Interview: Tara Randel

In getting an Annie’s Attic newsletter recently, I noticed they now have a mystery series called The Lady in the Attic. According to their website, the book “combines interesting characters, entertaining stories and the love of crafting into mystery books you’ll never want to put down.” Any crafter knows about Annie’s Attic, and I love the idea that they’ve combined mystery with crafting. I know this series will be very popular with mystery lovers and crafters alike!

First, tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you been writing?

I live in Florida. It’s great living where the sun shines all the time! And the close proximity to the beach is a plus. The heat can be fierce, but every place you go has air conditioning, so it evens out.

I’ve been writing for twenty plus years. The first years were spent learning the craft of writing. Like any type of craft work, you have to learn the basics and then practice. You spend a lot of those years honing the writing voice, just as you would when finding the type of craft you excel in and enjoy.

I published my first book in 2001 with Avalon Books. Since then I’ve published 5 titles with Avalon, all tradition romance novels. To find the list of titles, visit www.tararandel.com. The books titles and a synopsis of each are located there.

The Lady in the Attic is a new series from Annie’s Attic mysteries. As a crafter, I adore Annie’s Attic! How did you come to write this book? What do you hope readers take away from it?

I was introduced to the series when the opportunity came through my agent. I loved the idea of a small town (my favorite type of setting!) with a wonderful cast of characters. And getting a group of talented women to solve a mystery was right up my alley. I loved creating the friendship between the women, as well as Annie figuring out where she fit in at this time of her life. Life comes with all kinds of changes, good and bad. I like to explore those themes, and through my characters, they learn how to deal with relationships and life changes. And getting back into the crafting world was a plus.

I hope readers will sit back, enjoy Annie’s story for a few hours before closing the cover of the book with a contented sigh. (-:

Share some of your writing goals. What’s next for you?

Right now I’m submitting proposals.


What’s the most interesting book you’ve ever read?

I read so many books I couldn’t begin to list one interesting book. I adore romance novels, but I also read mysteries and thrillers. The more action the better! When I’m working on a book, I like the research that goes along with it, so I get non-fiction thrown into the mix.

Book you’re currently reading?

Ark of Fire by C. M. Palov. A thriller that involves Biblical relics, a search for the Ark of the Covenant, literary history, romance and the chase against time to stop world domination. Phew! Mild reading!

Advice for other writers?

Sit down and write! It doesn’t matter what you write, you have to make time. Some write for pleasure, other in pursuit of publication, but the bottom line is that you have to stick with it. Like I said, writing is like any craft, you only get better the more time you spend doing it. And take classes if possible. You can always learn something new that will make the writing better.

Where can we learn more about you?

My website: www.tararandel.com. Stop by and leave a message. I love reader’s comments.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I love the Annie’s Attic series. When I was younger, I did all different types of needle crafts. My favorites were cross-stitch and quilting. I even sewed my own clothes for a long time. When I decided to pursue writing, I switched my creative focus, but I’ve never stopped loving the creative process. Just wish I had the time to do both! Writing and crafting are similar, in that they are both a creative outlet. I’d have to be doing one or the other, that’s just a part of me. Make time to enjoy your creative pursuits. They add color and joy to life.

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