Joining us today is A Slice of Orange author Tari Lynn Jewett. Tari lives in Southern California with her husband of nearly thirty years (also known as Hunky Hubby). They have three adult sons, all who live nearby. For more than fifteen years she wrote freelance for magazines and newspapers, wrote television commercials, radio spots, numerous press releases, and many, MANY PTA newsletters. As much as she loved writing those things, she always wanted to write fiction . . .and now she is.
When she’s not writing, you can find her at the beach, in her sewing room, or curled up with a good book. She’s also been known to play a mean game of pool.
Tari believes in happily ever afters . . . because she’s living hers.
You can follow Tari on social media:
Facebook: Tari Lynn Jewett
Facebook reader group: Tari’s Tribe
Instagram: Tari Lynn Jewett
Instagram: Tari Lynn Jewett
Tari’s A Slice of Orange column “Charmed Writers” posts on the 10th of every month.
Jann: The #CharmedWriters Facebook group is such a wonderful group. What motivated you to start it?
Tari: Charmed Writers began kind of by accident, the way so many things I do begin. I was Pro Liaison for my very favorite writing group, the Orange County Chapter of Romance Writers for America. Many of our writer friends were going to the 2016 Romantic Times Conference. I decided that the rest of us shouldn’t be left out of the fun, and at the last minute created a Stuck at Home writing event on Facebook. I invited the PRO group, and told them to invite their friends, so it was open to everyone. Twenty-five people participated in that first event. I wanted to find a way to motivate and reward everyone for participation, so I ordered charms to give out for reaching different goals. We wrote all week, motivated each other, inspired each other and got to be very good friends. At the end, we didn’t want it to be over, and Charmed Writers was born.
Jann: Did you expect it to be so well received?
Tari: I thought it would be a place for the original members to keep working together, but they started asking to invite friends, and people started hearing about the group and asking if they could join. I never expected it to grow as it has.
Jann: What’s the best part of #Charmed Writers?
Tari: Oh, my gosh. The best part of Charmed Writers is the amazing friends that I’ve made, and seeing the love and support that people are willing to give each other. I’ve learned so much from Charmed Writers, and I’m so honored to be part of this amazing group of writers.
Jann: Tell us about Charmed Writers Presents: Flash Fiction 2019
Tari: Charmed Writers Presents Flash Fiction 2019 is an anthology of 41 stories, by 41 authors who are members of Charmed Writers. All of the stories are approximately 500 words long, and are in a variety of genres. This is another project that started by accident. Last year on June 13th I saw a post that Friday, June 16th would be National Flash Fiction Day. I thought it would be to create an event to challenge Charmed Writers members to write a 500-word story. 16 people participated in the event. I told everyone we would do something with the stories. I thought it might be a good time to start a Charmed Writer website, and post our stories there. However, Slice of Orange owner, and Charmed Writer, Marianne Donley, sent me some book covers she’d created for an anthology, and we went with the idea. We opened it up to the Charmed Writers group again, and ended up with an amazing mix of stories from bestselling authors, to debut authors. I truly was an amazing experience. Marianne Donley did the heavy lifting on this project, without her it wouldn’t have happened.
Jann: Will there be more Flash Fiction anthologies?
Tari: LOL, I’m not sure yet! But it’s possible. The current anthology will be available for one year, and the only way to get it is through a Charmed Writer, or by being a member of The Charmed Connection. And did I mention that it’s free? I think you can get it here through A Slice of Orange as well.
(Editor’s note: Click the Book Link or the cover to go to the page where Flash Fiction 2019 is available.)
Jann: You also started The Charmed Connection for readers–another very successful group. Why did you start The Charmed Connection?
Tari: Thank you. The Charmed Connection started naturally as a place for Charmed Writer authors to connect with readers. We have ‘bookshelves’ in the group where readers can find books by Charmed Writers, and various authors drop in and share their lives, play games and most importantly get to know our readers.
Jann: What fun things do you have planned for The Charmed Connection?
Tari: There’s always something going on in The Charmed Connection. We have parties, special guests, giveaways and games. We’ve done one Book Club selection, and I’m hoping to do more of them. I’d like to see more Facebook Live events in the group, those are always fun, and I’d like to do a reader project that’s been rolling around in my head for a little while. I’ll have to let you know more about it when the idea is fully formed!
Jann: How does a reader or an author join?
Tari: To join The Charmed Connection just go to The Charmed Connection group on facebook, and click “join” and answer three questions about reading. It’s that simple! Then just jump right in and join the fun.
Jann: Your fun romantic comedy, #PleaseSayYes (#HermosafortheHolidays Book1) was just released. (I love the cover!) Tell us a little bit about the book.
Tari: Thank you! #PleaseSayYes is a novella, and a romantic comedy that was released first in Valentine’s boxed set last year with stories by 12 other authors. It’s set just down the street from me in Hermosa Beach. Lucy, my heroine, a kind of bookish schoolteacher finds she has a social media secret admirer, and when his posts to her go viral her world turns upside down. It’s the first in a holiday series set in Hermosa Beach. It’s very sweet, as Hunky Hubby says, it’s a story you can share with your mother and daughter.
Jann: So, Book 1 implies there will be a Book 2—When will it be published and what can you tell us about it?
Tari: Book 2 #SilverBracelets, is a full-length novel, the story of Lucy’s friend and colleague, Ashley. There’s some payback for Lucy in the story as Ashley finds herself also part of a social media campaign, only Ashley doesn’t find this one so amusing. Many of the same characters are in this story, and I’ve had so much fun writing it. It will release in April.
Jann: What else do you write?
Tari: I freelance wrote non-fiction for magazines and newspapers for about 15 years, but as far as fiction goes, I’ve been working on a women’s fiction novel set in the 1920’s, and it’s also part of a series. It’s very different from my romcoms. This is darker and edgier, and I love writing every word of it, but it’s also the reason I started writing the romcoms. I needed to get my head out of the darker places every now and then.
Jann: When will it be released?
Tari: I wish I knew! I’m submitting this story to an agent, so when I get the good word, I’ll share with you!
Jann: Do you find yourself returning to certain themes in your stories? What? Why? I do.
Tari: Yes, definitely. The theme of ‘perfection’, trying to be perfect or have the perfect life frequently shows up in my writing. I didn’t realize it at first, and it’s subtler in the romcoms, but in most of the stories I write, the heroines seem to be working out a need to be perfect. I’d have to say that it’s something I struggle with myself, and I think many women do. We strive to be perfect, which of course is impossible, so we’re constantly setting ourselves up for failure. Hopefully, we eventually learn that we’re never going to be Perfect, all we can be is our best. And the truth is, that’s better than being perfect.
Jann: What’s the best writing advice you ever received?
Tari: I’m not even sure where I heard it first, and it goes back to that idea of Perfection. But, I’ve heard many successful authors, often at our OCC RWA meetings say There’s no wrong way to write a book, don’t worry about what other writers are doing, do what works for you. I think that’s absolutely true.
Jann: How do you stay motivated? What drives you to keep writing?
Tari: For me writing doesn’t require motivation. I’m compelled to write, good or bad, whatever is going on in my life, writing is my first outlet, both creative and emotional. It’s not a choice, I just do it… although, it’s a choice I would make if I had to.
Jann: Do you ever run out of ideas? If so, how did you get past that?
Tari: Running out of ideas is never a problem. In fact, the problem is generally not letting new ideas distract me from the current project! So, finding enough time is the problem!
Jann: What sound or noise do you love?
Tari: I think my favorite sound is the sound of my husband’s voice. I love picking up the phone and hearing him talk, or sitting across the table and listening to his voice.
Jann: What sound or noise do you hate?
Tari: Funny you should ask. We were at a fast food restaurant last night, and a man kept spinning the chair next to him. The chair needed oil and made a terrible screeching sound. I pretty much hated that!
Jann: What profession other than your own would you love to attempt?
Tari: I think I’d love to teach elementary school. Especially, 3rd or 4th grade.
Jann: What profession would you hate to do?
Tari: Anything to do with math. I couldn’t be an accountant, it would be very bad.
Thank you, Tari for answering our questions! Tari’s book are shown below. Click on the covers for buy (or free) links.
With the release of a romance novel, an anthology and of course by having her thirty-year romance make the local news.
My first novella, #PleaseSayYes, a romantic comedy released in a limited edition boxed set last year, just in time for Valentine’s, and I’m re-releasing it this week, as a single edition eBook, and it will be available on Amazon later this week or through my website. I had so much fun writing this story, and it’s the first in the #HermosaForTheHolidays series. All of the stories are set in Hermosa Beach, each with a sweet holiday romance as the theme. As Hunky Hubby says, “These are stories you can share with your mother and your daughter” (Yes, he actually does read every word I write.)
Next, of course one release isn’t enough, so our Charmed Writers group is releasing Charmed Writers Presents, Flash Fiction 2019. A collection of 41 stories, by 41 authors, all members of Charmed Writers. There are stories in all genres, fantasy, historical, paranormal, romance, you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy, and all of the stories take about five minutes to read. And, the authors in this group range from bestselling authors you already know and love, to brand new authors for you to discover! It’s been a labor of love, and A Slice of Orange’s own Marianne H. Donley has been the very heart of this project, making it a true Valentine’s offering. You can get your free copy by joining The Charmed Connection facebook group and asking for it!
And finally, on a more personal level, of course my real-life romance makes the news! In August, Hunky Hubby and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. I posted a photo of our first kiss as man and wife and a kiss on our 30th anniversary, both taken at Shoreline Village, between the tables where we met and one year later were married. Shoreline Village saw my post, and invited us to be the first couple to post our Love Lock on their new Love Lock fence! We were thrilled by the honor, and when we arrived, Melissa from Long Beach Local News (LBLN) and News Director, Ryan McGinnis, were on the scene to interview us and film the event for Channel. We felt like celebrities, and look forward to another reason to spend time at our very favorite place, Shoreline Village.
Thank you to Elaine, Sergio, Debra and everyone at Shoreline Village who made both our wedding in 1988 and our 2019 Valentine’s Celebration so special! I can’t imagine anything more romantic than locking our love right there at the place we met and were married, overlooking the marina.
So, that’s how a romance writer celebrates the most romantic holiday of the year…two book releases, a Love Lock at Shoreline Village, and Valentine’s day hasn’t even happened yet, but I’m looking forward to a romantic evening with Hunky Hubby celebrating more than 31 years of love.
How do you celebrate Valentine’s day? Have you ever put a Love Lock on a fence? In Paris? Italy? New York? If you visit Shoreline Village, you’ll find the lock with our names on it below the plaque on the Love Lock Fence. If you put a lock there, please share a photo in our Facebook group, The Charmed Connection, and tag me!
See the story at Channel LBLN.
There’s a very special group on Facebook, if I do say so myself. The #CharmedWriters group. You may or may not have heard of it. It’s a semisecret group but it has a lot of power, at least within its members and special guests.
It started a couple of years ago at this very time. Many of our local writer friends were getting ready to attend the annual Romantic Times Convention. For those of you not familiar with it, Romantic Times is a magazine for romance readers. Every year they put together an amazing convention that connects romance readers with the authors that they love.
Anyway, many of us were “stuck at home, while our friends were at RT 2016”. And thus, a Facebook event titled Stuck at Home While My Friends are at RT was born. I invited all of my writer friends, at the time mostly romance writers. And they invited some of their friends. About 25 authors participated. It was basically a Butt in Chair event, where our goal was to keep our butts in our desk chairs, and see how many words we could write while our friends were partying at Romantic Times. We had word count challenges, we talked about promo, we had online happy hours for networking. All in all, I think those who attended had a great time, I know I did.
Many of the writers broke their highest daily and weekly word counts that week, individually writing 10, 20 and more than 30,000 words. We got a lot of work done, learned from each other, made new friends, and motivated and inspired each other.
And I gave out charms. Lots and lots of charms. When the week ended, we didn’t want this special week to just fizzle and go away, and the #CharmedWriters group was formed, named for the charms we earned while writing. We continued writing together regularly in what we call Office Hours, and had a few more Butt in Chair events in 2016.
Last year I added speakers to the Stuck at Home event, making it more of an online conference, and the most amazing people stepped up and hosted online Ask an Authors and Workshops, and the event has continued to evolve including not just authors, but industry experts. Members get access to some highly successful and incredibly brilliant people.
Next week we have a special line up of speakers including the wildly talented romance author Megan Hart (I’m a huge fan!). Author, and book coach the inspiring Ara Grigorian. The multi-talented romance author, editor and cover designer Judi Fennell. Award winning YA author, marketing wiz, and my former playgroup friend, Elena Dillon. Romance author and historical fashion designer/seamstress Victoria Vane, I’ve seen her gowns in person and they are amazing! And publicist and career coach Robin Blakely, who works with my friend, author of my favorite legal thrillers, Rebecca Forster…who has previously been a presenter for #CharmedWriters, and if you haven’t read her books you should! Not that she needs me to promo for her, she’s a brilliant writer…and she has Robin Blakely! And you probably know both Rebecca and Robin from right here on Slice of Orange.
Do you wish you were a member now? Keep reading!
A couple of weeks ago we hit 100 members when a friend of mine from middle school, author Christine Simolke, joined the group.
Our membership is made up of authors at various stages in their writing journey, but all are seriously pursuing a writing career. We share our work, give and receive help, share experience and knowledge, help each other promote, and even more. Many of us have become friends, we share a passion that even if our friends and family support us, they don’t always understand. It’s truly a #CharmedPlace.
To be included you need to be invited by a member of the group, and you need to be actively writing. So, if you’re actively writing, and you’d like to be a #CharmedWriter, consider this an invitation! Friend me on Facebook and if we’re already friends just send me a message!
So, being Stuck at Home While My Friends are at RT is no longer such a bad thing! And now you know why I titled my column Charmed Writer. Because I am!!
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