Welcome, Caroline! Tell us about your latest project.
I’m excited to say my most recently published book is actually my first book. Not only my first to be published, but actually the very first book I ever wrote. WHERE THE WIND BLOWS is a sweet western historical romance, and is the story of my heart. After winning the Golden Heart Award, which is the most prestigious award an unpublished romance manuscript can win, it was contracted for publication by Dorchester Publishing back in 2009. In 2011, after getting my rights reverted, Montlake Publishing, the romance imprint of Amazon, made an offer and is publishing it. The launch is November 27th, 2012. It’s been re-edited and sports a beautiful new cover. I couldn’t be more pleased. I’m currently working on its sequel for Montlake, BEFORE THE LARKSPUR BLOOMS, which will launch in May of 2013.
I also have my very first contemporary woman’s fiction releasing in November. It’s a near death experience story where my heroine doesn’t completely remember all that has transpired during those elusive THREE AND A HALF MINUTES— which is also the title of the book. As the story unfolds, so does her memory.
Wow! Busy lady! Congrats on the book launch! Where do Louisville/Southern Indiana readers know you from, outside of your books?
I love Louisville. There’s so much to do and see. So many wonderful restaurants. Readers might find me enjoying a bite of Sunday breakfast at the Blue Dog Café or Verbena’s Cafe in The Norton Commons. Favorites of ours for dinner are The Village Anchor in Anchorage; Ramsi’s Café on the World, Bardstown; Irish Rover, Frankfort. See what I mean about fantastic places to eat? Those are just a few of the many eateries we’ve discovered since moving from California to Louisville in 2009.
I hear that! The Village Anchor is on my “to sample” list, for sure. If you haven’t tried The Silver Dollar yet, check them out on your next trip to Frankfort Ave.! So what else have you tried since you moved to Louisville? (Welcome, by the way?)
One activity that we tried not that long ago was zip lining in the Louisville Mega Cavern. My youngest son was out visiting and wanted something interesting to do. He’s an Army Reservist so he’s up for just about anything. Well, let me tell you: The Mega Cavern was amazing! My terror of heights had me balking, so I really had to bolster my resolve to make the decision to do it, and I’m so happy I did. When I wasn’t screaming in fright, I was having the blood-rushing, skin-crawling time of my life.
We’ve also visited the Red River Gorge, which is phenomenal, and Cumberland Falls. Everyone who comes to visit us gets a taste of Kentucky’s famous Bourbon Trail.
Definitely sounds like you have been getting a great taste of all there is to do here in the Louisville area. I was poking around your site–tell us about your Horse industry experience!
Before publishing, I spent 20 years as an equine photographer where I traveled the United States, and twice to Germany, to photograph Horses in world-class events, or stallions and foals on farm calls for advertising. It was a great job. Who could complain with such beautiful subjects to photograph? In addition, for Horse shows, I had to be on the road very early, which gave me the opportunity to see more stunning sunrises than most people I’ve met. I was truly blessed.
That does sound amazing! I’ve found that some of my best “thinking time” is on the road. No wonder you found inspiration for your stories. And speaking of stories, spill about Montlake!
I’m so excited to share Montlake with everyone. Back in November of 2011 Amazon decided to jump into the publishing game. Since then, Montlake, Amazon’s romance imprint, has been wooing authors, published and indie-published, collecting an impressive lineup of really amazing books. Working with them has been so refreshing. They have set out to team with authors, keeping them in the loop on almost every decision. I have to say, I’m impressed with the way they’re conducting business. In case your readers don’t know, with traditional publishers, as it’s been since before time, once an author signs on the dotted line they have very little say in anything. From cover to PR, they’re just along for the ride. With Montlake, I’ve had conference calls to talk about strategies, they asked for my input on what kind of cover I’d like, and things are changed with just an e-mail. They want happy authors. I think you can tell I’m happy with my decision to publish with them. It’s been a pleasure every step of the way. Be sure to check out the Montlake page on Amazon to see what’s up and coming.
I have two author friends who signed with Montlake & 47North, respectively, (Amazon’s spec fic imprint), and I know they are similarly happy. How fantastic to find a publisher that knows how to work with an author. Gotta love how publishing is changing.
Tell us about your favorite bookstores/coffee shops/writing haunts. What makes them special? (If you don’t buy into the stereotype of the writer surrounded by books and coffee, then tell us more about where and how you write.)
I don’t write in public places. I can’t seem to concentrate. I do have a lovely second-story office that looks out onto a beautiful scene, which inspires me. I have a schedule that I keep five days a week. I’m up at 5 a.m. for coffee, prayers and meditation. I get online at 7 a.m. to do about half-hour of Facebooking, Goodreads, and Tweeting. I actually really like doing that. I’m writing by 7:30. My goal is 2,000 words a day, which I usually get by 5 pm. Three days a week I break at noon and run on my treadmill for two miles, then alternate walking and running for an additional 1 and ½ miles. Now you know more about me than you ever wanted to know….right!
That actually sounds really healthy & pleasant. What’s next on the writing slate, for you?
As I mentioned above, I’m writing book two in my Prairie Hearts series titled, BEFORE THE LARKSPUR BLOOMS. It’s set in Wyoming Territory, 1881 and revolves around the lives of a handful of colorful characters that make up the small western town of Logan Meadows. There’s love, outlaws, heartbreak, and busybodies. Right now, my good citizens are experiencing a population boom, the result of the Union Pacific coming to town. I so enjoy writing a cross between Lonesome Dove and Little House on the Prairie.
I’m sure you’ve won over some local neighbors into new fans–we’ll look forward to hearing more about your work from them. Much continued success to you, and here’s hoping your new Louisville surroundings inspire a book about Horses! 😉
Readers, if you know an author who deserves to shine in the Local Author Spotlight, please get in touch. Either side of the river is fine–we speak Southern Indianaese, too! Books about relevant local subject matter are encouraged, as well. Email RedTashBooks@gmail.com and please put “LouisvilleKY.com Author Spotlight” in your email subject. Thanks!
Leslea Tash is a Southern Indiana journalist-turned-novelist. Formerly a freelancer best known for a weekly column on parenting and family life, she now writes dark fantasy, horror, and fairy tales like the 5 Star Amazon hit Troll Or Derby under the pen name Red Tash, and the new holiday release Let it Snow! Season’s Readings for a Super-Cool Yule! (all profits to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief). She always welcomes your feedback on this column on the LouisvilleKY.com site, on Facebook, on her websites or twitter.