Mason Cooley said, “Reading gives us some place to go when we have to stay where we are.”
A Center Stage Moment shines a spotlight on writers who give us great places to visit with characters we love and want to call friends.
Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Tara Benham!
I am an Occupational Therapist during the day, and spend my evening writing, and weekends doing photography. I’m not sure if it’s over creativity, or just creative ADD, but it’s all fun. I live in KY with my furbaby. I love to read. My favorite genres are YA, Science Fiction (not just YA) and Fantasy. I have a goal to have 6 more books (2 sets of trilogies) release in the next 3 years. Stay tuned!
Without further ado, here’s Tara’s interview…
I love reading the bios of authors. Many of them did not start out as writers. Sometimes people stumble upon the craft. Have you always wanted to be a writer? I have always been a reader, and I have memories of writing stories. But, I’m not sure I knew I wanted to be a writer until about 4 years ago [when] I started my first novel At Night’s End. However, I started slacking some until I attended UtopYA (now Utopia). It really lit the flame again for me. I loved finding a place that was full of people who were like me. It was like finding home. [I definitely can agree with that sentiment!]
Why did you choose to write Young Adult Science Fiction? I’m not sure if I chose the genre, or if it chose me to be honest. I write a book with a story line and then decide what it best fits under. Having said that though, I love to see young people reading and so I enjoy writing stories that all ages can read and enjoy.
What is the strangest subject or topic you’ve ever written? I have a WIP that is going to be a series that is set to release in late 2017 that is about a group of humanoids that live on the moon. [Nothing strange…I call it very interesting!]
What are you currently working on? I am currently working on completing the first book in my new series The Soul Collector series. The first book “Falling” is about angels, demons and a catastrophic earthquake in Kentucky. I have had great feedback so far and I am loving writing the characters and the story. [Now you’re in my wheelhouse. I’m planning a book about fallen angels and demons. No details. Yet.]
What motivated the plot of your book? The plot behind my first published story, At Night’s End, was originally supposed to be about zombies. When discussing the course of the plot, my best friend and I decided that making it a little more realistic and less towards the zombie trend may help with broadening the audience. The current WIP actually came from a mash-up of an inspiration that hit while I was in a panel during UtopYA this past June. Even as of today (6 Oct.) there have been small earthquakes occurring around Kentucky and my friends have suggested that I may be the cause haha.
[So, you’re an Elemental? LOL!]
What was the hardest story for you to write? Story wise they haven’t been hard, but scenes have been hard. I don’t want to give too much away as my first book has only been released for 16 days [congrats!], and my next is set for April 2016. Emotional scenes are hard, they drain me as a writer. I have to take time after and read, or listen to music to regroup myself and [my] thoughts after those kind of scenes.
What process do you use to plan your novels? I’m a total pantser. I have no say whatsoever in how my stories will evolve. I write, my characters tell me where to go. [Me too! I’d love to be more of a plotter, but the characters won’t let me.]
Who has been your favorite character to write and why? From At Night’s End I have to say Ever is my favorite. She’s kind of a bad a**. She’s smart, funny and ready to defend herself and the family she claims. In Falling, so far both Bayla and Declan are my favorites. I have some beta’s who are in love with Declan already, and I only have a rough draft of about 9 chapters.
Do any of your characters reflect facets of your personality? I think McCaid and Bayla both have aspects of me in them. I can be sarcastic and dry sometimes. Both of them possess those traits throughout the books. My friend Leah says I have ADD and that it is very apparent in my stories as well with my characters. [That sounds vaguely familiar…]
Have you ever experienced writer’s block? If so, how did you overcome it? I have gotten stuck on scenes before that I just couldn’t get past. What I usually do, is write something completely different, listen to music, or watch a movie that has some relation to what I’m trying to get past. Netflix and I are great friends.
If you were to choose another genre to write in, what would it be? I think fantasy would be another genre I could write in, but I love science fiction the most.
Which authors inspire you? There are so many so let’s see if I can narrow it down to just a few. Chanda Hahn is one. I found her a few years ago. I met her in June and may or may not have geeked out at little on her. Orson Scott Card, Dean Kuntz, Jane Austen, Kiera Cass, I could go on and on. There’s some awesome new authors too, that I’m excited to start reading when their books are released.
What novel would you read multiple times? Pride and Prejudice is my go to, as well as the full Hunger Games series.
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or deceased, who would it be and why? This is another really hard question for me to answer. There’s a lot of people. I love Abraham Lincoln, Cleopatra, and Mary Shelly. Each for a different reason obviously, but I think that each of them would be completely interesting to talk to and pick their brains.
What is your favorite quote? “She soars on her own wings.” Socrates [Would be great on a shirt!]
What is your favorite animal, real or imaginary? Real – Elephant [and] imaginary (or is it?) – Unicorn
What is your favorite color? My favorite color is black. It’s a very calming color for me.
You can catch up with Tara online…
Good luck writing your next book. Keep The WordSmithe in mind.
Thank you so much for being a part of my Center Stage Moment! Join me next week as I feature author M.H. Soars!