Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ariel Tachna talks about her newest release Once in a Lifetime

Tell us a little about the emotionally packed romance, Once in a Lifetime.  

Once in a Lifetime is a coming-of-age story as much as it is a romance.  Shane has been very sheltered his entire life.  He grew up in a conservative family, attended a religious university, and was surrounded pretty much by people just like him.  Except he isn’t just like everyone else.  He’s gay.  When the opportunity comes to go away for a year, he jumps at it with the idea of having time and space away from all the confining influences to explore this other side of himself, hopefully without abandoning all the good parts of his upbringing.

What was the hardest scene you had to write in Once in a Lifetime?

Once in a Lifetime is Shane’s journal.  Anyone who has read more than one or two of my books knows I write in third-person point of view, usually third-person omniscient point of view.  To keep myself so intensely in Shane’s head as to transcribe his journal was a real challenge for me.  I kept wanting to show this or that or answer this question or that question, but I couldn’t because the thoughts didn’t occur to Shane or he didn’t have the answers.  I think the effect will be powerful, though, because we’re right there in the moment with him through the entire book.

Tell us something about the young Shane Johnson and why will readers like him?

Shane is an optimist.  He sees the best in everyone around him even when that’s a little on the na├»ve side.  He believes in putting good out into the world and expects the same of those around him.  Even better, though, he manages to keep that attitude even when a few of the people he meets aren’t quite as kind to him as he is to them.

When I think of France, I think of Romance. Was this part of what made France appealing to Shane?

France appeals to Shane because it’s about as far from East Texas as he can get while still doing something in his field of microbiology.  He isn’t going to France looking for romance, although he isn’t averse to it when it finds him.  He’s going to France to explore what it means to him to be gay.

Who did your cover art and what was your first reaction to it?

Catt Ford did my cover art, and I fell in love the minute I saw it.  The expression on Shane’s face, a little reflective, a little melancholy even, is the perfect introspective look for my young man who has so much to learn about the world, and the background image of Grenoble at night is perfect.  I really appreciate the fact that Catt went searching for an authentic picture instead of slapping something of Paris in the background and pretending it was Grenoble instead.

I understand that you lived in France. What was that like?

I did live in France on two different occasions, and I loved every minute of both stays.  I was fortunate to be “adopted” by some wonderful families who I still keep in touch with nearly twenty years later and so had the opportunity to integrate into the book aspects of French society a tourist will never see.  A lot of that love is reflected in this book.

You write in many sub-genres, do you have a favorite?

My favorite tends to be whatever I’m writing at the time, but if I really had to pick, I think my favorite would be historical because I love the challenge of evoking a different time and place on paper.

What can readers look forward to from you after Once in a Lifetime?

Nicki Bennett and I have a novel coming out in September called Under the Skin, and then the next Partnership in Blood book, Reluctant Partnerships, comes out in early October.

What are your goals for 2012?

Honestly I haven’t thought that far ahead yet. My immediate goals are to finish Stolen Moments, the manuscript I’m working on now, and then to carve out time to finish All for Love with Nicki Bennett and two projects (currently untitled) that I’m working on with Madeleine Urban.

Where can readers find you on the web?

Thanks for spending a bit of time with me and answering my questions. Best wishes for your continued success. 

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