Writing about one’s life is always difficult, more so if it’s about broken hearts, broken dreams and a broken self. That’s why I can’t help but admire author Tarryn Fisher for her honesty. Her book The Opportunist, she says, is her love letter to the man she loved and lost.
Reading the book is heartbreaking. The flaws of the main character fully displayed are raw and painful. During the interview, I can’t help but try to read the person I saw in front of me. Tarryn was honest yet secretive. She was open but also guarded. A contradiction better understood perhaps in the pages of her book.
So here it is, my conversation with author Tarryn Fisher:
Lyn: Your series Love me with Lies was a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Where do you think they went wrong? Was it too much love and too little trust?
Tarryn: I think that he was healthier than she was. She hated herself and had serious trust issues. She didn’t want love and it scared her and that’s why she just destroyed it. She was looking for a way out.
L: You said you love villains. So how much fun did you have writing Leah? Because she was so evil, she was so good at being bad.
T: You know that one was hard. I didn’t have fun writing that one. That’s the least read and the least popular of the three except in Australia…everyone there loved DIRTY RED the most….not that all the villains are in Australia (laughs)
L: But she is evil. She is manipulative, conniving…
T: But there’s a reason. It's like even in real life when you meet a villain, there is a reason why they’re so rotten. We are all born the same innocent, beautiful babies but something forms us. Whether it's parents or…….nurture versus nature
L: In Leah’s case it was the parents because she lacks attention
T: Yes she has rejection issues and insecurities and she destroyed herself in a different way because she wanted Caleb. She was trying to hold on to him. Yeah she was a very ugly person. And these…… there’s a real Leah….. these characters are real
L: Are they based on your life?
L: How are you as Olivia now? Have you moved on?
T: I am writing another romance book because everyone wants to know how I've evolved. I am a healthier Olivia but also broken because I really did that to my relationship and you can never fix it
L: You have no Caleb now
L: At least you gave Olivia the happy ending that you wish you had
T: Some people don’t think it's a happy ending. I wrote the first book as an apology letter to him, to say sorry. And it ends there for me. The readers wanted more so I gave them the other two sides of the story and closed it off for them but for me, my story ended right there when they parted ways
L: Did your Caleb read your story for him?
L: Is he even aware that this exists
T: He is aware but it's kind of painful. I don’t blame him. I don’t know that I would’ve read it
L: It was very destructive. But I do like that there’s a happy ending. They still got back together however it wasn’t a fairy tale ending where everything was magically perfect because of the cancer, the miscarriages….did you think it would have been too unrealistic to give it to them?
T: I don’t write that sort of thing. I like flaws. I'm in love with human nature. I'm more fascinated by flaws than beautiful cover ups. Life happens and it's so imperfect. They missed their chance, they missed their chance to have children. I think that book is a little bit of a warning like if you find it, protect it. Let it in and don’t destroy everything. Because in the end they were together but there were so many broken things in between.
L: Just too many broken pieces…..is it difficult to write by the way with a friend? Because you have NEVER NEVER series with Colleen Hoover
T: I wouldn’t do it with another person. We work. It's the strangest thing we just just click and we love each other deeply so there isn’t selfishness involved. I think if you have a personal agenda when you're writing a book with someone eventually things are gonna explode. There’s none of that between us so it's easy
L: Is it like you write a piece? A chapter? Then you pass it on to her and back?
T: We did that and for awhile we were trying to put each other in a bad place so we would end it (chuckling) somewhere hard and be like “hahaha how’re you gonna work out of this one”
L: It's like a challenge for you guys (laughs). It's like a game
(Colleen Hoover, who was a seat away from me signing cards quipped: She writes very mean characters sometimes and I write really nice ones so she would make her characters do something mean so my chapters…. I would do something nice….we were trying to counter balance each other…)
L: So when it goes back to you the characters become mean again
L: Apart from Olivia, Is there something a part of you in your other book characters
T: Yes. Caleb is more of what I became. The things that he loved…I put all of myself into that character. His love of flaws….his willingness to love the villain…..coz he was a little bit of a villain too…. He changed himself by faking the amnesia. He spoke her language in order to reach her. So yes I put a lot of myself in Caleb
L: I still like him the most though because I feel like he is still the biggest victim among the three
T: Oh man a lot of readers they wont agree with you…they’re so angry with him. There’s a lot of Caleb hate
L: Well I like being on the different end (laughs). On the other side you are a fashionista and you have a fashion blog. So should we expect a book with fashion in it from you or are you keeping those two parts of your life separate from each other?
T: I believe that artists should live their art….the way you dress….you write….everything you do should be an expression of your art, who you are. And it keeps you constantly fresh and motivated and in that mindset. I don’t know about writing a book on fashion but it's part of me and I'm living it
L: Well you’ll love shopping here…..we are big on fashion in Manila. Okay so, may I have your top 3 book recommendations?
T: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman and the entire Harry Potter series
FAST QUESTIONS on favorites:
L: Favorite dessert
T: Crème brulee
T: Harry Potter
T: JK Rowling
L: Vacation place
T: Robin Hood Prince of Thieves
L: Piece of clothing
T: A pair of Rag & Bone jeans
L: Type of shoes
You can catch Tarryn Fisher, along with fellow bestselling authors Colleen Hoover and Christine Brae at their book signing event courtesy of the National book store this Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 5pm at the NBS booth at the Manila International Book Fair, SMX Convention Center.
Limited to 200 slots only! Registration starts at 10am for this event. Only books purchased from National Book Store, NBS Express or Powerbooks will be accommodated.
A special thanks to Mr. JB Roperos of the National Book Store
A special thanks to Mr. JB Roperos of the National Book Store