About the Author: Tara September
Tara September is an award-winning… and losing contemporary romance writer living in Southwest Florida.
Tara is proud to be the world’s most okayest mom to clones (identical twin boys). When not writing out her daydreams, she blogs over at When Tara Met Blog @tarametblog, a lifestyle and parenting blog of 14 years.
Holding a master’s degree in journalism from NYU, she previously was the Corporate Communications Manager at WWE and PR Manager for The Walt Disney Company, Consumer Products.
About the Narrator: Hollie Jackson
Harnessing a childhood steeped in storytelling and a deep love of the written word, with over 600 titles (and growing) under her belt, Hollie always strives to bring a wide range of characters to vibrant, compelling life, allowing for total immersion in the story. She is currently on the rosters of multiple major publishers like Podium, Tantor and ACX.Website⎮Twitter⎮Facebook
- Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook. How did you select your narrator?
I was listening to a great book last year and absolutely loved the narrator’s voice, so I added her bio to my bookmarks hoping to work with her one day. Once Don’t Start Now was ready for audiobook production, I contacted her directly. Lucky for me, she agreed 🙂 Thank you Hollie Jackson! I had a feeling she would get my humor and her reenactment proves it. I especially love her comedic delivery, sassy tone and use of accents.
- How did you choose your title?
All my books are named after song titles and this time I went with the Dua Lipa song “Don’t Start Now.” Pulling from the lyrics, I then imagined an Ex trying to worm their way back and wrote a story where the heroine moves on to better things including a lover worthy of her. If you’re also a fan of the song you’ll spot some direct quotes sprinkled into the dialogue. Before production, narrator Hollie Jackson mentioned she likes Dua Lipa, so I knew the audiobook version would be in good hands.
- How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
With over 600 audiobooks under her belt, Hollie is a total pro, so not much direction was needed. I actually didn’t have any edits for her. She even took it upon herself to give secondary characters different accents, which came as a surprise to me, but added an additional colorfulness to the audiobook.
- Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing? Like Eve, my background and master’s degree is in journalism. I have also done some travel writing, including blog posts for The Huffington Post. I like to go on cruises too, so I pulled in some of my actual onboard experiences there as well. Otherwise, it’s purely fiction, but I will often use real dialogue from my life or add in some character traits of people I know…so my friends need to beware, lol.
- What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”? Whatever! It’s great for multi-tasking and makes it easier to devour even more books. I love it.
- How did you celebrate after finishing this novel? I’d love to say that I set sail on a cruise like Adam and Eve do, but COVID made that impossible. Instead, I opened up a new bottle of Writing Tears Irish Whiskey, because the name and I’m a Scotch fan. Oh, and I never celebrate until after I’ve reworked my manuscript and gone through my developmental editor’s feedback and get the final copy back from my proofreader. That’s when it’s really finished.
- In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series? I love standalones, but I seem to be standing alone in that respect, lol. My author friends swear by writing a series due to their resulting success. Typically, I’m not one to look back in life and enjoy starting something new, but I am attempting to turn my debut novel Jesse’s Girl into a series. So far, it’s been fun revisiting the small-town and the characters that I first started with.
- What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Keep writing and don’t give up. Also, look into joining a local writing group or a Romance Writers of America chapter for support, advice and craft tips.
- What’s next for you?
I’m working on a New Adult book “One More Kiss” in a shared world series, called “At First Kiss” with 12 participating authors. This is the first time I’ve written in first-person POV, so it’s been challenging, but also a lot of fun. I love seeing my characters appear and interact in the other books in the series too. Each week a new book is scheduled to release starting in August, but each story can also be read as standalone too.