Tabitha Short’s latest novel, “Renewal,” will be published by The First Five Pages Publications on Dec. 14, 2013. You can either purchase it in e-book format or in paperback. The book’s setting is in Sunset, Louisiana.
GWN: What inspired you to be a writer?
Tabitha: When I was younger, I loved to read and tell stories. In school, I enjoyed doing writing assignments (but would never admit it). In fourth grade, I won a school award for a story I had written. Since that time, it’s been an innate calling for me. It’s just what I love to do.
GWN: Did you keep journals or move right into short stories?
Tabitha: When I was growing up, I kept journals. They were filled with whatever angsts were occurring in my life. Every once in a while, I’d write a poem in my journal. Writing is a form of therapy and I definitely used it that way.
GWN: Tell us about your first books: the genre and storylines. Are they still available?
Tabitha: My first publication was a short story titled, The Please DO Feed the Animals ZOO. It’s a horror short story based loosely on a dream my husband had one night. I did two more short stories in the same genre, and then in November 2012, I published my first full-length novel. It is a young adult mystery/thriller titled, Her Sister’s Murderer. Less than 30 days later it hit the #8 spot on an iTunes Australia book chart for sales. I was shocked to see it, and, as you can guess, very happy. The spot below it (#9) was Lee Child and the spot above it (#7) was David Baldacci. I was ecstatic to be nestled between the two commercial fiction writers. In early 2013, I released my second full-length novel. It is titled, Arena Games: Legend of Petrova and is a young adult high fantasy book.
GWN: I understand that your latest book is entitled “Renewal,” and it’s been published by The First Five Pages. Your protagonist, in this Contemporary Romance, is a widow who turns back home to begin a new life. What challenges does she face starting over?
Tabitha: Grace Channing is always running. She couldn’t wait to get out of her hometown by jumping off to college. After college, she couldn’t wait to get out of Mississippi. Finally, in a town over a thousand miles away, Grace finds love. Then the unthinkable happens and she loses him and all she knows how to do is run. This time she’s running home, the same place from which she had ran originally. Now she has to mend her relationship with the sister she left behind, start a new job where she not only has to put up with an arrogant, sexist boss and a too-eager, overachieving teammate, but also her old college sweetheart. Brockton Jefferies broke more than just her heart; he broke her entire spirit. To top it all off, her old childhood friend, Morris, keeps showing up with his country boy good looks and asking for dates. All of this would have had Grace running again, but she’s decided not to run this time. She’s decided to confront all her hardships and recover from her loss, but she never expected to fall in love again in the process.
GWN: How does she deal with her grief?
Tabitha: Grace deals with her grief by staying busy. She’s surrounded herself with her family and is reconnecting with old friends. She follows her father’s subtle advice and finds a new job.
GWN: Who is there to act as her support system?
Tabitha: Grace’s support system is her family, especially her mother who seems to know just what Grace needs emotionally. Her father seems to know what Grace needs literally, and her sister is there for friendship. She finds it odd to know that the very people she wanted so desperately to be apart from became the people she needed most in her darkest hour.
GWN: Is there hope for a new romantic relationship?
Tabitha: For Grace, it’s one step at a time.
GWN: What did you enjoy writing about this book?
Tabitha: I enjoyed creating the characters. Each one is different and the scenarios are realistic. This could be anyone’s life. That’s what makes it relatable.
GWN: How are you promoting it?
Tabitha: I’m promoting it by using marketing tactics like advertising and public relations. We’re going to do an (offline) launch party in my hometown (fitting, huh?) along with several book signings in the Kentucky/Indiana/Tennessee area. Public speaking will be a great addition to our marketing plan. We’re also doing online blog tours, interviews, guest posts and spotlights. Reviews are the best speaker for the books, so we’re seeking out those as well.
GWN: Have you started a new writing project?
Tabitha: I have! 🙂 I’m working on the sequel to Arena Games: Legend of Petrova as well as the sequel to Her Sister’s Murderer.