A person is a fool to become a writer. His only compensation is absolute freedom. He has no master except his own soul, and that, I am sure, is why he does it.
– Roald Dahl
I’m Tara Cox, formerly known as Tara Neale and Raquel Graffen (at least in writing terms).
I began writing almost as soon as I could, which was not until I was ten, because of dyslexia. One of my early memories of writing was getting into trouble in 6th grade Math class for writing a fairy tale for my baby cousin. My Math teacher told me… ‘You’ll never make it as a writer, but you will need this conversion stuff when America goes metric.’ Guess, the joke was on her. But her words could not stop my muse. I have been writing ever since. Off and on anyway, between six children, three marriages, and half a dozen careers.
The official B.S…
The job of the writer is to kiss no ass, no matter how big and holy and white and tempting and powerful.
– Ken Kesey
Tara is the no-holds-barred author of a broad range of fiction, from novels to short stories. Her characters are REAL, not size zero 20-somethings or billionaire playboys. Even her millionaires, Marines, shapeshifters, and SEALs bear scars: seen and unseen. And those are just the beginning of their complex, REAL life problems like grief, mental health, and body issues. Her stories are as dark and twisted as life itself, but always with a happy ending, whether for now or ever after.
Her writing style is best described as Jane Austen’s free indirect discourse meets Fifty Shades, getting deep inside the minds and motivations of her characters. Even with her hotter than HOT sex scenes, this is not your typical erotica. A beta reader once said, ‘After reading Sergeant Mike’s Miracle Tour, I feel like I have PTSD.’ But for those readers wanting ‘more,’ few writers deliver on that like Tara’s literary erotica.
Tara writes in a wide array of genres and is a perfect sexy chameleon, able to bring you hot content no matter where she lays down her pen. From sweet romance to deep and dark BDSM, she does it all, and with swagger and style. Be it military/war, sci-fi, suspense, historical, romance, or erotica, her recipe is simple.
Mix REAL life challenges with equal parts love, laughter, and tears then top liberally with lots of hot sex.
It’s a pretty good recipe for fiction – and life.
What that really means…
Good fiction’s job is to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.
– David Foster Wallace
I write the hard-hitting shit that will never sell. My stories are like me, that don’t fit into anyone’s neat little box (genre). They don’t fit into standard tropes of romance or erotica. An editor once said, ‘Why do you have to go ruining good porn with that shit?’ In that case, he meant cancer and death, but it could as easily be PTSD, rape trauma, human trafficking, or racism. Yet, my stories contain way too much romance and graphic sex to be taken seriously as Literary Fiction.
For a decade, I found a happy home for such things at Literotica, which is the perfect name for what I write. But as a writer and human being, I outgrew it. I wanted more artistic freedom and control to say the hard shit. And I needed a safe space to do that in. It was a hard and painful decision to be that little birdie jumping from the safety of that nest. Especially knowing, I may fall flat on my face.
But as Jill (Solid Ground) says, ‘Some things are worth fighting for.’
So, here I am trying to spread my wings and do what I believe is the right thing.
What can you expect here…
The purpose of the writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself.
– Albert Camus
I don’t believe it is possible for anyone to write without exposing the readers to their beliefs or ideologies. Even wank fodder stories have a message – it’s okay to be sexual. Of course, some writers may say they ‘entertain.’ And I do believe that good writing does that. But even those tropes have hidden messages.
My decision to step out of my comfort zone and create a home for my stories here is to enable me to write what I want to write. Without ever submitting it for anyone’s approval. These are the hard hitting stories that I have kept inside.
And I make no apologies for them.
I don’t believe in censorship (except in the rarest of forms such as child porn and hate speech). You may even find offensive terms in some of my stories, but I have done my best to only use them in historical or contextual sense. As with everything else, though, please don’t be afraid to engage with me in civil discourse if you believe they are not effectual.
My hope and dreams for my writing are to prompt self-reflection, encourage civilized debate, and enable change.
As a parent, I want the world to be a better place for my children, grandchildren, and posterity. As well as Mother Earth, my bird babies, and plant friends. Yes, even the slithering, slimy ones and those with more than four legs.
So, what is so all-fired controversial…
Good men must not obey the laws too well.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have been accused of pushing my ‘liberal ideology.’ Let me be perfectly clear, I am neither liberal nor conservative, Democrat or Republican, Labour, Lib-Dem or Tory.
If I am anything, I am a Transcendentalist like Emerson, Thoreau, and early feminist Margaret Fuller. The basic premise of Transcendentalism is the inherent goodness of nature and man. They believed though that man’s nature was corrupted by society, religion, and politics.
My strongest beliefs are found in the U.S. Constitution:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all creatures are unique, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
Yes, if you are gay, lesbian, or transgender
Yes, if you are a person of any color
Yes, if you are a penis possessor and yes, if you are a ***cunt*** owner
Yes, if you are a little human or a wiseperson
Yes, if you are poor or reasonably comfortable
Yes, if you cannot read or if you have a Ph.D.
Yes, if you are dyslexic, or autistic, or blind, or deaf, or (add your own)
Yes, if you are shapeshifter, or empath, or even a humane vampire
What none of us has the right to do is impose upon the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for others. But yes, there are times when as Emerson said good men should not obey the laws too closely. When standing against injustice may break the laws of an unjust world.
Among my other radical beliefs are:
- Unconditional love (to those closest to you, of course)
At the core of all my writing is what I call –
Tara’s Rules for Life and Love
- Life sux.
- Love is the only thing that makes it worth living.
- Sex is a great way of showing that love (or not as I explore in one book).
- Nothing done in love can ever be wrong. (Consenting adults)
Pretty radical, right?
Writing, like life itself, is a voyage of discovery.
I live in ‘beautiful sunny Swansea, Wales’ with my favorite romance hero, Prince Charming/Cooking Monster, and partner/husband – techie guru Alan Cox – and my wonderfully autistic youngest daughter, @PanKwake. Besides, being a homemaker, writer, and blogger, I fill my days with photography, sewing, quilting, urban farming, and homesteading.
In my previous ‘lives,’ Tara has been a stay-at-home mom, a fundraiser for charities, a bank teller, a waitress, a personal trainer, a preacher’s wife, and even a stripper. It is from this plethora of experiences that I draw my strong characters and complex storylines.
*** I re-claimed this word after reading Pussy by Gena Thomashauer. Cunt is derived from the ancient Sumerian word for female genitalia – kunta. Which is the root of their most ancient form of writing cuneiform. It is also the root of kundalini, which means life force. When I learned that, it became my power word for the wonderful world between my legs.