Interview: Tamara Mataya, new adult authorPosted: May 25, 2014
Today I’m interviewing Tamara Mataya, whose new adult contemporary, Just Breathe, came out on 6 May. This one is totally on my TBR, you guys!
Elle, the main character in Just Breathe, has synaesthesia, a condition you have direct experience with. What can you tell us about it?
It’s not as rare as people think, and there are MANY types. Basically, it just means there are extra connections in my brain between different senses. Most people know about the synesthetes who taste sound, or “see” the music. Mine’s tactile/audio. The exact same as Elle’s, but to a way lesser degree. It can be a challenge, but when I love a song, I REALLY love a song!
What is your favourite thing about Elle, Dominic and Jason?
That they’re real, and make mistakes, and aren’t perfect. A reviewer expressed disappointment in Elle making a bad choice near the end of the book. Of course she does! She’s 21-years-old! She’s going to make crappy choices, react emotionally, be impulsive! It’s part of that age. Hell, it’s part of being human. Things happen, and people aren’t perfect. Jason’s a douche, but not necessarily an evil guy. He’s just incredibly self-centred. Dominic is delightful. I love how considerate he is.
What draws you to writing new adult books? Does the category have its own section in your library yet?
I’ve always written NA – or rather what I think NA is. My New Adult isn’t as… angsty as some that’s out there. Sure there’s conflict and angst, but so many in the category are so dark and depressing. Mine tend to be a little more fun (I hope!). I think it’s just such a fun age to play around in. My library doesn’t have its own NA section, but we’re still in a temporary Sprung Structure because of last year’s flash flood. Our collection is only about 1/3–1/4 of what it was. 😦
Can you tell us about your next project?
My next book comes out in December, and is loosely based on my experiences during the flash flood last year. Though I never had sex on a pool table with a dirty talking firefighter. But all the stories in the book actually happened to people in my town. They’re awful, and real, and people are still recovering 11 months later. The book is called, Taken By Storm.
You’re a co-creator of the PitchMas contest. What inspired you to start a pitching contest? Given how time-consuming they are to run, are there ever moments when you want to throw in the towel?
Jessa Russo came to me and said, ‘I want to do a pitch contest, and I want to do it with you!’ So that was how it started. At the time, neither of us had agents ourselves, so we were sort of paying it forwards, but in reverse. Contests are INSANE to run, and take up a surprising amount of time, but they’re so rewarding. Knowing we’ve played a small part in helping someone’s dream come to fruition is AMAZING. Its ultimately up to the writers, but we’re a sort of bridge. They’re a lot of work, but worth it.
What new releases are you looking forward to?
Burned by Karen Marie Moning, and Shaman Rises by CE Murphy
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advance, what would it be?
Ooo this is tough. There are so many things I’d love to warn myself about, but I feel like by getting my past self NOT to do them, I’d be robbing myself of great life lessons, and hard-won wisdom. Change enough of my past and I might be unrecognizable today. BUT if I could, I’d stay in piano lessons when I was 9 years old, and NOT go on that ski trip when I was 16 – I had an accident and twisted my knee and tore all the ligaments and tendons in my hips. Oh, and not hauling those 50 pound bottles of water that month when I was 26 – that screwed up my wrists and I had to stop playing guitar for years because of the damage. NOT getting those injuries would be excellent.
Choose one! Coffee or tea? Spike or Angel? Sweet or savoury?
-Tea! (I’ve been drinking it since I was three, and my mum is British).
-SPIKE. ALL THE SPIKE! Obv. Is it weird that I thought Angel was cuter when he was full on ripply browed vampire?
-Savoury. Or sweet. But not together. I haven’t yet hopped on the salted caramel bandwagon, but maybe only because I haven’t tried it.