Today I am welcoming author Tara Lyons to the blog. Changes beyond Tara’s control gave her the motivation to take risks and try for a life she never knew she wanted or ever thought she could have. Here’s Tara to tell you more…
Welcome to the blog, Tara. Please tell the readers a little about yourself…
I’m from London, a mother to one son and, since 2015, a published author. I studied English Literature at Brunel university and after graduating, I worked for a retail company on their in-house magazine; assistant and then assistant editor for eight years.
From a young age, it had been my dream to write a book, but I always batted the idea away… for one reason or another. But, two years ago, I took the leap and self-published my first crime/thriller novel, In The Shadows. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to co-write with the amazing M.A. Comley and signed a two-book deal with the formidable Bloodhound Books. My debut novel became the first in the DI Hamilton series, with book two, No Safe Home, published in January of this year.
What’s the most significant change you’ve experienced to date?
This is difficult, I can’t choose one significant change because from 2012 there seemed to be a domino effect that transformed my life. I became a mother, after being told I’d have difficultly conceiving, if it was even at all possible, and I’d never been the maternal type.
Within twelve months of my son being born, I accepted voluntary redundancy from my job as assistant editor; after having worked since the age of fourteen, so at thirty, it was a frightening uncertainty to face. And by the following year my grandad was diagnosed with cancer and lost his battle in 2015. I’m sure for some, death might not be considered in this theme of change as it happens every day to someone, but my grandad was a very important man in my life – and was the first close family member I’d lost.
What were your initial feelings as you processed what these changes in your life would mean for you?
The thought of becoming a mother was the most nerve-wracking I’ve ever felt. To never have felt that tugging maternal instinct, or think it was something that could happen, and then have a life growing inside of you, it’s amazing how quickly you begin to doubt every single decision you make.
Voluntary redundancy is a funny one, because the term itself must mean it’s something I wanted, right? That couldn’t be further from the truth. The thought of not working, not having a regular income and the prospect of searching job adverts and having interviews in one the toughest times, was the scariest thing I’ve ever faced.
How did you approach managing change?
I spoke about it. Namely to my family and friends. When you’re facing something you fear, it’s best not to do it on your own. My mum was a young mum, so she shared with me the worries and anxieties and hopes she’d faced. And how, yes, having a baby – me! – changed her life, it was also the biggest blessing she’d received. I talked to people who had faced redundancy, without the voluntary aspect, and realised I was actually in a lucky position because I was deciding my future. As BT told us for years, it’s good to talk!
What did you learn from the experience?
That amazing things can happen if you embrace change. My son completely changed my world, and I know I wouldn’t be where I am right now if it wasn’t for him. You see, if I hadn’t become a mother, I wouldn’t have accepted the redundancy. And if I hadn’t accepted the redundancy, I wouldn’t have been able to help nurse my grandad in his last months; it was the pain I felt after his death that sparked the story for In The Shadows.
How do you feel about change now after that experience?
I’m thankful for it. I’d always considered myself as someone who didn’t like change and before 2012, I bobbed along with my life, doing the “norm” every day and not taking any risks, or making any waves. But I couldn’t be happier about where my life has lead. I think they’ll always been an element of feeling scared when change comes knocking again, but look how exciting it can be too – you could end up fulfilling your dream, like I did.
Do you have a tip for anyone who may be going through a similar experience?
Despite your fears, embrace the change. Use what you’re going through to propel yourself forward in life and grab hold of something you’ve always wanted. If you’re scared at the prospect of becoming a parent, don’t be – there will never be a ‘right time’ to have a child, so enjoy everything about it and make those special memories. If redundancy is rocking your world and you feel ready to fall apart, think about what it is you’ve always wanted to do – travel, open your own business, work in a different sector? Do it now! Take the change and make it work for you.
If you could change one thing, what would it be?
I’d be typing this from my cottage by the coast, because another dream of mine is to live by the sea, one day. Who knows, maybe another domino effect of change will come again.
I hope you achieve your dream of living by the sea, Tara, and thank you for taking part in the ‘changing lives’ series.
Tara’s latest novel is No Safe Home
Detective Inspector Denis Hamilton is haunted when the suspicious death of a teenage girl triggers suppressed memories. With a stalker targeting vulnerable women in Central London, and his team rapidly diminishing, Hamilton must conquer his emotions before another family is destroyed.
In a sleepy town in Hertfordshire, Katy has worked hard to rebuild her life after leaving behind everything she knew. But when her past catches up with her, and her young son’s life is threatened, Katy must admit her true identity if she has any hope of surviving.
A home should be a safe place, shouldn’t it?
But sometimes it is hard to know who you can trust…
London’s murder investigations team returns in the second novel from the bestselling author of In the Shadows. Read a free sample and buy the book.
If you enjoyed the interview and would like to take part in the ‘changing lives’ series, please use the contact me form on the blog to get in touch.
Despite your fears, embrace the change. Use what you’re going through to propel yourself forward in life and grab hold of something you’ve always wanted.