TN: Welcome to Tasche Laine, my featured author this week. Why do you write, and what subjects or genre inspire you?
TL: I write because I’ve always written. It’s a part of who I am. Before blogs existed I wrote letters—that I actually mailed to people. I’ve always kept journals and diaries, and have written for a few jobs (news reporter, technical writer, education).
A genre that inspires me is realistic fiction, memoir, or biography. I like stories with truth in them, stories I can glean something from and perhaps apply to my own life.
TN: What genre do you normally write in?
TL: CLOSURE is my first book and it is a hybrid of women’s fiction and memoir. It is based on a true story about my life, but aspects have been fictionalized for literary effect, and to protect the privacy of those involved.
TN: Describe your writing style.
TL: The writing style I used for CLOSURE was past-tense, first-person. It is mostly narrative with dialogue interspersed, and has an epistolary element as well, as there are quite a few letters and emails from the characters in it
TN: What is your biggest challenge when novel writing? And do you ever get writer’s block?
TL: My biggest challenge is making time for writing. Going forward, I plan to be more structured and block out chunks of time for writing and nothing else. I don’t really get writer’s block, but when I’m having trouble with a certain scene, I get up and walk away. I come back to it after it’s rolled around in my mind for a bit. So far, this has worked well for me.
TN: How many books have you written, and what inspired you to write your first book?
TL: So far, I have written one book. I was inspired to write it because this story would not let me rest until I told it. It is deeply personal and the emotions expressed are real. I feel an obligation to tell it, to be a voice for those who feel silenced. Part of my story deals with adversity and heavy issues, such as rape and depression. I hope that readers will see this book as more than just a story about two kids who fell in love. Because life is so much more complicated than that. Yes, there is a love story here, but it is also a life story. I was inspired to see it through to publication because I feel I have been given a second chance—I almost lost my voice to a thyroid tumor, and my life to kidney cancer—I survived both, and now I’m making a difference.
I started writing my story at age 19 because of the book, A Bridge Across Forever, by Richard Bach. I became obsessed with the idea of having a soulmate—thus the seed of when my story began.
TN: Why did you decide to self-publish instead of going through an agent or publisher?
TL: I queried 28 agents. Not one of them asked to read the manuscript, and most sent back form letter rejections saying it wasn’t for their list. I never thought I’d self-publish, yet here I am.
TN: How did you come up with your cover design?
TL: The story begins with two kids, best friends, who fall in love. I wanted to capture that childlike innocence of young love without assigning identities; I didn’t want to see their faces. I searched for silhouettes of a boy and girl together and found the shot of their backs. I thought it was perfect.
TN: What software do you use for your print version and/or for eBook?
TL: I typed and formatted my manuscript in MS Word, then converted the print version to a pdf, and the eBook to ePub and mobi through Calibre. I also reformatted it especially for kindle using their software.
TN: What tips would you give to someone who is considering self-publishing their work?
TL: It’s a steep learning curve, but it can definitely be done, and there are lots of great sites and community forums with indie authors offering valuable help and insights. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions!
TN: Describe the plot for one of your books.
TL: In Closure, best friends and childhood sweethearts Trey and Tara fall in love through writing letters. Each other’s first love, they pledge to spend their lives together. But unforeseen events tear them apart, putting them on different paths. Yet, they weave in and out of each other’s lives through the years, even though they are not together. Haunted by memories and feeling incomplete—that fate isn’t finished with them yet—they see each other after twenty years. Could this be their second chance?
TN: Do you have any future projects/novel ideas in mind?
TL: Yes. I’m currently writing the sequel to CLOSURE.
TN: Thank you Tasche for sharing with my readers. Learn more about Tasche on her website: http://taschelaine.com