Notes from Author|
Below is my September 2006 update when I was immersed in writing.
But for a more recent update...
Written August 27, 2008
In Novemeber 2006, a former boyfriend, Jeff Niekamp, contacted me...and the really short verison of the story is - we were married in April 2007. I have loved getting settled in to this new life. Married life is wonderful. However even though I have tremendous support from my husband in regards to my writing goals, I made the choice to put these things on hold.
In the meantime, I was hired by Discovery Gateway to develop a professional development workshop for 5th grade teachers (this program was generously funded by the Utah State Legislature through the Utah State Office of Education). It was one of the best jobs for me both personally and professionally. Through the process, I learned a great deal. Probably one of the greatest rewards was that I don't dread speaking in front of a group like I did before. For any of you that heard me speak as an author, I was absolutely terrified beforehand. But after working so hard on presenting these teacher workshops, I think I have cured the bulk of those obnoxious nerves.
I developed these workshops with Amber Palmer, our teacher-in-residence for 2007-2008, and she was amazing. Once we presented the workshops, the teachers raved about them, which truly helped us. From their encouragement and comments, we grew in developing a product that would serve as a great resource to these wonderful teachers.
So although for these last couple of years my personal writing goals went on the back burner, I have had wonderful opportunites that provided me with a greater purpose and direction in which to take my writing.
Currently I am at a point to reexamine my writing goals and to consider my next steps (such as creating a blog for these updates). Please check back for more writing updates.
Tara C. Allred
Written September 2006:
One of my least favorite things is putting together the information needed for this website. I love to write, but I don't like to write about myself. However I have been surprised and pleased to hear comments from fans. Many of you have been coming to this website for more information about my projects. So here is the update:
This is my second novel in the John Sanders' series. A woman who has overcome aspects of her mental illness is suddenly plagued with strange delusions. Then anonymous letters are being mailed, which are tied in with the delusions. John Sanders finds his own life is challenged unless he can help this woman uncover the truth.
This book has been a great trial and reward for me. Although it's completion has literally taken years, with hundreds of pages thrown out and rewritten, it truly has challenged me as a writer. Now I can finally say that I am extremely pleased with this manuscript. It is double the size of Sanders' Starfish and twice as good! (My recent readers and editors have validated that comment. They say it is a very suspenseful book). As soon as I know more info I will be eager to update this site.
How to Train a Wild Horse with Mario Johnson
This year I lived a writing dream. I left the city, my normal yet crazy strained life, to dwell in a quiet and beautiful campground in Manti, Utah. I was there to finish Unauthored Letters as well as develop my skills as a technical writer. One of the projects I picked up was ghost writing a horse training book with professional horse trainer Mario Johnson. The experience has been like no other. I have been mentally challenged while enjoying a whole new area of interest. We are in the process of working with a talented photographer and from there will be finishing the layout of the book.
On my finally full weekend in Manti, Utah I met a talented girl named Brittany. Before I knew it I was exchanging artistic works with her. For the beautiful sketch of zebras that she gave me, I consented to write a short story for her. It has been years since I have written short stories and my only children's book were when I was a child myself. The project was an exploration into new territory. Upon its completion I was pleased with the result. I have drafted up a project that I would further like to explore.
Losing the Boys-running title
This is book three in my suspense novel line up. I have been eager to do this book since 2002, but committed myself to finish Unauthored Letters before I could embark on this project. At the beginning of July, Unauthored Letters was sent out and I have had great fun in doing the research for this next book. I know it will be a huge undertaking. Most likely it will take some time before I have accomplished the book I envision, but I am very hopeful and eager to see it take shape. Among my long list of research I am seeking insight from 9th and 10th graders, parents of 9th and 10th graders, English, History (World), and Biology teachers of Jr. high or high school, and principals and school psychologists of secondary schools. If you or any one you know fits one of these categories and would be willing to answer a few questions to help me have more understanding into some of my characters lifestyles, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put Losing the Boys as the email's subject. Thank you.
The last two years made me really examine my long-term writing goals. It has been a hard struggle, but has me more committed, challenged and excited for all that is ahead.
Thanks for your support.
Tara C. Allred
If you are looking for great conferences and resources, check out these useful links:
League of Utah Writers
Association of Mormon Letters