Hey Ya’ll! I am super excited to share this interview today! Tamra Baumann is an amazing romance author whose first book I read a while ago. Once I found out that the next one was coming out I contacted her. I just couldn’t wait and she helped me get an ARC of it. I own both of her books, It Had to be Him and It Had to be Love, so far and with a third one on the way I’m super excited to buy that one too! So here she is guys!
First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Tamra Baumann and I write lighthearted contemporary romance. I live in the sunny southwest and am addicted to reality television shows.
Now for the questions:
What made you want to start writing romance novels?
I have always been an avid reader. I used to pop into my favorite bookstore between running my kids wherever they had to be and grab books from the bestseller table. I read everything from biographies to crime novels. Then one day I stumbled across a Nora Roberts novel and I became hooked on romance forever.
As my kids got older and needed me more as an ATM machine rather than their daily caregiver, I decided I’d like to try to write a book. So I bought a few books about how to go about it and dove in. Needless to say, I had much to learn about writing and the industry. It took me almost 10 years to sell my first book. But I won some major writing contests along the way that kept me motivated, and I had great support from my local Romance Writers of America chapter. Perseverance paid off and I’m currently writing the fourth book in my It Had to Be Series.
Is there a particular reason that you decided to start off with a series of books rather than stand alones?
One of the things I had to learn the hard way was that it isn’t enough to write a good book. We as authors have to give the publishers what they want. I wrote many stand-alone novels that do just that—they stand alone on my hard drive fated to never see the light of day. (If I were writing women’s fiction or another subgenre of romance, stand-alone novels might be more appropriate.)
What the publishers of contemporary romance want right now are series, which is fine by me. I’m really enjoying writing my current one and look forward to writing more in the future. It’s fun to set books in the same town with the same secondary characters who eventually get their own stories.
What is your least favorite part about writing?
My least favorite thing about writing is how long it takes me to write a book. Until very recently I had a day job, so I had to squeeze in my writing whenever I could. It took me six to nine months to write a book that my reader could finish in four to five hours! We’ll see if I can speed that up a bit now that I’m writing full time. My goal next year is to write at least three books.
Do you have any advice for those who want to start writing romance novels?
The best thing I did was join my local chapter of Romance Writers of America. Being a member helped me understand the business side of writing as well as provide me with wonderful craft advice. Not to mention the forever friendships I have made.
But mostly I’d say just go for it! It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time, just keep at it until you type THE END. There is nothing more satisfying than finishing that first book. We always hear of those lucky few who sell their first manuscript and who knows? It could be you!
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Give us some recommendations!
Sadly, I don’t have as much time to read as I did before. I start to feel a little guilty that I’m reading and not writing. ;0)
But I do have my auto-buy authors I make time to read, and a few new authors I look forward to as well. Terri Osburn’s Anchor Island series was great if you like contemporary small-town romance. Or if you like young adult romance, Pintip Dunn has one just out called Forget Tomorrow. (I was a judge in a large contest for this manuscript and fell in love with it, so I’m happy it’s been published!) Cindy Kirk has a new one out if you like cleaner, sweet romance called Christmas in Good Hope. And right now I’m looking forward to starting a book called After You by a new to me author Jojo Moyes. I hear this one is a little more women’s fiction than romance. Books by some good friends of mine, Jamie Beck, Lauren Christopher, Gina Robinson, and Shelly Alexander are all excellent choices as well.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Yes. Thank you! Your support has allowed me to achieve my dream of becoming a full time writer. I eagerly look forward to writing more lighthearted books that will hopefully add a smile to your day.
Thanks so much for having me Jordan!