Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Writers Like Us - Tara Kelly

If you haven't read Tara Kelly's AMPLIFIED yet, you must! Tara can write really great characters with lots of attitude who you just fall in love with and want to see succeed so bad. Her love of music is so apparent in this book, and the band dynamics are complicated but fun. I really loved this book and am so excited to have Tara here this week!

Her answers are below in bold. Let us know what makes Tara like you in the comments.

Tara on Writing
  • I've written 4 books, and 2 have seen the light of day.
  • My favorite type of scene/character/setting to write is:
    • Favorite scene: Two people who are into each other and totally don't want to be for whatever reason. Ohh, the tension. 
    • Favorite character type: Sassy, broken misfits. 
    • Setting: Places you want to visit, not live in. :) 
  • No matter how long I've been writing, I still have issues with finishing what I start. 
  • A typical comment from my critique partner is: Your character development is great BUT that MC of yours is so guarded/bitchy/cold, etc. (I like my MCs complicated)
  • The book I wished I wrote is: There are no books I wish I wrote, BUT there are talents I wish I had (or didn't have to work so damn hard for). 
    • Courtney Summers' ability to make 'unlikable' or 'prickly' MCs sympathetic. 
    • Stephanie Kuehnert's ability to make you FEEL on every page of her books. This girl knows how to write emotion, let me tell you. 
    • Trish Doller's amazing male narrator voice and rich settings. 
    • CK Kelly Martin's beautiful way with words. 
    • A.S. King's ability to write a book that is dark, smart, humorous and everything in between (Please Ignore Vera Dietz). 
Tara on Getting Published
  • If my agent really knew how crazy I was... my agent is already well aware of how neurotic/crazy I am. Thankfully she likes my writing, so it works out. 
  • When I was querying, I felt like I was never going to hear the word 'yes'. 
  • The biggest mistake I ever made querying was querying the first book I ever finished. It didn't even have a real ending!
  • The craziest thought I've ever had while writing is I suck at this. I need to quit. The thing is..I can't quit because my characters will yell at me. In my head. When I'm trying to sleep. 
  • When I got "The Call," my first thought was oh, shit. Wait…what??? 
  • When I saw my book sale in Publishers Marketplace, I felt the good kind of heebie jeebies. 
Life Outside Writing
  • If I weren't a writer, I'd probably be a school counselor. Which I'm going to school for as we speak :) I'm also a Creative Director and a Musician. I keep busy. 
  • Secretly, I'm terrified of balloons. 
  • My secret boyfriend is Dean Winchester's '67 Chevy Impala.
  • Sometimes, when no one is around, I sing my heart out.
Tara Kelly adores variety in her life. She's a YA author, one-girl-band, web designer, video editor, digital photographer, and literary agent intern. She lives in Portland with her ten guitars, supercool bf, and a fluffy cat named Maestro.


  1. Oh, cool, so basically we love all the same books, envy the same abilities from the same writers, and also your book has been on my TBR for about a zillion years. Hopefully this will finally remind me to get off my butt and buy it! Can't wait!

    1. You would REALLY like AMPLIFIED, Dahlia! Actually, if you don't get off your butt and buy it (and promptly read it), I will come up to NYC and read it out loud to you.

  2. Tara is a fantastic writer! I enjoyed this interview. I need Tuesday-alerts, Valerie. I've been missing out on Writers-Like-Us updates.

    1. Thanks Robert! If you put your email in the box on the top right that says Subscribe by Email, you'll never miss a post! :)


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