Friday, March 28, 2014

Battle of the Brain: Left vs. Right

Tasha Temple
Over the years, I've given a lot of thought as to which part of my brain favors me.  Perhaps it's because I have always felt like an anomaly because I love all of my brain.  Before you laugh at that, consider that those who find their livelihood in mathematics and hard sciences are generally thought to have dominant left brains.  And those who devote themselves to art and creative careers are often considered to have stronger right brains.

A review of my cerebral hemispheres leads to me to conclude that I am odd.  Or at least that I swim against the tide.

My "left" brain ....

Tasha TempleIn school, I was consistently attracted to math, science and technology and I studied pre-med.  I devoured calculus, statistics, chemistry, physics and all things related. My life is meticulously organized on spreadsheets, charts, checklists, lists within lists, all orderly and updated regularly.  I have loads of fun doing taxes (no kidding!) and I was even a tax attorney in a former life.  I love anything to do with organization, categorization, complex calculations and the minutiae of numbers.  Did I just mention spreadsheets?  I literally have one for everything and they are color-coded with multiple worksheets.  I could spend all day just enjoying all Excel has to offer.

Then there is my "right" brain ....

Tasha TempleI am a writer by trade and by heart and I've written since I can first remember.  It was the first occupation I ever wanted to have.  I feel the happiest, most content and most fulfilled when I am creating with words.  I will write anything ... all genres, fiction or non-fiction, poetry, musings, commentary, songs.  I always create without an outline, much preferring the free-flowing association of ideas and thoughts as they occur to me.  I see art everywhere in the world and in people.  I try to capture some of it through photography and some through poetry.  I admit I am quite bad at drawing and sculpting but I love everything to do with graphic design.  I am a musician and play several instruments, even pursuing my love of percussion into college and beyond.  I am profoundly happy playing ragtime piano music or tapping on my snare drum in the park for the Fourth of July.  (Let's leave aside the drum set of my childhood with its double-bass pedal for another day!).

I rarely, if ever, combine pursuits from both sides.  I write no poems about differential equations and never map novels on spreadsheets.  I might be a an enigma, but my brain feels balanced, equally weighty and I embrace the cohesion.  It's more like solidarity than conflict.

So, I am strange entity from another planet, I suppose, but a happy one.  I wonder whether there are others out there like me .... :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Thank you and an Update

Thank you to everyone who participated in the recent Stonehollow game through The Romance Reviews.  The answer was "B" ... a pretty blonde girl named Jenna is the one who interrupts Lukas and Ellie on the moors while they share their first kiss.  As a teaser (not a spoiler), all of the other answers do appear in the novel somewhere.  So there are terrifying giant, white wolfhounds, a creepy doll that bleeds continuously from its face AND a devious scheming ghost named Sadie in Stonehollow.

Tasha TempleI have so much fun creating the Q&As and spend a lot of time trying to find an interesting excerpt with challenging (and yet obvious) answers.  From my stats, I can tell many, many readers visited my blog to play.  I am very grateful.

I am also appreciative of the participation level for all of my promos and the enthusiasm you convey when you win.  I don't know who is more excited...the winner of a promotion or me!  I have had several inquiries about whether I will offer print book giveaways again.  Yes!  I will likely have at least one book coming out in a second edition so when it does, I will restart them.

My next series is coming along well as I have finished (for the most part) my first book.  It's barely off to editing though and I am writing on the next.  I confess I feel the need to add a few more thoughts (chapters) to the first book when it returns.

Thank you all again as I wouldn't be able to do any of this without you!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Stonehollow Game - Play Only if You Dare!

Tasha TempleAnd now, a bit about star-crossed lovers Lukas and Ellie, thrown together on the Romanian moors for the adventure of a lifetime!

For all of you participating in The Romance Reviews 3rd Anniversary Party on March 14 (where you can win a free Stonehollow ebook), here is the question and enough clues to find the answer!

When Lukas and Ellie share their first kiss on the wild moors of Romania, who or what interrupts them?

A. Terrifying giant, white wolfhounds.

B. A pretty blonde girl named Jenna.

C. A creepy doll that bleeds continuously from its face.

D. A devious scheming ghost named Sadie.

Lukas was so close to her, Ellie could feel tiny droplets of water sensually tickling her skin as he shook his head slightly to clear the rain from his hair.  The loose strands were saturated with water, turning their color to a dusky blond.  Lukas put one hand next to her head, his breathing still labored from their flight, the desperateness of their situation reflected in his cobalt eyes.

His nearness sent heat rising through Ellie’s body like a sudden updraft of steam, fanning arousal in her veins, adrenaline mixing with desire.  She swallowed hard at the sudden quivering in her throat, the urgent sensations at her core, her body alight and tingling.  She found herself irresistibly drawn toward Lukas, his mouth so close she could feel his warm moist breath drifting into her own.  Her heart fluttered wildly at the inevitable touch of his lips.

Lukas had no intention of dying on these desolate crags but knew their chances of survival were grim right now.  If there ever was a last person on earth he wanted to be with, she was standing before him right now.  Ellie was awakening things in him, feelings long dormant, emotions bottled-up and suppressed since they had parted.  He was transfixed by her enigmatic beauty, her fiery brilliance, the passion in her glittered eyes.  He could barely contain the powerful gusts of hunger that shook his muscular frame.  He had felt nothing like it for five long years.

Without another thought, Lukas lowered his mouth to Ellie’s and skimmed her lips with his, savoring her sharp intake of breath as a flare of lust surged between them.  He slid both hands into Ellie’s wet hair and prepared to deepen the kiss, to finally reclaim what was his, what he had been missing.

“Oh god!” Jenna moaned shrilly.

The girl stumbled clumsily to her feet and threw herself at Lukas, wrapping her arms around his waist, nearly knocking him over.  Jenna dragged him away several steps before she sank to her knees again, her hands grasping at his legs. 

“I feel so sick!” she announced, her face pale, tears streaming down her cheeks.  “I can’t run anymore.  I just can’t.  I’m so weak.  I feel faint.  I can’t go on.  Oh, I just know I’m going to die out here.  Oh . . . my . . . god!”

Then Jenna began to heave again, her head wedged between Lukas’s knees.

Oh god, indeed, Ellie thought, pressing her head back against the stone.  She was shaken by the barest of kisses she had shared with Lukas and what it had nearly become.  Did she just imagine what had happened?  What was he thinking?  What was she thinking?  

Good luck and have fun!

Monday, February 17, 2014

My Very First Screenplay

This is me at about the age when I created the screenplay.
My recent interview with the astute and clever Jaideep Khanduja inspired me to reflect on the early origins of my love for writing.  One of the first projects I created was a screenplay when I was seven years old.

I don't remember why I decided to write a script but I remember inventing detailed speaking parts, background music and even foley artists!  My characters, dialogue and story were completely original, but looking back I think I drew a little too heavily from the influences of Jack and the Beanstalk and Little Red Riding Hood.

After I finished writing, I went around the neighborhood soliciting children for auditions. I awarded parts, held rehearsals and goaded the 'actors' into memorizing their lines.  I also designed all of the costumes culled mainly from my mother's endless craft and sewing supplies. 

One of my favorite characters was a speaking tree.  I convinced the tallest twelve-year-old boy with very red hair to play the part. I wrapped a leopard-print beach towel around him (as bark) and had him hold a bright pink parasol (for blossoms).  He did it willingly!  I think I must have had great powers of persuasion back then. 

I cast the youngest kids in non-speaking roles as "villagers." Their parts involved milling around and mumbling to each other at specified intervals, usually when the main characters came into "town."  My little brother even agreed to be one of the villagers.

I advertised the production and convinced the parents (and any other adults I could find) to attend.  On the big day, I set up rows of chairs in our side yard and rigged huge sheets from a clothesline to hide the set.  The show began, I directed the kids, they performed beautifully and everyone received tremendous applause from the audience.

Although the play was a rousing success, I felt the script hadn't been "exactly" followed.  I was very hard on myself and broke out in tears.  I ran from the set, tripped, fell on the patio blocks and skinned my knee nearly to the bone. Alas, the budding writer/director/producer, was too young to realize that simply putting on the show was the best experience of all!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day from The Posse

Valentine's Day is a special day for romance writers because on this particular day, everyone is thinking about what we think about every day.  If I am doing my job right, my novels should always evoke Cupid's Day of Love for you, leaving your heart fluttering, your senses quivering, your body aching and your mind craving more.

My characters are fortunate to inhabit a sort of fantasy Valentine's world.  They often develop deep, passionate bonds with each other that last a lifetime (or sometimes even beyond).  The path can be difficult, meandering and even dangerous, but the end result is always worth it!  Just like real life if one is very lucky.

Romance Novel Characters
When I created this montage, I wanted to include hearts for some of my romantic couples who weren't leading characters.  Their relationships are also spicy and fascinating, even if their names aren't the ones who light up the marquee.  But then I realized that might divulge too much of the plot, especially when new readers don't yet know who might end up with whom.

So, I opted to spare the spoilers and instead honor my two novels which contain the highest number of romantic subplots.  To that end, Stonehollow and Interplanetary Slave are going on sale through Valentine's Day weekend so you can feel the love too.

Happy reading!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tasha Temple Author Interview!

I had the lovely pleasure of being the guest of the gracious Jaideep Khanduja of Pebble in the Still Waters for an author interview.

Jaideep Khanduja
You can read the interview here.

It was delightfully fun and I hope you enjoy it too!  

Thank you, Jaideep!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Hungary Games

The latest contest just ended for a print copy of Pirate Barbarian and I have a delightful winner from Hungary.  And yes, it is turning out to be quite the adventure in mailing. This is the first time I have sent one of my books overseas (except through a retailer) and I am learning as I go. Thankfully, my winner is both patient and gracious and I am hoping the novel will be on its way soon to beautiful Eastern Europe.  I am trying to turn the "Hungary Games" back into the "Hunger Games" for Tasha Temple books!

Alaska winterscapeFor my next International winner of Warlord (going on now), I will hopefully be more erudite about the entire process.

My writing continues to flow well.  Our winter this year on Maui has been warm and beautiful, a ceaseless fountain for art and creativity, although I also find inspiration in austerity and bleakness. Wherever you live and whatever you do in life, find and pursue what motivates your soul!