Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Books: Interview with talented Non-fiction Author Tara Woods Turner

Today we're interviewing talented author Tara Woods Turner, and we'll get to know a little more about her and her newly published book, Beyond Good Manners - How to Raise a Sophisticated Child - which sounds very interesting.

Tara, please tell us where you are from and what's your background?

I was born and raised in North Carolina and currently divide my time between there and New York City, where I live with my husband and our hyperactive puppy, Catherine. I graduated with a degree in Political Science and International Relations with the intention of heading off to law school but soon realized that was not the vocation for me. I am a certified etiquette professional, a writer and a publisher, which blends almost everything I enjoy doing!

That sounds intriguing! When did you realize you wanted to write and when did you start writing?

I wrote my first short story in the 4th grade. It was a story about the conversations and relationships between all of the toys in Santa’s sleigh. This was decades before Toy Story so the concept was fun and different at the time. My teacher asked me if I would like to read the story to the second graders during their Christmas party. I was thrilled and said yes. It was a lot of fun and quite fascinating to see the effect one’s words can have on others. I was hooked. I was 18 the first time I was paid for my writing. I wrote an article for Contemporary Christian Magazine and was paid $300 - a fortune at the time. I felt unbelievably lucky.

Yes, but unbelievably lucky, unbelievably talented - even now getting paid that much for an article is awesome. What genre do you write and what's your target audience?

Currently I write non-fiction and the target audience for my last book “Beyond Good Manners: How to Raise a Sophisticated Child” is definitely parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, nannies - basically anyone tasked with the upbringing of a child.

I'm sure a lot of caregivers can benefit from such a book. How many books have you published? Do you have a favorite?

I have only published one retail book. My other titles are curriculum based - I write and publish etiquette guidelines, manuals and teaching modules for schools, churches and other non-profit organizations. The sequel, more or less, to my first book comes out this fall.

You have a lot of experience teaching etiquette. What is your favorite quote, and who wrote it?

My favorite quote is by A. A. Milne:
“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
"Pooh!" he whispered
"Yes, Piglet?"
"Nothing" said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw.
"I just wanted to be sure of you."
To me, this quote is simple and sweet but says something about the power and beauty of truly meaningful friendships and the connections we form with one another.

That's a very sweet quote, indeed. And with deep meaning. Since we're talking about authors, do you have a favorite one? Who? What's your favorite book? Has this author or book influenced your writing in any way?

My favorite authors are Charlotte Bronte, Laura Kinsale, Shakespeare, and Mary Renault. It is really hard to narrow down what my favorite books are but the ones I turn to time and again, reading them every year or so are Jane Eyre, Flowers From the Storm, Romeo and Juliet, and The Persian Boy. Those are some of the most powerful books I have ever read because of the emotional drive behind the actions of the characters. When characters in a book do things that seem organic to who they are - for better or for worse - and the writer is not afraid to tell their truth with honesty and emotional investment I find that those are the books I respond best to. When I finally do find the time to write fiction I want to tell my stories with the same honesty and thoroughness. I believe if you do that a great story will follow.

Excellent point. Looking at your favorite books and authors, are you optimistic/hopeful/romantic?

All of the above! I think you almost have to be as a writer. Of course that is not true across the board but most authors write because they know that their words will affect people in some way or on some level. I don’t think you would want to do that or even care unless you were a bit of an optimist at heart. I became legally blind at the age of 38 so, yes, sometimes life gives you a chance to see what you’re made of - and I eventually realized that no matter how bad things can get I am a natural optimist at heart. So I decided to just keep hope at the center of my life and just roll with the rest! I am a romantic, I think, although maybe not overtly. I love wonderful dinners and flowers and candy as much as the next person but relaxing with my husband on a Friday evening with snacks and an audiobook we’re both enthralled with is the epitome of romance to me.

What are you working on now?

 Currently I am working to the sequel/follow-up to “Beyond Good Manners: How to Raise a Sophisticated Child” that focuses on a different age group but sticks to the same themes. I’m also working on a companion piece/teaser for my first book.

And now that we know a little more about you, where can we find out more?

You can find out more about me here:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tara.turner.5249

Twitter: @ohtaratara https://mobile.twitter.com/account

Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/111329352319531953601

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?locale=en_US&_mSplash=1

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Tara-Woods-Turner/e/B01CSCQB7I/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1460403850&sr=8-1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15080453.Tara_Woods_Turner
Great, thanks for sharing your social media. Is there anything else you'd like to share with the readers?

I just want to thank you and your readers for all you do to promote and support indie authors. it is very much appreciated. Also I want to share my new site with your readers who may also be writers. It is called BlurbPerfect and offers editorial services to writers who want to perfect their front matter - title, blurb, copyright tags and author bios. I have assembled a small team of seasoned editors and my packages start at $6.99 - perfect for every budget! http://www.blurbperfect.com

That sounds great! Thank you so much for taking the time to introduce you and your books to our readers. We wish you lots of success with your book and future endeavors!

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