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Friday, May 23, 2014

Interview of Author Tamara Hughes

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Tamara Hughes.

Latest Book: Once Upon a Masquerade
Buy Links:

A small town girl with a big imagination, Tamara Hughes had no idea what to do with her life. After graduating from college, she moved to a big city, started a family and a job, and still struggled to find that creative outlet she craved. An avid reader of romance, she gave writing a try and became hooked on the power of exploring characters, envisioning adventures, and creating worlds. She enjoys stories with interesting twists and heroines who have the grit to surmount any obstacle, all without losing the ability to laugh.

Q: Your novel is being made into a TV series/movie. Who’s in your dream cast?
A: I would have to say Henry Cavill and Michelle Trachtenberg.

Q: What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
A: At this point in time, I don’t worry about word count per day. In the future, I may have to. Right now, I write every weekday, from fairly early morning until lunch, and then into the afternoon until I run out of steam. I do mark down when I start writing and when I finish, and the word counts at each time. (Just to see how productive I am, and if I’m really writing as much as I think I am.)

Q: Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?
A: Spencer Henley from Once Upon a Masquerade is my favorite so far. He’s someone who loves high society life – the gossip, the drama, and the games. All of it amuses him. He’s also a guy willing to laugh at himself, and likes to annoy his best friend, Christopher, whenever he can.

Q: If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
A: Once Upon a Masquerade was originally much longer. It explored the friction between the upper class and working class. It also developed more secondary characters, and their relationships to the main characters. To fit into the Entangled Scandalous line, it had to be cut, and while I still love the book, I miss the expanded version too.

Q: Do you eat comfort food/listen to music when writing?
A: Oh, you know writers so well. I drink coffee when I write. There’s something about a warm drink that gets the juices flowing. I don’t usually listen to music when writing historicals, but it does come into play when I write my paranormal romances.

Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: I cheat. I have a baby names book I like to look at. I also search the Internet (particularly when writing historical novels that require names found during a specific time period). To avoid confusion, I try not to use the same first letter for multiple characters in the same book. Or names that rhyme or are similar in some way.

Q: Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
A: Join a writers group and/or a critique group. It’s important to have writer friends to bounce ideas off of, to critique each other’s work, and to commiserate when rejections come in.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing that you haven’t yet tried?
A: I’m published in historical romance, and I also write paranormal romance, but I’d love to try young adult. I read a lot of young adult romance, and I have two teens, so I feel like I get the genre. My only stumbling block is that usually a young adult series has the same protagonists in every book, and I’m most interested in new love. So each of my books in a series has a new couple falling in love. Not sure if this would jive.

Q: Any part of a book that drives you crazy as you write: beginning, middle, or end?
A: Love scenes. There’s just so much to them. Between the action, the dialogue, and the emotion, the conflict still needs to be present in some way. These scenes usually take me a while to get them the way I want them.

Q: How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?
A: I have computer files with story ideas in them. The problem is that I’m not as organized as I should be, so these files are all over the place. But at least I have them. I really need to write down the idea as it comes to me or it will nag me to death as I try to keep working on my current work-in-progress. When it’s time to start thinking about the next story, I may look at the ideas again, or better, I choose the idea that’s still simmering the hottest in the back of my brain.

Fun Stuff:
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: Christmas because it’s the one time of year that all of our families get together. Not that we don’t get together other times of the year, but at Christmas it’s always a given.

Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: I am directionally challenged. Really directionally challenged. I get lost all the time.

I met my husband when I was five years old. My parents bought the house his parents built. Then he and his family moved two miles away to a dairy farm. Kind of weird, but true.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: An actress. I used to dream up new scenes to my favorite TV shows and put myself in them.

Q: Favorite food.
A: French fries. My weakness.

Q: Favorite happy memory.
A: Talking and laughing with my husband and our two kids at the kitchen table.

Q: Favorite drink.
A: Dirty martini.

Q: Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: Chilly winter nights. I live in Minnesota, doncha know.

Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: Visit Great Britain.

Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
A: To heal people with a touch. I’d love that.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!
Entangled Publishing:
Amazon Author Page:

New York City, 1883
A Prince Charming meets his match...

Self-made shipping magnate, Christopher Black first spies Rebecca Bailey at a masquerade ball and is captivated by her refreshing naiveté and sparkling beauty. She’s a stark contrast to the hollow behavior of the ton and the guile of his former fiancée, but the closer he gets to her secrets, the further she pushes him away.

A Cinderella with a secret…

Rebecca is drawn to the charismatic Christopher from the first, but she cannot risk him discovering that she is really a housemaid impersonating an heiress. Her father's life depends on it.

A Happily Ever After that could never be…

When Christopher’s investigation of the murder of his best friend leads him straight to Rebecca, he fears his ingénue may be a femme fatale in disguise.  Now he must decide if he can trust the woman he's come to love, or if her secrets will be his downfall.

EXCERPT: (Their first kiss)
With a low chuckle, he steadied her, his hands resting at her waist. “You don’t drink much do you?”

“Never before,” she confessed with a small giggle.

He pulled his hands away, and she glanced down as if first realizing he’d touched her. Her face pinkened sweetly, and she raised her gaze, but only got so far as his chest.

Leaning toward him, she studied the lucky coin he wore on a chain about his neck. “What a unique charm,” she breathed, reaching out to touch the ancient metal.

He drank his fill of her delicate cheekbones and striking eyes. “I’m told it’s a rare coin from China, said to ward against evil.”

Her stare rose to his. “Are you superstitious?”

Although he’d never thought so, he wore the amulet everywhere. He shrugged, admitting, “I am a sailor.”

Miss Bailey worried her lip and studied his face. Her attention settling on his mouth, he wondered what she would do next.

He didn’t have long to wait. His lips twitched as her eyelids drooped heavily, and she tilted her head up to his, her look almost dazed. “Are you well? You appear as though you may faint.”

Raising one eyelid, she maintained her silly position, admitting through semi-pursed lips, “I’m enticing you to give me a kiss.”

A laugh rose up, but he held it back. “I see.” What an unusual but most delightful woman. His coin was lucky indeed. “I suppose I am a pirate and I’ve cornered a captivating damsel alone and intoxicated.”

Christopher glanced at the empty doorway, where a large potted plant shielded them from sight, and questioned the sanity of what he longed to do. If caught, her reputation would be sorely compromised. What’s more, she’d been Nathan’s love. Despite the year that had passed, he should honor that relationship. He should, and he would.

He stared down at her upturned face, delicate, alluring. She waited, utterly unconcerned by the open door. He liked that she was so different from the other ladies of the bon ton, different from Adele. Miss Bailey’s free spirit, so open and real, appealed to him like no other. Her pale pink lips tempted him to no end. Her scent, cloves and warm woman, wrapped around him, drawing him in, making his blood pump faster and his mind slow.

Would she taste as good as she smelled? Without thought, he cradled her face in his hands, the silky softness of her hair teasing his fingertips. He lowered his head, sampled her lips, and was lost.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Just thank you so much for having me here. I love meeting new people and talking about books.


Tamara Hughes said...

Thank you so much for having me here today! I love talking about writing and books, and it's Friday... So hey, let's get this party started!

Anonymous said...

Great interview (I use those baby naming books too). I really like the sound of this with the Cinderella spin. It's a plot twist that never gets old and usually makes for a great HEA. Your books sound fab! Adding to my TBR list!

Tamara Hughes said...

Thanks! Yeah, those name books are a godsend. I wish I was one of those people whose character names just came to them, but I usually need a little nudge.

jean hart stewart said...

I use the internet for names. Lots of great sources there. My current series has protagonists from a Swedish background so I'm using all Swedish names. Lots of good ones, incidentally


Tamara Hughes said...

Good point. I use the internet, especially when I need historical names.

Melissa Keir said...

What a beautiful cover. Sounds like a wonderful book. It's great to get to know you better Tamara!

Sandy said...

Your cover is lovely. I enjoyed your excerpt, too.

Tamara Hughes said...

Thank you Melissa and Sandy! I love the cover too - so different but beautiful.

Fran Lee said...

Ooooo...Henry Cavill....I'd certainly watch that!

Toni Kelly said...

Awesome interview. I learned about a new author and this premise sounds amazing (Cinderella was my favorite story as a kid and this only makes it so much better!)

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