Hello Everyone! IndieReview Behind The Scenes internet radio and IndieWritersReview is helping with the celebration of the release of the HerStory Anthology which released on March 08th 2013! So today I am presenting an interview with HerStory Editor Tara Chevrestt!
HerStory: Fiction Honoring Women’s History Month
HerStory: Fiction Honoring Women’s History Month is a collection of flash fiction and short stories from today’s top authors featuring female characters that exemplify strong strength of mind, body, and character. Some of these tales are based on real people while others are purely fictional. However, all are standing up for themselves and what they believe in.
Tara Chevrestt is a deaf woman, former aviation mechanic, writer, and an editor. She is most passionate about planes, motorcycles, dogs, and above all, reading. That led to her love of writing. Between her writing and her editing, which allows her to be home with her little canine kids, she believes she has the greatest job in the world. She is very happily married.
Her theme is Strong is Sexy. She shares a website with her naughty pen name: http://tarachevrestt.weebly.com/index.html and they have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tara-Chevrestt-Sonia-Hightower/218383211513877
Interview w/ Author Tara Chevrestt
1)I want to start off with the basics, (It’s a two part question), and so how long have you been writing? And second when did you realize this was what you wanted to do professionally?
I’ve been writing since elementary school. I remember my first book. It was fifth grade and we had a project; we had to write a story appropriate for our age group, put the text on pictures we drew ourselves, and bind it into a book. I wrote some story about a girl finding her horse in the snow. I’m sure it makes no sense, but at the time I was uber proud. LOL
Middle school was all essays and book reports and while the other kids cringed and whined, I was right in my element when given those assignments.
As a young adult, I got into poetry and songs. In 2010, I penned my first novel. It wasn’t a career choice, per say, just a “I have to write this” moment that turned into something more.
I was at a museum and found a poster board with some facts about two women on it. And being the voracious reader I am, I immediately whipped out my phone and tried to find a historical novel about the women on Amazon as I wanted to know more. There wasn’t one. So I wrote one. Just like that.
Ride for Rights was born.
2) I am sure that you have heard this question before; how do you come up with your ideas?
Oh goodness. I’ll just become rabidly fascinated with a subject and won’t be able to move past it…and I’ll let an idea fester for a few weeks until it becomes something solid and I have a story. I recently became obsessed with woman bullfighters. So brave, facing a male-dominate profession that still has some reluctance in accepting them. I sat on it for a month, stared at pictures, watched movies…and finally came up with something.
Other times I’ve simply had an idea pop in my head and I rush to write it down. Sometimes it evolves into something else.
And what is your writing schedule like?
I write when I feel like it. I will go a month of not typing a word of an MS. I am in no hurry. If I force it, it won’t be good. I’m not a “gotta get a book out there a month” person. I only write when the urge strikes and the idea screams.
When I do have an idea, I will type feverishly and usually at night. I have on a few occasions turned to my husband (We share a double desk) and told him to hush cause I was somewhere else and he was ruining my story. LOL So, I try to write when he’s not home.
3) What are your current literary works? Any sneak peeks?
Hm. Currently published: Dog Tails: Three Humorous Short Stories for Dog Lovers, Ride for Rights, Style Me Sexy, Votes for Vixens, Maiden Behind the Mask, Mating Instinct, Love Request, Hear Through My Ears, Afterburn, and HerStory of course.
Coming Soon: A Healing Love, Plotting to Win, Her Name Was Lola, Derby Dames.
I’ll give you one of my favorite lines from Love Request, a romance featuring a hearing impaired heroine.
“Yes, show her what you’re made of. Show her there’s no shame in having a handicap or disability, whatever you prefer to call it.” Gloria’s eyes landed on Ciara’s hearing aids, but there was no malice in her expression. “She needs to know that. She needs to know that her little girl can grow up to be a strong, independent, and beautiful woman no matter what obstacles are in her path.”
6) What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?
No Mas in HerStory. I actually had a writing buddy tell NOT to write it, due to all the controversy and upset over the recent school and public shootings. But I couldn’t get it out of my head. It’s a true story. It’s about a different time, a people and woman oppressed. Hey, in real life, we don’t always choose the smartest courses of action.
But I wrote it and had a few betas read it and it got the go ahead.
7)What is the story behind this great series?
As an author and a reader, I am very involved in the industry and I see endless book releases all over the Internet and the modern-day trends are ALARMING me. I see book covers featuring women hog-tied with apples in their mouths. I see women blindfolded, a man looming over them. I see women dominated and controlled. I read blurbs that tell me some simpering damsel in distress is waiting on a man to save her. (Now, I understand pulling out some fuzzy handcuffs with the husband or wife, but some of these titles are taking it way too far.)
Our ancestors fought so hard to break the bonds of control, to have a say in government, to fight alongside men, and I feel bit by bit every day, we are forgetting that.
Thus, I feel this book is needed. Women must remember the struggles we have faced. If we forget the struggle, we fail to appreciate the rights we have now. We take it for granted and with that action, we risk stepping back and losing it all. Women must have dignity and respect for themselves.
8) Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published?
Getting emails saying that my memoir was shared with a classroom, that someone learning something from it and now view the hearing impaired a bit differently. Being told it’s inspired someone. Those are my most rewarding moments.
9) What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Write what you love. If you don’t love it, it will show. Don’t write to sell. Write what’s in your heart.
10) If you could jump into a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
I would jump into….Velva Jeans Learns to Flyby Jennifer Nivenor Wings by Karl Friedrich or Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith. Each novel is about a woman flying in the WASP (Woman’s Air Service Pilots) during WWII. I’m obsessed with those stories. I’ve always wanted to be a pilot and those women were just awesome. I’d give anything to go back and time and be that, do that. WWII is a fascinating time. It’s when women were accepted into the workforce, trends changed, class divisions began to disappear, and there was unity in our country like never before.
11) If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
There is one. It’s called Hear Through My Ears. 😀
12) What is your favorite scene in the book and why do you love it?
Probably the scene in which I tell my family that no, I don’t want a fancy hearing aid in my head, that I’m happy the way I am. It’s a huge moment of realization for me. I am fine the way I am, deaf and all. It’s other people that can’t seem to accept that.
13) What are your views regarding Indie vs. Traditional publishing; and do you have any predictions regarding the continuance of the E-Pub boom?
I love Indies and I wish readers would give them more of a chance. Sadly, the errors of a few (authors not getting editing) are hurting us a whole. Now readers are too afraid to buy our books and won’t read them unless they’re free. I feel we are all shooting ourselves in the foot.
Every time we make our books free, readers expect it all the time. Every time we get in a rush to publish, we make mistakes. We are flooding the industry too fast and giving readers too many choices. We, in our enthusiasm, have shot ourselves in the foot. It’s also become way too easy for people to publish and there is no longer a lot of pride in saying, “I’m a published author.”
“Really? So is my five-year-old son. We published his book on Kindle last week.”
But there is good too. It’s allowing people to pursue their dreams without the hindrance of an agent. Book is too edgy, not traditional enough, doesn’t have a HEA? There are still options.
It’s bringing new readers into the market as well, though whether they are serious readers or freebie maniacs remains to be seen.
So I see both good and bad. I also predict a lot of pubs will crash, ebook and traditional, as I said, too many books to choose from means less sales.
14) Future projects?
At the moment, I’m having a writer’s bloc—break. LOL
16) How do you juggle your many responsibilities?
One thing at a time.
17) What do you do when you want to relax, let hair down?
I watch a movie on TCM. I love the old black-and-whites. Greta Garbo, Claudette Colbert, Humphrey, Cary, Greer Garson, Myrna Loy.
18) What’s next?
I am releasing my first paranormal this year…a shape shifter…assuming I can find a good home for it. *thinking positive* I also have a light horror releasing with Pagan Writers Press this year.
I have no strategy. I just scream on Facebook and hope someone pays attention to me. What else can we do? LOL
On a serious note, I blog nearly every day, I review books, and I talk tips and strong, sexy women. Not sure many read it, but I like to talk and it’s talk to my blog or talk to the dogs.
Platforms (What works best for you?)
While I don’t believe it works any better than anything else, as my sales haven’t risen because of it, I love my blog. I enjoy it above all other venues, which I can hardly stand. http://wwwbookbabe.blogspot.com/
Oh goodness. Don’t spam people. Don’t friend people just to sell books. Don’t post pornography on Pinterest. Don’t harass people on twitter.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I took this question to my husband and he said…I’m very lost when I’m writing. I don’t realize anything else going on around me. Food burns. The dogs go hungry. The house grows dark and I don’t even realize it. I am literally lost in my story and I bite his head off if he interrupts me. Apparently, I go mad and tell him to “leave me the *edited* alone.” LOL
Reading, old movies, motorcycles, documentaries, tattoos, working out, cooking, cross stitch.
Must have snacks while writing
I don’t eat while I write, but my favorite snacks are cheese and crackers and chips and hummus. (must be pine nut)
Research(How/where/ and how much)
Google.Wiki. Women’s history books, YouTube. Depends on what I’m writing, but I think I’ve researched for something on darn near every one of my Tara titles. Clothes, lingo, dates, events, allergies, animal mating. (not kidding! LOL)
Craziest research trip
I haven’t actually physically gone anywhere for research, but the craziest bit of research I have done and for reasons I won’t divulge is on YouTube to watch bulls mating. And I laughed so hard at a comment under the video…”Why is there so many views of this garbage?”
I wanted to reply, “Research!”
Book boyfriends? (Your books or others)
My book boyfriend would be Carlos from A Healing Love. I fell in love with that guy as I invented him. He was just what I wanted him to be. Latin, smart, successful, strong, handsome, caring, and good in bed. LOL I sort of picture him looking like Danny Pino, the actor. That book releases in May.
Thanks Tara for hanging out today!