Megan's 5 star rated Contemporary Romance

Friday, 5 October 2012

Tamara Carlisle

A Warm Welcome to Tamara

Tamara Carlisle is a former attorney and business consultant.  Away from the Spotlight is her first published work of fiction.  She currently is working on two additional novels:  one is about love in the music industry and the other is a work of paranormal fiction.  Tamara currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her British husband and daughter.  For further information, go to 

Away From the Spotlight
by Tamara Carlisle
In the closing weeks of law school, Shannon Sutherland meets handsome and charming Englishman Will MacKenzie. Initially swept off her feet, Shannon finds that Will has a secret that, once discovered and the consequences realized, could destroy their fledgling relationship. Will and Shannon take great pains to have a normal relationship but, ultimately, find it impossible to do so. Will the pressures of their careers and the temptations of others drive Will and Shannon apart? Can Will and Shannon live a happy life away from the spotlight?
Before treating us to an excerpt, Tamara Reveals:
In a couple of sentences, describe the hero’s character.  What do you like best/least about him? 
Hero, Will MacKenzie, is a famous movie actor who tries to maintain a normal life “away from the spotlight.”  He is very grounded with a loving family and a good group of friends.  Consequently, he is a good guy in general, a good son, a good friend, and a good boyfriend.  I like that he tries to put others’ needs first, even though his attempts may be misguided at times.

And the heroine? How do you relate to her?
Heroine, Shannon Sutherland is a law student and, later, a young lawyer.  I easily related to her because I layered the overarching romance over my experience as a law student, studying for the California Bar Exam, travelling in Europe and the U.K. after the Bar Exam, and commencing a legal career.  That said, Shannon’s personality is quite a bit different than mine.  She is much more emotional than I am.  I also made her a little more insecure than I am so that she did not come off as unlikeable, acting as if she deserved the royal treatment bestowed upon her by Will.  In addition, I never dated anyone famous, so the plot details are pure fiction.

What do you think are the main ingredients for a successful book? 
The main ingredients for a successful romance story are:  (1) a desirable, fantasy hero, (2) a likeable, relatable heroine, (3) interesting settings that makes sense for the characters, (4) a believable premise (i.e., could these particular characters really fall in love?), (5) an interesting conflict that is not overly contrived or drawn out, and (6) a satisfying resolution of the conflict (i.e., “happily ever after”).  In addition, a published work must also be well-edited so that spelling, grammar, continuity, appropriate idioms, and other issues of form don’t pull the reader out of the story.

What do you like best and least about writing?
My favorite thing about writing is channelling the story.  It’s like having a movie playing in my head and a taking a little vacation from ordinary day-to-day life. 
I formatted the book for e-publishing myself because I wanted to know how to do it, including the insertion of the table of contents.  I enjoyed that the least.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block? What would be your tips to overcome it?
I write as if I am transcribing a movie playing in my head.  Sometimes that movie stops in the middle.  I have been told that a writer must write his or her way out of writer’s block.  What I do is move to another story.  Eventually, the movie for the previous story starts up again in my head.  The only problem with this method is that I have multiple novels in the works at once, all in various stages of development and none completed.  A few are getting there though.

What can we look forward to from you in the near future?
I have five novels in various stages of development:  a paranormal romance that takes place on a college campus, two contemporary romances involving musicians, a historical romance set in 16th century Scotland, and a contemporary romance involving the relationship between two people in disintegrating marriages with alcoholic spouses who meet when one of them is on vacation in Scotland (it’s not as depressing as it sounds). 

How do you like to spend your free time?
Since I have a full-time career outside of writing fiction, writing is what I do in my free time in addition to spending time with family and friends.  My interests also include music, reading, travel, and American football (particularly, the USC Trojans), among others. 

 What would you most like to accomplish this year?
I would like to publish one of my other novels in the works.  I’d also like to figure out the promotional element of publishing.  I feel like I’m playing a game with an unwritten rulebook that others are familiar with and I’m not.
Now A Taste of Tamara:
“I met someone.  His name is Will.  He’s English, I think.”

“That would be different for you.”

She wasn’t wrong.  I had very casually dated a number of men I had met in the various pubs in Santa Monica.  They were from all over Europe, but not one of them had been English for some reason.  There were Scottish, Irish and Welsh men among them, but never English.  I had commented on occasion on the fact that I never seemed to meet English men at the English pubs I frequented.

“I’m going to see him again tomorrow night.”

“What’s he like?”

“Drop-dead gorgeous, smart, funny and with excellent taste in music.  Just my type.  Well, better than my type, actually.  It’s hard to believe someone that perfect has any interest in me.”

Please” Rachael said.  “You get hit on every time we go out.”

“That’s overstating things quite a bit.”

“You seem oblivious to it half the time.”
I guess I did ignore some of it.  When you spend time as part of a female minority in bars full of drunk men, it was hard not to think that some of them would have hit on me for no other reason than that I was female, regardless of how I acted, what I said, or what I looked like.  I therefore learned that getting hit on wasn’t necessarily a compliment and, the later it happened in the evening, the less of a compliment it was.


 To  follow the rest of Tamara's tour click here
Library Thing:
Tamara’s Goodreads Author Page also includes a blog detailing trivia relating to 'Away from the Spotlight'.

Thank you, Megan, for allowing me to join you today.
Great to meet you, Tamara, and I wish you huge success with your debut release!
Tamara will be awarding two $25 Amazon GCs to randomly drawn commenters during the tour


  1. Writing a book is just one aspect. Then you have to publish & promote & have a life. I wish you well.


  2. Pleased to host you today, Tamara. Good luck with the book launch!

  3. Thank you for hosting me today, Megan. I look forward to checking in throughout the day. Thank you for joining us today, Mary. I appreciate your good wishes.

  4. AWAY FROM THE SPOTLIGHT sounds like a good read. Is Will famous when they meet and she doesn't know it? How insecure is Shannon? She doesn't cross that line into "whiny, you just wanna pinch her", does she? Just wondering..:)
    All the best to you Tamara.

  5. Ivy, you are correct. Will is famous when he and Shannon meet. He manages to hide it for a little while. Shannon is not happy when she finds out he lied by omission. I don't think she's whiny. Her minor insecurities only serve to keep her from coming off as arrogant and entitled. Neither overly insecure and whiny nor arrogant and entitled results in a likeable heroine. I hope you like her. Thanks for joining us and making me chuckle this morning.

  6. Sounds like a great read.

  7. Thanks, Ingeborg - I appreciate it! Thanks for joining us this morning.

  8. I've been enjoying this tour!


  9. Thanks, Vitajex! I am very grateful for the wonderful efforts of Goddess Fish and the gracious bloggers like Megan for hosting me. As a bonus, I now have more sources of finding good books to read!

  10. Thanks for the interview, I love to learn more about the authors that write the books

    fencingromein at hotmail dot com

  11. Thanks for sharing

  12. Thanks, Shannon and Susie, for joining us this afternoon. I'm glad you both liked the post.

  13. Thank you, Megan, for hosting me today. This was fun! I look forward to following your blog.