About author, Tara Ellison: I had a very fragmented childhood and lived all over the place. I was born in London but raised in Sydney and Hong Kong. My youth was spent immersed in American culture and eventually I realized my dream of moving to the US to pursue an acting career. Show business turned out not to be a good fit (on reflection I guess I didn’t want it badly enough), and I spent many years trying to figure out what I wanted to do next. I took writing classes and discovered that the act of creating something out of thin air was a lot of fun. After a difficult divorce, I returned to that love of writing and Synchronized Breathing was born.
Describe your writing style in five words: Make it fun, hilarious & sexy!
Coffee for tea? Traditionally I’ve always been a tea person but I have now discovered a true appreciation for coffee. Must I choose only one?
What is the writing/editing/publishing process like for you? The business of book writing is new to me but the writing part has been a constant in my life – something I’ve always done to amuse myself or to help process situations or dilemmas. I worked on Synchronized Breathing for almost 7 years before finding a publisher and editing and publishing for another year – so all in all it took 8 years to give birth to this book. I better learn to crank them out a bit faster!
Hard/paperbacks or eBooks? It’s always a physical book. There’s nothing like it for me, I’m afraid.
Why do you love writing? It certainly helps me to make sense of things – or if I can’t make sense of them, at least I can make them funny! There’s nothing on the page until I put it there. I love that feeling. It’s not dependent on anyone else; it’s something I do for myself and it’s a tremendous (added) benefit if other people enjoy it.
How do you come up with the title of your book “Synchronized Breathing”? I knew the book was going to be called Synchronized Breathing from very early on and I can’t explain exactly why. The title just came to me like a bolt of lightening and it stuck. Even when people tried to steer me in other directions, I was never swayed. I find something magical about that title. Coincidently, many years ago I had a line in a TV show that went something like ‘The synchronized breathing class is in the room down the hall…’ or something to that effect, so it has probably been buried in my brain for twenty years!
I love the idea of being in sync with a lover – with their rhythms and their breathing – but also the awareness that no matter how heady that feeling is, you must be able to stand on your own. That pretty much sums up the message of the book.
Who is your favorite author? Right now I’d have to say Donna Tartt. I’m reading The Goldfinch and her writing is wildly beautiful and haunting. When I find a book that I really love, it consumes me. Last year I was obsessed with Karen Russell and the year before, Gillian Flynn.
I do love Edna O’ Brien, Erica Jong and our classic Chick Lit staples – Helen Fielding, Sue Limb, Melissa Bank, Plum Sykes et al. My reading tastes can be all over the board, although I will often read a few similar books in a row and then switch gears.
How did you celebrate when your first book was published? On publication day, I bought myself a rather expensive bottle of perfume and then I rushed home and drank champagne with my husband and friends. It was a bit indulgent but it had been a bloody long labor and I felt justified in savoring the moment. (And at that point I think my (new) husband was really tired of hearing about it!)
What is your favorite thing about being an author? I don’t know yet. I haven’t let it sink in. Right now I’m a writer with a debut novel. Perhaps I could revisit this question in a year?
What is something about you that people would be surprised to know? Public speaking terrifies me (odd for someone who thought she wanted to be an actress, right?).
What’s the best advice you’ve been given? You cannot doubt yourself. You have to know who you are and what you stand for.
Can you tell us about any of your upcoming projects? I have a few new projects in the works and I’m currently deciding if I want to do another book with the characters from Synchronized Breathing.