It’s my pleasure this week to introduce author, Devon Taratino!
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Devon Tarantino. I speak French, love traveling and have a metal spine. (Scoliosis was not my friend growing up.) I live in Utah as a non-Mormon, which has been quite the experience. I really enjoy where I live, but it definitely has a unique character that took me a while to adjust to. I’m originally from Indiana, but have also lived in Texas, Florida, and France (for three months working as an au pair, which was godawful.) I crave stories, wherever I can find them, so I love reading, television, music… anything that can captivate me. I’ve always had a passion for writing, so it’s amazing to have finally written a full-length novel!
2) Where can we find you on the internet?
3) Why did you chose the genre you write in and how would you describe your writing style?
I didn’t really chose the genre. The story just kind of came to me and I started writing it. However, I love romances and I hate when there are gaping holes in the logic of a fantasy world, so I’ve found that I tend to stick more to modern-styled New Adult fiction when I write. My writing style is realistic, funny and fast-paced. I definitely try to be true to life.
4) Tell us about your latest book.
My book, Forever, is about a girl and a boy who meet in a karate class when they’re nine years old and become best friends. It covers the span of their friendship, including the various hardships they encounter such as money, geography, divorce, sex, death, and general thick-headedness. Throughout the book you see them grow, not only within their relationship, but individually as well.
5) If you could live in any world from a book or movie which would it be and why?
That’s a difficult question. If I could only pick one, I would go with the Harry Potter universe (book form, of course, and only if I was NOT a muggle or squib. Haha.) I like that there is magic, but I also like that it ties to modern society. I definitely would not want to live in any time period other than my own, because I like the technological advances we have, such as central air and hair defrizzers. I’m also a fan of wearing pants and driving and voting… stuff like that. I love the world Rowling created, and always daydreamed about living there when I was growing up. And besides, who wouldn’t want to be able to use magic??
6) What was your favorite book growing up?
That depends on the age. When I was young, it was the general Sweet Valley High series. In my teens, Harry Potter. Currently… I have three authors that I’m in love with– SG Redling, Tammara Webber and Madeline Sheehan. Anything by those ladies is something I’m going to love. Passionately.
7) The infamous question- what advice would you give to any aspiring and new authors out there?
Look into doing NaNoWriMo course (http://nanowrimo.org). It really got me over the hurdle of writing. I started with about a 30 page story and ended up with a nearly finished book in one month. I am a procrastinator, so this kind of thing was amazing for me. I did it again in April and plan on continuing every single month they hold it in the foreseeable future.
8) What are your preferred method to use while writing and environment?
I have to write alone, so I typically write in my room or in my bath. (I live in Utah– it’s cold here.) I am a MUCH faster typist than hand-writer, so I have to write on a computer, and I type on a Mac (best money I ever spent.) I also like a little background noise, but nothing with words I can latch onto, so I go to Pandora and listen to the Piano Guys station, which creeps my sister out, but works for me. Haha.
9)What are your favorite games (tabletop and/or video)? If you’re not too much into gaming (even monopoly counts!) what are your other hobbies?
I am ridiculously competitive, and there is a dark side that comes out of me when I play board games, so for the most part I avoid them. However, I like games where you can win using logic, so I like Rummikub and I am addicted to Sudoku. I have a group of friends that do RPGs (role-playing-games), which technically, yes, includes Dungeons and Dragons, but is much more story driven than most people might think. It’s basically six or so people who get together once a week and create a character-driven story over the course of several weeks/months. It’s incredibly rewarding and a lot of fun! And no one dresses up.
10) What can we look forward from you in the future?
Right now I’m more than 100 pages into my second novel, which is going to be called Savages. The story follows two main characters, Jared and Emmeline, and takes place around the turn of the 19th century.
Jared is English and Emmeline is American. Jared is the son of a whore who meets his half brother, on his dad’s side, when he’s 13. They two look startlingly similar, save for their eyes, and become good friends, despite the illegitimacy of Jared’s birth. During the Napoleonic Wars they two work as privateers, a legal and incredible lucrative form of pirating. Once the war is over, however, the crew decides to find less legal way to keep the money rolling in. They plan to kidnap a group of high society girls from the most prestigious Academy in America and ransom them back to their families.
Emmeline was born the only daughter of a wealthy, widowed doctor who raised her in the wilds of America as he administered medicine to any people whom he might’ve been able to help. When he dies helping a Lakota tribe of Native Americans, Emmeline, sixteen at the time, marries into the tribe. Everything is happy and peaceful until one day when they are attacked and her husband is killed. She eventually ends up with her uncle living in Boston, and he enrolls her in the best school he can, which turns out to be the one Jared is using as his target.
Jared’s plan is perfect, but he hadn’t counted on Emmeline, a total wild card in more ways than one, or how he would react to her.
Basically, it’s a historical romance, even though I hate that phrase. It implies a whole lot more sex than is in it and… like heaving corsets, which were out of fashion during that time anyway. But, they do fall in love, so there you go. 🙂
Thanks again Devon to taking the time to answer my questions.