Brought to you by OBS reviewer Valerie.
Be sure to read our review for “Makai Queen” here at OBS.
Tara Fairfeild: I have always loved the ocean and the Hawaiian islands, and have spent time exploring lava tubes which helped serve as the basis for what I imagined a hidden underwater city might look like…..and what girl wouldn’t want a moat around her bed or a huge clam shaped tub?
Valerie: How has being a Christian affected the way you write?
Tara Fairfeild: My goal has been to develop characters who demonstrate their faith, or discover their faith, through their actions and decisions in the story and how they deal with the struggles life presents them. In Makai Queen, Tessa learns to forgive and to accept forgiveness for her own mistakes. This process changes how she deals with problems. Being a Christian provides a foundation for me to help guide the decisions I make for the characters.
For example, so much YA fiction out there normalizes sexual intimacy outside of a committed relationship, but I wanted to show how important the choice is and to choose carefully. Kupua represents a young man who cares about others and respects Tessa, while Moho represents the type of guy who is trying to get his own needs met, regardless of how it impacts his partner. Too many girls don’t understand how precious they are and “throw their pearls to swines” (Matthew 7:6) so to speak and suffer the consequences of feeling pain and rejection later. I hope they can relate to the choices Tessa makes.
Valerie: Now, I know this is absolutely cliché, but how did you come up with the plot of Makai Queen? I think it’s absolutely unique, and I was just wondering.
Tara Fairfeild: This is hard because it’s trying to describe the creative process. I love to spend time in my own imagination , creating worlds and putting myself into the plot and letting my imagination take it from there. With Makai Queen I just started free writing and the story poured out. I truly believe God had a hand in sparking the idea, I didn’t have an outline or ending when I started, it developed as I wrote. I am in the middle of writing the second book in the Makai Queen trilogy and while I know how the story will eventually end, I still use the free writing process. I’ve heard other writers say this but it is so true, the characters take on a life of their own and sometimes impact the direction a story will take.
Valerie: What is a lesson you want all your readers, no matter the religion, to know?
Tara Fairfeild: Love and forgiveness is the most powerful force in the world. Forgiving someone and accepting forgiveness has the power to change your life. No matter what has happened to you, the simple act of forgiving will free you from bitterness and allow you to be the person you were designed to be. One of my favorite quotes is “resentment is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.” (St. Augustine). In the same way, holding on to hurts destroys you, not the person who hurt you.
I also want anyone out there who writes to be encouraged never to give up on your dreams!
Valerie: I’m influenced by music. Did you listen to any songs when you were writing?
Tara Fairfeild: I like to have background music playing sometimes. One of my favorites is Ottmar Lieberts’ flamingo guitar.
Valerie: Did you base Tessa off anyone?
Tara Fairfeild: Tessa is a compilation of myself and my two daughters. I thought of my daughters often as I was developing her character. Her kindness, passion and strength come from them.
Valerie: Can I say I loved Makai Queen? Is there anything special you’d like the readers to know?
Tara Fairfeild: Thank you so much! As a writer it is so amazing to hear that someone else enjoyed your story! I want everyone to know I wrote Makai Queen as the first book in a trilogy, so please tell your friends about it!
Thank you to author Tara Fairfield for an amazing interview!