Today I'm very happy to introduce Taryn Raye, fellow Kentucky author, and a good friend as well! She's recently published her first novel, Castaway Hearts, with Turquoise Morning Press. She's here today to tell us a little about herself and her new book!
Welcome! To start off, please tell us a little about yourself!
Born in a small town in Kentucky, I had a typical, rather normal childhood. My dad still works in construction and does woodworking and my mom is a homemaker. I also have one younger sister. Though I’ve moved away from where I grew up, I haven’t strayed far from my roots and visit as often as I possibly can. It’s my hope that the sense of family, friendship and hometown warmth I grew up with radiates from every story I pen. To me, one of the most important things in our lives is the love, support and time spent with our loved ones, which builds a strong foundation for who we grow up to become. I do believe that all my relationships and life experiences have shaped who I am and helps keep me grounded.
Give us a little information about your genre. What types of books do you write?
My debut novel, Castaway Hearts, is a historical romance set in coastal Virginia in the 1790’s, but the majority of what I’ve written or plan to write, is contemporary romance. I do have ideas for various other genres floating about in my head, including other historical romances that might tie back in with Castaway Hearts, somewhere down the road. I love such a variety, I would like to try my hand at writing family sagas, paranormals or urban fantasy, young adult or even women’s fiction. I believe most writers tend to lean toward specific genres, but sometimes there are still stories we “need” to write, even if they are outside what we consider our “norm.”
Since I write Young Adult fiction, I focus a lot of my blog posts on what reading and writing can mean to not only a young person, but to people of all ages. I believe it’s absolutely true that books can change someone’s life for the better! Can you tell us what books (both reading AND writing them) have meant in your life?
Oh, wow. I totally agree with you on this. As a youth, I know I found a lot of comfort and joy and understanding from books that gave me a world to escape to when I felt no one else understood me or cared. I read many books, not just for enjoyment, but to sink into a world where my problems were not as important. Yes, it was escapism, but as young adults, as well as grown-ups, we need moments like that to step back from our own troubles and just “breathe.”
As a writer I find that same rule applies, because writing someone else’s life, experiences and troubles or joys gives me a moment to step back from myself, to solve someone else’s problems, fictional though they may be, and sometimes in the process, I find answers or solutions to things going on in my own life. Other times, it simply gives me that “pause” in my life to catch my breath.
Do you have a favorite quote, or maybe a wise piece of advice for writers who are just starting out and wondering if this journey is one they should take?
One of my all-time favorite quotes- Red Smith claimed writing was easy, "Just sit down at a typewriter and open a vein."
Given most people don’t use typewriters these days, I still find it applies to sitting down with a pen and paper or in front of your computer or what have you, and opening yourself up in a very raw and real way. Writing really isn’t as easy as some might believe and even when the story flows out, it is a painful process, just like cutting open and bleeding the story out, but it’s necessary. To me, this is an especially important thought for writers, whether starting out or who have been at this for as long as they can remember- You do have to include your blood, sweat, and tears and give a great deal of what is within you over to the story.
And for my “younger readers”… knowing all that you know now, if you could go back in time and tell your teenage-self something, what would it be?
If I could go back and tell my teenage-self something, it would be that life gets much better with age. My teens were not the end-all-be-all of my existence, though at the time, with all those hormones, peer pressure and worries about fitting in, it was excruciatingly hard to ignore those feelings of inferiority. I didn’t want others to perceive me as different but at the same time, I didn’t want to be so invisible that no one knew I existed. There’s no good middle place when you are in the “middle place” of adolescence, but just remember that it does get better and it will, even if it doesn’t feel like it. There is so much more to you than that awkward phase in your life.
And now for some “fun stuff”!
Chocolate or Vanilla: Definitely chocolate!
Movies or TV: Movies
Dogs or Cats: Cats
Flip Flops or Boots: Boots.
(I can wear sandals but not flip-flops- they hurt my toes and feet!)
Early Mornings or Late Nights: Early Mornings
Brains or Brawn: Brains
Coffee or Tea: Tea
Summer or Winter: I love both, for different reasons. Summer because it’s more relaxed. Winter for the holidays- the warmth of hearth and home.
Finally, tell us about your latest release! Feel free to include the “book blurb” and any other information you want to share!
My debut novel, Castaway Hearts is available now from my Publisher, Turquoise Morning Press, as well as the following links: Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords.
More about the book...
Twice orphaned, Catherine Barrett arrives in Virginia a stranger to her closest kin and secretly engaged to the one man her family would disapprove of- her seafaring grandfather’s apprentice. Add to her troubles, the rich and intriguing older brother of her secret betrothed, Dawson Randolph, a plantation owner who is as heartless as he is handsome. Heartbroken when her intended sets sail for his maiden voyage, Catherine finds it difficult to adjust to her new life, hoping to befriend the one man who is, undoubtedly, the match her grandparents wish for her. Dawson’s distaste for her secret engagement to his brother makes it clear he has no designs for marriage to anyone. Especially her.
Ten years since the tragic loss of his young wife and infant son, Dawson Randolph is convinced love and marriage is a fool’s game and resents being pardon to his brother’s hidden engagement. Damned by his instant attraction and his own growing desire, Dawson vows to befriend her against his better judgment. Determined to bring her happiness in a time of fear and uncertainty, Dawson puts aside his animosity to become her confidant, only to realize Catherine holds the key to his heart. When tragedy strikes at sea, Catherine’s guilt pushes Dawson to the fringes of her life as madness consumes her.
Can his love save her before she drowns in her own grief? Or is he doomed to love her from a distance, always in the shadow of her love for his dead brother?
Find Taryn online at:
Thanks Taryn, for stopping by today! I wish you the BEST of luck on your new release, and keep us posted on when we can expect the next book from you!
Happy reading and writing!