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Author Interview Series (19): Tasche Laine

Updated: Nov 9, 2021

Today's author interview is with multi-genre and multi-award-winning author, Tasche Laine. I first got to know Tasche from the Self Publishing School Facebook Community. She was kind enough to download and review my book when it first launched and sent me a very encouraging message. We started chatting more and I got to read some of her amazing books as well. I'm a big fan of the Lil Peter series, which she co-wrote with her husband, and her YA novel Glass Stars. I've included a few of the Lil Peter books in my previous monthly book recommendations. Feel free to check out the previous posts. Scroll down to learn more about Tasche and her journey as an indie author.

 

Hi Tasche! Thank you so much for participating in this author interview series. Can you introduce yourself a little bit?

T: Hello, I’m Tasche Laine, multi-genre author of contemporary fiction, YA, and children’s books. I live in the Pacific Northwest, US, with my husband and rescue puppy, Cody. An obscure fun fact about me is that I won a championship staring contest against others my age when I was in fifth grade (10 years old). I used to be able to stare down anyone! But alas, not anymore. I suffer from dry eyes and allergies so I can’t stare at anything for long.

A champion at a staring contest? That's incredible! I'm sure I would laugh after five seconds!


So, what inspired and motivated you to write your first book and how long did it take from the initial idea to publishing?

T: I started writing my first book back in 1985 but I didn’t publish it until 2018. Carol Snow, a fiction author I met and befriended, inspired me to pick my book back up after 20+ years of not touching it. She told me she didn’t publish her first book until she was 46, and then she published seven more. I assumed that since I hadn’t started my writing career when I was younger, that it was too late for me. However, Carol showed me just how wrong I was! For some reason, that was the push I needed.

That is very inspiring to know! It is never too late to pursue your dream. You can really do anything you set your mind to. I'm so glad you did because you have so many amazing books out now!


What has been the most rewarding experience since publishing your first book?

T: To date, I have 11 published books out, two of which have won awards—Readers’ Favorite for Closure and the Book Excellence Award for Chameleon. But the most rewarding thing for me is when I get a message or email from a complete stranger, telling me how one of my books affected them on a personal, deep level. I always said that if my message reaches ONE PERSON, truly reaches them, then I will be successful as an author. I will have done what I sought out to do.

I absolutely agree. Getting fan mail is a great accomplishment. Being able to connect with a reader on a personal level is the reason we write in the first place.


What’s the best thing someone has said about your book? Or something they said that made you really happy.

T: I’ve read reviews of my books that have made me cry—in a good way. It makes me happy to know I’ve touched people’s lives, even if only for a moment.


On the other hand, have you had any negative experiences or disappointing moments throughout your publishing journey? How did you handle them?

T: I have a few one star reviews on some of my books. Apparently, that means I’m a “real” author now. Ha ha. I’ve learned that you can’t please everyone and that there will always be critics. I still read all my reviews though, even though some people advise not to. If the negative reviewers write specific things they don't like about the story or characters, I can use that as constructive criticism and learn from it, grow from it, and become a better writer.

Yes, even famous authors get one star reviews. It's inevitable. We can definitely learn from them if they are constructive, and appreciate that they took the time to write a review; whereas some just give a rating with no review, which can be frustrating. I still read all my reviews too. I can't help it!


What advice would you give to other aspiring writers or authors?

T: The most important thing I can tell you is to write every day. If you write 300 words, you have a page. If you write a page a day, you’d have a novel-sized book in about six months.

That's so true. It's something I would really like to get into the habit of doing. It's so difficult to set time to write every day, but I am working on it!


Would you consider traditional publishing? Have you tried reaching out to or pitching to agents and publishers?

T: Probably not anymore. I didn’t realize what a control freak I am! I did pitch my first book to 29 agents/publishers, but no one would touch it because it crossed the genre lines of what a traditional memoir is supposed to do. They told me to market it as women’s fiction, which I thought was a horrible idea. Since no one wanted to do it my way (a fictional memoir) I did it myself.

I can totally relate! I'm a control freak too. One editor told me that my diary format for a picture book wouldn't work. I'm glad I didn't listen to him and did it anyway! I love that you cross genre lines and don't conform to the 'standards'. A fictional memoir is definitely a genre I would love to read, and also write!


What are your plans for the next few years? / How many books do you plan on writing or publishing?

T: I plan to finish my YA series, Chronicles of V (4 books). We’re also going to continue our Lil Peter series. So far we have ideas for at least 20 more books so we won’t be quitting any time soon!

20??!! You are amazing! I'm having trouble coming up with my next five books!


Tasche and Peter holding their book Lil Peter
Tasche and her husband, Peter Valdez, co-wrote the Lil Peter series

What was your favorite book growing up? Why?

T: Goodness, this is hard. There are so many good books out there, I can’t choose just one! As a kid, I LOVED Dr. Seuss books. The first novel-sized book that affected me was Watership Down. I read it when I was 9 or 10 and became emotionally involved with those rabbits. I had to save them.

Oh, I need to read Watership Down. You can't go wrong with Dr Seuss books though. They are so fun!


What is a good book you have read recently which you would recommend to others?

T: I read Every Day by David Levithan. It’s a YA book that looks at teen life from many perspectives because the main character lives in a different person’s body every day. It’s fascinating.

I love the premise. That does sound fascinating!


What is your favorite place to read or write?

T: I like to write in my office, at my writing desk. It may sound boring but I have a big bulletin board with book notes, affirmations, and inspiring stuff plastered all over it. I look at it often throughout the day. Plus, I painted one of the walls in my office my favorite color—a rich, deep, dark red. To me, it makes the office cozy, warm, and inviting.

It doesn't sound boring at all. I write in my room and it's just a mess with piles of books everywhere!

Tasche's office
Tasche's office


What are some of your hobbies besides reading or writing?

T: I enjoy hiking in nature. When I’m stuck in a particular scene, I go for a walk on a trail near my house. I also love the beach, and sunshine.


What did you like / dislike most about school?

T: My favorite class in high school was Yearbook. It was fun to help create something and to be a part of something other students would read and cherish. Who knows? Maybe that was the beginning of my writing.

I disliked the cliques and the pressure to be cool or popular. I was shy and suffered from social anxiety in large groups, mainly because I was born deaf in my right ear. With multiple people talking around me, the voices cancel each other out and I can’t hear what people are saying to me. It was frustrating and embarrassing, so I avoided most social situations in groups.

I wish I had Yearbook class at school – that sounds really fun! I had no idea that you are deaf in one ear. That must be hard in social situations. Social anxiety makes it hard to fit in with people and be in large groups.


Ok, let's play a game. Finish the following statements: If I had never published my books, I would not… be an author or an editor. Writing books has completely changed the course of my life! I would love it if Kristen Bell (someone famous) could read my YA book, Glass Stars. I sent an ARC copy to her publicist but never heard anything. My MC is a huge Kristen Bell/Veronica Mars fan.

That would be amazing! She could do the audiobook – how cool would that be!