Hi Everyone! I recently read A Date for Daisy by Tara Grace Ericson and loved it! Tara’s one of our newer bloggers here at Inspy Romance, and I wanted to get to know her better and learn more about how she wrote this great book, so I got out my former reporter skills and interviewed her. Here’s how it went!
Sally: Thanks so much for agreeing to talk with me about A Date for Daisy. Can you tell everyone about it?
Tara: A Date for Daisy is the second book in the Bloom Sisters Series. Free-spirited Daisy Bloom is determined to turn her 100-year-old house into a bed and breakfast. The only problem? She knows nothing about renovations.
Enter Lance Matthews, construction guru and business owner. He is determined to tackle this project with his usual methodical, organized approach. His only problem? The beautiful and infuriating homeowner — deeply involved with the project and completely averse to lists, schedules, or any form of organization.
When sparks fly between these wildly different personalities, will they find common ground? Or does God have other plans for each of them?
It’s a sweet, small-town/rural romance with themes of acceptance and family. It will make you laugh out loud and hopefully, appreciate the little things that make everyone different.
Sally: It did make me laugh. It was a very fun book! But it also made me curious–have you ever gone through a remodel? If not, how did you research the experience?
Tara: My husband and I have a habit of buying houses that need a little love. For some reason, we also start those renovations when we have a 6-month old – we have done that twice now! We are both engineers and like the problem solving that comes with renovations, and we don’t like paying for things we can do ourselves. So all of our renovations take months and months. We have now fully remodeled two kitchens and three bathrooms, plus removed walls and installed new floors. Everything that Daisy and Lance do in the book, I was able to use my personal experience – except their first kiss… because I don’t go in crawlspaces. LOL! Daisy is braver than me!
Sally: Wow! That’s a lot of remodeling experience! As I was reading A Date for Daisy, I wondered if you might be a fellow HGTV fan. Are you, and if so, what are your favorite HGTV shows?
Tara: I do love HGTV, though we don’t pay for cable anymore. I love shows like Fixer Upper and Property Brothers where they renovate old houses and show the potential! I also have a lot of fun watching the show Good Bones which renovates houses in Indianapolis, because we used to live there!
Sally: Very cool! I see we have some favorites in common. Another question–the hero of this book is neat and super-organized. The heroine is the complete opposite. I’m putting you on the spot here–is one of these characters more like you?
Tara: Hahaha!! One of the reasons I love this particular book so much is because it draws so many parallels to my own relationship with my husband. I am creative and free-spirited (and more than a little scatterbrained at times) and he is organized and methodical. I cry every time the hero and heroine realize their opposites are the very thing that make them perfect together, because it is exactly how I feel about my real life love story.
Sally: One other thing I was wondering is how many more books are you planning in the Bloom Sisters Series? Do you have other books out or other series planned?
Tara: The Bloom Family has 6 daughters, and each daughter will get a book. With their brother Hawthorne’s story, the series will be 7 books! Currently, the first three (Hawthorne, Daisy, and Poppy) are out, with Lavender coming in September.
My other ongoing project is a multi-author Christmas series called The Heroes of Freedom Ridge. The first book in the series comes out in October.
The first series I wrote is called The Main Street Minden Series and is 4 books, each covering a season in small-town Minden, Indiana. Bloom’s farm is close to Minden, so characters and places from that series make cameos in my current series!
I’m still trying to decide what I will write after the Bloom Sisters all have their story told. I have lots of ideas!
Sally: I was fascinated to learn that you had worked as an engineer before you became a full-time author. Had you always secretly wanted to write? How did you switch from one career to the other when they are so very different?
Tara: I never, ever dreamed I would be an author. Perhaps it was a childhood dream that I let die while my more practical nature steered me toward engineering! But, God had to give me a couple of pretty big wake-up calls before I would listen to him and finish my book. It had started as a time-killing activity while on long flights and in bleak hotels while I traveled 10+ nights of every month. When my husband took a new job and we moved across the country, I told him I didn’t think I was supposed to get a job. God has affirmed that decision many times since then, and He has been so faithful. For my writing, I lean on 1 Thess 5:24 – God who called you is faithful; He will surely do it.
Sometimes it is crazy to realize how different my life is than just three years ago. I worked in operations at a manufacturing facility with 700 of my closest guy friends. My hard hat and steel-toed boots still live in my closet. Last week, I talked with a group of women about writing perfect kissing scenes, haha!
Sally: What’s a typical work day like for you?
I squeeze writing and working in when I can, while chasing my 4-year-old and 20-month-old boys. When I am drafting a book, I try to write 2000 words a day – roughly one chapter. My husband is amazing and I often bow out of bedtime to go work, and sometimes on weekends he gives me the whole day. But mostly, I sneak in words here and there on my phone in Google Docs or work while they are distracted by Sesame Street for 20 minutes!
Sally: Okay, now I’m totally impressed. You can do all that calculus AND you manage to write while chasing two little boys. Wow.
One last question. What’s your favorite thing about being an author?
Tara: While writing is mostly a solitary pursuit, I love the community of Christian authors and readers I have connected with.
My closest author friends chat every day, pray for and encourage one another. We brainstorm together and give feedback on our writing. It is truly a blessing.
Hearing from readers about my books is possibly one of the best feelings in the entire world. I’ve gotten to know several of them quite well. I know some authors don’t read their reviews, because the bad ones sting, but I just love seeing a review where someone said I encouraged them in their faith or prayer life. That’s why I do it. Plus – it’s really, really fun to hold a book you wrote in your hands! ;)
Sally: I agree! Tara, thank you so much for letting me interview you today. It was really fun to learn more about how you wrote A Date for Daisy, about your background, and about your writing life!
Readers, clearly, Tara wrote from experience with all those remodeling scenes. As a reader, do you think you can tell when an author writes from real life experience? What clues give it away? Or have you ever been surprised to read in an author’s note about the lengths they went to in their research? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Tara’s generously offered a free e-book copy of the first book of this series, Hoping for Hawthorne, to one person who comments on this post. The winner will be drawn at random, notified by email, and announced in a Sunday edition. If you’d like to be included in the drawing, please comment by the end of the day on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020.
*Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.*