Thursday, November 10, 2016 | By: The Write Way Cafe

An Interview with T.M. Cromer

The Write Way Café welcomes T.M. Cromer, who believes in consistency and writing every single day. It's working well for her!

When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
     The first time I started to write—and yes it was romance—I was 14 years old. I scribbled ideas and dialog in a pink spiral notebook. Fearing my siblings going through my things, I buried it in the bottom of my closet.

What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
     I’m not sure what constitutes a “path” but basically, I hunkered down and wrote my butt off for about a month. It really is about being consistent and writing every single day. As far as publishing, I’m an indie published author. During the process of writing a story, an image of the characters comes to me. Somewhere along the way so does the cover. If it is ebook format, I usually create my own cover. When it’s time for the book to go to print, I have a cover artist friend who will take what I have done and expand on it for the full cover. Publishing is a simple matter of formatting a book to the retailers standard after it has been edited and uploading. It really is that simple. Then comes marketing and that is a whole different ball of wax.
     Reference the research: I write mostly romantic suspense. There is very little by way of research that I need to do. On the rare occasion when I need to know if a situation with police might be factual, I phone a friend—much like the gameshow. I rely on others to fill in the gaps of my knowledge base. :) One of my best friends has a husband on the force, and in the case of this story, I called and asked what were the steps for a homicide born of self defense.

Where did the idea for your story come from? 
     My story ideas come from every day life. But in the case of THE TROUBLE WITH LUST, it was spawned from the first in the series BURNING RESOLUTION. I created that story one day after the New Year when I did exactly as the main character and poked myself in the belly all the while lecturing myself on the need to get in shape. Neither me, nor my character, did so.

Why did you pick the setting you did?
     Initially, I had to have Erica’s friend (the MC of BURNING RESOLUTION) be out of town. She had to turn to Zack when the chips were down and her life was, quite literally, burning to the ground. After I’d decided to use Shonda for the love interest of Zack’s brother, Mason, in book two, I knew the perfect setting would be if they’d met on the plane, jetting off to their vacation. It made for a great awkward setting after they returned home and were forced to interact while trying to help rescue characters from book one.

Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
     In THE TROUBLE WITH LUST, I feel as if Mason is the alpha male we’ve all met at some point. We dislike his arrogance, and yet, we can’t help but be attracted to him. That we are allowed to reform those type of men as writers makes me happy.
     In BURNING RESOLUTION, Erica’s whacky character is ALL ME—lemon donut obsession and all.

Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
     I’m not sure I believe in blocks. There are times I’m not inspired to write, but I find another outlet for my creative energy. I design a cover, create an ad, clean the house, or nap in the hammock. All these things help free my mind of the clutter piling up in there.

What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
     I’m a panster. Every plot is a surprise. I have a general idea going in how I want it to start and end. I may even have a few ideas how I want specific scenes to play out, but mostly the story takes on a life of its own. On days I’m feeling especially devious, I throw in a plot twist. I can do that, I’m the writer.

What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world; about corporate espionage? 
     Well, for the month of September, I found I could knock out 100,000 words for the month. Between writing the novella, PICTURE THIS, for Marina Adair’s St. Helena Vineyard Kindle World Series, and writing THE TROUBLE WITH LUST to meet my pre-order deadline, I discovered the ability to dig deep. To woman up (doesn’t that sound better than man up?) and get the job done. The process made me proud, accomplished even. There I was creating two covers, two stories, and working through edits on two books—up to five minutes before my upload was due. That’s dedication. That is drive. I didn’t realize I was that passionate about any one thing to go without sleep.
     Learning about the process? I learned that a long time ago with my first two stories. Enough so that by the third book I felt like a pro. And because I enjoy trying new things, I took on the project for Marina’s SHVKW. There was a learning curve associated with using characters who crossed over in other author’s books. Also, in dealing with contracts and professional publishers like the team at KindleWorlds, I learned even more. I’m grateful for every new experience that comes my way. It sounds trite, but it’s 100% true.
     Can I confess to bluffing my way through the espionage? That is all from imagination. LOL But I did love St. Thomas when I was there a few years back. It was truly one of my favorite islands. The snorkeling was amazing, and we were fortunate enough to find a local driver to take us to great out of the way spots. It was like being on our own private island. I recommend everyone try that trip at least once in their lives.

Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
     My writing space is all over my house but mostly on the right side of the couch. My office is in the process of being decorated and is all torn apart at the moment. I’m going insane. However, because it is just me and the Hubs, I don’t have the standard distractions of most authors. There is no full-time job, no children, no commitments of any kind for me, well, except for my dog, Tink. She’s a high-energy handful. She’s the true house boss and keeps me on a tight schedule. I am allowed exactly one hour on Facebook, then we must play ball. I am allowed two hours of writing, then we must play ball. I am allowed… well, you get the picture.

What are some of your favorite books and why?
     I’ve been an avid reader since I was 14. For me, there are too many books to count. One favorite is DREAMING by Jill Barnet. I connected with that character on a level I have yet to connect with another. It would have been what my life would have been like had I lived over 200 years ago.

What are you working on now?
     There are four stories currently in my writing queue: SO GREAT A LOVE, THE BAKERY, DALLAS BURNING, and A LOVE TO CALL MINE.
     SO GREAT A LOVE is a novella for a collaboration I am doing for Hildie McQueen’s INDULGENCES series. I’ve finished it and am waiting for the edits to be returned so that I might get it off to my ARC readers by mid-December.
     THE BAKERY is a novella that ties into the Workout World & McAdams Pub series. All stories will cross over, as the McAdams family are the cousins to the Sharps from BURNING RESOLUTION & THE TROUBLE WITH LUST.
     DALLAS BURNING has 1.5 chapters completed and will be a novella for Paige Tyler’s Dallas Fire & Rescue Kindle World due out toward the end of January.
     A LOVE TO CALL MINE will be a full length novel and the third in the Workout World series. This story centers around the youngest brother, Dane, who readers have come to love. His story is actually going to surprise some readers. His past will be shocking to most and the plot twists should live up to the first two books in the series. Because he’s the most lighthearted of the brothers, I think he’ll be fun to write.

Would you like to try your hand at writing a different genre?  Which one and why?
     Yes. I’d love to try historical down the road and maybe even some paranormal. I have a few chapters of a few books started and I work on them from time to time when I need a break from my current genres of Romantic Suspense and Contemporary Romance. One day, maybe a year or two down the road, I’ll release them.

If you were not a writer, what would your dream job be?
     Make up artist to Jensen Ackles. That man is HAWT!

What aspect of writing gives you the most trouble?
     Research. It’s time consuming, and I don’t really enjoy it. My dream assistant would be someone who spoon fed me the information I needed without me having to break stride in typing. :)

Who is your favorite hero/heroine?
     Is it wrong to put forth my own characters? I’ve fallen in love with Zack from BURNING RESOLUTION. He is funny, sexy, smart, and protective. Sigh.

The Bakery:
Burning Resolution:

     Mason Sharp has sworn off relationships, but he’s not opposed to a casual affair. He thinks he’s found the perfect woman for a little fun in paradise in Shonda Grant. What he’s really found is a hot mess.
     It only takes one look at Mason, and Shonda’s internal alarm is screaming “Danger!” However, the real trouble starts when someone breaks into her suite.
     As Mason fights against his ever-growing affection for Shonda, they try to solve the mystery surrounding the break-in. In the process, they stumble upon corporate espionage and a person willing to go to any lengths to keep from being exposed. What started as fun in the sun could end in tragedy unless they discover who is the master player in this deadly game of chess.

     Hope Fiore is happy with her existing life in the small town of St. Helena, CA. Sure, she might be a little lonely, but she doesn’t have time for romance. Even if she did, with the Fiore Curse in play, she recognizes that she doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hades of ever having a successful relationship.
      Enter Royce Anderson. A New Yorker with a charming smile and a playboy attitude. After only one day in town, he’s run afoul of the Fiore family and had nothing but bad luck. However, he’s helpless to resist his attraction to Hope.
      Hope and Royce embark on a romance, knowing it can only be temporary. Yet, as things heat up and emotions run high, they start to think it might be possible to be the first to overcome love’s curse in the Fiore family’s history.

About T.M.:  T.M. Cromer (aka Tara Cromer) is originally from New Jersey, but spent most of her growing up years in Flagler Beach & Palm Coast, Florida. More recently, she relocated with her husband to Illinois, where she met and fell in love with her fuzzy soulmate, Tinkerbell. She claims her hubby has come to understand Tink ranks first in her affections, as she ranks in Tink’s. He’s cool with it. :)
     Job titles she currently holds:  Author, Professional Waster-of-Time, Hammock Mounting Safety Instructor, Margarita Mixologist and Spoiler of Dogs.

Discover her website here:

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HiDee said...

Fun interview and beautiful covers! Thanks for being with us today!

T.M. Cromer said...

Thanks for having me HiDee!

HiDee said...

T.M., my sincere apologies for having your name incorrect yesterday. :(