Saturday, April 28, 2012

Welcome Tara Chevrestt Today

Please give a warm welcome to author Tara Chevrestt today as we talk about her first non-fiction book, Deaf Isn't Dumb, available April 27th from Breathless Press.

Hi there Tara, please introduce yourself to the readers. Where can we find you on the web?

I have a website that is just Author Me.
And I have a blog for Reader Me. If you like to read, especially strong women heroines, you may like the books I review on Book Babe:

Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?

I TRY to do one book at a time, but it's gotten away from lately. LOL. I will set a book aside if another book is calling to me, however. Or sometimes I have joint projects with other authors and while it's in their hands, I will work on something else. But for the most part, I try to finish one book before starting another. I write so many different genres and my books take place in different times and places, that I fear I will get confused.

Who are some of your other favorite authors and genres to read?

Historical Fiction!!! I love reading about women in history especially. Currently, I'm reading a novel about Queen Isabella of Spain. 

You have your first non-fiction book out on April 27th called Deaf Isn't Dumb. Can you give us a little background on the book? What inspired you to write this?

My coworkers. You know when you're standing around a wing drilling holes all day,  you get to talking with your mates. We would tell stories, jokes, and sometimes the conversation went around to my deafness. They kept telling me I needed to put this stuff out there for others to learn about. So I did. I sincerely hope someone learns something from it.

You also wrote a contemporary romance called A Facebook Affair that had a deaf heroine. Was she modeled after you or someone you know?

Her childhood experiences were based on my own. Her adulthood, no. I was bullied quite a bit in school. 

Do you listen to music when writing? Do you feel like some stories write themselves a soundtrack with specific music? If so, what book and what kind of music influenced it?

No. I work in silence. I CAN play music in my hearing aid if I want, but I have to concentrate so hard to hear any of it, no. Music doesn't work for me. :)
What are at least five things you have on your bucket list and have you done any of them?

I wanted to write a book and get published. Done. I still want to travel more. I want to go to Australia and London. Other things I've done that were on my list: Swim with dolphins!

Anything else you want to add?

Thank you for having me. I hope anyone who reads this book will walk away having a greater understanding of what it's like to live with hearing loss and may even change their perspective somewhat of us in general.  

Deaf Isn't Dumb by Tara Chevrestt
Breathless Press

You're stupid. You're retarded. You shouldn't have this job. These words lit a fire of determination in one deaf woman who set out to prove to the aviation world…and the world in general that deaf isn't dumb.
Deaf Isn't Dumb is a motivational story of a young woman, Tara, who faces the challenges of growing up "hearing impaired" in a hearing world. Follow her as she recounts everything from childhood bullies to work related restrictions, and funny misunderstandings from mispronounced words to fear of Federal Air Marshals. In this tale, straight from the heart, learn that simply because one is deaf—contrary to popular misconception—it doesn't mean they are dumb.
A Teaser Excerpt into Deaf Isn't Dumb:
"Chevrestt!" The balding, middle-aged instructor finally bellowed my last name along with two other girls'. It was time. With sweaty palms, a racing heartbeat, and shaky legs, I left the prefab building and followed the instructor into the parking lot. He pointed me in the direction of a silver Ford. I climbed into the driver's seat and watched the instructor through my windshield as I went over my checklist and prepared myself to drive.
First, buckle your seatbelt. I took a deep breath and accomplished that. I felt a satisfying click as the seatbelt locked into place.
Second, adjust your seat. I had to pull the seat up a bit by grabbing the handle underneath and pulling myself forward.
Third, adjust your mirrors. I adjusted my rearview mirror first. Then I glanced at the side mirrors. They would do.
Fourth, start your car. I turned the key in the ignition. I waited. A bead of sweat tickled down my cheek as it made a path from my forehead. I impatiently swiped it away and turned the key in the ignition again. Nothing. I was beginning to get upset. I finally get a chance to drive and of course, I get the car that won't start! Had my vocabulary contained more four-letter words at this age in my life, I probably would have used them—all of them.
I was turning the key in the ignition again when a movement by my driver's door caught my eye. I looked in that direction to see the instructor waving his arms and yelling, "What are you doing?"
I cleared my throat and stared out at him, bewildered. "I'm trying to start the car!" Had the seats been leather, my legs would have been stuck to them by then.
Then the instructor said the most surprising thing. "The car is on already!"
My mouth fell open, and I looked wildly around the interior of the car as though it would yield an answer to this mystery. I did not hear a thing, of course, but most shocking of all is I didn't feel a thing. My father's old Nissan vibrated. You knew that truck was on and running when the hairs on your head began to dance and shake and your limbs unconsciously began to do the hokey pokey. No big mystery with that Nissan truck. This late model car was going to be a problem.
Red-faced, I quit turning the key in the ignition and faced forward, awaiting further instructions.


Janet said...

One can never understand how hard it is for a deaf person until they witnessed it or in this case read about it. This is a very true account of things Tara had to face on a daily basis. To this day she faces discrimination because she is deaf. Things need to change. I hope readers have a better understand of what it is like for the deaf after reading this book. Good job Tara.

Alexandra O'Hurley said...

Nice insight. So many of us take things like hearing for granted and don't consider how difficult it can be without it. Good luck with your book :)

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