Today we welcome Tamara Mataya to Romancing the Book. Before we get to her top 5 list of writing influences, let’s learn a little more about Tamara and her newest release.
Tamara Mataya is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a librarian, and a musician with synesthesia. Armed with a name tag and a thin veneer of credibility, she takes great delight in recommending books and shushing people. She puts the ‘she’ in TWSS and the B in LGBTQIA+.
Missed Connection: I saw you standing there, and I was struck by your eyes. Gorgeous, but not as gorgeous as your smile.
Thanks to her job at a crazy New Age spa, what should have been a sizzling NYC summer is being hijacked by demanding hippie bosses. To unwind, Sarah spends her nights cruising Missed Connections, dreaming of finding an uber-romantic entry all about her. Of course, the moment she finds that Missed Connection, real life comes crashing down around her in a night of unbridled passion with someone completely different: totally off-limits Jack.
Best. Hookup. Ever.
Gorgeous and wealthy, hot as sin, Jack can give Sarah everything she needs—except an emotional connection. That she gets from her Missed Connection, the romantic stranger who never fails to make her swoon. But there’s only so much of Sarah to go around. Torn between the bad boy she can’t keep and the sensitive stranger who bares his soul online, her heart and body are soon in two very different relationships…or are they?
Top 5 Writing Influences
Inspiration is subjective. Different things make different people want to create. What motivates us is an important part of any creative process and today I’ll tell you my top inspirations for my novels!
Dreams: Dreams are one of my absolute favourite things in life—even when there are zombies, or I’m suddenly a sales clerk whose hands have become laser pointers and I’m trying to gesture to clothes without blinding the customers with my new hands. Dreams have always fascinated me. I’ve had books come into being solely from dreams—The Sowing was one of those. Sometimes I write them pretty closely to how my subconscious came up with them, and other times I tweak them to be more coherent or along a certain genre.
My agent/editor: I’ve written books solely because my agent or editor said, ‘I’m interested in X. Can you do that?’ And I like a challenge, so if I’m into the idea, I’ll try to make it work. Something to keep in mind if you’re ever going to pursue writing as a career, is that it absolutely involves passion but it’s also a business. And while I have projects I’ve been DYING to write, when my agent or editor tells me they need me to work on X next, you’d better believe I work on X next. That’s where the business side comes in.
Music: As well as being an author, I’m a musician. Sometimes you hear a song that crawls inside your spine and haunts you for weeks. I make playlists for each of my novels, but sometimes a song or a music video will spark an idea for a book. I have a book I’ve been holding off on releasing until I can make the companion ALBUM with it—and I’ve had that book, RAPTOR SNATCH, written since 2012. But we have to put some projects aside and work on the things that our agents and editors ask us to! 😛
The Market: This is a little less sexy because it’s the business side of things, but sometimes certain themes/genres are overdone to the point of feeling like gum we’ve already chewed and readers are all about trying something new—or rediscovering something that’s been “dead” for a while (I’m looking at you Vampires! And don’t get me started about the Fae at the back of the room patiently waiting for publishing to love them again.) I’m a quite eclectic author in that I have multiple ideas in different categories and genres. Everything from urban fantasy to techno-thrillers to romantic comedies, I resist being put into a box, and this can work to my advantage when it comes to the market and what people are into NOW. Sometimes I find myself writing a novel I never thought I’d write. When I wrote MAKE ME, it was because the genre was hot. I didn’t ever think I’d write a BDSM, but there you have it. You readers have the power to make us do your bidding! Consider this revenge for all the times we’re mean to the characters you love!
Life: People I meet, conversations I have, things I see all give me inspiration for my writing. Sometimes they become snippets inside a book, other times they become the plot itself or maybe a character’s backstory. I like walking to work and using that time to wallow in my thoughts. I’m a huge fan of hypothetical questions as a means of inspiration. Once I wondered: How would my life be different if my parents had been circus folk? And that became Sharky’s backstory in another of my novels, Raptor Snatch (forthcoming).