Day 18 on Romancing September and we meet author Layla Tarar whose pen name is Tara Quan. Come and read her interview with me and don’t forget to go over to visit Stephanie for a discussion on writing romance in today’s society.
1) Where is your home town?
I was born and grew up in Bangkok, but I moved to the U.S. a while back. Home is now Arlington, Virginia.
2) How long have you been writing?
My first real foray into writing was Harry Potter fan fiction back when I was in high school. I took a long break after I started college, but picked it up again in 2010.
3) Has it always been romance?
Oh yes. I’m a romance junkie.
4) You use a pen name are you happy to tell everyone about how you chose that name?
I wish I had something exciting to tell you. Alas, all I did was invert my first and last legal names before making very slight spelling modifications (i.e. removing an R).
5) What made you choose Dubai for the setting of “More Than Strangers”?
I lived in the United Arab Emirates for two years. The country has such an eclectic mix of cultures it makes for a great character pool.
6) Your book has a mix of suspense, danger, wealth, power and intrigue, would it be fair to say that James Bond could fit right in?
He might find it a tad boring–there are no nifty gadgets or super villains. Then again, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to wear a tuxedo as well as emerge shirtless from the sea. I also believe he’s a huge fan of high speed car chases.
7) Since “Fifty Shades of Grey” catapulted erotica up the reading lists, would you say it is now a much wider accepted form of romance?
E.L. James has definitely made erotica more mainstream. Highly sexualized romances have always been popular–they just weren’t labelled as erotic romances.
8) Thinking about the sexual content of your book, my Granny is well travelled, could I recommend it to her?
If she is a fan of contemporary romances, I don’t see why not. More Than Strangers is rated as “spicy” by my publisher. It contains consensual sex between a monogamous heterosexual couple. The language is descriptive, but I didn’t use any of the “c” words (for this one). There is a bit of kink but not lifestyle BDSM. I would compare the heat level to Linda Howard’s books (though the frequency of sex to word count ratio is higher).
9) Are your other books “Tower in the Woods” and “Warlock’s Pawn” both erotic romances? Tell us a little about their story lines.
Yes, they are both erotic romances. Tower in the Woods is the Rapunzel fairy tale set after a zombie apocalypse. Mother Gothel is an evil cult leader, Prince Charming is a federal agent, and Rapunzel is a nerdy sniper. This one is rated “hot” (a notch above “spicy”).
Warlock’s Pawn is a fantasy romance set in a magical desert world. A conquering sorcerer and a fey princess fall in love while trying to survive political intrigue and assassination attempts. It’s rated as “erotic” (my publisher’s highest heat level). Pass me a fan someone!
10) Are you in the process of writing a second book in the Safe Harbor series? Will it be a sequel to “More Than Strangers”?
I’ll probably be done writing it by the time this interview goes live. Since it’s a Christmas story, it might end up coming out next year (I’m behind schedule). It’s a direct sequel and the main characters from More Than Strangers play cameo roles.
Thank you so much for being our guest today, Good Luck with the new book release. Don’t for get to step over to Stephanie’s blog http://stephanie-hurt.com/