Ready to meet a fascinating author? Tari Lynn Jewett writes both romantic comedy and women’s fiction. From her experience, I bet she can weave some intriguing tales, too! Here’s a bit about her before we get to the interview.
Tari Lynn Jewett lives in Southern California with her husband of thirty years (also known as Hunky Hubby). They have three adult sons, all who live nearby. For more than fifteen years she wrote freelance for magazines and newspapers, wrote television commercials, radio spots, numerous press releases, and many, MANY PTA newsletters. As much as she loved writing those things, she always wanted to write fiction…and now she is.
When she’s not writing, you can find her at the beach, in her sewing room, or curled up with a good book. She’s also been known to play a mean game of pool.
Tari believes in happily ever afters…because she’s living hers.
Learn more about her at www.tarilynnjewett.com and connect with her on social media:
Facebook: Tari Lynn Jewett
Instagram: Tari Lynn Jewett
Twitter: Tari Lynn Jewett
Betty: How many books have you written and published?
Tari: My first book #PleaseSayYes was published in a boxed set in February, 2018, and I rereleased it as an individual book in February, 2019. The 2nd book in the series will be out in June of this year.
Betty: What genre(s) do you write in and why?
Tari: I write both romantic comedy and women’s fiction. I love both genres, women’s fiction gives me the opportunity to explore darker, edgier topics, and to try to work my way through those topics to resolution. The romcom’s are light and fun, and while they often have a message, they’re an easy escape for me, and hopefully for the reader as well!
Betty: What themes or motifs did you use in your recent release and why were they important to your story?
Tari: In the #HermosafortheHoliday series, the over-arching theme is social media, how it has changed, enhanced and challenges our daily lives.
So, you think social media has taken over your life?
Lucy Vaughn, aka @LucySchoolmarm, can’t believe her eyes when she wakes on New Year’s morning to find a message from a secret admirer on her favorite social media site, and everyone sees it!
Each day he posts a photo giving her a clue as to who he is with a message letting her know he intends to ask her out for Valentine’s and the hashtag #PleaseSayYes. Before she can decide what to do, the posts go viral, and the whole world weighs in on whether she should say yes or no.
Should she take a chance? Will social media bring them true love, or keep them from finding each other? Only chocolate, wine and advice from her girlfriends can help her now.
#ValentinesIsComing #SecretAdmirer #PleaseSayYes
Betty: Do you have a specific place that you write? Revise?
Tari: Our youngest son moved out last summer, it took me until January to finally turn his room into my ‘library’. The walls are lined with books, and it’s where I usually write, and always revise/edit. However, I do like to take my laptop out to the patio and write outside, and when I need to get away, my favorite place to go is a little place called The Great Room Café. It’s a good place to write, with outlets, excellent food, and they don’t mind if you stay all day long.
Betty: Do you have any writing rituals while you write? Did you have a special drink, or music, or time of day that you gravitated toward?
Tari: I’m a morning person, so I usually write in the morning. I do listen to music, but it depends on what I’m writing. If I’m working on my 1920’s women’s fiction I’ll put some 1920’s tunes on Pandora while I write, but if I’m writing romcom, I listen to light energetic pop music.
Betty: What helped you move from unpublished to published? A mentor or organization or something else?
Tari: I actually say I’m an ‘accidental author’. I started writing non-fiction years ago as a hobby. I walked into the local newspaper editor’s office with some samples for a parenting column (no appointment) and asked to talk to the editor…she gave me the column. I did the same thing a few years later and got a law column. I don’t know that that would work these days. Then when I was a divorced mom with a preschooler I was fired from a job, came home and the editor of The Toastmaster called and asked if I could have an article to her by Friday. I didn’t have a job so I could.
I earned more money for that article than I had at my job, so I kept writing for magazines and newspapers. I got a food column in a newspaper because of a wrong number phone call…yes, this is true.
So I wrote non-fiction for 15 years while my boys were little, and just wrote fiction for myself. I met Rebecca Forster, bestselling author of legal thrillers during those years, and later she would become a mentor, along with Caitlyn O’Leary, bestselling author of Navy Seal romances. In addition, I’ve been a member of the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers of America for 8 years, and learned so much from that amazing organization. I also have an incredible online writer group #CharmedWriters. So much support, education and cheerleading in that group, and amazingly talented authors.
Betty: What do you think is your greatest strength in your writing?
Tari: I’d like to think it’s my characters. They’re real to me, and because of that I hope they’re real to readers.
Betty: What comes first when you’re brainstorming a new story: setting, situation, characters?
Tari: Characters come first for me, and I let them tell me the setting and story.
Betty: Do you have a structured time to write or is it more fluid/flexible? Do you have to write between family obligations or do you set aside a block of time?
Tari: When my boys were small I had to write whenever I could squeeze it in, usually late at night. Now I write during the day from about 8am to 3pm.
Betty: What is one recent struggle you’ve experienced in your writing?
Tari: Learning how to navigate the waters of indie publishing!
Betty: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo? Why or why not?
Tari: I do, but it’s not my best writing time of year. From Halloween to New Year’s, I’m all about the holidays, so I don’t get much done in November.
Betty: What are you reading right now?
Tari: I just started Black Wings, by Megan Hart.
Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?
Tari: It depends on my mood. I love women’s fiction, historical, romance, classics, and lately dystopian. Really, I just love a well written book.
Betty: What are your keeper books? How often might you reread them?
Tari: Oh my gosh, like I said, I have a library now filled with books! I don’t often reread a book because I have so many in my TBR pile, but every now and then I’ll reread something really special, maybe once every year or two.
Betty: When you’re writing, do you read in the same genre as your work in progress or something else?
Tari: Sometimes I do, I don’t specifically choose to read or not read the genre I’m writing, I just read from my TBR pile, or something that I’ve heard is good.
Betty: Do you have a “day job” or do you write full time?
Tari: I’m now writing full time! Woo Hoo!
Betty: What do you wish readers knew about the publishing industry?
Tari: How fast it’s changing, and how much it’s changing, and that we’re all learning as we go. And how important they are to what happens next.
Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?
Tari: READ, read, read, join a good writer support group, take classes, learn your craft, and most importantly, put your Butt in the Chair and write.
Betty: Any hints of what you’re next writing project might be?
Tari: Aside from the next book in my romcom series, I’m working on a historical women’s fiction novel, set here in Los Angeles, here’s my ‘elevator pitch’ for Fascinator: She always did the right thing…until she didn’t. It’s the roaring twenties and former Rose Queen and oil heiress Violet Conrad appears to have it all, until she discovers that her husband, Miles isn’t who he appears to be, and is suddenly thrust into a world of lust, drugs, and rum runners. How many secrets can she keep before somebody dies?
Betty: What kind of writing would you like to experiment with? Or what’s a different genre you’ve considered writing but haven’t yet?
Tari: I’d like to experiment with dystopian. It’s terrifying, but it’s also something I’ve been drawn to lately.
What an interesting person and the theme of your latest book, social media and its effects on people, sounds both interesting and timely. Thanks for joining me today, Tari!
P.S. If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for my newsletter, which I send out most every month, including news like new covers, new releases, and upcoming appearances where I love to meet my readers along with recipes and writing progress. Thanks and happy reading!
Visit my Website for more on my books and upcoming events.