It’s always the quiet ones, I tell you. On the Carina Press team, we have a few that qualify as quiet, but you know those who are quiet have the most hidden depths, right? And generally the most sneaky sense of humor. I think that’s Tara. Also, she remains unfazed in the face of embarrassing questions (I have reason to know, as I asked her something that made everyone else at the table with Canadian sensibilities gasp, and she didn’t even bat an eye.) In the office and on the Carina team, Tara can always be counted on to perform a task quickly and efficiently, be kind while doing it, and not shoot death-to-you-and-your-next-of-kin looks your way when you say “and can you do this too?” She’s a dream to work with! Add in that she’s our resident romantic suspense fan, but will also branch out and try new-to-her genres, and she’s an amazing team member.
AJ: To start, tell us your job title as well as what you do for Harlequin and Carina.
TS: My official title is Assistant Manager, Digital Commerce. It involves a lot of merchandising and marketing of our digital products – trying to find new ways to let people know about our brilliant books – whether it’s through websites, blogs, newsletters, podcasts or banner ads. I also oversee the creation of digital-first covers for Harlequin and manage relationships with our third-party vendors. Being part of the Carina acquisitions team keeps my creative heart happy because I get to write cover copy and blog posts, as well as brainstorm titles. There’s something deeply satisfying about a job where you can transform your passion for reading into a full-time gig!
AJ: What’s your favorite movie?
TS: Probably Annie Hall. Woody Allen has always been my comedic cup of tea and Diane Keaton’s is a fashion icon in this film. I should also mention the glory that is Gone with the Wind since Scarlett O’Hara is my hero and I’m named after her plantation!
AJ: Ever been embarrassed by something you’ve read?
TS: I think working at Love Central pretty much cures you of that! I still find it surreal sometimes to sit in meetings where terms like ménages and boning are seamlessly weaved into the conversation. It’s quite liberating in a way. Although I have come across some so-called sexy words I really wish I hadn’t, like pistoning. Ick. (AJ: see, I told you it’s always the quiet ones. Who else has managed to work ménages, boning and pistoning into their answers? Just Tara)
TS: I check out someecards.com. Very dangerous though, since it has the power to suck you in for hours on end. You can find a card for every occasion (and it’ll probably be hilariously inappropriate). Think what Ricky Gervais would say if he wrote ecards. My boss knows about it, though, so I’m not sure how secret it is… In fact, I think I got her hooked
AJ: What are you reading right now? What was the last Harlequin or Carina book you read?
TS: I’m currently reading Precious and Fragile Things by Megan Hart. Dark and disturbing, but also very gripping. I also just finished the Iron Fey books by Julie Kagawa and absolutely loved them. (For the record, I’m leaning towards Team Puck) Next in my TBR pile are Great House by Nicole Krauss, Room by Emma Donoghue and The Help by Kathryn Stockett. Oh, and 100 Facts About Pandas (Christmas gift from the fella).
AJ: Dark, milk or white chocolate? Or no chocolate?
TS: I can’t believe I’m typing this, but none of the above! I’m going chocolate-free for the next month, painful as that sounds. I’m cutting out sugar and gluten for dietary/health reasons, but usually I scarf down any type of chocolate that’s going (preferably from across the pond – Dairy Milk’s Golden Crisp is my favourite, along with Flakes and Buttons). (AJ: I feel faint. No chocolate? No chocolate? I’m going to have to go have some chocolate now)