The lovely Ms. Quinn was nice enough to take some time out and answer a few questions for me...
Ali: Today, I'd like to welcome author Tara Taylor Quinn to my blog! Ms. Quinn has a new series out, The Chapman Files, with MIRA Books. The first four books are being release each month consecutively, starting with the first that released in September. Congratulations on your book releases!!
What can you tell us about The Chapman Files and your heroine Kelly Chapman? What inspired this series?
Tara Taylor Quinn: The Chapman Files centers around expert witness psychologist Dr. Kelly Chapman. Each book is one of her files – one of her cases. Kelly still lives and works in the small town where she was born. Her town is fashioned after the small town where I currently live – my husband’s home town. I moved here three years ago, having never lived in a small town before. And while we’re moving back to the city, to Phoenix , this year, there are things about this town that I will miss. They are the things that Kelly loves about her town. The caring of the people. The feeling of belonging, of knowing every inch of the town, every house. The sense of community and oneness. Still, living in a small town was difficult for me. I was an outsider, you see. My husband knew everyone we passed. I knew no one. He knew who’d lived in houses three times prior to the current owner. I didn’t even know the current owner. And so, as I have done my entire life, I created my own sense of belonging. I created Chandler , Ohio . And as soon as I had my town, Kelly Chapman appeared. Her office is the one on the corner of one of the main streets in town. I pass it every morning on my way to get my diet coke. And soon, Kelly started telling me stories about the people around me. And about herself. Those stories became The Chapman Files.
Ali: How many more books are you planning for this series?
TTQ: As many as MIRA will buy! Kelly has so many files, I could have stories for the next ten years. At least.
Ali: Which of the first four books in this series would you say is your favorite? Why?
TTQ: That’s a tough one. It’s like asking a parent to choose which of her kids is her favorite kid. Each book is my favorite for a different reason.
The Third Secret is my favorite because the book wrote itself. It just seemed to flow together of its own accord, many many different pieces fitting together effortlessly. I didn’t have to plot. The puzzle just went together.
The Second Lie, which debuted this week, is also my favorite. The story took me beyond my normal stories – with plots that intertwined on their own. I love Maggie Winston, the fourteen year old girl who tries so hard to be accountable for the fact that she was conceived when her mother was sixteen. The Second Lie also holds a special place for me because this is the book where I really got to know Kelly as a person, not just as a psychologist.
The Fourth Victim is my favorite because it’s Kelly’s story. I can’t say enough about her and writing her story was an honor. I hated having it done. I also favor The Fourth Victim because it involves in-line skating which is also my passion.
And The First Wife – it came first. You always have a special place for the first. This book is also dear to me because of the subject matter. Some of it I related to on a personal level.
Ali: I heard that during your blog tour you and Kelley are also raising money for Strengthen our Sisters. Can you tell us about this organization and how you became involved?
TTQ: A few years ago Harlequin asked me to write a novella based on the life and work of Sandra Ramos, the founder of Strengthen our Sisters. SOS was the first battered women’s shelter in the United States . It came about at a time when women who were abused stayed with their abusers because society expected them to do so. Spousal abuse was something that was largely not talked about. Sandra changed that in a huge way. She not only housed battered women in her own living room, but she fought bureaucracy, even faced jail time, to get laws into place that protected battered women and their children. Thirty years later SOS consists of ten homes filled to capacity with battered women and their children.
When Harlequin asked me to write this story, I agreed immediately. Because Sandra’s cause is very dear to my heart. It was a cause I was already involved with fighting. On a personal level. That first interview with Sandra changed my life. Here was a petit woman, past the age of sixty, who wasn’t afraid to face anything. She works tirelessly, from early morning until late at night, accompanying victims to court, holding hands, fund raising, and teaching college. She doesn’t give up. She never stops believing. And because of her, I don’t either.
This year, in a downed economy, SOS lost more than $400,000.00 in donations. Right now some staff members are working without pay as they struggle to keep the roofs over the heads of battered women and their children. Now is my chance to give back to Sandra all of the energy and support and fight that she’s given to hundreds of women over the past thirty years. I can’t do enough for her.
If you’d like to donate to SOS, you can do so securely at, https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=VR7WPWDHR6KFS
Ali: Now... one of my favorite questions to ask *bg*... what's your favorite dessert or sweet treat?
TTQ: Christmas sugar cookies from my grandmother’s recipie. Scotcheroos – a rice krispie peanut butter and butterscotch and chocolate bits treat. And white birthday cake with white butter cream icing. I guess I’m not real good with choosing favorites!
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There’s an item from our new book, The Second Lie, hidden on the tour with us. Guess the item to enter the drawing to win it! Today’s clue: Most households have one. Send all guesses to firstname.lastname@example.org. To see previous clues visit blog sites listed at www.tarataylorquinn.com. Guess as many times as you’d like!
Don’t miss The Chapman File tour party on December 4th at http://www.eharlequin.com/ ! Tour prize winners will be announced!
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Next tour stop: Wednesday, October 6, 2010. Storybroads:
http://www.storybroads.com/ . We hope to see you there! The more blogs you visit with us, the more chances you have to win! Every time you comment your name is dropped in the bag for the prize drawings.
**Giveaway... as bonus to those who stop by my blog... leave a comment/question for Tara Taylor Quinn and I'll enter you in a giveaway for the first book in The Chapman Files series, The First Wife... or if you have that one, the 2nd book, The Second Lie. Let me know which one you'd like to be entered for in your comments. Please leave your e-mail address so I can get a hold of you.
**Donating to a good cause... I've always enjoyed supporting a good cause and Strengthen Our Sisters sounds like a wonderful organization... I'll already be donating to this cause, but for each new comment I receive on this post up until Friday, October 8, 2010 (payday, hehe), I'll add a dollar to my donation total, up to $100. I will not count multiple comments by the same person, sorry. So, help spread the word if you can :)
Thanks, again, to Tara Taylor Quinn for stopping by my blog!