Before we start, how have you and your loved ones been during this COVID-19 time?
Our son and DIL actually had the virus before there was testing for it or anyone even knew what it was. In retrospect, however, there’s no doubt that they had it. They’re doing great. Life hasn’t been all that different for us at home. I was frankly so sick during most of the quarantine, it didn’t mean a lot to me. I wasn’t going anywhere to begin with. Anyway, I’ve had surgery now, and I’m feeling WAY better. Life is slowly getting back to normal, but with being a writer, staying home and working isn’t strange. We don’t have small children at home, so I’m sure that would have been a lot different.
Please tell us a little about yourself: Do you have a nick-name? Where are you from? What do you write? Tell us something about yourself that makes you, you. :-)
I’ve certainly had plenty of nicknames, but I’ll stick with my pen name for now. I grew up in southern California, but we ended up living in Indiana and I love it here. My husband is a native Hoosier. It was an amazing place to raise our son. I write all contemporary romance, but I make certain it’s laced with plenty of humor. Some of the books would be classified as romantic suspense because I prefer the tension and drama to come from external sources rather than relationship problems. So many books rely on miscommunication for drama, and I always bristle at that. Those characters just need to talk to each other! So… I tend to add in some crazy characters here and there for color and drama. I have a ball with my secondary characters. I know a few are over-the-top, but I love them all.
How did you become an author? Please share a bit of your journey with us.
I have always written and intended to study English in college with the intent of doing so ultimately. Unfortunately, I hated it. The professors were grumpy, and we were reading and discussing the same literature I’d read all through junior high and high school. Then I took an art class- something I’d always excelled at too, and I fell in love. There were some occupational departures throughout the years, but I was a professional artist for many years until not too long ago. I still have work in galleries, but I’m not actively producing any more of it right now. Long story. Then I realized that I was rewriting the books I read in my head and doing a much better (I thought) job of creating a story, so I decided to give writing a go finally. I had a couple flashes of inspiration and eventually my book Make Believe was born. Believe me, it went through a LOT of changes before it saw the light of day because I had no idea what I was doing.
What are you working on now? Do you have a recent or upcoming release?
My current book The Rule of 3 released August 17, and I’m extremely happy with the reception it’s getting. It’s a bit of a departure for me in that it’s an MMF love story. I’m also writing book number eight. It doesn’t have a title yet—just two nice people I want to write about. The trick is to figure out what to do with them that will be something fresh and new. It’ll happen, but right now I’m honestly kind of struggling with it. I always start out a new book with too few and too many ideas all at once.
What is the most challenging part of writing romance?
Keeping things unique. I try to stay away from tropes, and I get fed up when the sexy parts of a book read like cut and paste. Each couple has to have their own individual stamp. So, it keeps me on my toes.
What kind of research do you do when you set out to write a new book?
Interesting question and one I feel strongly about. There’s nothing worse than a poorly researched book! I tend to stick to things I know a lot about to begin with. That’s why so many of my characters are creative types. I have lots of artists and a couple writers, etc. I have also chosen activities like the skiing in Savor This that was taken directly from my own crazy experiences on the slopes. Sibley in Saving Him also mirrored my experience by having a second-degree black belt in karate, and Åse (Save Her) went to art fairs the same way I did for years. When I come to a section where I need to do more research, I often use Google, but I don’t like to rely on just one entry. I check maps a lot for distances and travel times, and once in a while I’ll try contacting professionals to get their input on a particular topic. I have to say, however, that when you introduce yourself and say you’re an author doing research, people tend to clam up or blow you off completely.
Who is a person you greatly admire and why?
My father. The character Liam in Make Believe is, in many ways, a tribute to my dad and how he treated his family. He went through life with a King Solomon approach to justice, and he overcame incredible odds to become a successful person.
If you could live in any time in history, when and where would it be?
I usually answer this question, “Right here, right now.” Unfortunately, now isn’t so great suddenly. So, I guess I’d go back to the pre-COVID era before the world went nuts and our cities were all being destroyed by thugs. I’d stay right here in Indiana, but I’d return to an easier, more naïve time somehow.
Which of your own characters is your favorite?
I used to think it was Porter Delaney, who shows up in lots of the books and has his own novella Porter the Importer, because he’s always so even-keel and happy. He’s like the best guy ever. But lately I’ve become smitten with Eli Whittaker in the new book The Rule of 3. Here you have a guy who’s a billionaire, handsome as a model, with an infectious personality. He could do anything he wanted with his life. But he’s so loyal with his affection, he is selfless. I adore the man.
Please share one piece of advice to aspiring authors - what do you wish someone would have told you? Or, what did someone tell you that you’d like to pass on to others?
The hardest part about writing for me is all of the marketing that needs to be done. I erroneously thought all you needed to do was write a good book and publish it. Nope. Try that, and chances are great that no one will ever find it. You need to write, and write, and write to have a number of titles out there. And you need to find some people you can trust to help you because writing a book doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I went through several editors who were all nightmares for one reason or another, and that little journey can be horrible—not to mention expensive. There are online groups and Facebook groups that can be very helpful, but only if they work for YOU.
What is your favorite type of chocolate?
I don’t eat chocolate.
Books, movies, or shows?
Romantic suspense, contemporary, paranormal, or historical?
Anything but paranormal.
Hot dogs, hamburgers, or tacos?
Tacos! I grew up in So Cal!
Cowboy boots, biker boots, or flip-flops?
Flip-flops. We grew up calling them zories.
Novels, novellas, or short stories?
Cats, dogs, or exotics?
I love them all, but leave the exotics where they belong.
Any last words before we say goodbye?
This was fun. Thanks for asking your questions. The attached photos are the covers of my book as well as a couple of shots of me with my constant companion and the inspiration for the wonderful Gordon Setter “Bells” in Make Believe. As you can see, she likes to be right in the middle of the action.
The Rule of 3
August 17, 2020
Contemporary ~ MMF ~ LGBTQ
Tanner Lassiter has easy, straightforward goals.
1. Marry the love of your life.
2. Become Kentucky’s youngest governor ever.
3. Become president.
Eli Whittaker is a kingmaker with two goals.
1. Use your billions and connections to help Tanner realize all of his dreams.
2. Don’t die of a broken heart in the process of achieving #1.
Zoë Deliban is a small-town teacher with one goal.
1. Don’t mess up Tanner’s life by letting him know you still love him.
This is an MMF love story. Open-minded adult readers only, please. If you don’t mind a few four-letter words and steamy scenes, and you want a book about enduring love, loyalty, and kindness, come on in and enjoy the fun.
The Rule of 3 is a “Lovers in Louisville” series spin-off and a standalone book.
More About Ariella
Ariella Talix is the nom de plume of a genteel and creative lady who lives in America's Heartland. Her goal is to preserve the dignity of family members who would rather not be associated publicly with a woman who writes such scandalous and stimulating novels. She's not going to stop writing them though. She loves her family, pets, great books, not-so-great books that still entertain, and art. Born and raised near the beaches of southern California, Ariella Talix traveled the world extensively and then found her true home in the Midwest. She has a second-degree black belt in Karate and has been a professional artist for many years. Her work is displayed in countries all over the world