Tara Curnow was blessed with an over-active imagination, but cursed with a hand that can’t keep up with it. She has been writing stories ever since she learned how to put pen to paper, scribbling down everything she can, yet still there is always more boiling away in her head.
“Of Thain Blood” is the first of her work she has ever submitted for publication. She is currently working on a full-length novel telling the story of the Thain brothers.
Tara and her husband live with their children in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. She fills her free time with acting, singing, painting, and reading fantasy novels. Oh yes, and writing.
Featured Author: Tara Curnow Interview
- How long have you been writing?
- What/who inspired you to be a writer?
- What genre do you prefer to write in?
- Describe your writing process. What comes first–character or plot? Do you “pants” it or outline?
- What is your daily/weekly routine as a writer?
- Are there any software tools, resources, or websites you often use while writing?
- What are some of your biggest challenges you feel like you have to overcome in your writing career?
- Do you have a set number of words per day you target? Or do you set other goals to meet?
- Do you prefer short stories or full-length novels in your writing?
- Can you give some us some insight into your story in Beautiful Lies, Painful Truths Vol. II?
- What advice can you give other writers?
LHP: How long have you been writing?
Tara Curnow: The first story I remember writing was about a jelly bean princess who was the daughter of the king of Jelly Bean Land. I was 8. I never stopped. Back to top >>>
Tara Curnow: My husband Nick. While I have always written – for pleasure, for release, for the sake of creation – doing it professionally had always been just a daydream. One day I was talking to Nick about some story or other I had made up, and he just looked at me and asked, “Why aren’t you published?” I had no answer, other than I had never tried. He is the one who convinced me to try. Back to top >>>
LHP: What genre do you prefer to write in?
Tara Curnow: Fantasy, almost exclusively. There’s that old adage, “Write what you know”, and fantasy is what I know. I was raised on Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. My house is covered in dragons and unicorns. There’s just something about a good fairy tale, a stimulation and satisfaction that I cannot get from realistic fiction. Back to top >>>
LHP: Describe your writing process. What comes first–character or plot? Do you “pants” it or outline?
Tara Curnow: I’m most definitely a planner. Whenever I try to “pants” it, I never end up in a place I’m happy with. Ideas will bubble up in my head – a character, a bit of dialogue, a weapon, a secret society – and I will let them percolate there for a bit before I start scribbling notes. If I find something I can create a whole story out of, I start outlining, and from there I start writing. I may not always end up where I originally planned with my outline, but if I don’t have that road map to work from I usually end up hopelessly lost. Back to top >>>
LHP: Question: What is your daily/weekly routine as a writer?
Tara Curnow: I’m sorry, I’m finding it hard not to snicker at this question. I have two young children and work a full time job. My “routine” is to squeak in as many words as I can after the rest of my life is taken care of, usually at some ungodly hour of the night. However, for the first time I am actively working toward making writing my full time job. If you are not happy with something, work to change it, right? Back to top >>>
LHP: Are there any software tools, resources, or websites you use often while writing?
Tara Curnow: I type on Open Office, and always have an extra tab with thesaurus.com open on it. My notes and outlines I do the old fashioned way with pen and paper. Back to top >>>
LHP: Question: What are some of your biggest challenges you feel like you have to overcome in your writing career?
Tara Curnow: Consistently finding the physical and mental energy to write after taking care of my job, my house and my children. Some days I’ve got plenty of juice left. Some days I have to dig deep. Some days there is just nothing left in me to give and that’s okay. Everyone has limits and if you push yourself past them too often you are going to run into trouble. Back to top >>>
LHP: Do you have a set number of words per day you target? or do you set other goals to meet?
Tara Curnow: No. If I do that, then writing becomes a chore, just one more thing on my To Do list, and I lose all motivation to do it. The only targets I hold myself to are deadline dates, because those you can’t really get out of. Even then I tend to leave things until the last minute, but I’m one of those people who can work well under the pressure of a time crunch. I may sacrifice some sleep along the way, but I always meet my deadlines. Back to top >>>
LHP: Question: Do you prefer short stories or full length novels in your writing?
Tara Curnow: Honestly, I have no preference. How I write is entirely dependent on the story I am trying to tell at the time. If it works better as a novel, a short, or even a poem, that is how I write it. Back to top >>>
LHP: Can you give some us some insight into your story in Beautiful Lies, Painful Truths Vol. II?
Tara Curnow: I had a snippet of dialogue pop into my head one evening; an argument between two brothers while they stood in their late mother’s rose garden. I scribbled down their exchange, then barely gave it another thought until I came across the submission call for “Beautiful Lies, Painful Truths.” I realized this argument I had thought up fit perfectly into that theme. Thus the Thain brothers were born.
“Of Thain Blood” depicts the fall-out after a long-held family secret is abruptly revealed. The conflict arises from the shattering of this beautiful lie, but the relationship between Lorres and his younger brother Tarrek is what gives the scene its true flavour. Family is very important to me in my life, and it is endlessly fascinating to me in fiction. The constantly shifting emotions between family members, and the ties that can run surprisingly deep, make for some excellent story-telling. Many of my favourite stories center around a sibling or parent/child relationship.
However, “Of Thain Blood” is only the beginning of Lorres and Tarrek’s story. The full novel I am currently spinning will follow them down their conflicting paths as they seek to discover whether it is origins or intentions that truly define a man’s destiny. Back to top >>>
LHP: What advice can you give other writers?
Tara Curnow: Never stop trying. Never stop creating. Too many people have this brilliant spark inside of them that gets smothered under feelings of fear or inadequacy or despair. Don’t let your spark be smothered. Let it shine! Let it blaze! Tell your story. Even if no one ever reads it. Back to top >>>
Beautiful Lies, Painful Truths Vol. II
Tara Curnow recently authored “Of Thain Blood” for Beautiful Lies, Painful Truths Vol. II, going on sale now in late January 2018.