Tara Taffera’s making a name for herself in contemporary Christian romance. You might not know her name yet, and she’s okay with that–it’s part of her process. Today, she’s introducing herself to MY section of the publishing world and telling us a bit about her writing life.
Thank you so much for being here. Let’s start with the basics: what do you write? How did you pick your genre?
I write contemporary Christian romance. Writing in that genre was the easy choice as it’s what I love to read.
How long does it take you to: write the book? Edit it? Finalize it?
It takes me seven months on average to write, edit and publish. I do have a full-time job, so the writing and editing happens early in the morning and on the weekends.
What’s your favorite book on writing?
Right now, it’s How to Write a Swoon-Worthy Romance Novel by Victorine Lieske, which I learned about from your blog (I’m so glad I could help! LOVE that book and wish more people knew about it). I have seen others recommend it as well. What sticks with the me the most is her description of the romance levels and how those should increase throughout the novel. When I wrote my last book, I kept that in mind during the writing and editing process.
What writing book do you want to read next? Why?
I just purchased Advantage by Joe Solari and I’m excited to read that. I heard him speak recently during a virtual session hosted by the Fiction Marketing Academy. This session was so helpful and encouraging to me. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by everything you must do from writing to marketing, but he talks about the long game, and how to develop fans. It doesn’t happen overnight, but if you build your reader base, it will happen. It’s what I really needed to hear. “It’s a round-after-round-game,” was one of his quotes that stuck with me.
That sounds amazing (adds it to wish list). What’s your favorite writers conference? What do you like about it?
I have only attended the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference (FCWC) and I absolutely loved it. I can’t say enough about the connections I made, and how much I learned. It was the most amazing experience. I would love to go back, but I also look forward to traveling to others in the next few years as well. I would love to attend Blue Ridge and ACFW.
How do you combat writer’s block?
When I sit at my desk and think about what I want to write, it never comes. For some reason, if I think about it while driving or laying in bed, or in the shower, inspiration always strikes.
How do you prepare to write your books: pantser, plotter, both, something completely different? Describe your strategy.
For my first three books, I was more of a pantser. I just started a new series and am using an outline method I discovered through another speaker at the Fiction Market Academy. I’m excited to see by the end of this novel, which approach I liked most.
What advice do you have for new authors?
Find other authors and learn from them. I love meeting other authors and sharing information, asking what works for them and then figuring out what works best for me. I have several authors I network with monthly, and it has been so helpful. I also recommend joining an association or two. The information I gained from the Christian Authors Network and the American Christian Fiction Writers has been more than valuable. It’s a great way to network, ask questions, and learn about marketing opportunities.
If you’ve ever worked with a freelance editor, how did you find that editor? How would you describe the experience?
For books one and two, I didn’t hire an outside editor. When I went to the FCWC, I learned this is a necessity, and immediately decided I would hire an editor for book three. It was the best decision. I am part of Word Weavers and there is an author in my group (Sara Turnquist) whose writing I admire. I went to her website and found that she offers editing services. She made my book so much better. She found a major issue with one of my characters which required a lot of cutting and rewriting. The result was much improved over the first draft she read. I know it’s my best book thus far, and a lot of that has to do with her advice, as well as everything I learned along the way. Many people who have read all three books in my series agree as well.
Elizabeth Carlson turns heads wherever she goes but has never moved on from Tyler Williams, with whom she shared a whirlwind relationship her senior year of high school. After only a month together, Elizabeth ran away from her past and her broken family. Ten years later, Tyler comes crashing back in her life, eager for a second chance. But she can’t forgive him for the order he issued all those years ago.
Slowly, a high school romance turns into so much more, but her secrets, and his anger, threaten to ruin their happily ever after. Will God’s grace and love lead them back to each other?
Tara Taffera is an avid reader and the author of A Divine Love Series. She writes contemporary Christian romance enveloped in God’s grace and love. Book two in her series, Love Unfailing, won the silver medal in the 2022 Illumination Book Awards in the romance category. The program shines a light on Exemplary Christian Books. Love Unfailing was also a semi-finalist in the Indies Today Awards.
She lives in Virginia with her husband of 25 years, a non-reader himself who provides valuable advice on her books—all those baseball scenes! He is one of her biggest cheerleaders, along with her three daughters.