Interview: Tamie Dearen

Author of The Best Girls romantic comedy series and the Alora young adult fantasy series.

Romantic Comedy Author Tamie DearenIt is my pleasure to introduce you to Indie Author and community member of The Writers Chat Tamie Dearen. Tamie published her first book, Her Best Match, last December and in less than a year wrote four full length novels and one novella prequel in The Best Girls series. This past February, Tamie also published the first book in the Alora series and expects to publish book 2 by the end of the year.

The latest book in The Best Girls series will be released August 29, 2014. You can preorder Best Foot Forward from now until the release date for only 99¢.

Anita Cross: Hi Tamie. Thank you for the interview. How are you today?

Tamie Dearen: Hi Anita. I’m having a great day. And I’m honored to do the interview. Thank you for asking me.

Anita Cross: My pleasure. So here’s my first question: Where did you come up with the idea for Her Best Match, the first book you wrote in The Best Girls series?

Tamie Dearen: It all began in January of 2013, during my extended mid-life crisis. I was lamenting the fact that all of the great romance stories were centered on young people. Why couldn’t an older heroine find excitement, romance, and a second chance at love? So I decided to try writing the book I wanted to read.

Anita: Did you draw from real life for any of your characters?

Tamie: Absolutely! Anne is basically an improved version of me. We both lived in Texas, went to Baylor University, got degrees in Chemistry, married young, had two daughters, like to sing, like to run, hate drinking water, and fear public speaking. I’m also clumsy like Anne, especially wearing high-heeled shoes. But I let her be a little younger. And she’s naturally pretty, outgoing, and has thick brown hair. That’s nothing like me, but I always wished it were true.

And the two daughters, Emily and Charlie are very similar in personality to my own girls. So much so, that I started occasionally calling my children by their corresponding character names!

My husband jokes that I killed him off before the book even started, but I maintain that Steven Gherring is only a slightly more buff version of him.

Anita: When and why did you decide to do a sequel?

Tamie: When I started writing I sent it chapter by chapter to my friends and family. We all fell in love with the characters, and everyone encouraged me to keep going.

Anita: Why did you choose to make Anne a widow?

Tamie: I wanted Anne to be single of course, so she could have a romantic experience. I could have let her be a divorcee instead of a widow, but I think the pain of divorce is harder to deal with than the death of a loved one. And by allowing her first husband to die fifteen years before the start of the book, Anne and the girls had plenty of time to deal with his death. I didn’t want Anne to have too much emotional baggage so I could keep the book light and fun. And since the girls hadn’t had a father in so long, they were excited and ready to accept Steven as their stepdad.

Anita: Tell us something about Steven Gherring that isn’t in the book.

Tamie: Steven cries when he watches sappy scenes in movies. He’s tough and stern on the outside, but he’s really a big softy.

Anita: When you live in Texas, why did you decide to have the stories in New York City?

Tamie: I love visiting New York City. It’s pretty exciting for a Texas girl like me. What better place for Anne to have lots of exciting “first-time” experiences?

Anita: Why did you choose Romantic Comedy instead of, say, Contemporary Romance?

Tamie: My daughters absolutely forbid me from writing any sex scenes in my books. So, I write books that I’m not embarrassed to have my mother and daughters read. And honestly, the anticipation is the best part of steamy anyway. Details are best left to the imagination.

But I felt compelled to include a peak into the wedding night at the end of Her Best Match. After all, Anne hasn’t been with a man for fifteen years, and she (like so many women) is insecure about her body. I wanted to show how she got past all that with the help of a loving and reassuring husband who only had eyes for her.

Loving CoupleAnita: What made you decide to continue on with The Best Girls series with Spencer Marshall’s sisters?

Tamie: My fans loved Grace, and a number of them requested to hear more about her. I decided to oblige them, since I love her as well.

Anita: You are dentist. Is that why you have a dentist character in the latest book, Best Foot Forward?

Tamie: I had a contest before the release of the last book, and Shanna Williams won the contest. The prize was a cameo appearance in Best Foot Forward. Shanna happens to be a fourth year dental student, so she is a dentist in the book. She’s a beautiful girl, so she made a perfect character for her big scene.

Anita: After doing several books in Romantic Comedy, why did you decide to write a YA/Fantasy series about Alora?

Tamie: Young adult fantasy is actually my favorite genre to read. I like books that are clean, fun, and exciting. And I want the books that I read (or write) to provide an escape from reality. I’m not into heavy, depressing reality-type stories.

I loved writing about Alora and creating a new world where I could make up the rules.

Anita: Can you tell us a little of what is in store for Alora in the upcoming second book of the series?

Tamie: Alora’s father is still trying to kill her, of course. And both Stone-clan and Water-clan are searching for the portal between the two realms. We will meet some characters from Water-clan and find out what it is like to live under Vindrake’s oppression. We will find out what happened to make Vindrake turn evil. And even though Kaevin and Alora are soulmates, their relationship has its share of struggles.

We will learn about a secret place where the clanspeople live in harmony with one another. We also get to meet another soulmate couple. And I still don’t know how I’m going to fit this all in one book!

Alora's Eyes

Anita: Where did you come up with the idea of “soul mates,” with the bond between them being so compelling and permanent?

Tamie: I’ve heard of the soulmate idea and read books with different versions of that relationship. I even like to think my husband and I are soulmates. But I wanted to add a bit of excitement and danger to the soulmate bond.

A lot of the plot in book two revolves around the possible decision to attempt to break the soulmate bond between Alora and Kaevin.

Anita: Give us a glimpse into the real Tamie Dearen. What are you really like?

Tamie: I’m afraid I’m kind of like the absent-minded professor. I like to think I’m fairly intelligent, and I’ve got three degrees to attest to it. But I do the ditsiest things.

Once, back in college, my husband-to-be came to pick me up for church on a Sunday morning. However, I didn’t get ready for church because I thought he was taking someone else, a girl he’d dated before we met. I was jealous and I was incredibly angry with him. So were my three roommates. But it turned out I had dreamed the conversation where he told me he was taking the other girl to church instead of me. Ooops!

Anita: Well that’s it for today. Thank you, Tamie. And thank you, readers, for joining us today. I hope you have all enjoyed learning a little more about author Tamie Dearen.

Having read the first book in the Alora series and all but one of the books in The Best Girls series, I can personally recommend the books as good clean fun.

Romantic Comedy
Romantic Comedy
Romantic Comedy
Romantic Comedy
Romantic Comedy
YA Fantasy

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About Anita Cross

is the host of The Writers Chat and a newly-minted Indie Author writing under the pen name of Lorraine Adair. Before embarking on her own writer's journey, Anita could be found proofreading and editing manuscripts for other Indie Authors.

Comments

  1. Great interview with Tamie, what a smart young lady. No wonder her writing is so good.

    • Thank you. I was really curious about how she got started, so interviewing her had a bit of an ulterior motive.

      And I’m happy to introduce her to our Writers Chat community. Tamie is such a nice lady, and her books are so much fun.

  2. Romantic comedy is one of my favorite movie genres. It’s hard to find good books in the genre so I am looking forward to reading these.

    • Good timing, too. They are all 99¢ right now.

      (Start with Her Best Match. I have it on good authority it’s recently been professionally edited. So was the the new book, Best Foot Forward. The others are still with the editor. But the edited versions should be available soon.)

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