Meet Tara Alemany, Author of The Best is Yet to Come, The Character Based Leader, My Love To You Always and other stories
TA: That’s an interesting question. I never really set out to become an author. I just simply always wrote. At the age of 19, I started my first company, which was a technical writing business. Writing came naturally to me, and I was always surprised at how much companies were willing to pay for something that seemed so easy to me.
However, in 2009 when a Twitter community I was part of started a conversation about character-based leadership, I was very interested. Over the course of the next couple of years, the conversation grew and we decided to write a book together. It was when I saw the opportunity to become an author without having to do all the work on my own that I got excited about the idea.
TA: Well, we started working on The Character-Based Leader in 2011. But with 21 of us co-authoring the book, it took 16 months to complete. So its actual release date wasn’t until September 2012.
However, in January 2012, I was faced with a business dilemma. I work specifically with authors and speakers to grow their platform. That means I develop websites and content strategies, and train them on how to use social media to connect with their audience.
Unfortunately, these are fairly big-ticket items. The majority of authors and speakers I was talking with, didn’t have the budget yet to afford me. Rather than having them walk away because they didn’t have the money and risk losing contact with them, I wanted to offer a solution that would help them get started with their marketing while still experiencing me so that when they did have a budget they would naturally think of me.
The solution to the dilemma was to write a book. By May 2012 I released The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books, my do-it-yourself guide to marketing your book. In it, I shared a variety of techniques that I use for my books and with my clients’ books to increase sales.
As it worked out, 2012 became “The Year of the Book” for me. With the release of The Plan in May, The Character-Based Leader was released in September. That was quickly followed by two anthologies that I had contributed to as well. In October, My Love to You Always was released, and in December the 2013 ed. of Celebrating 365 Days of Gratitude was released. So in the span of seven months, I wrote or contributed to four different titles.
But my writing wasn’t to end there.
In 2011, I went through very unique experience in my life. I hadn’t been in a relationship in 12 years. I’d been busy raising my kids and trying to make ends meet. There simply wasn’t room in my life for a guy. And I’d been through enough pain in my relationships that I didn’t want to risk my kids’ happiness by “trying again.” But in July 2011 I met someone and I fell hard. It wasn’t planned and took me completely by surprise. Thankfully he fell hard too and in a very short time we were engaged and planning our life together.
Four short months later he unexpectedly died and my world came crashing to a halt. It took a long time to rejoin “The Land of the Living,” as I called it. In all honesty, I really didn’t want to, but I had to for my kids.
When the first anniversary of our meeting came, I decided that I wanted to start writing down everything I could remember about our time together. I saw it as being a personal journal intended to help me to remember as time went on. I didn’t want to ever forget, and I knew there would come a day when the details would start to fade.
So I began going through our old emails and listening to the voicemail recordings that I still had. I chronicled the story of our time together and my thoughts of what things were like. I put as many details as possible into my writing and was completely vulnerable and open about all that I had experienced, thinking I was only writing it for me.
Around that same time, someone new came into my life; not with the same all-consuming passion and depth of emotion that Frank had enveloped my life with, but with a sweet innocence and obliviousness that touched my heart. And I found that my writing started to be more for him than for me. I wanted him to understand what I had been through. I wanted to reveal my innermost thoughts and feelings to him, perhaps in a way that would help him deal with his own loss, one that I could see he was still wrestling with.
Eventually, I found that what I had written wasn’t just for me, nor was it just for Mark. The lessons that I had learned in overcoming Frank’s death were suitable for anyone seeking to heal from any kind of loss. It didn’t matter whether it was from a divorce, as in Mark’s case, or a job loss, from a death or from a major life transition. If it involved grieving over what once was, these lessons applied.
So in November 2013 The Best is Yet to Come was released, and I’ve been truly humbled by my readers’ response to it.
TA: Since I write nonfiction, my story ideas usually are based upon reflections that I have a hard time letting go of. Sometimes those reflections are based on problems that I see and I’m trying to solve. At other times, they’re simply based on insights that I’ve learned along the way and want to wrestle with a bit more, so I do it in writing. It’s my way of anchoring and solidifying the concepts, and making them my own.
BBB: What are you currently working on?
TA: Actually right now I’m writing less than I had been. Earlier this fall, I revised and updated The Plan that Launched a Thousand Books. In the two years since it was released, I had many new tools and services that I wanted to add to it, and some I wanted to remove.
When it was first released, I also hadn’t quite gotten the cover that I had wanted. The cover designer that I was working with didn’t have the ability to create what I envisioned, and rather than trying to find another one I continued with this designer who had come highly recommended by a friend. The work he did was fine. It just wasn’t what I really wanted.
My friend, Mark, turns out to be a digital illustrator and I knew that he had the ability to create the concept that I’d originally envisioned for The Plan. He had done the cover for The Best is Yet to Come and I loved it. So deciding to update the book was a great opportunity to also have a new cover designed.
After having worked on five books, self-publishing them through a variety of methods, I was bitten by the publishing bug. So when The Plan was released, it became the flagship book for my new publishing imprint, Emerald Lake Books.
TA: Readers can find out more about me and my books on my website. Or if they’re an author or speaker and are interested in my services, they can learn about my website and marketing solutions through Aleweb Social Marketing or my publishing services through Emerald Lake Books.