Pinar Tarhan is a novelist, screenwriter, freelance writer, and blogger. She has been creating worlds and stories for as long as she can remember. She run the writing blog Addicted to Writing which aims to help writers who create both fiction and non-fiction. Her first novel, Making A Difference (M.A.D.) is a contemporary lighthearted comedy set in New York.
She loves rock music, dancing, traveling, languages, movies, compelling TV series, and sun/sea/sand vacations. All or most of these find their way into their stories and characters.
Her non-fiction has appeared on CNN, The Washington Post, WOW! Women on Writing, Horkey Handbook, and Popsugar among others.
About the book (Book blurb)
Making A Difference (M.A.D.) is a contemporary lighthearted comedy set in New York. It tells the story of two PR expert humanitarians working to make the world a better place while struggling with their strong feelings for each other. After all, they are both in loving, committed relationships with other people.
We will talk with Pinar about her new book ‘Making A Difference (M.A.D.)’.
What is the story behind your book. Where did you get your idea for the book?
I studied Business in college and double-majored in Advertising. My Public Relations professor was a very prominent person in her field, known as one of the founders of the practice in the country. She was close to 80 and the definition of cool and charismatic. In Making A Difference (M.A.D.), she inspired the character Faye Clark, Jay’s grandmother.
Her lectures were always fascinating, but one true story particularly got to me. It was about how PR was used to scare and manipulate people. Its sheer potential made it an industry I had to write about.
My imagination did the rest, though the female protagonist Zoe is pretty close to my personality.
Challenges you faced while writing this book and in your life as an author?
Writing this novel took a long, long time. At first, I didn’t know if I wanted to write it as a TV series or a screenplay. I’ve been writing fiction since my preteens, but I’m more comfortable with the screenplay format. I realized, however, that the characters and events justified the length of a novel.
I studied novel writing techniques and wrote a couple of drafts before the final version.
Now the main challenge about this book is getting the hang of marketing.
I suspect most of my other challenges are similar to many other authors’: Writer’s block, getting sick when you are your own everything (boss, employee, assistant, marketer, researcher, creative…etc.), getting rejected, depression, and earning a stable income as a freelance writer (I also write non-fiction).
What is your life mantra?
I believe in following your dreams no matter how unrealistic they may seem, being kind to everyone unless they are mean to you, and living life to the fullest. My favorite band is Bon Jovi, so I have the perfect anthems to go with my affirmations.
What is your writing process like?
It involves a lot of writing in my head. From the moment I wake up until the moment I fall asleep, there is usually a story brewing up in my head.
When I have the basic premise, I write down anything and everything that comes to me about the story: names, locations, motivations, storylines, bits of dialogue… Then I order my scenes – you could say I prepare an outline – and then I start writing.
But there is, of course, a lot of frustration, a-ha moments, writer’s block, procrastination, rewriting, and celebration involved. And coffee.
I alternate between working from home and my favorite coffee shops.
Anything special about your book that you want to share?
Even though it is a light-hearted romantic comedy, the main characters are dedicated to making the world a better place, and that is a crucial message.
According to you, what are the three qualities an author must have to achieve success?
Determination – which is the ability to write through rejection, illness, and financial hardship.
Working on craft – taking lessons, reading, and practicing.
Embracing their quirks – I haven’t yet met a writer who hasn’t been called crazy, weird or quirky by their friends and family. But what makes us different fuels our creativity.
What are your plans for next book?
I’m already 30,000 words into the first draft. I plan it to be a series, consisting of at least two books. I have the cover design in my head. It will be an edgier romantic comedy drama.
What advice do you have for young writers?
I’d like to think I’m still young myself at 33 :). But for younger writers, I recommend being tenacious. It doesn’t matter whether they have a thick skin or they are extremely sensitive. They will go through rejection, rude comments, a world oblivious to their work…
Just hang in there. If you want to share your story with the world, there is a way. Write the best story you can, improve it in any way you can, and then let it go.
Share a quote or line that has been your inspiration.
I love the titles of two books from the late creative Paul Arden.
– Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite
– It’s Not How Good You Are, It Is How Good You Want to Be
The books, and their titles, inspire creativity, hard work, and learning. But my favorite is this quote from Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite:
“You can’t afford the house of your dreams. That’s why it is the house of your dreams. You either find a way of getting it (you’ll find the means) or be satisfied with dissatisfaction.”