Author Tara Manderino Tackles the Dirty Dozen

This hot summer morning is made cool by chatting with Tara Manderino, author of Heart Quest.

Tara Manderino loves to create stories and situations for the people running around in her head. She first began writing in third grade when she realized she couldn't afford her reading habit. Tara writes in and is published in a variety of genres and finds that each one is her favorite at the time. Her books are available at most online retailers.

Tara resides in her native town in southwestern Pennsylvania. When she's not chasing Lydia, the Boxer, she's writing or reading. Tara likes to bake, watch old movies, and do a variety of crafts.

Find Tara Manderino Online

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Tara Manderino Tackles the Dirty Dozen

1. In which genre do you write and why that particular genre?

I write through several sub genres of romance. I love writing inspirational and the flip side with paranormals. All of my books are sweet, even the paranormal vampire ones.

2. What's your most recent book and what's it about?

Heart Quest was my most recently released romance. It is a standalone book, but is technically the second in the series: On the President’s Orders.

With one week to find the stolen stone from the Heart of Egypt, Luke Hayden, one of the premiere agents of the 1874 US Secret Service, travels in disguise across the continent When he learns Maj Bentzer, a woman he’s loved in the past, plays a key role in the stone’s disappearance, he’s not sure he can trust his instincts.

3. As an author, what can readers expect when they read one of your books?

Readers can find a healthy dose of love and friendship on various levels, not just between the hero and heroine. I don't think I'm giving anything away saying readers will find love triumphs all. I enjoy writing romance, and I and my characters need a happily-ever-after. I hope the readers do too.

4. How did you "become" an author? For instance, was there a moment when you said: "I think I'll write a book.

As my bio says, I really was in the Third Grade. During summer vacation to be specific. I kept wanting to buy more books at the corner store and my parents put their foot down. I couldn’t get to the school library, and the public library was downtown. I was allowed to go, but only if I could find a friend to walk there with me. That was one hurdle. The other was that then I would have to haul home what I had. A backpack would have made perfect sense, but we didn’t use them then. Since going home was all uphill and literally climbing hundreds of steps, I was very careful about what I chose. I managed to convince my parents I absolutely needed a new BIC ballpoint pen and a yellow school tablet. I started writing my stories then. I must have been at it pretty hard because that year for Christmas my parents got me a small portable typewriter!

5. What's the best thing about being an author?

Getting to make up the world my characters live in. And the research. Love doing research and working on a book gives me a great excuse to do it. For my birthday, my son gave me a bound copy of Harper’s Magazine with issues from June to November 1905.

6. What's the worst thing about being an author?

I detest having to cut out the parts I really like. Unfortunately, that’s a necessary evil in the editing process. Some of it deserves to be cut, but when there’s that one line, one phrase, even a scene that I just love, that needs to be cut. That’s not fun. I tell myself to let go because I know it makes the story stronger, but it’s still hard.

7. Do you have editions of your books available other than ebook editions?

Yes. Heart Quest is also available in a Paperback Edition.

8. Do you listen to audio books? If so, what device do you use?

Not often. Since I am hearing impaired it is often more of a struggle than not.

9. What device do you use to read ebooks?

I’m addicted to reading! My Kindle Fire is my reader of choice, but I also have a little Pandigital tablet that I use, and I used the Kindle Cloud reader on whichever computer I have with me when the urge to read strikes.

10. If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?

Write. Write your dreams. Write what’s in your head. Write what you wish were in your head. Nothing can substitute for writing. And don’t be afraid of what you’re writing. That sounds strange, but we’re our own worst critics. If we listen to ourselves too much in the first draft writing stage, we would never get past the opening paragraph.

11. If you could tell readers one thing, what would it be?

Be adventurous in your reading. So often we get caught up in reading the same thing all of the time that we forget there are other genres out there. I love when the local library has their winter reading programs. That’s the time they encourage adults to read something in different categories. Pick up a biography, or a local history book and broaden your horizons. There’s such a wonderful world to explore through books--there simply isn’t enough time. But then, readers already know this!

12. What is your big dream (or goal) as a writer?

To write more. I have so many stories I want to share, but with the day job and everyday life, there just don’t seem to be enough hours in the day to get everything written down.

Buy Links for Heart Quest

Amazon Kindle Edition

Amazon: Paperback Edition

Takeaway Truth

I'll echo Tara's advice: try a different kind of book. You don't have to abandon your favorite genre, but try a new genre or author today.


  1. Thanks so much for hosting this, Joan!

  2. Thanks for the insight, Tara. I chuckled over your struggles for reading material as a 3rd grader. I could see the little girl climbing hills with her arm full of books. Poor baby. But now you're published in different genres. I peeked at your Amazon author page and saw that you write historical American fiction, Regency, inspirational, vampire romantic suspense and cookbooks.That's amazing. :D

  3. Thanks for stopping by, J.D. Still walking uphill. :)