May 31, 2013

What Do You Write About?

The two most asked questions I get, when people find out I’m a writer. “Where do you get the ideas for your stories?” and “Do you write about people you know in real life?” 

To address question one first: I get my inspiration everywhere! My first release, Heart of a Soldier, was inspired by my two best friends. They each had a son entering the military and shared their concerns and proud moments with me. I thought the idea of a single mother, losing her son to the military was a great premise for a story.

But, not inspiration can come in many forms, and it doesn’t have to be personal experience. Sometimes a line from a song can spark an idea. A television show or a magazine article… in the case of one of my works in progress, it was a Facebook post.

 I was trying to decide what novel I wanted to read next, so I posted the question to my friends. “Should I read dragons, firefighters, wolves, soldiers?” I had several responses. One was from my friend Beverly (she is dragon crazy) so of course she said “Dragons” someone else said “firefighters”, she replied “Firefighting Dragons” and from there we stating PMing. We ended up plotting a whole series called The Windy City Dragons!

If you are a writer, inspiration can sneak up on you any time or place. I always keep a notebook in my purse so I can jot down an idea before I lose it! (I am getting old you know and I sometimes forget why I walked into the kitchen)  As for question two. No, I don’t write about the people in my life, per se. That wouldn’t be nice. (or in my case, safe! Lol) But if you are in my life, you may see something you said or did, or bits and pieces from your personality showing up in my work.

There are little bits of me in all my heroines. Like Charlie’s love of coffee creamer in Heart of a Soldier. I am addicted to flavored creamers. In Roping Love the heroine, Carrie is a former rodeo rider and competitor at the All American Quarter Horse Congress. I didn’t ride rodeo, but I did show horses, and I did compete at Congress. My newest heroine, Sharon Daily, has my critique partner, Sharon Buchbinder’s first name, and she is the mother of an autistic child, as am I. 

But, I can assure you, Sharon Daily is in no way me nor is she based on my friend Sharon. So, NO, my characters aren’t real, and they won’t be you. However, it’s always been said “to write what you know” so…

Would you like to inspire a story or a character? Leave me a comment telling me something you think is inspiring: A funny story, a sweet gesture, a personality quirk. And you may just find it in a novel one day. Maybe mine, or maybe from the mind of someone else who reads it and is inspired!


Ten Years ago love slipped through Chance’s lasso. This time “He was going after her and she didn’t stand a chance, just like a calf in a chute, he was going to rope her with his love and ride back into her life.”

Carrie Stewart is a dedicated horsewoman. She runs a successful breeding and training program. She is a good friend, a good sister and a favorite aunt, but she has been burned by love. Carrie has never gotten over her first love, Chance Ryan. After ten years of absence Chance shows back up in her life. Should she risk her heart again, with the man who left it broken at her feet in the past? Chance has some serious work ahead of him to win back the one woman he could never forget.


Chance felt like he’d been thrown from a bucking bronco. Ten years. He hadn’t seen her in ten years. And it was just like before. God, she was even more beautiful than she had been at eighteen. Time had matured her body, her curves a little fuller than they had been. Her hair was short now, almost boyish in length, but curling softly around her face it looked feminine and flirty. It was a deeper shade of blonde now too, a golden honey color that looked stunning against her sun-bronzed skin. What the hell was she doing here? And who the hell was the kid with her? Chance was busy doing mental math, the kid looked nine or ten. Carrie had called him several times in the months after he left. He’d never returned her calls. Could she have been trying to tell him she was pregnant? No it couldn’t be, she would have told him. Wouldn’t she have?

“I’d say small world, but since it really is a small world and we haven’t run into each other in ten years…”

Carrie arched one eyebrow, he always loved when she did that, it looked so haughty and hot.

“What brings you here?” Chance asked

“Same as you I guess, looking for some brood mares.”

“Actually, we’re selling this mare.” Nodding at the other, nearly forgotten man in the stall. 

“This is my brother, Chase.”

“Nice to meet you,” Carrie said, looking down at Tyler, “Well, we need to get to the Coliseum, Tyler wants to see the cutting.” Keeping her arm around his shoulders they turned to leave.

“We should talk,” Chance said

Carrie looked over her shoulder and stared him straight in the eye. “I think the time for talking is long past.”

The phrase she was so mad she could chew nails and spit screws ran though his mind at her look. Damn. He had really fucked things up between them. Why hadn’t he taken her calls again? 

Oh, yeah, to give her a chance at a good life. 

“I really need to talk to you.”

“There’s nothing left to say.”



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About Tamara:

Tamara Hoffa lives in central Tennessee, with her husband of 30 years, her three grown children, two grandchildren, 5 dogs and 1 cat. Tamara started reading when she was four years old and has rarely been seen without a book at hand since. At home you will usually find her in “nana’s chair” with her kindle, her laptop or one of her precious, precocious grandson’s in her lap. Tamara is a reviewer, a professional reader and can now add author to her repertoire.  Tamara is proof positive that it’s never too late to reach for your dreams.

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