Today visiting my blog is Terry Muhich/Tara Mills. We'll be discussing her as an author, and discussing her new release Caution: Filling Is Hot
Without further ado, Terry, tell us about yourself.
I’m on the slippery side of forty-five and picking up speed. Scary. I married my high school sweetheart two months after graduation and we’re still going strong. We have three awesome sons, a fabulous daughter-in-law, a young grandson and another grandchild on the way.
What started you on the road to writing?
A love of books. It hit me early and hard. Words are wonderful, powerful. They can provoke every kind of emotional response; start wars and end them, bring lovers together or rip them apart. Words build bridges and walls. They move us, inspire and shape us. We learn who we are, but even more importantly, we learn how to empathize with others through books. I truly believe books have the potential to improve humanity for that reason. Readers aren’t egocentric. They can’t be. Self-interest isn’t compatible with a love of literature.
Describe your workspace.
I have an enormous bedroom with a spacious dormer window facing west. That’s where I write. The view is on my right. My desk is flanked by two file cabinets. My printer sits on the file cabinet to my right. The one to my left is loaded with stacks of papers, my enormous dictionary, and Roget’s Thesaurus. I have a cork board on the wall above that cabinet with all of my covers pinned to it, and above it, along with other things writing-related. Directly behind me is a wall of loaded bookshelves.
Best and worst part of being a writer.
Writing is the best thing. It’s an adventure. Sometimes it can give you a natural, unbeatable high when the words are flowing faster than you can type them. Those are good days.
The negatives are not always having as much control over your work as you’d like. Social networking can be both great and a total time suck. It’s a necessary evil and at the same time, a pleasure. I suppose how I view it on any given day depends on how much the internet keeps me from getting more done on the writing side of things.
Did you sell the first book you wrote?
Yes I did. It was Grading on Curves. Beachwalk Press published that title in June of 2013.
What was the inspiration for your new release, Caution: Filling is Hot?
I’d read about a tragic accident. My heart went out to this woman’s husband and young children. Through no fault of their own, they were suddenly forced to adapt and revise their lives without her in it. These kinds of things happen daily, all over the world. I wanted to address it and give a decent guy a second chance at having a happy ending after he was robbed of his first. That’s how Chad Thomas came into being.
And now the nonsense questions:
If you were cast away on an island: Where would you like the island to be? The cast of which movie or TV show would you like to be castaway with you? What one piece of clothing and what food could you not live without?
I like the south Pacific for location and climate. I think for cast, I’d choose Ocean’s Eleven. These guys are resourceful, ingenious, and just naughty enough to keep me interested and entertained. I like stimulating company. Clothing? I’ll take Douglas Adams’ advice and opt for a large towel. I can wear it, fold it up for a cushion, dry with it, cover myself or sleep on it. Very useful. If I’m on a desert island, I’d better learn to get along without my favorites, but I’d sincerely miss hamburgers and pizza.
Sweet or salty snacks?
Have you ever purposely eaten a bug? Fed a bug to someone else, even secretly?
Yes. I’ve secretly fed someone a bug. I showed a friend how to make a homemade pie once and had leftover crust. We decided to roll those scrap pieces out and make turnovers. She opened up a new jar of preserves and we were spooning the fruit onto the crusts when I noticed she was trying to flatten this lump with the back of her spoon. A second later she realized it was a beetle. She chose to keep it in there and I kept my mouth shut. I think that was my first inkling she wasn’t happy with her husband. She made it for him then filed for divorce shortly thereafter.
Do you like to listen to music while you write? If so, what?
While I’m working on social media and all that—yes. I love adult alternative, 80’s pop (a fact that kills my husband), rock, reggae, jazz, classical, Motown. I’m all over the place, depending on my mood. When I’m writing—no. I need absolute quiet and an empty house. I do enjoy finding music to fit my stories though. That’s a lot of fun. The song I chose for Caution: Filling is Hot is Alanis Morrisette’s Head Over Feet.
Do you cast your characters in your head?
No. They truly do take on their own personalities and looks in my mind. I only think about who could be a good physical stand-in for them later.
How do you choose character names? Do you have favorite sources?
Names are a challenge. I like to play a little with names, if I can. Like the heroine, Piper Frost from Caution: Filling Is Hot. She’s a talented pastry chef and demonstration cook. I do use a baby name book, phone books, I read movie credits and show credits for inspiration. My rule so far has been to avoid using names of people close to me.
If you got $350 dollars out of the blue (free and clear) how would you spend it? Bill paying doesn’t count.
I’d take myself clothes shopping. I need to do it. A necessary evil. I find shopping a chore. I’m not an easy size to fit so it gets frustrating fast. Like dressing a curvy twelve-year-old.
Tell me about your current work in progress—whether that’s a work project, a book or something creative in another medium.
I’ve got several irons on the fire. I’m writing the third novella for my Pelican Cay series that debuted with Intimate Strangers in February. I’m getting ready to self-publish another book, and I’m trying to finish my next novel, In the Mood. I hope to have that finished and ready to go by May. By the way, May will be another big month. I’ve got Sexual Politics coming out with Beachwalk Press, Tarnished Hero coming out with Crimson Frost Books, and my self-published story. Sorry, I can’t say which that is yet because I’m still waiting to get the rights back on it.
Thank you for inviting me onto your blog today.
Caution: Filling Is Hot
Blurb: Some men should come with a warning.
Here’s a recipe to share with friends. Take one prickly demonstration cook, handle carefully. Add one lonely widower, slightly beaten. Mix gently. Fold in two six-year-olds, one at a time to temper the batter and avoid scrambling. Then finally, add the mother with an agenda—but just a dash because she’s spicy. Whip into stiff peaks then spread over an ungreased sheet for best results. Method of cooking can vary, however--Caution: Filling is Hot.
Piper Frost is taking a break from men when contractor Chad Thomas crashes her cooking class and turns on the charm. His persistence annoys her but she’s already melting, even without his sneaky mother and conspiring twins in the mix. But just when things are really starting to sizzle, disaster strikes. Can Piper save her recipe for happily ever after or is it already ruined? Grab your oven mitts and find out.
Caution: Filling is Hot is available on Beachwalk Press, Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Au, Barnes & Noble, All Romance, and Bookstrand.
Visit Tara Mills Romance or find me on Facebook and Pinterest.