Deaf Isn't Dumb is a motivational story of a young woman, Tara, who faces the challenges of growing up "hearing impaired" in a hearing world. Follow her as she recounts everything from childhood bullies to work related restrictions, and funny misunderstandings from mispronounced words to fear of Federal Air Marshals. In this tale, straight from the heart, learn that simply because one is deaf—contrary to popular misconception—it doesn't mean they are dumb.
Pretty shocking stuff isnt it. This is an extract from the memoirs of Tara Chevrestt entitled DEAF ISNT DUMB, available now on Amazon. I am extremely lucky that she has joined me here in the Nook to discuss her honest and inspiring book, as well as giving tips for new writers.
Hi and welcome to Kook’s Nook. Today I am joined by, all the way from Utah (USA) Tara Chevrestt. She is a talented author and editor, with several books under her rather slim waist and has just published her memoirs. Which is a compelling read, honest and beautifully written.
Hi Tara and welcome to the hot seat (I put a hot water bottle under it first as its blasted cold and wet in the UK).
Nice!!! Thank you.
I’d like to start by asking you if you have one book that you read either as a kid or an adult, that you go back to time after time?
Well, I was really crazy about Nancy Drew, but one book that I have on my shelf to this day that I loved as a kid is The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi.
You have a very clear ‘voice’ in your writing, who are your influences?
As an adult, I really admire and as a result, have friended Christina Courtenay and Bev Petersen. I don't think I'll ever quite compare to their talents, but I strive to, and when I think of what kind of writer I would like to be, I think of them. I'm also a fan of Catherine Cookson...one of yours!
How do you like to write, in amongst abject chaos, loud music or total silence?
Silence, obviously, though sometimes my husband ruins everything by playing music. We share a desk and I feel the vibrations and I hate it. It's a distraction.
If you had one person (apart from hubby) to bring you your first drink of the day, who would it be?
Paul Walker! Or Terrance Howard. Errr. Can I have both?
How did you start writing?
Book wise? Well, I penned my first novel after a trip to a motorcycle museum. I found out about the Van Buren sisters and vowed to find a historical novel about them...I couldn't find one so I wrote it. That's Ride for Rights.
Lets face it everyone has a way of relaxing, what’s your one indulgence?
Wine. Have to have a glass every night.
How did you get involved in the editing side?
I've been a reader my whole life and a book reviewer for at least six years so editing came naturally to me. I discovered I enjoyed it, applied for a job, and there you have it.
Do you have any tips and hints for the virginal/aspiring author reading this, who has no idea where to start?
Listen to critiques. Don't think, "OMG, this person is bashing my work! Boo hoo!" Instead, listen closely, and note how you can improve. Don't give up.
What is the one piece of advice you were given when you started writing?
Double space all your manuscripts, Times New Roman, 12 pt.
Is there any genre you wouldn’t touch with a bargepole? And one that you have always wanted to write?
I'd love to write a historical novel about Puerto Rico. I've had some basic ideas, but it's not quite forming one big book yet. I figure it will happen when it happens.
I think I'll stay away from paranormal. I don't like it, really. I don't care for vampires or shifters and have no intention of adding to that ruckus.
Is there one big NO NO or peeve that you have when it comes to reading other peoples work?
TONS. LOL. I hate weak heroines. Blah. And I hate being sent books I don't ask for and then nagged to write a review on said book. Rude.
Your memoir Deaf Isn't Dumb, is exceptionally honest and blunt. Was it difficult and painful for you to write, as there are some bad memories there?
Yes. At times, I had to just walk away from it. I know my mother gets real upset when she reads it. In the end, I'd say it was therapeutic for me also though.
Is there a favourite recipe you can share with the foodies who read Kook’s Nook Please?
Yes, I would like to share a cake recipe I have been enjoying since my teen years. It's Bacardi Rum Cake. :)
1 pkg yellow cake mix
1 pkg instant vanilla pudding mix
1/2 cup cold water
1/2 cup veg oil
1/2 cup Bacardi gold
Combine all the above in mixing bowl. Pour into greased bundt pan. Bake @ 325 for one hour. Allow to cool a bit before inverting onto serving platter. Prick with fork. Prepare glaze:
Melt one stick butter in saucepan and add 1/4 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Boil 5 min, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup rum. Pour over cake.
Allow cake to soak for a day. You can also do variations such as white cake, coconut pudding, and Bacardi CoCo or chocolate cake, chocolate pudding, CoCo or gold. Whatever. :)
and finally, of course. Could you leave us with a teaser from one of your books or something due to be published soon.
From A Maiden Behind the Mask (UNEDITED), releasing July 13th from Ruby Lioness Press:
She tore her gaze away from the mare and said firmly. "Cinco pesos. And only because this yegua has fire, not because of your terms. Selena, pay him."
Selena's hand shook, but the pesos were transferred to the dirty palm. The man laughed with glee, the crowd dispersed, and Catalina was left with a dirty, starving horse.
"We shall get you fed and cleaned up," she promised the mare, patting its neck. A cloud of dirt rose in the air, and Catalina struggled not to cough. "I shall call you La Reina, because once in my establo, I shall treat you like a queen. Your body may be beaten, but your spirit is not broken."
"Catalina?" Her maid's voice was tentative as it interrupted her quiet chattering. "Whatever possessed you—"
"Fetch me a mozo," Catalina interrupted her. "Take the remaining pesos and fetch me a groom. La Reina is going to her castle." She wasn't offering more explanations than that. She didn't owe anyone an explanation. She'd done what was right.
As her maid turned to comply, heading toward the livery, a loud pffffht rendered the air. Catalina stared at her new acquisition, aghast.
Selena froze and swung around to admonish her charge. "Señorita! Your behavior has been questionable enough this day. Mind yourself." She shook her head and her finger both before turning back to the task at hand.
Catalina heard her muttering as she sashayed away. She was too surprised and too tired to defend herself, but the breeze picked up, and a waft of foul air assaulted her. Catalina immediately tugged a delicate, lace handkerchief from her sleeve and placed it over her nose as she glared at the horse.
La Reina snorted and pawed the ground. Catalina could swear the mare was laughing at her. She merely shook her head. "Dios mío, and you let me take the blame for that?"
La Reina whinnied and bared her teeth as though she was smiling.
It has been an absolute pleasure to have you in the Nook. (Gives Tara a huge Kooky hug). I hope you had a lovely time.
You can contact Tara at the websites below.
Until next week. KEEP IT KOOKY!!!!!!!!!!!