Monday, April 25, 2016

A Bookish Conversation with Tamara Lush, author of 'Tell Me a Story'

During the day, Tamara Lush writes news as a journalist with The Associated Press. At night, she writes fictional romance tales about complicated, sexy men and the women who love them.

When Tamara isn’t reporting, writing or reading, she’s doing yoga, cooking for her Italian husband or chasing her dogs on a beach on Florida's Gulf Coast. She loves connecting with people on social media.

Her latest book is the erotic romance, Tell Me a Story (Book 1 The Story Series).
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About the Book:

Title: Tell Me a Story
Author: Tamara Lush
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 102
Genre: Erotic Romance

Bookstore owner Emma Chase attends a sexy literacy fundraiser called Story Brothel in Orlando, expecting a few raunchy jokes and a chance to show off her writing. She’s intrigued when Caleb King, a successful real estate developer in a custom tailored suit, pays to listen to her read from her erotic novel.

Later, the mysterious Caleb with beautiful eyes asks her to read him a bedtime story at his penthouse condo – and she can’t say no to his demands.

But Emma’s been burnt before, and is reluctant to be the plaything of a rich man whose world is so different than hers. She also doesn’t need distractions because her business in danger of closing and everything she’s worked for is poised to crumble. Emma’s made it this far on her own, but as one-night with Caleb turns into more and develops into something deeper, can she trust him when secrets are revealed?

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Thanks for this interview, Tamara.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

I spend a lot of time in front of the computer. During the day, I’m a reporter with The Associated Press. I cover news in Florida and beyond. At night, I write contemporary romance.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?

I enjoy walking my dogs with my husband on the beach. I also do yoga. My other relaxing hobbies are cooking and adult coloring.

Do you have a day job? Or a night one?

Being a reporter is often a day and night job! I carve out time to write fiction around my journalism. I’ve been a reporter for more than 20 years.

Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

I feel I’ve been lucky. I began writing fiction in July of 2014. By February of 2015 I had four offers on my first novel, Hot Shade, and signed with my agent, Amanda Leuck of Spencerhill Associates. We went with Boroughs Publishing Group for Hot Shade, so I could work with their very talented editor, Chris Keeslar. Hot Shade was released in September of 2015. In January of 2016 Boroughs published my second novel, Into the Heat. I’m working on a third book for them now.

In February 2016, I self-published a novella called Tell Me a Story. Initially, I wrote it as part of an anthology that will be published in the spring, but when I got the gorgeous cover, I decided to also self publish it separately – and write a four-novella series about the couple.

What is it about the romance genre that appeals more than any other genre you would choose to write?

The online magazine The Rumpus in 2014 wrote an article about how writing romance is a feminist act. I agree wholeheartedly. Yes, romance novels are about love and sex and feelings, but beyond that, they’re about a woman’s journey. They’re about a woman choosing what’s best for her, usually both in love and life. Telling stories of women who seek and choose what they want – and ultimately, get what they want – is empowering for both me as the writer and, hopefully, my readers.

If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

Quirky bookstore owner reads erotica to a mysterious man at a literary event; sexytimes ensue.

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

It’s a literary twist on the alpha billionaire trope. Caleb King is wealthy and a little bossy sexually – but he’s also respectful and swoon-worthy with the heroine. He’s intrigued by Emma Price’s quirks and her writing talent, and is eager to prove that he’s well-read and well-spoken … and that he has a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf in his bedroom.

If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?

Oh, Valentine’s Day, definitely. This is a pure romantic fantasy.

Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?

I am doing a four-book novella series about Caleb and Emma. It’s called The Story Series and Episode Two will be out in July. Episode Three is slated for August, and Episode Four is for September.

A note about Tell Me a Story: it can be read as a stand-alone, as it has a (very) happy-for-now ending. I wanted to also make sure the other novellas are all released in quick succession so readers wouldn’t be left hanging.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

A lot of my ideas are sparked from news stories. Tell Me a Story came from an actual literary event in my city called Story Brothel, where people pay writers to listen to them read aloud. I loved the concept and wondered what would happen if an erotica writer met a handsome man at Story Brothel and read him a sexy story.

What’s next for you?

I’m working on a third book for Boroughs Publishing about a gamer geek hero.

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