Our Author answers some questions about herself and the book.
Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?
Writing about a rock band chose me. I was listening to “Second Chance” by Shinedown, and the idea for Play For Me, Book One in the Balefire Series, popped into my head. Once I wrote the drummer’s story, I knew I’d write the stories of the other members of the band. Because the first book was inspired by a song, I decided to listen to rock songs with the intention of finding the next book. When I heard “What Was I Thinking” by Theory of a Deadman, the idea for Sing For Me came together.
My “research” for this series was mainly listening to music and attending rock concerts, which is a hobby of mine, so the research was a blast. One of my other hobbies is playing the piano. The combination of my hobbies shows in the musicality of the book, which is something early readers have pointed out is a strength and what makes this series unique.
How easy is it to write a good sex scene? And do you have to have experienced these things do you think, to write about them successfully?
Writing sex scenes is one of the easiest parts of writing romance for me, which is probably why my readers tell me they look forward to them. I don’t think it’s at all necessary to have experienced the same sex as the characters in my books. Some of the scenes I’ve written I would never want to experience personally, but they’re exactly right for the characters. By the time my characters are ready for intimacy, I know them very well. What works for them is what goes on the page. For me, those scenes are as specific to the characters as intimacy is to real people, which is what makes those scenes strong elements of my stories.
Do you keep a timeline and character traits pinned up on your wall? On post-its? If not how do you remember important items about your characters like height, weight, colouring, likes and dislikes etc?
I’ve used post-it notes, but they tend to stick themselves in places where I can’t find them when I need them. A trick I learned from Alyssa Day during a workshop a while ago is if you’re writing a series, keep a series bible. Readers remember the traits writers give to our characters, so it’s important that we do too, which can be difficult when writing a series. Having everything in one notebook with tabs for each character makes it much easier to keep traits consistent.
Have you ever tried to imitate another author’s style? And if so, why?
Several schools of thought suggest imitating another author’s style when you’re in the process of finding your own voice. That wasn’t my path. I discovered my style in revisions. However, somewhere along the way, I read in a craft book about keeping a journal of lines you like in other people’s writing and why you like them. After I started this journal, I found that my style improved, probably more from determining why I liked the writing I wrote in it than from the other writers’ lines themselves.
Do you write at home or away from home? If at home, what does your space look like? Are you a tidy person? If away from home – where and why?
I’m so not a public writer. If I can’t have my writing space utterly silent, I can’t write. Coffee shops, libraries, cafés, parks, or any public places have too many distractions. At home, I have an office that I don’t write in very often. Usually, I carry my laptop and stack of resources to the couch in the living room if the weather is nasty or out to my patio when the weather is awesome.
Which of your books are you most proud of?
So far, the published book I’m most proud of is Druid, Book Five in my paranormal Talisman Series. My experience with writing the previous books in the series coupled with the craft books I’d read along the way and workshops that I took around the time I started the book meant that I came to it with stronger skills. Readers of the entire series tell me this one is their favorite, which reiterates my feelings about it. The book I’m most proud of writing, though, will come out in January 2022 (it’s currently with my editor). Hot For Me, Book Four in the Balefire Series, is my most socially conscious book. It tackles a topic that is important to me while still maintaining the good-time vibe of a rock star romance. I’m proud of that.
If you could choose to live in another country/town – which would you choose? And why?
I’m not a city girl, but if I had to choose a city to live in, it would be London. I love the how cosmopolitan it is while maintaining a village ambience depending on which part of the city you’re in. The way history and modernity blend seamlessly together makes this city both enduring and relevant. I’ve visited London often, but only for short times. I would love to spend half a year there at some point. Weirdly, as much as I love it, I’ve never set a book there, or even included it as part of a book. Something to consider for a future project…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tam DeRudder Jackson is the author of the paranormal romance Talisman Series and the contemporary romance Balefire Series. Her favorite “room” in her house is her back patio where she dreams up stories of romance and risk. When she’s not writing her latest paranormal or contemporary romance, you can usually find her driving around with the top down in her convertible or carving turns on the slopes of the local ski hill. The mom of two grown sons, Tam likes to travel, attend rock concerts, watch football and soccer, and visit old car shows with her husband. She lives in the mountains of northwest Wyoming where she spends most of her free time trying to read all the books. Her TBR piles are threatening to take over her office, and she’s fine with that.