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Tara Laskowski Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

One Night Gone (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

Modern Manners For Your Inner Demons (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bystanders (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Author Tara Laskowski grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania. She got an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University and a BA in English with a writing minor from Susquehanna.

While writing longer pieces, like short stories or novels, she likes to plan it all out first before she writes anything. With flash fiction, though, she has found that sometimes it is best just to take whatever voice, image, or whatever it is, and go off exploring.

Through editing for SmokeLong, she finds she gets to meet a lot of people. A lot of different editors and writers, which leads to networking opportunities. She has found you get to read a lot and you know what the trends are and what is out there, which allows you to make your own writing unique or fresh.

Tara also likes finding that one story from the slush pile that truly shines, and just knowing that they provide artists and writers a place to showcase their stories. She also loves being the first yes for an author, it is one of her favorite things and it is a great feeling for her.

Tara was born on Halloween and she thinks it might mean that she was destined to love creepy things. However she came to have this interest, she is a total sucker for all things that are slightly off, weird, or just downright terrifying.

She writes a lot about violence, ghosts, Pennsylvania, how people are unable to communicate with one another all that well, newspaper reporters, and married people that aren’t doing well.

Some of her ideas come from her dreams. She will wake up from a truly bizarre one and just know that she has to write it down before she forgets it. She keeps a pen and a pad of paper nearby and has even learned to write pretty well in the dark. However, she will read it back and see some of her lines weave in and out and then on top of each other.

Tara has a tough time dealing with the way violent things will unravel something inside of her characters that wasn’t too tightly wound to start with and they can suffer, as a result of this. She loves her characters, all of them, even the rather nasty ones, so it can be hard for her to make anything bad happen to them. This is one reason why she could never be a television writer. She always wants the true-love couple to wind up together and see the bad guy get caught. She constantly has to fight this desire for harmony and push toward conflict.

Tara thinks that her characters are sympathetic and even if you do not agree with things they are doing, you can still see their side of things and where they are coming from. There would be no point in the story, otherwise.

Tara’s favorite place to write is in her home office, surrounded by all of her clutter and a nice smelling candle burning. A lot of her writing gets done while she is on a commuter going to and from work. Which she does not really like. She does not like when people look at her screen while she is trying to write.

One time a guy sat next to her on the train, and was clearly looking at her screen. Since they were so close, there wasn’t a whole lot she could do, but she was starting to get uncomfortable. He asked, loudly, if she was writing a book. They then had an awkward exchange where he asked her if it was a romance novel and later said that he wasn’t reading it or anything.

If she reads in bed, she will usually fall asleep, so she has an adult coloring book. Art usually reads out loud to her.

Her and Art Taylor, her husband and a writer, write Long Story Short at the Washington Independent Review of Books.

Her debut novel, called “One Night Gone”, was published in the year 2019. It is from the mystery, thriller, and suspense genres, and was published by Graydon House.

Tara’s short fiction has been published in various anthologies and magazines like the Barcelona Review, Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Flash Fiction International, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, and New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, Mid-American Review.

Her story “The Case of the Vanishing Professor” won an Agatha Award and “States of Matter” was picked by Amy Hempel for the 2017 Best Small Fictions anthology. She won a Santa Fe Writers Project’s Literary Awards Prize in the year 2010.

“One Night Gone” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2019. It was the perfect place to vanish.

Maureen Haddaway shows up in the wealthy town of Opal Beach, one sultry summer, to try and start her life over and to achieve her destiny. While there, she finds herself being lured by the promise of love, wild parties, friendship, and starry skies. Maureen’s new life might be too good to actually be true, and before the summer ends, she disappears.

Decades go by, and a woman named Allison Simpson gets the opportunity to house-sit in Opal Beach during its off-season, and it seems like a great chance to start anew after a rather messy divorce. She gets drawn into the mystery of the girl from thirty years before, and she starts to realize that these gorgeous homes in Opal Beach are hiding some dark secrets. The truth of that long-ago summer isn’t the most shocking part of it all.

This novel hooked readers in and never let go, with its inviting premise. Tara Laskowski does a great job of bringing her setting of Opal Beach to life. It is a small town filled with fun, beach parties, and excitement during the summer months. The gorgeously structured and multi-layered story of murder, betrayal, and redemption is sure to haunt readers long after they have finished the book. Tara is a gifted storyteller, with beautifully drawn characters, confident hand, and a unique style.

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