An interview with Hope Tarr
I’m excited to welcome Hope Tarr, author of Operation Cinderella to Read Your Writes. Hope thanks for stopping by and agreeing to answer some questions for me.
For those of us who are new to your books, please tell us something about yourself.
I’m the author of twenty historical and contemporary romances including Operation Cinderella, the launch to my “Suddenly Cinderella” Series with Entangled Publishing. I am also a cofounder and current principal of Lady Jane’s Salon™, New York’s first and so far only monthly romance reading series. Coming into our fourth year, we have four satellite Salons nationwide, all of which follow our national model, including donating their net proceeds to a 501c)3) charity. I’m currently on what I’m calling my Lady Jane’s Salon Book Tour de Force, stopping at each Salon as a guest reader. My first stop was the Naperville, IL Lady Jane’s on November 6th, Election Day!
Folks can find me online at www.HopeTarr.com, www.LadyJaneSalonNYC.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/HopeC.Tarr and on Twitter @HopeTarr.
Where did the idea to have a Cinderella Fairy Tale themed series come from?
As a kid, I pretty much grew up eating, breathing, and dreaming fairytales, Cinderella especially. Not counting Christmas, I had two big annual excitements when I was small: my family’s summer visit to The Enchanted Forest in xx, Maryland. The EC was the oldest East Coat xx. My second was the annual TV broadcast of Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” with Leslie Ann Warren. “Ten minutes ago I met you…”
Bonus: she was a brunette like me. (smiles)
Describe Ross and Macie each in five words or less.
Ross: Honorable, opinionated, salt-of-the-earth, sexy (!)
Macie: opinionated, ballsy, searching, adventurous, brave
Do you have a favorite line or scene from the book, and if so, could you please share it with us?
My favorite scene is probably the First Kiss scene atop the Kennedy Center’s rooftop terrace overlooking a moonlit Washington, DC. I’ve stood there with yes, a champagne flute in hand as Ross and Macie do—and it’s really THAT amazing.
As for my favorite line, that belongs to Ross. It loses something without the context but here it goes: “You feminists are all business.”
I have to say, I was surprised a little by Macie’s background. Do you think she needed to have her dark past, in order to have her happy ending?
Well, no, I don’t think bad things have to happen for characters to have a HEA—or real people, either. (wink) But in fiction, anytime you can raise the stakes, anytime you can show readers the behind-the-scenes as to why a character acts the way s/he does, I think that’s important. If it’s done well, always the challenge, I think that’s golden.
To a certain extent, it seems there are two Ross’s. What exactly makes Ross into the person we think he is in the beginning of the story?
When it’s a landslide, we dig in our heels. In moving from Texas to DC, Ross has left him Comfort Zone in a big way. Sure, he may be the Conservatives’ new media darling, but in so many ways he feels his values and way of life are slipping away. The problems with his daughter, Samantha—Sam—, the circumstances of her conception, and his lingering feelings of failure over being divorced have him trying to entrench himself in whatever he feels is trusted and true.
In writing Operation Cinderella, did you have your own idea of how you wanted to story to go and were you able to stay true to your vision? Or did Ross and Macie drive the story themselves?
I start with a synopsis for every book and in the case of OPERATION CINDERELLA I stayed pretty true to it. That said, also in every book, my main characters tend to have their wicked way with me—and Ross and Macie were no exception.
I know you’re an animal lover, can we expect to have some four legged semi-humans appearing in future Cinderella books, helping to provide some matching services?
I’m so glad you asked this question! As some know, I launched the successful Pet Overpopulation STAMP OUT Campaign (1996-2002) for the U.S, Postal Service to issue a “Spay/Neuter Your Pet” commemorative postage stamp. They did—250,000 nationwide! And they sold out!
In the years since, I make it a point to include an animal companion, always a rescue, usually a cat, in each of my books. If you visit the Best Friends section of www.HopeTarr.com, you’ll find the photos and short bios of the real furry muses that have informed each of my books.
In OPERATION CINDERELLA, Macie has a blind former NYC shelter cat, Stevie AKA Stevie Wonder. In A SUDDENLY CINDERELLA CHRISTMAS CAROL, my in-series novella releasing later this month, my personal precious, Molly Jane, makes yet another cameo as the Scrooge heroine’s feline friend.
What is your idea of a perfect evening?
I’m a fortunate woman. I get to have my Perfect Evening every Sunday night when my boyfriend and I open a bottle of wine, order our favorite takeout, and settle down for “family” TV night together and with the cats. First up: “Once Upon a Time." Go figure. (winks)
What do you want readers to take away from the book?
Our past doesn’t have to define us. There’s a great quote from silent screen actress Mary Pickford that I keep taped to my computer. It ends with: “Failure isn’t the falling down—it’s the staying down." All too often, we tend to write off our lives as “ruined” or even “over” because of a youthful mistake or, in Macie’s case, something bad that was perpetrated on us. It’s not over until it’s over. Happily Ever After is out there—we just have to claim it.
And for any young people reading this who may suffer from bullying, it really does get better. I promise.
Operation Cinderella is the first book in your Suddenly Cinderella series. I’m really intrigued by the God Parents, so I am definitely looking forward to the other books in the series. What can we expect next and when?
A SUDDENLY CINDERELLA CHRISTMAS CAROL, releasing this November as an Entangled Flirt, integrates elements of Cinderella with the Dickens’ classic. The twist: the heroine is Cinderella and Scrooge!
PROJECT CINDERELLA (February 2013) takes place on the set of a reality TV show where the makeover contestant hero is the Cinderella character as well as the Ugly Duckling-cum-Swan. His Princess Charming is fashion photographer, Francesca (Ross’s ex in OPERATION CINDERELLA) who badly needs to learn that true beauty comes from within.
In the series finale, THE CINDERELLA CAPER (June 2013), Cinderella is a plus-size Greek American personal chef—readers first meet Stefanie as Macie’s helpful sidekick in OPERATION CINDERELLA—forced to make fat-free meals for her diet-obsessed stepmother and stepsisters. It’s “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” meets Cinderella.
Hope thank you again so much for stopping by and answering my questions. I am definitely looking forward to reading more from you.
Kim, it’s been lovely. Thanks so much for having me.
Read the book overview an excerpt of Operation Cinderella here.
Hope is doing a Blog Tour Giveaway with a pamper your inner goddess gift basket. (Check back on Thursday, November 29th for my review and another giveaway.)
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