Dec. 14, 2022

Short and steamy with Tarin Lex

Short and steamy with Tarin Lex
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Tarin Lex writes short-form steamy romance – think under 10,000 words. How do you get a full story told in such a compressed story? Tarin explains her process. Plus we talk about what makes forbidden romance so sexy and how she feels like as a writer she has permission to go really over the top because she’s writing shorter works  Plus, I read a steamy bit from her book Wanted by the Hitman(which she wrote as an experiment to get into darker, edgier work).

Connect with Tarin online: 





This episode is brought to you by my own shorty, Vegas Wonderland. This insta-love holiday novella is a prequel to the LA Rock Star Romance series and features fan favorite Vivienne and it’s the start of her love story with Jack Casey. Available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. Happy hols! 


Elle 0:01
Tarin Lex is the mama of two boys. She is short like her stories sweet like her favorite chocolate and perpetually cold. She's a busy bee like you. So writing and reading short romance is her jam. She hopes each of her stories make you smile make you makes you wonder makes you hot. Most of all, she hopes to read the end feeling ever inspired and optimistic. Happily Ever After is guaranteed. Which is what we're all here for. Welcome Taryn to steam scenes. Thank you so much for being here.

Tarin 0:32
Thank you so much for having me on. I am so excited to be here

Elle 0:37
to talk to you. Because you right? You have a lot of books. A lot of but like Have you counted?

Tarin 0:46
Well, I, I try to I try to count. And a lot of them are bundled because they're short stories. Right. So it's a lot and I wanted to do. And this is just thinking ahead. But I wanted to do some kind of giveaway at the 100th book. And so I was like wondering, like, how close might actually be to that already. And I think I'm getting close. So sometime this year, there'll be some kind of something. Okay, okay. 100 story? How

Elle 1:18
many? Okay, so how long? How long have you been writing? When did you publish your first book?

Tarin 1:22
I published my first one. It was a little. It was a short novel, it was literary fiction. It wasn't really romance, although very, the loves it was a love story. Okay. But for you know, various reasons, I can't really call it a romance. And that was it was called after Henry by a different pen under a different pen name. And did I publish that? I want to say it was 2013? Okay, nine years ago,

Elle 1:49
okay. Did you do it? You're were You were you? Were you independently published? Or did you go through the whole publisher record?

Tarin 1:56
Yes, I self published that one. And that was my one and only attempt, like to go through the query letter process and find an agent. Okay. And I didn't, I didn't have the the endurance for that.

Elle 2:10
I know, right? It was kind of like it, it is kind of like an ultra marathon, isn't it?

Tarin 2:15
Oh, my goodness, it's so is and the preparation going into it was nuts. And then once I felt like I had all the pieces together, and I sent it out. And then I would get I was happy to receive like requests for a partial manuscript, or even the full manuscript. And every time it was so exciting, and I would tell people, you know, tell friends and family, oh, this person requested partial or full. And then they'd come back and say, No, you know, ultimately they'd say, No. And I was like, Oh, this is so emotional, I can't handle it. I'm over it. I want to just write I wanted to just get back to writing. So

Elle 2:53
I think people don't really understand that the process of just querying whether you're querying agents, or recruiting publishers to like, end up in the slush pile is like a job. Yes. Like you. And you know, especially with fiction, like with nonfiction, it's a little bit looser, you can sort of submit an outline and a proposal. But with fiction, you have to submit a whole book. Yes. And we're always being told that has to be publication ready, before we submit. So we've already put, you know, a lot of time and sometimes money, you know, to work with developmental people to get it published or ready. And then, and then you go through like, it's just like, you're running the gauntlet of query, query, query, query, submit, submit, submit, and it takes years.

Tarin 3:40
Oh, yes. And I know, like agents, when they do say, yes, most of the time, they'll still want you to make major changes, and then send it to the publisher, the publisher gets it. And they want you to make more changes. And I don't know about you out. But when I am done writing a story, I am over it.

Elle 4:00
I barely reread, like, I go through my edits, and all of that, but when you're right when I'm done, I'm done. I don't want to look at it ever again.

Tarin 4:08
I am. And, you know, I was also, I think around the time that I was getting these rejection letters. I was just kind of messing around with covers and things too. And found that I enjoyed that part. Like all of the other creative aspects of publishing, aside from just writing the story, like your, your whole branding, and all of your covers, I enjoyed that part so much that I was like, Well, I'm just gonna dive into this. And now I don't want to give this up. If somebody else publishes me, they're gonna want their own cover. They're gonna have their own visual, you know, their own vision. And I love the creative control. So that has been you know, I've really enjoyed that part of independently publishing.

Elle 4:56
I will say you're very good at it to your website is Here's,

Tarin 5:01
oh, well, thank you. Well, you know who did that was? Miss lb Alexander. She is the creative genius behind the entire website and your website. He did the whole thing. And she knows. She's amazing.

Elle 5:15
She is amazing. Yes, she has her twice. We do Instagram lives every month, which by the way, I think you might need to join us one time.

Tarin 5:24
The Instagram lives. Yeah. I've never done that before you guys do that?

Elle 5:28
Yeah, we do it once a month. Yeah, I think you should join us. How

Tarin 5:32
did I not know that?

Elle 5:33
I don't know. We should like, we usually do it like an in an eat on an evening time schedule. So I don't know if that works out. Because I know that you've got your, your boys but like, it's super fun. And like, we just get on there for like an hour and like, talk about like, you know, like topics and themes. Like, like, one time, we talked about rejection, which is why like this conversation is really funny, and sort of how to handle that. And, and then last time, we talked about author self care, because we had both written some pretty heavy books. And we were like, okay, like, how do we like, what do we do to sort of, like, get out of that, like, these heavy books and like, you know, how do we how do we take care of ourselves when we're sort of putting our characters and by extension ourselves through these traumatic experiences? Yeah, we have like all these, like, really big conversations.

Tarin 6:20
Oh, I love that. I have got to, I can go back and listen to that. Right? If there Yeah,

Elle 6:27
it's on my it's on my page somewhere. Like, it's like it saves,

Tarin 6:30
I will find it.

Elle 6:34
One. So it sounds like you've been writing like, it sounds like you've been like, kind of like on a career path to be a writer.

Tarin 6:43
I have it's been a work in progress. And I, you know, it took a while and it's still taking a while I'm still in the process of kind of finding my voice. And I know that sounds so funny. Like, you can write so many words and put out so many books and still feel like, I don't quite have it yet. You know, like my overarching, you know, I don't know. I don't know what I'm trying to say right there. But I feel like I'm still finding myself as a writer.

Elle 7:17
Okay. All right. Well, I think it's curious because you wrote like literary fiction. And then so at what point were you like, I'm all in on steamy romance, right. Like was where was that transition?

Tarin 7:29
Yeah, romance is marketable. So I'll just be straightforward about that. literary fiction is hard to sell. It is hard to sell. And I never, you know, I've always written little stories and things growing up. I've always really loved to write and poems and things. And I always wanted to write a book. And I thought in my life, I would write one book. And that would be my big achievement, which is a really big achievement. But I I have never, you know, I never really knew I wasn't settled on exactly what I wanted to write. And I'd never been settled on exactly what I enjoyed reading. Oh, I have read, you know, I like to read all kinds of things. And growing up, I wasn't really a reader of romance, you know, of contemporary romance are in the traditional sense, romance in the traditional sense. I always like when there's a love story,

Elle 8:25
right? You weren't like digging out harlequins? Like digging through your mom's heart or whatever, right? Like, that wasn't what you were doing?

Tarin 8:32
No, not at all. I don't think I even knew what the word Harlequin meant. Until I was like, until after I'd self published my first book. I was just not in touch with romance or really the industry at all. Okay, even though I enjoyed writing, right. So, um, as I, you know, I edit novels and other kinds of things. And so as I met authors,

Elle 9:02
really good.

Tarin 9:06
Guy, and that's really how I got into like the industry. And so I just kind of organically developed this, you know, circle of authors, this little network of authors and romance authors became really drawn to me for whatever reason. And so, as I was read, that's how I started really reading romances. I was editing romance. And then my authors would say you should, you know, you should try. That was like, Okay.

Elle 9:42
Sure, I'll give it a shot.

Tarin 9:45
And my first I think I did a little 12,000 word story, and it was so bad, so bad. And I sent it to one of my authors that I edited for because we'd become close friends and she was like, This is so bad.

Elle 10:00
Okay, so why okay, what? Why was it bad? Let's unpack this a little bit. What? Why did you Why do you think it was bad,

Tarin 10:06
my Theano the beats were all off and the motivation. And even now, my biggest, the hardest thing for me is having a really strong motivation. One that isn't, you know, it's not flimsy. It's not like a reason, but not really a good reason for the characters to do the things that they do and make the decisions that they make and fall in love, for that reason to fall in love. So I really needed to work on that. I think the steamy scene at the end was actually pretty good. I think that was decent. Because to me, that's more I can kind of let out the, like more poetic side of me. And when I try to let that out during dialogue, you know, other scenes in the story. It's very purpley

Unknown Speaker 10:53

Tarin 10:56
not it just doesn't sound like contemporary romance. Um, and it's not as snappy. I feel like I've gotten better. I know that I've gotten better at writing, snappier dialogue and snappy or amusing. But my favorite part of the whole, you know, the whole story, whether it's a full length book or anything are always steamy scenes. Really, there's they're not just because they're naughty. Sometimes that part is, of course, that part is always fun. But you can really connect with emotions more in those scenes, and really go deeper and really, you should have a lot of character development in those steamy scenes. Even like character actualization not that that always happens in real life, but sometimes it does. During life steamy moments.

Elle 11:50
Yeah, you know, it's so funny because I, I taught a class in teaching non writers lately not Not, not normal writers, not Romance Writers, I should say about how to write and it was amazing. And you know, I will be doing more of them. And, and it was really cool, because there to have that sort of conversation. Because I think a lot of people who don't regularly read romance, the romance genre, or our own are looking at it and maybe only reading erotica and even then the argument can be made that there is a lot going on and in those scenes within erotica, as well. I think that they just look at it as smart. And I think that we kind of as maybe, maybe it's a marketing problem, right, like romance authors kind of embrace it and giggle and laugh and say, you know, we're, you know, we're smart writers. Hahaha. But like, there's actually a lot going on underneath the smart. That drives that story forward.

Tarin 12:48
Yes. And if there's not, there's a problem. Yeah. Or it's erotica.

Elle 12:57
Yeah. And even then, though, sometimes with erotica, you can there. There's still an undercurrent, there's a driver underneath what was I guess what really good erotica there is some. Preferably underneath? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So so it's not really just smart for smart sake, you know?

Tarin 13:12
Yeah. And a few of the, you know, it's fun to have that flexibility where you can have some scenes that are smart for smart sake. Right. But you know, when you

Elle 13:23
romance, but even when it's like, smart, for smart sake, don't you feel like there's there's still like a driver, like, okay, so why are these characters? Like, what is it that's driving them together to have the smart moment? Right, like, salutely? You know, like, I don't know, I just, there are a lot of layers that are,

Tarin 13:40
oh, gosh, so many. And I was thinking about this too. It can be so dependent on the trope. You know, what makes the steamy scene sexier? You know, how many steamy interactions you might have? Can be so based on the trope that you're working with, right, and what makes it you know, some tropes are just inherently Knottier. They're more forbidden. And so that in itself is, you know, can make the steamy scene sexier that that element of off limits but it doesn't have to be and I'm learning I'm learning more and more that it doesn't have to be because I think when I you know when I try to write when I tell myself, Okay, this next book is going to be really sexy. Like you're gonna market this is super sexy. readers want something really sexy right now. I go to the forbidden, you know, forbidden tropes,

Elle 14:38
like stepbrother, or

Tarin 14:41
like, ooh, that's really for

Elle 14:47
brother, I don't know if they don't

Tarin 14:56
Yes, of course that but also actually I haven't written a stepbrother Yeah. Well, um, but even like brother's best friend, or best friend's brother, those kinds or I have written a dad's best friend. The May December thing is definitely a weakness of mine to read, and thus I enjoy writing it. So those are a lot of fun.

Elle 15:26
So So you, I guess like because there's the taboo tropes, which, you know, I mean, do you have a favorite book like daddy's best friend or

Tarin 15:38
well to lead into Right? Um, so dad's best friend, my favorite book ever. My favorite romance ever. I'll tell you is torn by Carrie uncle. It's a full length novel, and that is a dad's best friend. And I went into that one thinking, this is gonna be you know, I'm just reading this for like research purposes. Like I need to diversify my romance reading. And I loved it. I was crazy about it. It was so so sexy and so sweet. I'm like, so just inappropriately sweet. And I absolutely loved it. And so I did take a stab at writing my first best friend's dad. And I felt like writing one like, I kind of got it out of my system. Like, I wasn't sure what other angles who I could approach that same trope from again, it wasn't one that I felt like, I was inclined to write a lot of. Okay, right now, I am actually wrapping up. It's due to my editor today. And it is a best friend's dad. And so that's one that I've never I see them around. I've seen them more and more. And so that's one that I've never attempted before. And I have really really enjoyed writing it. Yes, so that has also been a lot of fun.

Elle 17:01

Tarin 17:04
my kind of go to is friends to lovers. My favorite too. I love it. I absolutely love it.

Elle 17:09
Yeah. Enemies, two lovers to like, those two interchangeably. Like I can go either way.

Tarin 17:15
Yeah. Lovers I struggle writing. I love to read it. I struggle writing because I struggle with making two people have a good reason to dislike each other. And the reason yeah, and then be able to turn that around. So that they they are worthy of each other. I struggle writing that. But I love to read it.

Elle 17:38
Yeah, I can see that I absolutely love enemies to lovers. But you're right. I mean, it is kind of tricky, because I've found because I think I've written two that were enemies to lovers. I think that that's kind of my problem, like I pick a trope, but I don't entirely stay in the lane. Yeah, you know, I kind of I kind of swerve out. So it's kind of, because people are like, what's your tropes? And I'm like, Well, it's kind of this, but it's fine to that. So I think that that's why, you know, I haven't gained as much traction as I was like, but that's okay, that's just how I write. Um, but you know, I do think that they're there, they've definitely had some very impassioned readers who sort of fall on one side or the other in terms of like, he was such a jerk, how could she get back together with him? Or, or get together with him? Or like, the flip side is like, she was a bitch, capital B, and Vince deserves better, you know, and it was, you know, because because of that push pull between, between them, as you know, as the sort of enemies to lovers thing goes down, you know, so,

Tarin 18:50
like, can they be good enough enemies? And we can still turn that around and make them, you know, redeemable worthy of each other? Oh, it's hard to do with both characters in one book.

Elle 19:01
Yeah, I think you know, I think I cheated a little bit maybe because like just thinking about it. There's always going to be one that maybe is a little doesn't see the other so much as an enemy. Right. So there's always somebody who's a little bit who's who's a little bit more, maybe, I don't know, maybe their heartbeats a little faster when the other person's around and hiding it. Yeah, that sort of guise of I hate you. Yeah. But in reality, like, and so so that while they both are doing that, but then there's one of them that's maybe a little bit softer and not as militant and sort of acting out, right. Yeah. So that I think that does soften it a little. Yeah. Yeah. Makes it a little bit easier. But again, that's probably achieved. So if the first romance novel that you read was an ad, a book you're editing like, What do you remember what it was?

Tarin 19:58
Well, actually You mentioned stepbrother, but this is probably worse. The first romance that I ever read was in ninth grade. I was going to a very conservative private school. And my mom took me to library and I found Flowers in the Attic of IBC. Andrews, taboo. Oh, yeah. Like, I love I was 14. And she'd read it, she knew what it was. And, you know, it was fine as I you know, I'm reading this book on the school bus to this, you know, every morning and after school to and from this conservative private school. And then I really, you know, then it kind of comes to light, what it's about what you know. And that was my favorite ever and I ended up reading the entire series. And like, all the pre, you know, the oh my gosh, I can't think of that word. Before the story before it starts the prologue. The Prequel Yeah, all the prequels and sequels and everything, the whole thing. And it just becomes this huge entangled web of inappropriateness. And it's just awesome. I loved it so much.

Elle 21:15
I've never read beyond Flowers in the Attic.

Tarin 21:19
Oh, the whole thing is so good. Really? I love it. Yeah, actually, I think it was the second or third book that I liked even better realize it was the end, you know, kind of the ending the last act of Flowers in the Attic is kind of how it started. You know how the next books begins? Huh. And the one after that. So I just I was all about it. And I became more. That's when I started. I think every reader of romance has this moment of like sneak reading. Oh, yeah. And so that was my age of like, sneak reading when I was 1516. Like, Flowers in the Attic. Okay, some people knew that I was reading that, but then that I was so absorbed. going. And I wanted to talk about it so bad, and I couldn't see anybody. Yeah, and that is just it's such a fun, guilty pleasure, you know, when you're young. So now we have candles and things. So I know

Elle 22:24
you can kind of hide it like, you can totally. Yeah. Although I will say that like for 50 Shades of Grey, because I was in New York at the time that that book came out. And I just remember getting on the subway and like everybody had it out. And I think that was sort of the turning point of like, sort of de Shama just so weird that that was the book that did shame. ified like that sort of stigma.

Tarin 22:51
You're so right. And I never really thought about that. But I had been riding the train, I worked downtown Dallas, and I had been riding the train to and from work during that time. And that was one of the books that people just had out. And we're reading, and it was no big deal. You know, it was like, This is what I want to read right now. Yep. So no judgment. And I didn't even know what it was about for a while. I just seen the cover over and over and over again. That I was intrigued. Yeah, it's

Elle 23:21
so funny I, at the time that it came out. And this was sort of this very sort of fascinating, like side note to like my career in New York at kind of around the time it came out, I ended up working on this solo show. That was based on a memoir of a dancer with the New York City Ballet who met who fell in love with a man who and I think he might have been a fellow dancer or like a choreographer. And it was never really like clear who he was like, he was kind of like a very mysterious figure. And it was sort of like about her erotica awakening with anal sex. And she turned it into a solo show. And I was working on the project in New York, and it was around the time of 50 Shades of Grey, and because it was so taboo, and there was also sort of like moments of bondage in it and stuff like that. And she was, you know, she was a former New York City ballet dancer, she was hooked up to the media. So a lot of press coverage and it was super wild because it was like that's the but sex play often wasn't because it did come out around you know, and the book was before 50 shades but it was still was sort of like moving into that taboo territory that 50 shades did in the memoir came out, you know, well before 50 shades do but it did but it gave it like this new lease on life, right? Like yeah, like this whole new. It was absolutely hilarious to be like working on this project. And you know, there was like a very cheeky hope hardmode big story in The Daily News about you know, it was pretty wild.

Tarin 24:56
What an experience that's a cool opportunity for you to be able to be a part of that.

Elle 25:01
Yeah, it was kind of nuts. It was absolutely hilarious. But yeah, but it was, but you know, I just at that time, there was sort of like a lot like there was a lot more openness there. Unfortunately, the pendulum swinging back the other way right now,

Tarin 25:17
as of today, I know and I was so you know, I opened up my stuff and I was just like, wait,

Elle 25:23
what? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, the news alert started coming in. And I was like, What is going on in this?

Tarin 25:31
And it just seemed like one of those things, you know, there are those these things in life that you feel like that is unchangeable? And that was one of those things. I know, that was sort of like that is that is our existence. It's our reality. It's the way it is. And then it's not. Yeah, just gets Yeah, why? And the implications. I just, I guess we'll see and learn.

Elle 25:59
It's gonna snowball. I really did. I mean, like, because, you know, I feel like after a ruling like this, like I kind of feel like they're going to be empowered to pick something else they don't like right that they don't yeah, you know, morally agree with or what you know, they need because their religion says, Oh, my religion says something completely different. Yeah. You know, stop. Yeah. So it just is a slippery slope. It is a slippery slope. It is a really slippery slope. And one we're we're probably not going to be able to read 50 Shades of Grey on the train anymore, right? Like, it kind of feels like we're heading to no action.

Tarin 26:34
Yeah, kind of. Oh, gosh, what does that what does that book that was a show.

Elle 26:39
Oh, Handmaid's Tale. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, we are moving into Margaret Atwood, territory. You know, I know. It's kind of terrifying. Yeah, so we should talk about sex while we still can.

Tarin 26:53
Let's talk about it. Yeah.

Elle 26:57
Okay, so, right. And this is fascinating to me. Because you your first romance novel that you said was terrible, which I don't quite believe. Or not, not your first romance, bit of writing. Yeah, well, 1000 words. Have you always written short.

Tarin 27:15
So I have under another pen name is Michelle Morgan. I wrote a novel it was my first romance novel work in progress. And so that is a full length novel. I love the title. It is a bag of tropes, it is all the tropes.

Elle 27:34
How many trips can I fit in one book?

Tarin 27:35
A lot. And I didn't even realize I was doing that. But I had. So it was one of those things, you know, you write your first novel, like real novel. And at that point, I had had so many a life experiences, be romance novels that I'd read, because I read voraciously. Now, in my free time, and because I edit it's my job. I literally have to that I just had so many things that I wanted to get in one story. And I, I am happy with the novel, it's not perfect. Um, could I go back and revise it? Could I make two or three different novels out of it? Maybe. But like, we were saying, In the beginning, when you're over it, you're just you're done. I am done with that one. And it was a very, I was honestly reliving multiple, like real life encounters, you know, real life, almost relationships, you know, the ones that got away. And that even if you're not really in that state of mind in real life anymore, when you force yourself to go into that state of mind, for the sake of literary, you know, for the sake of fiction and your craft, it is so exhausting, and so draining, and so emotional, it just takes so much out of you. So by the time I was done writing it, I was done. And I did go back and heavily heavily revised portions of it to where I would be happy with it, because it's also it's a reflection of I had been well established as an editor by the time I published that so I could not suck. It literally could not. And I I also published it because I felt like as an editor, it would help give me some credibility. If I had my own books. If I was able to like actually do it also.

Elle 29:33
Can you do it, but just in a short form? That's why I'm kind of like a little imposter syndrome creeping in.

Tarin 29:42
Oh, gosh, I am I have that big time.

Elle 29:44
Me too. So like, I'm a little surprised because that's how you

Tarin 29:47
can identify it. So good.

Elle 29:49
Like I'm just like, when you're so good. How do you not know how good you are?

Tarin 29:53
Well, thank you. And that one was a full length. I forget if it was like 80,000 words or something. So it wasn't luck. Yeah, and there is no feeling quite like getting that first shipment of your books like with a cover, and everything formatted and all the stuff with like an ISBN number. And it having some weight like it had some weight to it, like like literally flip through the pages. I can't even tell you how many times like I wrote all those words like all that ink, like I wrote. It's just very, very, it's such a cool feeling. And then after that, I did two novellas, longer novellas under the same pen name, okay. One of them is no turning back. And that one is actually a heavily revised version of that first 12,000 word romance I was telling you about, Oh, fun, wow. Because I cannot waste words, I was like, I, there are some little gems in there. And I want to just self edit the heck out of it. It had been like five years anyway, since I had done that first draft. So I had been over it. And then I was like, well, we can get back into this. It's been five years. Now that's like the amount of time it takes. So. So that was a lot of fun. And as I was kind of gaining a little traction with that pen name, I'm one of my authors in that same like little networking, you know, that little group of really friends that I developed, they saw the opportunity in short stories. And they saw that this was these were moving, these were marketable, people were actually reading short stories, and they didn't require you know, the short story does not require the amount of emotional involvement. Because it's just a few encounters, you know, you're just getting right to it. So and they don't take long, especially once you are practiced, you know, once you you know how a story develops, how to write a story, what makes a good story, to write a shorter one, in some ways, it is harder. But once you get that rhythm down, then you just bust him out.

Elle 32:10
I was gonna say like, like, I can't write short, like I struggled. Like, I'm just like, I don't know how you do it. Like, because I've tried, I've tried to write a while I did write a novella. That was supposed to be a short while it was supposed to be a short story for an anthology, that friend of mine was putting out that as a Kickstarter bonus, and I was on and he asked me to, if I would include something I said, Yeah, sure. And I was thinking, you know, what, 510 1000 words, no problem. I'll just bang this sucker out. 30,000 words later. I'm like, I'm so sorry. I just increased your printing costs, like,

Tarin 32:42
yeah, happens. Yeah. And

Elle 32:45
I was like, I don't I guess I can't like I guess I don't know how to write short.

Tarin 32:50
It's, um, I had to practice for sure. And the first one was really short and snappy. And I think it was like 7000 words, which was actually perfect. And then I started, you know, putting a little more into it, and a little more, and then they kind of blew up to like, 15,000 words. And then I was like, well, now these are too long. go backward and try to write something, you know, 7000 words, sometimes 6500 words, 5000 words. It can be so tricky. And I tend to write like a really long first chapter. It's like the first chapter of a novel. And then I look back and say, Okay, there's half your work out. This is supposed to be six chapters. So let's scale it back. And sometimes I have to with the short stories, especially knowing that these readers have short stories, I want to be able to read them in an hour or less. Okay. Sometimes I do delete, just to make it shorter. And oh, it kills me every time.

Elle 33:51
So Wow. Okay, so I'm curious, is there like a lot of Insta love? Or do you always have to have some sort of a like they are they know each other already set up? Because I know Insta love can also be tricky. For some people, though. I for one, give me a good Insta love and I'm perfectly happy. You know, some people I know some people just absolutely low that I just find it completely intriguing. And I completely believe that you can fall in love and first at first sight. So I'm totally all over it. So I'm just kind of curious because how do you establish the Connect because this is not erotica, like I think that this is really important. Like this is not erotica. So you have a journey that you have to take these characters on. Yeah, of romantic love Journey. In 6000 words or less

Tarin 34:40
to do that, yeah, I'm really witty dialogue. I have had to really practice that because there's not a lot there's really hardly any room for deep introspection. And that has always been what I've written. You know, since childhood writing journal entries, it's always very emotional like nobody read really wants to read that though. They really want to read like the interactions, action. They want the action. Yes. Or literary fiction would be, you know, the top selling genre, but it's not romcom does really well Funny, funny romance, funny banter. It's why enemies to lovers does so well, because there's a lot of fun banter. So I've had to really, really work on that. And that in itself, just having a few exchanges where you can feel the chemistry. I think that helps a lot. Insta love, like pure Insta love is also very, you know, there's this central belief of like, fate. That thing when you know, when things are faded, and I think that's why shifters do really well. Right? Story category. Yeah, like this is it was meant to be it was destined, and we can both feel it. And there's always this element of this is I'm not usually like this, this is so unlike me to have these strong feelings so quickly is so unlike me, both characters kind of have that, you know, so that we don't think they're just kind of crazy. And in real life, these stories would be crazy, you know, to fall in love and get engaged, you know, to say, I love you as quickly as they do, and get engaged and get married and have all the babies as quickly as they do. I would look at my friends and say You're insane. Problem. And, you know, almost especially if it's so unlike them to be that way, you know, I'd be like, what, how you're doing what's going on, you're having a quarter life crisis. Um, I you know, and I do honestly kind of struggle with the Insta love, especially writing and stuff over and over again, right? So I cheat. I cheat by doing friends to lovers. Okay, they already have a history. But it's still kind of Insta love because they realize their love very quickly, or very all of a sudden, okay, um, or, you know, like a brother's best friend or best friend's brother, there's a history there. Second Chance is one of my favorite to write. My readers aren't crazy about it. There are a lot of readers who really love second chance. And there are a lot of readers of short stories that love second chance. I don't know why I have like, found this readership that gets mad at me every time to send me the emails. Like, hey, the number one book in this category is second chance. Why am I not allowed? Like, why won't you let me I like writing it. Oh, that's

Elle 37:53
so you listen, like it sounds like you are really listening to your readers and what they want and not necessarily writing. You know, you're not I mean, I hate to say you're not reading the story you want to write because every story is the one we want to write, but you are factoring in very heavily with your reader preferences.

Tarin 38:11
Absolutely. And I, you know, I found that I have to make every story, the one that I want to write, if it's not the trope that is calling me, but it's what my readers are asking for I have to make it, I have to kind of look at it from that the best angle that I am going to enjoy writing it. And I will say that out of let's just say 100 short stories. 20 of them have been like, I just so loved writing them. I loved the you know, it was like, I felt so good. And just I felt really good about the quality. And it was so fun. And it's exactly what I wanted to write. And they don't always they're not always as well received as the ones that I am kind of writing for the readers. Okay. And so I'm trying I'm working toward finding a balance because if you're constantly writing for money, sales, rank readers, other people other reasons, besides your muse, you know, satisfying your muse. You get burnt out. Yeah, you really get burnt out and then it's hard. So I did face a bit of burnout and I feel like I'm just finally coming out of it after like six or seven months. And so finally coming out of it, I feel like I I have to write for me or I'm going to stop writing. Because it's just too it's too difficult. So I do send surveys with my newsletter. Oh wow. What do you what do you want to read next? And sometimes it's trope Do you want more friends to lovers? That's always the number one.

Elle 39:49
Let's that's the one that Oh, yes,

Tarin 39:51
overwhelmingly. So I am not that I'm getting really burnt out on friends to lovers because I actually Really love writing that. There are others that, you know, Insta love pure Insta love is, you know, takes me the most time. And I have to really it's that motivation thing. I'm like, Okay, what are their reasons for falling in love this fast? They are crazy people.

Elle 40:16
But are the readers even asking for that? Because my, like my experience with the readers is they're like no and still have none.

Tarin 40:23
Yeah, well in the short story market. Yeah, they want in Scylla they want the Insta love you do. And I, you know, I don't know if they, I'm still figuring them out. They're quirky bunch. I'm figuring out these readers, I

Elle 40:38
was able to do a crossover between the short reads and the lot like is there I would imagine because there's usually a huge crowd, like I found, you know, one thing I was worried about because writing, you know, a series and Rockstar, and then doing a new series in small town, I was sort of like, oh, is this gonna be a bad idea? But it seems to be like there's a real crossover between different like, you know, they're not exactly tropes. They're more like genres within the genre, right? But are you not seeing that with the short reads readers?

Tarin 41:10
I am not seeing that they want full length novels. I think there there seem to be kind of trending toward here lately. I'd say in the past six to 12 months, they are trending toward longer short reads. Like they can read it in two hours. 20,000 words, okay, I can write 6000 words. And I can write 60,000 words, but asked me to write 20,000 words. And I don't know what I don't know. It's just a different, you know, it's different beats, it's

Elle 41:46
a different rhythm. Yeah, different bits there.

Tarin 41:49
Yeah, I have to like add a couple of seats, you know, I just have to add a few scenes. And one of them, one or two of them is just going to be an extra CDC. But I that's not the way I've been plotting for the last two and a half years. So I that's another I'm kind of at a crossroads of do I want to write longer short stories? I don't want to write full length novels, I have a lot going on. I don't want to invest so much, you know, not just time, but emotion. It takes quite a bit more brain power. Yeah. And I still have editing. So I think writing going to write full length would be, you know, tricky. And I like I like publishing frequently. I like coming up with a new cover and a new blurb and doing new social media posts and just being excited about a new release all the time.

Elle 42:41
Yeah, I mean, I'm intrigued by this idea of publishing. Because I, the frequency is kind of what really intrigues me and interests me about it is the ability to do like 6000 words, I could do a book a week. Yeah. Or every other week, let's call it

Tarin 42:59
because I don't market it and send your newsletter and do the cover and, you know, correspond with all the people that are involved in it. It's a lot, it's a full time job.

Elle 43:08
It is a full time job. So I can completely understand where you're just like, I don't want to throw like a full length on top of that. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Which is a whole different, you know, you're not in that constant churn of the the book covers in the marketing, and although you are always marketing always getting, but that's not the churn, right. And so but but you still, but there's still that deep pause between releases, and I don't know how some writers can just do the rapid release, even at full length like that. I can't do it. I can't write a book.

Tarin 43:42
And they want me to edit those books. And I'm like,

Elle 43:45
Oh, my God, really? Oh, yes,

Tarin 43:47
I have I have authors with with on the editing side of my work. I have authors ready, I'll be it's a full length novel, I'll be editing. Let's say we do two or three rounds of edits. And by the time I'm halfway done with the second round of edits, they're wrapping up their next draft of their next book. And then I send them back the final edit. And it's like, they reply with the next book. And it's so fast, and they just bust about how long that I find so varied and they're good. You know, and every time I think you wrote this in 20 days, like how how much editing is is gonna need.

Elle 44:26
What word count? are they submitting 100,000 words? Are you kidding me?

Tarin 44:30
There's one I'm working on. Now. It is 100,000 words. And she got it done. Start to finish as I was editing the first book. And it's so good. l it's so good. I'm like, How are you doing this? I mean, she's a mom and she has a job and a husband and there are a lot of work. I'm like, How are you doing this?

Elle 44:53
With a full time job and like no husband?

Tarin 44:57
Oh gosh, yes. I think that's where the imposter syndrome comes into because as an editor, I work with so many, mostly women, and just very, very incredibly impressive women. That are like doing it all. And every time we get on the phone, they're just so happy. How are you doing this? Oh? Oh, are you okay? Are you okay? You're okay.

Elle 45:28
How do you hold it together? Yeah. questions I had for you because you are writing in all these tropes. And you do and again, like, are they true? Like, I always confuse like the trope versus like, the like, the sort of sub genre, right? Like, it's not really a trope. It's more like a central.

Tarin 45:49
Like, it's like a trope within a trope within a trope. Yeah,

Elle 45:52
yeah. Because you're writing like bodyguards, military MCs, because because these books are shorter. Do you feel like you don't because part of what stymies me is often I will end up doing like, a load of research. Like, I'm obsessed with writing a mafia story. My latest

Tarin 46:08
day, yes, I feel like it's out like I'm under qualified.

Elle 46:12
Yes, yes. And um, I'm like, but I feel slightly more qualified. Because I'm like, I was raised Italian. I can do that.

Tarin 46:19
Well, there you go. Oh, yeah. You know, some of the words,

Elle 46:23
I know some of the words, I was probably called some of the words. So but but I feel like, but I have like, but I have like a stack of Mafia books now. Because I'm like, I can't write this without diving into this research. And like I wrote for a long time, I wanted to write an MC romance because I love reading them. I love reading them. But I was just like, I just I was like, I don't think that I can write this and ring. True. Yeah. And so I'm just kind of curious, because it's shorter. Do you need to? Are you less worried about the research?

Tarin 47:01
I'm absolutely less worried about the research. Okay, um, my research. So when I first started doing firefighters, that I knew that firefighters were really, really popular, and that is an evergreen, they're always going to be popular. And so I felt like I had to that was one that I felt like, I have to be able to do this. And so I did so much research to kind of find out that like every, like the, you know, the sort of corporate you know, like, what is that word? What Every what the firefighters are called. It's different department from between departments. And like the slang that they use, do they really use those words? You know, and I think I did so much research that I was kind of bogged down by the research. Yeah. But I think that it being sort of front loading that research carried me through like 20 firefighter books, holy shit. Yeah. So it's like, okay, if I'm gonna write something new, maybe I'll do a week or two of research, and that will carry me through all those books. But I will give you a little tip when it comes to firefighters, police department, even mafia, MC motorcycle club. All it really is the thing that the readers really really love about all of them is the family. And that's why they love brothers, brothers, you know, series whatever brothers, Garrison brothers series, because readers love just like small town hall, they love to read about small town, they love recurring characters, and they love feeling comfortable in that world. And that brotherhood, is, there's something about that, that is so sexy, when a man has very close friends that are almost like brothers. And that they're loyal to, they would lay down their life for and, you know, they all know when they introduce a woman and she's, she's the one they all know, they all know to leave her alone. Stay away from this one. I claim her she's mine. And that's it's the same sort of theme. It's the same feeling, and mafia and MC and all of them and firefighters.

Elle 49:20
Interesting, you know, well, I've got this all wrong. Keep going.

Tarin 49:26
Write that one down. That's the best thing I started this whole 15 minutes. No, it's that.

Elle 49:31
Well, it's so funny because I'm like, Oh, this is what I'm doing. Like I don't write Brotherhood's I write sisterhoods it's all about my female I love

Tarin 49:38
to you know, I I had kind of a not tumultuous but I had a very unusual sort of childlike family life growing up. So all of that is it's a little tricky for me because I didn't grow up with like mom, dad, sister, brother the whole way through my family My life looked different, sort of, from year to year, like every five years, it was kind of a little bit different. And we didn't have I never had like a really tight knit community. Small Town is really challenging for me. But I found that, you know, I have to read a lot of that, to get the feelings, right. And to see sort of what is similar between these books, what do they all have in common, and that sense of brotherhood, that sense of family and familiarity? I think that that is the thing that readers really love. Do they love that the mafia guys are like bad boys, and they kind of do some nefarious things, you know, and that can vary, you know, the degree of intensity can certainly vary there. But, generally, if you get that you got them.

Elle 50:53
Good to know, that's good to know. I guess I'm gonna have to, because I feel like I've been thinking about this a lot lately. And I don't know, you know, and how, and you having sort of like how to foot and literary fiction, and then moved into like, really Tropi romance like, I kind of feel like I straddle women's fiction. Yeah, a bit more than I possibly, like True Romance Writers want to read, right. Like, I feel like maybe that's where, you know, marketing wise, there's that could potentially be the problem. If that makes I

Tarin 51:28
don't know. Yeah, I think I think there's kind of an ebb and flow to that I love romance. That is, you know, the woman is the main character, you know, you have your big H and little h, your heroine and your hero, but years ago, I was looking at the Romance Writers, you know, RW A's do real definition of romance. And they made it very, I think the opening line was like, the female is the lead character. This

Elle 51:58
is yeah, this is her story. Yeah, of course.

Tarin 52:01
Now that's, you know, that's different with mmm, romance, and an FF romance and you know, menage and everything. But in a, you know, traditional romance with big H and little h, it's her story, right? And I try to remember that too, because I can get caught up in like, Oh, what is his backstory? What is his thing? What's his. And it's good to know those things. Sometimes, even if only as a writer, it's good to kind of tell yourself those things about your characters, but remembering that it's her story, and I think romance readers still still like that.

Elle 52:38
All right, we should get into your steamy scene we should. So this is from wanted by the hitman. Which by the way I bought because it's good. Can you Why did you pick this scene? Why the scene in particular?

Tarin 52:52
This book in general, was my absolutely favorite was my absolute favorite to write. Because I was like, I have to write about a hitman. This is part of a multi author series. Oh, okay. Yeah. And I had been doing short stories for a year and a half. And they were all kind of, you know, the process was was the same. There wasn't a lot of veering from what I knew readers wanted, and simply making them happy. So this was my chance to just go balls to the walls. I was like, I'm gonna make this story. Absolutely nuts. I'm gonna make the sex nuts. There's going to be blood and gore, a little bit of gore. And it's just going to be kind of crazy. And I just really, really enjoyed writing it. And it was kind of a it was a test too, for readers. Because I thought, well, let's just see if they hate it. Okay, it's one book in somebody else's series. And I was like, Well, you know, if my tried and true readers like it, then maybe I can do more. More kind of edgy, dark, crazy, you know, off the wall stuff. So I chose that scene because it's so different. When you write 100 short stories, a lot of your sex scenes are going to be really similar. Yeah, I didn't want to choose one of those. I wanted to choose one that I really felt like I got a little crazy with and had a lot of fun with.

Elle 54:28
So this is about Laramie and Garen, right. Yes, Garen. And so this is sort of an interesting relationship too. And we were talking about the sort of like forbidden because this is somebody she Laramie and her dad lived next door to this hitman. Yes, Garen and he and her dad died. Yes. And Garen kind of took her in when she was I guess, underage, right, like maybe 18 or 16 or something like that. And so she ends up sort of like growing up under the sky and and they have when we meet them in the first chapter because this is like, like I said, I have the book and I've been reading it in the very first chapter and so I'm not giving anything away because it's in the first chapter you can see it and look inside. He, they have this like weird physical relationship where they kind of like masturbate to each other. And like they write like, it's sort of like this fitness sexual relationship without actually getting sexual, which is super fascinating.

Tarin 55:29
Yes. And so it is. It was my way of I knew my readers liked friends to lovers, right? So I was like, well, its friends to lovers. That's the only thing that is like, all the Terran likes books that you've read so far. It was my kind of like morsel of goodwill. Like, well, I'll make good friends to lovers.

Elle 55:49
Okay. And so I was like, this premise is like, fascinating me, you know, like, not only is it fascinating, because it's a hitman. And I'm like, I'm down for this. It was also this sort of the fact that they're like, they have this relationship. And it's this weird relationship where they're like, we can't touch each other. Yeah, but I'm gonna be like, you like, I see your deck. Like, you know what I like? And it's, and I've seen it 1000 times before, and I know how big you are. And I know, you know, and there is this sort of like exchange between them. And I'm like, audit fascinating relationship.

Tarin 56:24
I will reiterate, and you did say that just for people listening, but that she is of age.

Elle 56:32
Honey, she's funny. She's funny. Yeah, yeah. Younger, but now she's of age. She's 20 years old. And this is all okay. It's all okay. Okay, nothing. All okay. Yeah. All right. So I'm just going to start this now. Okay, so what has happened? Um, just to give you guys a little bit of a setup is Garin has been through something. He got his ass kicked. I don't think he's been shot, right. I don't remember. Okay. Well, he's not he's all bloodied up like, but not so much where we're like, oh, shit, we got to go to the ER right now. Dude, you're gonna die. Yeah,

Tarin 57:06
he he gets Yeah, he gets punished. It's, it's Yeah.

Elle 57:11
Okay. And so he is and he needs help in the shower. And this is the I don't know, is this a trope too? Because I love this trope.

Tarin 57:22
The shower in general. Well, no, the guy meat

Elle 57:25
like like, because there was a male male romance author a while ago that I had on here and she gave me a scene where like, the the two heroes like one needed help in the bathroom because he had broken his leg or something like that. And there was this tender like this, just this real sense of helplessness from like the Alpha. That's usually not. It doesn't have that helplessness and needs that and it's always like just this sort of like through romantic sort of switch for me. I enjoy reading. So Oh, yeah.

Tarin 57:51
It's definitely a good way to get two characters together physically. Yeah, like you physically have to help. You have to touch me right now. I have to undress partially or fully. So it's definitely a device.

Elle 58:08
Yeah. So okay, so now they've gotten so he needs her help in the shower. They've got their clothes off, or they're getting to the point of clothes off. They're sort of like in this very intimate, tight, sexually charged moment and they're starting to give them your phones and guys your phones in Laramie worlds herself around slow she slides off for jeans and an unmistakably soaked pair of panties. I devour the sight of her perfect little asshole. As she bends over. I can already smell her ripe arousal, pulling at her slit, and I greedily inhale it deep into my deep in my lungs. I'll need you to get in and I'll need to get in there with you. Right. She flirts. I need to get in there. Whatever your tea is. Sorry. I know. I reply my chest immediately becoming a wellspring of intense regret. Laremy pulls back the shower curtain and steps into the spray of water. offering her hand I take it and let her guide me into the tub. She draws me to her. Christ. Her body is so soft, so supple. She's like the view driving along the Pacific Coast Highway sunshine orange hair, shimmering ocean blue eyes curves for days. I unfurl a growl is I graze her wet skin with my fingertips, knowing it may be the last time she ever lets me touch her this way. It isn't everything but I know I have already taken too much. You don't get to kill and get something precious like this to tell that to my heart on as pearls of combs spilled from the tip. And I pull on it hard, letting the slick underside smack off my abs. Do you have to do that with me in here. Let me protest she bites on her lip. It's because you're in here. She pretends not to hear that. She cleanses me gently with liquid soap. I went swear it's tender. You're okay. Well, let me see. These gashes really aren't as deep as they look. She lies For her sake, once more than mine, I'm fine. Just keep doing this. Keep doing that. I need this. I need her touch her whispers of affection. I need to just hold her. Everything. I need her. My body feels weak. My mind is like a torture chamber. I've kept my guard up around her mostly for four years, I can indulge in the single moment. As soon as it's over. I'll regain control I have to what I loved about this moment, was this really great juxtaposition between him being sexually aroused and him being intimately aroused?

Tarin 1:00:38
Yeah. And almost needy. Yes, me and greedy,

Elle 1:00:42
needy and greedy. Yeah, yeah. I mean, you know, we missed it, like in the beginning, but you know, there is a little bit more of like, you know, his his language. And again, like, this is sort of the way men speak versus the way women speak in these situations. And it's a little bit more guttural, it's a little bit more harsh. Yeah, you know, and he's kind of like, you know, he's, you know, like, his cock pointed right at those plump lips, I'd love to see nothing more to see wrapped around its little course. Yeah, you know, and then, but then, like, as, as we're moving through that coarseness, and they're getting closer and closer, he starts to get like, he really like the feelings are starting to come out.

Tarin 1:01:23
Yeah. And that's the character development that I, I believe really needs to happen during every steamy scene, whether it's just marginal character development, or a lot or full on epiphanies. But I also personally love to see and love to write these really tough, gruff grumbly men that are just so soft and buttery on the inside, you know. And even if that, and that can come out during a really intimate moment. Even if there's a little bit of back and forth, and their, their language might be more coarse, but their thoughts are very, very tender and sweet. Even if it's in their own way, which is, you know, what I, what I personally love about reading and writing, romance is having that that compliment somebody that feel, you know, a hero that feels very strong and in control and capable and level headed. kind of lose it a little bit for this woman. And that is what gives her the control. And her the sort of the power is that she's able to bring down this force.

Elle 1:02:42
Hmm. Oh, okay. So that's how that sort of power dynamic is going to be shifted a bit a bit, right? Like,

Tarin 1:02:49
it's one of my favorite power dynamics to kind of play with and to read. I gets me every time and I see it coming. And I'm like, Oh, yes, you did it.

Elle 1:02:58
Okay, that's a really great way of looking at it. Because like, for me, I like I tend to write more gruff and grumbly women than

to butter her up, you know, I mean, you know, and I've definitely struggled to like write the alpha male, which is also I think I've shied away from MC because I'm like, I don't think I could write a guy like that. And it's also keeping me a little bit away from mafia Of course, like, I'm thinking about other ways to do it. But you know, so I'm kind of fascinated by this. And I'm like, I feel like I might need to push myself out of my comfort zone with that a little bit. You know, and I love the way of thinking about that. Yeah, just again, like you were talking about, like, you have to, like, kind of shift your perspective a little bit and see where your voice fits when you're writing a bit more to market. Right? Which is absolutely. Okay. I'm going to just keep going. Okay, she works. fingers through my hair. Careful not to abrade the scalp. You're good at this. I husk out. You ever get tired of being a being coffee girl? You could be nurse Laramie Harper. She makes the sound of interest. Can I sleep with my patients? You probably shouldn't. Is it very difficult not to um, are you kidding? Have you seen you look at your body all battle hewn her fingers show me right where the back of my neck, but that's fiber she likes best over my shoulders and down my arms. The rigid muscle and keen grooves I feel her eyes on my skin hungrily chasing her delicate touch across every inch even as the water continues to run. pinkish red. The blood still spurts spills in spurts stripping down my body and now hers. More like a battlefield I say more inflamed. Well, that too. Don't worry, I'll fix you up. She sweat smiles warmly up at me. Her eyes filled with compassion. Love as she stands before me her big nipples pressed against my abdomen, her chin angled so that she can see all the way into my eyes. I'm no warrior. I tell her and circling her in my arms and melding her to me. No soldier, no saint. I know that she read Just around me to lather soap up, then down my back than all the way to the crevice between my butt cheeks. You are thorough ma'am. Let me slides down to her knees, she washes my feet, my calves. She takes her time on my thighs then in between them. My fingers itch with the urge to take her by the back of her head and pull her to me shoving my fitness into her mouth as far as she can take it. I bite down on a filthy word schooling my hands around the back the back of my own head. The two of the two of us I'd swear Laramie as the killer right now tortuously, sluicing soap on my erection and then working the lather into my sack God Almighty my need for her is climbing towards a fever pitch Laramie? Just a sec. Almost done. She rubs her palms up and down my arousal until I rent squeaky clean. Then presses a soft stolen kiss right on the head. Fuck that was sweet. Do you think you can handle conditioner? She stands back up. If it'll keep you in here with me. You can douse me with fire for all I care. I wouldn't do that. Surely has though. My heart is drilling lava into every one of my pores into my cells into my soul. She squeezes Pantene into her palm and reaches up pressing her succulent body against me. And works conditioner into the ends of my hair. Sweet Christ. She is all consuming. I'm in some kind of heaven. That's actually how or hell that is. Heaven. Same damn difference. Another life I could take more everything Laramie would truly be mine in every possible way. Forever. Ah, so beautiful. Beautiful. I just want to jump down a little bit more. Sure. I wrapped my arms around her mid lather and dropped my head to her neck. I have to tell you something Angel. Tell me. I Knipper sensitive skin with my lips coasting, coaxing adults at mon from the back of her throat. I dragged my lips across her cheek to her lush mouth hovering over it for a few heavy panting breaths. I shouldn't though. My voice comes out broken horse. Maybe you should she raps needfully. We hold steady and breathe and each other a slow. A low slow rumble takes place in my chest. She lost her head back offering her mouth and this time I can't say no. I dip my mouth and take a long slow pull of her of her lips that drowns me in a torrent of Mad desire. She pulls in a shaky breath as we break apart. You kissed me by me simple as Oh fuck. What have I done? I was like holy shit.

And it's so taboo that they kiss.

Tarin 1:07:36
Yes, because that is forbidden between them. Up until this point.

Elle 1:07:42
Yeah. And like this kids, there's like a moment now where they're like, I just got to do this other kids they have like a second kiss. Our mouths draw together again as if by electric current and we hover like magnets for a breath, then launch into a deep and ferocious wet kiss. I sink my tongue and her pliant mouth and leave it across her as drinking her end. She moves her approval into my mouth, clenching her thighs and pushing her sex Closer, closer, grinding against me vigorously. I mean, it's absolutely extraordinary. I'm like your writing is so amazingly good. Oh my gosh, thank you for seeing is like Wait. It's like so it is. There are moments that are so dirty. So so

Tarin 1:08:32
in some language that I you know, that some language does not say words that have never actually come out of my mouth.

Elle 1:08:44
Like because she's a she, okay, he she ends up giving him oral sex in the shower. Yeah. And it is like, his orgasm is actually like, what like wild like it's messy. It's messy. It is. It is messy. And it's like, Okay, I gotta read that part. I gotta read that part. The light vibrations of ecstasy into my sex the pleasure blast through my nerve endings. Killing me in a cute angry fashion. I fucking lose it. I grown and grown as semen springs from the tip and hits the back of her throat. My balls twist up. Oh my fuck. I can't stop. Stop coming. My IV spill overflows from Larry Laremy his mouth drizzling down her chin and neck and battering her thighs. It is messy. But it is so sexy. And like when you think about it, like they're in the shower and there's like a little bit like at the end of this scene where you sort of talk about that like that like the water going down the drain is just semen and blood and sweat and I'm so fucking dirty like but like dirty like literally dirty like,

Tarin 1:09:57
like actually dirty you know early in my writing career, I read this piece of advice about, like, what makes this sexy and sexy. And this prolific romance author said something like, at the end, it was very good advice. And then at the end, she said easy on the bodily fluids. And I was like, No, that's no fun. So I did not go easy.

Elle 1:10:26
So I'm curious, because you said this was a departure, because you're like, I'm right. in somebody else's world I can have. How did the readers respond? They

Tarin 1:10:34
really, really loved it. There were a few that said, you know, this was a little too, over the top. I've always written a little bit over the top. Because that's with short stories, I think it seems that that audience enjoys things to be a little more, you know, fantasy, fantasy, like the genre fantasy, but you know,

Elle 1:10:57
like an erotic fantasy or Yeah, exactly.

Tarin 1:10:59
Or even relationship fantasies, you know, you fantasize about a conversation that you might have with somebody, and it might just be so honest, that it's unreal, right. And so I've always written a little bit over the top, so I went way over the top with this one. And I knew, you know that one of the requirements of the series was he had to be a hitman. So he murders people. no getting around that. So I, I kind of justified it by I'm writing about a guy that murders people, some of my readers are not going to like this, right? So they're probably not going to read it. And if I write all this other, you know, if I write everything else, kind of over the top, and less sweet than what I had normally written up to that point, I don't, I don't think it's gonna make a big difference. So I kind of was like, I'm just gonna write it for me. And, and see where it lands. And some readers were like, you know, and a lot of the reviews say, this is different than your typical This is blacks. And it is a little bit longer than my other shorts race just a little bit longer. And, and then do some some people this was their first time reading a Terran Lex book, it kind of felt like well read that one and then read the other ones. You might, you might be disappointed the other way. Because they're not all they're not all like that. But it did, I got enough positive feedback. And it's still a year later, one of my best selling stories out of 100.

Elle 1:12:44
You had me at hitman. Like seriously, yeah, I read that.

Tarin 1:12:47
It almost you know that the feedback was not 100% Positive. But if it's never of, if your story is 100%, positive feedback, you're not challenging yourself. So I think that sort of gave me permission to write more what I want to write. And if the readers like it, they like it, and if they don't, there's 99 other stories.

Elle 1:13:13
Right? There's so many other like, there's, if that's not your jam, there's another one that's like, right, like, keep just looking down the book with like, you'll find something for you. Yeah.

Tarin 1:13:23
And there is there's a major trigger warning at the beginning of this book and in the in the description. You know, readers know, going into this one that it's not, it's not like the others. Right? Right. And some of them skipped it. And I was like, you know, that's great. You know, you know, you skip it, if you feel like you are gonna want to skip it, please. Because I don't want to hurt anybody.

Elle 1:13:47
With a short. Do you? Are you like, Are you like, Okay, I know, I need to have threes three SEC's I need to have three steamy scenes. Like, is there something like that? Or are you really sort of like going with, like, it's really dictated by the story or do you know, you need to have X amount of scenes. To make the reader

Tarin 1:14:06
always I like to have one. I always have to have one of course because they're steamy. And there might be a an almost encounter. But there might not, it might all just be sort of this straight sort of diagonal, but linear line where the seam just increases until the end. Sometimes it's a little more up and down. So I don't I don't give myself those kinds of parameters. Really. I just before I write it, I do plot these out. Otherwise, there's no there's really no room for them to kind of take on a life of their own

Elle 1:14:45
right. You need to be pretty tight with what you're doing. Yeah, exactly.

Tarin 1:14:48
And some you know, I like to I would prefer to have like an almost scene or a steamy scene and then a steamy or scene or a steamy or scene and then a little All moresteam At the end, just There's never too much.

Elle 1:15:09
But it always has to be obviously in service to the story that you're telling.

Tarin 1:15:13
Absolutely. Yeah. Cool.

Elle 1:15:15
So you are releasing your book releasing Dynamo. So I imagine if I feel like even saying like what's coming up for you and like these obviously, like, sort of go out a little bit like later than when we record so I kind of almost feel like it's gonna be like, you know, you'll have hit your 100 by the time this comes out.

Tarin 1:15:34
Maybe almost, maybe.

Elle 1:15:38
So, I mean, where's the best place for readers to connect with you on online?

Tarin 1:15:43
Oh, I'm on Instagram a lot. It's just at Taryn Lex. My website is Taryn

Elle 1:15:49
Perfect. And I will put this in the show notes. Do you have other places that you hang out online? Are those who have a Facebook

Tarin 1:15:55
reader group that I'm fairly active in? And I think it's just Lex readers.

Elle 1:16:03
Okay, cool. I can and I'm sure you have like links also on your website.

Tarin 1:16:07
Oh, yeah. Links are all over the place.

Elle 1:16:09
Perfect. Do you do tick tock at all? That's been like my obsession. I

Tarin 1:16:13
don't because I think I am going to obsess over it. So I'm trying not to but I see every time I see other authors, and they're so creative. Yeah, they're so clever with their tick tock videos. I'm like, can I be that creative?

Elle 1:16:31
Some of the ones doing all these like wild special effects. And I'm like, I don't even know how to put my book cover up there.

Tarin 1:16:37
I just recently and like the last month or two, I learned how to do a real like on Instagram. Okay. Oh, I love doing them. But it will take me I will obsess over it and make it perfect for like all that like the whole afternoon.

Elle 1:16:50
Yeah, it's Yeah. And it's hard. It's hard not to like because I know a lot of people were like, just throw it up. It doesn't have to be perfect. And I'm like, No. No, yeah. It's hard to let that go and be okay with that. But yeah, yeah. Taryn, thank you so much for doing this. It was so great to talk to you about this.

Tarin 1:17:11
Thank you, Al. This was so much fun. Thanks so much for having me.

Elle 1:17:14
Oh my god. Yes. And we'll have to do an IG live. Oh, with lb I think that'd be super fun. It would be a lot of fun. Cool. Thank you.

Tarin 1:17:23
Thank you so so much. I'll talk to you soon. Okay. All right. Bye.

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