Talania — A Trip Down Memory Lane
by Crystal D. Spears
Evelyn was stricken with brain cancer at age 16. She is now 20 and she can't remember five years of her life, from ages 14 to 19. Evelyn meets Tristan. She has no memory of him but they were in love. “...she is my soul mate; the reason I breathe, the reason I make music.” They say you never forget your first love. Evelyn forgot hers but together she and Tristan are determined to reignite their love for each other. From the first sentence, this story drew me in. The concept is gripping, the characters are likeable, the writing is spot on perfect. It is beautiful and poignant. I was smiling contentedly as I read it, Tristan and Evelyn are so sweet together. I laughed and I cried. As I was reading it, I was reminded of the movies 50 First Dates and One Day. I think this would be an excellent movie. This book is so romantic, emotional and at times racy. Crystal Spears is so good at writing the racy, if you don't believe me, check out Jade's Diaries, Strictly Series. Talania is beautiful and emotional and I love it so very much. 5 stars.
Interview with Crystal D Spears
- How difficult was it to write about such a heavy subject as cancer? Were you nervous to take on such an emotionally charged subject?
It was very difficult. I had to do lots of researching; I even talked with actual patients. I needed to give the subject at hand justice. I couldn't go in writing blindly. To say I wasn't nervous would be a lie. I was very, very nervous.
- You became really famous with Jade's Diaries, Strictly Series. Was it difficult to transition from writing Erotica to Contemporary Romance?
*Laughs* I wouldn't say Jade’s Diaries, Strictly Series made me famous. It definitely started the transition for me, from the blogger and professional book reviewer world though. Strictly Series started off on a whim. I had a dream a very intense dream and had to write it. So I sat down for 10 and a half hours and wrote the introductory into the series. I didn't have an editor or formatter when I first published. That was a mistake. And as a retired professional book reviewer, I should have known better. But, it was for fun. I just didn't think. Now the entire series is being edited, formatted and reworked because of its popularity.
Amazingly, transitioning wasn't very hard. I think being a very compassionate person has a lot to do with that. It helps me bring more emotion to my work. While writing Talania – A trip down memory lane, it took a lot of emotions. A lot of understanding, but to get me to the place I needed to be in Talania— it definitely took compassion. I know a lot of my erotica readers are not going to like me saying this….but I definitely enjoy writing contemporary and NA much more than I do erotica.
- What was the most difficult part of writing Talania?
I wanted to stay away from non-sense. I wanted people to feel, so that’s what I did. That was difficult. I wanted people to pay attention to my characters and not what was around them. Basically, I wanted them to be able to pick a character and step in as if they were really there. Experiencing and feeling every emotion around them, I would say that was one of the hardest things to do. I had to do that while keeping the reader connected with my characters the entire way through. My past scenes are literally shaped to do exactly that. You are able to step into the past and experience it with them.Also, feeling emotions I haven’t experienced myself was difficult. Every single person I spoke with helped wrap me around the emotions I needed to feel for Talania.
- Do your characters ever act in ways that surprise you?
Yes, Drake and Adella. I didn’t plan on either of them getting so much book time. But, obviously those two weren’t having it. Especially Adella
- Where did you get the idea for this story? Is it based on real people and/or actual events?
Talania was a completely different story half a year ago. I tossed the entire manuscript. I was talking to a good friend of mine and these two characters Ev and Tristan kept popping up during our convo. Then cancer started popping up, then infinity. So the story unraveled in my mind very fast and I got to work.
- Do you think our memories define us or are we destined to be the people that we are? If you had forgotten five years of your life would you be a different person than who you are now?
I would like to think that I would find the person I was before. Or maybe someone helping me like Tristan does with Evelyn, but sometimes that isn’t the case. Some people are alone and have no one. That is truly heart breaking to me. I hope everyone has a Tristan like person in their life especially if they are experiencing memory loss. I think our memories are a big part of who we are. How we are shaped as individuals. I personally think my memories of my life have molded me into the person I’ve become. Your memories do help define you is my personal opinion. Destiny not so much, paths can be changed, roads can grow forks out of nowhere. But they definitely play a big part in your life.
- I've noticed that some of your books center around symbols. Jade's Diaries, Strictly Series has a Shamrock and Talania has an Infinity symbol. The symbol almost becomes another character in your writing. Why do you think that your books have these symbols as part of the story? Do you have any other books coming out with showcased symbols?
Do you have something special that helps explain something in your life? That’s what these symbols do in my stories. Take for instance Jade in Strictly always has luck - hence the shamrock. Her luck starts taking a toll. So no matter what, something may happen with that shamrock luck. And with Talania and the infinity symbol, Evelyn and Tristan’s love is with the power of infinity. But, they still went through all that they did. These symbols are a token of who they are. That is why they play a big part in my stories.Yes, I do have more symbols coming in future releases.
- Other than yourself, who is your favorite writer? Is there a certain writer or book that has influenced your writing?
Natalie Ward and Colleen Hoover are my top two. Both of them have touched me so very deeply with the way they write.
I would say they showed me how important it is for emotions to play a big part of your story.
- If you weren't a writer, what is your dream job?
Hmmm. Before I tore my ACL in my right knee as a teenager – I wanted to dance. So that would leave my other hobby – photography. I absolutely love taking photos. I actually want to go back to school for it, maybe one day……
- This might be like choosing your favorite child, but do you have a favorite of your books, that you've written?
CRYSTAL:Hands down Talania! No comparison to the others.
- When you come up with an idea for a book, do you know how it is going to end, or do you have to write it to see what will happen?
The Strictly Series is the only project of mine that is mapped as I go. So really it’s not mapped it’s like placing the stones on the walkway one at a time. Talania and Underneath the Willow Tree are completely mapped out. Hours upon hours of writing in a notebook plotting, descriptions and even scenes I’ve literally seen in my head.
- What future projects do you have coming up?
Well besides reworking my Strictly Series and my Smile Series I also have Fidelity and Underneath the Willow Tree. Underneath the Willow Tree touches two more subjects that need attention. Let’s just say I am keeping this story locked up tight. Even the synopsis on Goodreads is short and for that purpose.
THANK YOU CRYSTAL D SPEARS FOR WRITING THIS AMAZING BOOK AND FOR THE INTERVIEW!