Thursday, 13 July 2017

Where in the world is Tara Brown

That is a question I am getting a lot. That and...
Where is the old Tara?
Where is the Tara who puts out 8 books a year and comments on her FB page and has giveaways?
Or my favourite, fuck Tara. She's taking WAY too long to put out books now so I'm done with her.

There are a lot of answers to those questions. Some I'm not even allowed to tell you.

When I started 7 years ago, I worked full time and wrote full time. I worked all night on books and worked all day at my job and spent the afternoon and evenings with my kids.
Slowly the job faded out and the kids started to get older and do more for themselves and the books took over.
Then a kid got sick.
Then a move happened.
Then I was a single parent with two girls who needed more from me than I think I gave them but I lived near family who helped.
And then another move happened.
Then my husband came home after a year away with his work.
I forgot what he smelled like and how much space he took up.
I forgot that he needed me too.
I almost got a divorce, between us friends, it was a bad time.
But the writing deadlines were still there, only now I had traditional publishing and indie.
It was actually good to finally agree to a traditional publishing contract. I learned what my standards for writing should have been.
I knew I had to bring my old work up to that standard.
I was pretty stressed and getting fatter from eating candy to stay up late to write new books and try to clean up old ones. I have 48 books out in the world and most were written the first 3 years, all subpar editing on my part and my editor's. So, it was a daunting task.
My health took a little dive, nothing to worry over but the doctor was like, bro, you're husky. Time to lose weight.
Which totally made sense. I'd gained 60 pounds in 5 years of writing.
That was two years ago.
But instead of losing weight something happened with my husband's work, the part I can't discuss, and my kids moved away. I should have used the time to work but everything was up in the air. I was stressed. I was planning another move, but this one had no time frame and no firm location and my kids lived with my mom and dad so they were safe. My husband's work is kinda sucky when it comes to taking care of its members. But who doesn't have bullshit in their work environment? We all push on even when it sucks.
And through all of that, I still put out 9 books that year.
Then we moved into the house we bought in the location we were finally given.
In the 5 years I had been publishing at the time, we'd moved 5 times. We spent time apart as a family, sometimes for safety and sometimes for health of kids.
We thought this house would work for the 5 years we have left with kids home while my husband is stationed here, but soon realized it needed far more work than we thought.
Eighteen months later, we still aren't fully done renovating, we're mostly done, and the house still isn't the right fit for us.
I could cry as I write this.
I honestly don't know that I have another fucking move in me, but I don't have an office. Something I believed I could work around, I'd done it before. I'd worked in my living room loads. And this is the best school for our girls and the neighbourhood is awesome. I could sacrifice an office for that, right?
Apparently not.
Apparently, I need an office.
Only I won't make my kids move schools again so we have to buy in our neighbourhood, a location that rarely has a house for sale. Hence the reason we bought a fixer upper.
The decision to sell hasn't been made yet, as I don't actually have time right now. I am about a year behind, actually three years but who's counting? Not you guys, right?
And on top of all of this, as I'm writing this very post, I'm also eating a protein pancake because I still have 50-60 pounds left to lose of my 100-110.
Last year I went to Ireland for a fabulous signing. I had a blast. The Irish are amazing and Game of Thrones is filmed there in many locations. So off we went in a Jag, touring Ireland and hiking through all the different GOT locations. Being 100-110 pounds overweight made the hike hard and I hurt myself. I literally hurt myself from fatness. I ripped open my foot because it wasn't ready for a lot of hiking, it was accustomed to sitting and typing, or renovating. I had to cancel my other signings for the rest of the year and rest my foot. That started me on my Ideal Protein journey.
I have had a hard time writing on this diet. I actually left the diet for a bit to finish Lost in La La Land and The Last Hour.  My writing has always had candy and coffee and pudding cups involved.
And without them I am having a tough time.
No office, no candy, and no pudding makes Tara a fairly sad, still kinda fat, writer.
I'm Homer Simpson with no beer in the episode where they did The Shining.

So needless to say, while my life has been a little insane, I have slowed down publishing. Last year I only put out 5 novels and this year I have only put out 3 so far.
I have hopes to put out another 5 before New Year's Eve, dear sweet baby Jesus let that happen.
But I can't promise that right now. I can't publish a book until I love it.
Right now, I don't have anything where I feel like I love it.
My creativity is stalled out.
I don't have an answer on when it will return.
I don't know when I will like The Last Hour enough to publish it. I hope the next two weeks but I can't make that promise.
Until I have it perfect, I can't say when it will publish. Right now, I don't love it.
I might move on from it, even though we voted on the order of publishing and it is next.
I don't know what else to do. This has never actually happened to me before so I haven't got an answer as to how to fix it.

I do know you need answers.
I'm sorry is all I have.

Hope we can still be homies and you will forgive my absent year.



  1. Health and loved ones always should come first. Wishing you all the best during these times and sending positive thoughts. You've put out so many books already, that readers have so much to enjoy from what you've given us so far. It's just easy to get greedy. Thank you! And take care :)

  2. Hi Tara,
    Just a quick note to let you know you have my support (& your other fans too, I'm sure). You've got to look after yourself first and your family second and everything else comes after. And I get it about having to love your books before you release them into the world. I'm really looking forward to the last hour and I want it to be the book it's meant to be, not some rush job that you aren't happy with!
    So take care of yourself, keep your head up high, and bring us the books when they are ready for the world.
    Born is still my first Indie book love, and you have inspired me to write as well. I'm just trying to get my first book to that perfect place where I love it enough to publish it. So thank you, and never stop writing.
    All the best

  3. You've written so many amazing books that you should never worry about taking care of yourself and helping your family, I've never moved yet I'd assume it'd be extremely stressful,and not having a proper place to work on top of that. I hope you can reach all of your goals and once again be the creative writer who's work truly made me feel like part of the story, though I wonder what happened to Valiant I'm sure if it ever gets done it will be well worth the wait. Wishing you and your family the best in all of your struggles

  4. I hopped over to your site to see if there was an update for book 4 of the Roommates series and found your incredibly honest post. To a lesser degree, I understand the difficulties that life can throw at you...illness, significant weight gain, work stress, freaking politics. Your books have been a refugee during some difficult times in my life so thank you. Wishing and hoping that you get some relief soon and that you are able to resolve all your challenges. Finally, I hope you have a good friend, family member, etc. that you can share these burdens.

  5. Take your time, get your life to it's happy place, we'll still be here. You are too amazing to lose me as an avid reader!

  6. Tara,
    Wow, what an amazing post! You definitely don't owe us, your faithful readers, that much of an explanation. You were so open and honest, letting us see just how difficult things have been for you. I appreciate your candor and can empathize with your struggles (to a frightening degree, actually). I won't go into all the details, but we bought a house 2.5 years ago, only to find out just before closing that my husband was going to be stationed across the country for the next year! Better than that, the house I bought because it WASNT a fixer-upper turned out to have one thing after another pop up every time I turn around, and not stuff that is an easy fix (like both HVAC systems, pool equipment, mold/mildew in kitchen cabinets, etc.). Oh, and did I mention that I injured my back during the move? Yeah. So, I mean it when I say I can empathize with your struggles, girl.
    There are a few things that have helped me: 1) Your books (not even joking - I love your characters, your writing, and your storylines); 2) My sister and my friends; 3) Physical Therapy/Exercise; 4) Ideal Protein; 5) Testosterone; and 6) my son.
    My point in writing this is to show you my support and offer you some insight. Having gained weight prior to my back injury, and even more after, I found Ideal Protein gave me a quick way to lose weight to give me a jump start, as well as some junk food to eat while getting started, but the whole not exercising while doing it wasn't cutting it. I got to a REALLY low place and was taking medicine to deal with the struggle, but I finally realized that no medicine works better than exercise, even if it's just walking. If you're still doing IP, ask them what to do if you need to exercise too (I.e. should you eat an extra IP food, add a boiled egg to lunch, etc.?). They will help you but you might have to insist. It may slow the "weight loss", but it won't slow the fat loss - you'll still lose inches if not pounds. As for the Testosterone, when my world felt like it was about to crash down all around me and I just couldn't deal with anything anymore, my doctor ran some blood tests and found that my Testosterone was crazy low, like really crazy low, and says that's pretty common in women who are stressed out for long periods of time. So, he gave me an Rx, and I have been taking it (REALLY low does) for a few weeks now and it has made a HUGE difference.
    At any rate, I want you to remember you are loved. You are a beautiful person, an amazing writer, and I hope things get better for you soon. Even if there are some fans out there who are angry that you're on hiatus, so what. I think we'd all rather have you on hiatus than not at all, or have you putting out sub-par books, because that isn't you. OXOXO