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Monday, June 28, 2021

Audiobook Review & Author Interview! Don’t Start Now by Tara September

Don’t Start Now by Tara September
Narrator:  Hollie Jackson
Genre: Adult Fiction (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: March 10, 2021 
Publisher: Plus it Up

Pulitzer-prize-winning war journalist turned small-town newspaperman, Adam Seager, has given up a lot for his work, country, and family, but not this time. He knows what he wants, and it’s his coworker, Eve. Her smile is the brightest part of his day and a daily reminder that more adventures are yet to come. When they are both assigned a travel feature on board a new cruise ship, it’s the perfect opportunity to let his feelings set sail.

Eve will never date another coworker or writer again. Been there, done that. Time to pursue her own writing dreams, even if it means bunking with the infuriating and complicated Adam Seager. So what if the butterflies he sets off in her belly can rival the waves outside their cabin. She intends to keep things strictly professional … that is, as much as they can be while also pretending to be a couple. Their relationship might be fake, but the pull to get to know more of him is real. Her reporter’s gut says there is more to uncover than meets the eye. But what will happen when they are back on dry land? 

Don't Start Now by Tara September is the perfect vacation read. Eve and Adam were a lot of fun. They both had a cute little charm in their own way, and the narrator of the audiobook really captured that. She kept you in the story. Eve has some rules set for herself, based on bad past experiences, and Adam wants to break those rules and have something real. He sure knows how to turn on the smolder too. Also, how lucky is Eve? I mean she gets to travel to all these places and gets paid for it. Sign me up!

The audiobook of Don’t Start Now by Tara September was kindly provided to me by Audiobookworm Promotions for review. The opinions are my own.

Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook. How did you select your narrator? I was listening to a great book last year and absolutely loved the narrator’s voice, so I added her bio to my bookmarks hoping to work with her one day. Once Don’t Start Now was ready for audiobook production, I contacted her directly. Lucky for me, she agreed :) Thank you Hollie Jackson! I had a feeling she would get my humor and her reenactment proves it. I especially love her comedic delivery, sassy tone and use of accents. 
How did you choose your title? All my books are named after song titles and this time I went with the Dua Lipa song “Don’t Start Now.” Pulling from the lyrics, I then imagined an Ex trying to worm their way back and wrote a story where the heroine moves on to better things including a lover worthy of her. If you’re also a fan of the song you’ll spot some direct quotes sprinkled into the dialogue. Before production, narrator Hollie Jackson mentioned she likes Dua Lipa, so I knew the audiobook version would be in good hands.
How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters? With over 600 audiobooks under her belt, Hollie is a total pro, so not much direction was needed. I actually didn’t have any edits for her. She even took it upon herself to give secondary characters different accents, which came as a surprise to me, but added an additional colorfulness to the audiobook. 
Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing? Like Eve, my background and master’s degree is in journalism. I have also done some travel writing, including blog posts for The Huffington Post. I like to go on cruises too, so I pulled in some of my actual onboard experiences there as well. Otherwise, it’s purely fiction, but I will often use real dialogue from my life or add in some character traits of people I my friends need to beware, lol.  
What do you say to those who view listening to audiobooks as “cheating” or as inferior to “real reading”? Whatever! It’s great for multi-tasking and makes it easier to devour even more books. I love it. 
How did you celebrate after finishing this novel? I’d love to say that I set sail on a cruise like Adam and Eve do, but COVID made that impossible. Instead, I opened up a new bottle of Writing Tears Irish Whiskey, because the name and I’m a Scotch fan. Oh, and I never celebrate until after I’ve reworked my manuscript and gone through my developmental editor’s feedback and get the final copy back from my proofreader. That’s when it’s really finished. 
In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series? I love standalones, but I seem to be standing alone in that respect, lol. My author friends swear by writing a series due to their resulting success. Typically, I’m not one to look back in life and enjoy starting something new, but I am attempting to turn my debut novel Jesse’s Girl into a series. So far, it’s been fun revisiting the small-town and the characters that I first started with. 
What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors? Keep writing and don’t give up. Also, look into joining a local writing group or a Romance Writers of America chapter for support, advice and craft tips. 
What’s next for you?  I’m working on a New Adult book “One More Kiss” in a shared world series, called “At First Kiss” with 12 participating authors. This is the first time I’ve written in first-person POV, so it’s been challenging, but also a lot of fun. I love seeing my characters appear and interact in the other books in the series too. Each week a new book is scheduled to release starting in August, but each story can also be read as standalone too. 
Click here to check out another book by this author!

Tara September is an award-winning... and losing contemporary romance writer living in Southwest Florida.
Tara is proud to be the world's most okayest mom to clones (identical twin boys). When not writing out her daydreams, she blogs over at When Tara Met Blog @tarametblog, a lifestyle and parenting blog of 14 years.
Holding a master's degree in journalism from NYU, she previously was the Corporate Communications Manager at WWE and PR Manager for The Walt Disney Company, Consumer Products.

To learn more about Tara September and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Harnessing a childhood steeped in storytelling and a deep love of the written word, with over 600 titles (and growing) under her belt, Hollie always strives to bring a wide range of characters to vibrant, compelling life, allowing for total immersion in the story. She is currently on the rosters of multiple major publishers like Podium, Tantor and ACX.

To learn more about Hollie Jackson and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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