Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Nic Tatano for a chat!
Welcome to Comet Babe's Books!
Can you tell us a bit more about Twitter Girl?
Twitter Girl is network reporter Cassidy Shea, who has an incredible following due to her snarky tweets. But one of her comments crosses the line and she gets fired. She ends up getting a job working for Presidential candidate Will Becker, who happens to be single and America’s most eligible bachelor. A relationship between the two develops and Cassidy is seen as the next Jackie Kennedy, with their romance capturing the country’s attention like Prince William and Kate Middleton. But as is always the case in a RomCom, there are obstacles in her way and she has to discover the true meaning of love.
Cassidy is a unique fictional character in that she also has her own Twitter page. She escaped my laptop and became self-aware, sort of a romantic version of Skynet. Now she’s firing off snarky tweets all day and I cannot control her. You can follow her at @TwitrGrlCassidy but be prepared if you engage her in a conversation, as she’s the poster child for sarcasm.
Can you tell us who designed the cover as it is gorgeous?
It was designed by HarperImpulse Cover Designer Alex Allden, who has done most of my covers. In this case she came up with three possible covers and readers voted on this one. Then I collected a bunch of comments about the winning cover, passed them on and she tweaked it a bit, made Cassidy’s hair a more vivid red, gave her the one raised eyebrow. I love working with Alex because she’s willing to take suggestions and has an amazing ability to transfer the idea in my head into artwork, which is good, because my talent in art is limited to drawing stickmen.
Your books seem to be about reporters, is it a field you know a lot about?
I’ve spent my career in television news, mostly as a reporter and anchor. Since I have reached my on-camera expiration date thanks to High-Def, I now work behind the scenes as a freelance field producer for all the major networks.
I’ve always been bugged by novels set in the world of TV news that get the facts about the industry wrong. For instance, we haven’t shot film since 1982 but pick up any novel written today and a character will talk about filming a story. I enjoy giving readers a little inside look at the industry, as it is filled with some wild personalities and quirks you’d never believe.
Do you have a favourite place you like to write and why?
The laptop moves according to the weather. In the summer I write in the basement since it’s cool down there. Winter, I’m by the fireplace. Spring and fall, I’m in the sunroom with my cat who often crawls in my lap while I’m writing.
Can you share with us a sneak peak of what you are working on at the moment?
Well, no title yet, but it’s about an editor who buys a romance novel but has no idea it was written by a guy. (I know, a little close to home.) Through a bit of serendipity the actual author falls in love with her but cannot blow his cover.
Are any of your characters based on people you know?
Absolutely not. I have no desire to get sued. (Of course, I could tell people, “You’re in the book!” which would force them to buy it.)
How old were you when you started writing?
I was in the fifth grade. My buddies and I had put together a little class newspaper and my teacher noticed it. He encouraged me to try some short stories. I wrote my first novel in 1998.
What items are on your desk/where you write?
Well, I never actually do any writing on my desk, but I’ll tell you what’s on it. A few photos, a kaleidoscope, an old fashioned Rolodex that I still use, a radio, a 12-inch replica of the Chrysler Building in New York, an LA Law license plate clock from when I worked for an NBC station, and a glass globe which looks pretty cool when the sunlight hits it in the afternoon.
Any tips for writers who are just starting out?
I’ve been to a lot of seminars with other writers and I am always baffled that people are terrified of sending out their work. There are no “query police” who are going to break down your door and haul you away if an agent or editor doesn’t like your pitch. And no editor is going to remember a book she doesn’t like, so don’t worry about blowing a first impression. They get thousands of books every year and cannot possibly remember the ones they don’t like. And think about it; why would they want to?
Also, don’t be afraid to send your work directly to editors. After my agent dropped me I sent the same manuscript directly to several editors and got a book deal. I actually got a better percentage of responses from editors than agents, and the editors’ responses were much more positive and polite.
Can you share a day in the life of Nic Tatano?
Well, it depends. If I’m doing TV work I’m on the road somewhere and usually getting up at 3:30 in the morning to set up a live shot. If not, I get up with my wife the teacher, make breakfast and pack her a lunch. Then I’ll read all the New York City newspapers online and usually take a walk if the weather’s nice. Then I’ll start writing and take breaks by doing housework, running errands, etc. The cat will interrupt me several times during all this, demanding attention, and she will not stop howling till I drop what I’m doing to pet her. Around four I start getting dinner ready. We love TV and spend the evenings burning off the stuff on the DVR.
On Sundays in the fall I go into an eleven hour NFL coma as I cannot get enough American football.
Non book questions
Favourite holiday place?
We love cruises, so a cruise to anywhere. Our favorite cruise was a 12 day trip around the British Isles.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I rarely listen to music, but if I do it’s either Sinatra, disco, or stuff from the eighties. I don’t really care for much of anything produced after 1990. The last record I bought was actually a record, and I prefer vinyl to digital. When people ask me what’s on my iPod I tell them I don’t have one and don’t want one.
I know many writers listen to music while working, but I actually listen to sports talk radio, WFAN in New York.
Die Hard. Bruce Willis vs. He-Who-Would-Be-Snape. (Best villain in movie history.) Yippie-ki-yay.
Lindt. I’m a major chocoholic and was thrilled to score a bunch of Lindt chocolate bunnies in the day-after-Easter half-price sale. It’s one of the “chocoholic holidays” along with the day after Valentine’s Day.
Anything with rum in it.
Thank you for answering my questions today!
Thank you for inviting me!
About The Author