Thursday, 15 June 2017

Bread for the Table by Tara Botel Doherty

Tara Botel Doherty was born in Los Angeles. She was raised by her grandmother and mother blocks away from famed Hollywood Boulevard. It was a Bohemian upbringing filled with art, dance, and guitar lessons and movie sets where her father worked as a lighting technician. This environment helped generate her love of the arts, especially books and writing.

She wrote her first book in the first grade. Educated in both public and parochial schools where the fundamentals of perseverance and patience were drilled into her, Tara understood the work ethic. She spends her days and nights teaching English in the San Fernando Valley.

Now residing up in the Santa Clarita Valley, aka the ‘Rita with her husband and daughter, she writes regularly about her adventures in Hollywood.

Connect with the Author

Click here or a preview of Growing Up Hollywood: the Annie and Gracie Stories!

About the Book

Bread for the Table relates a single day in the life of Sage a 30-year-old aspiring jewelry designer working as a waitress in a pseudo New York deli in Los Angeles. A postcard from her mother triggers a series of flashbacks, which bring Sage's life into focus.

She remembers her protector – dear older sister, Rose of Sharon and her untimely death; her remote father, whose only communication was reading passages from novels written by John Steinbeck; her grandmother, the only consistent figure in Sage's life; and her mother.

The last time Sage and her mother shared an intimate moment was stirring a pot of soup shortly after Rose of Sharon's death. Her mother's last instructions before she went to buy bread to complement the soup were to keep stirring the soup so it wouldn't burn. Dutifully Sage stirred, but her mother never returned. She was five years old. Now she has received a postcard from a woman she hasn't seen in twenty-five years.

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Keep reading for an interview with the author:

Where are you from?

I am a Hollywood girl, full of the tales of pathos in Los Angeles.

What genres do you write?

Literary Fiction

How long does it take you to write a novel?

I actually wrote this book in 12 weeks when my first thesis was rejected by my advisor in grad school.

Which authors have most influenced you?

Harper Lee, Janet Fitch, and Flannery O'Connor are all female writers who have created strong and unforgettable voices in literature.

If you could choose an author to be your mentor, who would it be?

Janet Fitch. She was not at USC teaching when I attended USC. Originally I applied to USC because Betty Friedan was on the faculty. Unfortunately, she was not active on the faculty when I arrived.

What are your goals as an author?

I want to have my short story collections out there as well as my novel. These are stories and characters of Los Angeles.

What is the best compliment you've ever received as an author?

Two of my students had questions about my novel. It is amazing when 12-year-olds are demanding answers from you.

What is the worst writing advice you've ever received?

When my advisor in grad school told me my stories about Annie and Gracie weren't very good and he refused to present them to the committee.

What made you decide to self-publish?

I had an agent twenty years ago, and my novel wasn't picked up. That was devastating. Flash forward twenty years and one of my students asked me what was I going to do in ten years when my own kid was gone and in college. That mad me think about my future.

What is the best thing about self-publishing?

I am in control. But also the worst thing, I am responsible.

Would you recommend self-publishing to other authors?

Yes, I recommend it. Take control of your future as a writer. Remember subject matter is subjective. Not everyone is going to like it.

What are you working on now?

Two short story collections, Growing Up Hollywood and Night Crawlers

How do you market/promote your work?

Every day I am working on marketing. This is actually more work than writing. Social media, reviewers, reviews, it all takes time and energy. I work full time plus a part time job, so I try to do one thing every day for my writing.

What would you like Sage to do next?

Remember it all takes place in a day...but there is always a tomorrow.

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