It’s hard to believe my blog tour has come to an end. Thanks to those of you who joined me on my journey. I had a lot of fun writing the various guest posts. Character interviews were my favorite because they allowed me to once again channel the voice of Tara. And she’s fun and tells it like it is, unlike me. So enjoy this last post of my tour with It’s Raining Books. Until we meet again…
Topic: What inspired you to write this book?
The inspiration for I Should Have Said Yes came from my desire to write about dating during a time that’s heavily influenced by social media. I loved the idea of capturing one woman’s journey to finding Mr. Right on Facebook. I could visualize her updates at the end of each chapter, funny anecdotes about her disastrous dates. It was then that I realized I needed to look no further. I already had my perfect protagonist: Tara Winters. Readers got to know Tara briefly in my first novel, Out in the Open. Tara is the youngest of the Winters girls, the irresponsible sister who was always dating someone new. She often lamented about these men at family gatherings. I figured, hey, I can work with that.
But one of the things I didn’t share was the reason why Tara goes on so many dates. Tara has always regretted that fateful day back in high school, when she told love interest D. J. Parker that their kiss didn’t mean anything. When in fact it meant everything. But he was a popular senior and she a mere freshman—a nobody. Judging by his reaction it was the wrong thing to say and the decision has haunted her ever since. So she made a pact to say yes to any dating opportunity that came her way. Hence, Tara goes on a lot of dates. The book is a candid and entertaining look at this journey, all documented on her Adventures in Dating blog. As you know, my initial idea was to document her dates on Facebook. But after the first draft was done I decided that a blog was a better outlet. Simple posts lacked the richness that I craved and didn’t feel authentic to the generation. As my beta reader and coworker told me, Millennials aren’t on Facebook. I knew this to be true and always struggled with it. A blog turned out to be a better fit with Tara’s personality, and it was a fun experience writing posts in her voice.
You may be wondering how I came up with enough men to fill a book. It was a challenge, but like Tara, I was a serial dater before I met my husband. Many of Tara’s Mr. Wrongs were based on my ghosts of dating past and those of my friends too. I didn’t necessarily tell them, so I’m just waiting for that phone call! I wouldn’t say it’s autobiographical, but it was interesting to come up with characters that were based on people I knew. Some intimately!
I also gathered inspiration from unsuspecting sources. People reveal the most interesting things in public. I was riding the elevator and overhead a girl lamenting about a date where the guy got so drunk he forgot about her and left—the bar and the bill. That guy is now the star of “The Alcoholic” chapter. So as you see, inspiration can come from anywhere. Sometimes you just need to look for it. 🙂