching the on-call Physician stitching Hayden Paris’s formerly perfect lower lip.’ (p.1)

‘Blood. My kiss had actually drawn blood. And not in a sexy, Twilight way. I wanted to be sick.’ (p.10)

‘I have actually scarred Hayden with what is, for most normal people, a straightforward action. Two sets of lips meeting! Simple!’ (p.12)

‘How did my attempt at Romeo and Juliet become a scene out of Fight Club?’ (p.13)

‘Can we please assume that I haven’t majorly disfigured the boy I’m yet to complete an entire date with?’ (p.14)

‘Any illusions I might have had that Hayden’s lips had healed overnight were instantly annihilated. Lindsay had been right on about the swelling. Coupled with the purple, indigo, and black bruising surrounding the stiches, the overall effect was horrific. The room exploded in a chorus of What happened? I wanted to open my desk lid and stick my head inside (p.17)

‘I literally inflicted such a bad injury that people are hypothesizing it was the work of a professional thug!’ I whispered to Cassie. ‘I am never pressing my lips against a boy’s again!’ (p.17)

‘I can’t believe the entire school is calling me Lethal Lips!’ (p.19)

‘How come you guys never told me how insanely complicated kissing is? Everyone makes it seem like it’s the most natural, easy thing in the world, and then I find out that a French kiss involves thirty-four facial muscles and one hundred and twelve postural muscles.’



The course of true love never did run smooth. For a girl who shares her name with a princess (a.k.a Aurora from Sleeping Beauty) Aurora Skye’s life seem fathoms away from a fairytale. Sure, she’s landed Hayden Paris, Potential Prince extraordinaire. And she got her wish -- one first kiss with all the knee-trembling, butterfly-inducing gloriousness she’d hoped for.
But Aurora’s learning that a kiss is just the beginning of a story.
Instead of being the truly transcendent, utterly epic follow up it should be, her second attempt at kissing has literally landed Hayden Paris in the emergency room. If that’s not mortifying enough, the whole school is now referring to her as ‘Lethal Lips’

Meanwhile it’s all systems go for her best friend Cassie - she and Potential Prince Scott are totally loved up and can’t stop kissing. Jelena (Jefferson High’s answer to Helen of Troy) has moved on from the heinous betrayal by Bad Boy Alex West and has unleashed her plan to rule the world by running for School Captain. Problem is Alex is running too and Jelena’s pulling out all the stops to prevent him from stealing her rightful place as ruler of Jefferson High - including offering Aurora’s Find a Prince/Princess Program as one of her campaign initiatives.
How is Aurora going to prove her program is foolproof and help Jelena win the election when her matchmaking manoeuvres seem to be throwing all the wrong people together - including the NAD and the hippy-dippy Ms Deforest -- and she can’t even convince Hayden to kiss her?

Praise for KISSING GAMES

"Adorably sweet and full of hilarious pratfalls, this rom-com is the rare one that delivers equally on both the rom and the com!" Jen Malone, author of Wanderlost

"This light, dreamy, and easy read is filled with strong character development as the teens find their way in everyday lives.They are portrayed as strong, independent, and confident...the plot has many twists and is bound to keep readers turning pages. This fun romantic comedy is great for those who enjoy the works of Meg Cabot and Kasie West." 
School Library Journal

"A fluffy contemporary romance that captures all the highs and lows of high-school love." ― Booklist

"Complex, Gilmore Girls-inspired dialogue fuels Aurora's quirky misadventures...A fun, fluffy romp that tackles with fervor teens' obsession with love." 
Kirkus

You can purchase Kissing Games (Aurora Skye #2) at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you TARA EGLINGTON AND ST. MARTIN'S for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Kissing Games (Aurora Skye #2) by Tara Eglington.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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6 comments:

  1. I had a fairy tale wedding like a princess.

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  2. I love that Tara gets her inspiration from her diaries from when she was younger!

    I haven't read the first one yet so I won't be entering but good luck to everyone who enters and thank you for hosting the giveaway so we all have a chance to read this book. :)

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  3. The sweetest dream I remember was going shopping for dresses.

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  4. "Most sweetest dream you have ever had?" I just dreamed about having a walk-on role in an English soap opera!

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  5. My favorite dream has chocolate in it. If in a month, I haven't had Mitchell's hand-dipped Milk Chocolate Covered Marshmallow and Walnuts, I dream about going there and getting a piece or two.

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  6. About a year after my mother’s death, I had a dream about her. She sat on the side of the bed I was laying down. Just seeing her again nonetheless speaking to her meant/ means the world to me!

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