Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Q&A with Tara Janzen

By: GunDiva and Tara

Today is the big release of LOOSE ENDS, the final book in Tara's Steele Street series.  We got the chance to ask Tara a few questions about her shooting habit.  She's also generously donated a signed copy of LOOSE ENDS to one of our commenters.  Just leave a comment between now and Sunday night at midnight CST and we'll choose a winner using a random name generator.

1) What influenced the decision to learn to shoot?

After writing the first two CRAZY books, CRAZY HOT and CRAZY COOL, I realized I really needed to at least hold a gun in my hand to see what it felt like. Here I was, writing about these super cool guys who drove hot cars and were weapons specialists, and I had never even held a handgun. So I went down to the greatest gun shop in the world, Colorado Gun Works, and the more questions I asked and the more answers I got, I realized I needed to do more than just hold a gun. I needed to actually shoot one.

2) What was the first gun you shot, and what did you think of it?

The first gun was a .22 pistol I used for the first pistol class I took. I wasn't very excited about shooting the .22, but I was there to learn, and I was learning some very important stuff, especially gun handling and safety issues - then I was offered a .45 - and everything changed for me. I was wary about pulling the trigger on the .45 for the first time, because I knew this was a much bigger gun, with a lot bigger bang, and I wasn't sure how that was going to work out for me. The first shot went better than I had expected. I was pretty jazzed and thought "well, I ought to shoot another round" - so I did, and out of the blue I got the biggest grin on my face. I was soooo hooked - and that hasn't changed. I've bought a lot of guns since then, and shot even more than I've bought, and I'm getting ready to buy another pistol next month. For me, there is something so inherently fascinating about shooting. I never get tired of it. A day at the range, kicking around in the dirt and sending rounds downrange, is a great, great day.


3) What is your absolute favorite firearm?

I have a rifle, an "accurized" Remington 700 .308 with a Schmidt und Bender PMIIK scope that'll take me out to 1000 meters and let me nail a 10 inch target. It is a thing of beauty and grace, of stillness and breath, and challenge.


4) What advice would you offer to women who were just learning to shoot, or who want to learn to shoot?

a). Take a class, take lots of classes - practice and train.

b). Do not let your husband or boyfriend teach you how to shoot. GunDiva and I see a lot of really pitiful, dangerous teaching going on out there on the range with significant others. Find qualified, certified, experienced firearms teachers.

c). Have a pistol that fits your hand. I'm not talking caliber. Your pistol can be a .45, or a .40, or a 9mm - just make sure the grip is right for your hand. This will save a lot of marksmanship problems.

d). Clean your guns after you shoot them, and clean the magazines - this is not optional. Do it.


5) Did you think when you started the Steele Street series that you'd end up being such a proponent of the shooting sports?

It never occurred to me for a minute. When I started the series, I was more excited about the cars, all that American muscle from the 60's and early 70's - but then along came the guns, and the more I learned, the cooler all the guns in the books got. GunDiva and I just got back from Shot Show, and at one of the booths, I got to hold one of the guns I'd written into CRAZY LOVE, a Heckler and Koch UMP - very very cool! And YES, I want one!

Don't forget to go here to enter the give-away for SHOT Show swag!

30 comments:

Hope said...

I am in love with this series, they are all very snugly on my keeper shelf.

Tara, what is next for you since Steele Street is finally over? ::sniff::

susan benner said...

I have learned so much about firearms from the Steele Street series. Also, as someone who was in an abusive relationship I now understand the mindset needed for a woman to truly protect herself. Funny how one can 'bond' so closely with fictional characters! Thank you Tara...cannot wait to see what you write next!!

Erica said...

It so refreshing to see a woman who likes and respects firearms as well as being a hell of a writer!

Ronlyn said...

YAY Tara! I agree with you about women finding a gun that fits their hands. Oy.
And you know I love my Steele Street gang. ((((hugs)))
Happy Release Day TJ!

Anonymous said...

Hi Tara!

I'm with Hope - I have loved this series since it began, and have them all on a special keeper shelf. As a matter of fact, I just finished re-reading the LOOSE books in preparation for JT's story.

I'm intrigued to see what you come up with next ~

Lynne

krisgils33 said...

Happy release day! I can't wait to add JT to my keeper shelf with the rest of the gang!!

Sherry said...

I love these books. Hate to see them ever end! Where else can I get Hot Muscle Cars, hotter action with even Hotter Men? combined action and humor = win all around!

Mary said...

Dear Tara congrats on your big day and i am keeping fingers cross for NYT Best Seller again. You need to start a fire range school catering to woman who what to learn how to handle a firearm and learn how to shoot well. I would love to sign up for the class and fly in for a week or two to take the course. Think about i and i will be at the front of the line. Congrats again on your big release day. Teddy Hugs. MAD

JMSH said...

I'm already well into the book since it downloaded on my nook last night. I'm loving it of course. Do you have an appearances scheduled in or around Denver?

GunDiva said...

JMSH - Yes, she has appearances scheduled in the Denver and Fort Collins areas in February. Find her on Facebook; the "events" will be posted sometime today with more information on those appearances.

Mary - Tara and I have been kicking around that same idea for a couple of years now. One of our dreams is to have a "GunDivas" class; when we do, we'll let everyone know.

Kristin said...

Hi Tara. My copy showed up on my Kindle around midnight last night and I couldn't resist the temptation of staying up all night to read it! Loved it... and it made for an excellent birthday present today too. Can't wait to see what comes next! =)

Osanna said...

I love this series. I go back and re read them over and over. I have learned a lot about cars and guns :-)

Dips said...

I just love this series. I was so restless until I finished reading all the books in the series. Those were very interesting a couple of weeks :)
The description about every charactor and place and scene in the book is so accurate that you almost picture the scene happning right in front of you...

Keep writing :)

Mrs Mom said...

Thank you Tara for joining us again! I too am a junkie for the Steele Street series- but because I've tremendously enjoyed your style of writing, I know ANYTHING you publish will be on my list of must reads!

May all your rounds find Center Mass!

Jennifer said...

Ooh! Pick me! Pick me!
I love my. 45 Kimber, but she's in hiding until I'm off the meds.
BF's HiPower 9mm is keeping me warm now.
(BF, coincidentally, was my teacher, and a darn good'un, just don't tell... I wouldn't be able to fit him thru doors..) ;)

SusieB said...

I love this series, but yikes, the last book in the series? What is next? I am well into this new book and LOVE IT!! I did go back and re-read loose and easy yesterday to get ready for this one, all of the previous books are on my shelf now! This new one is on my Kindle, however I think I will have to have the paperback as well! Please keep writing Tara, can't wait to find out what is next!

Tara Janzen said...

Thanks to everyone who came over and commented! Susan brings up a very important point - "mindset." The Gun Diva and I got a lot of training in this down at the shop and in our classes and guaranteed, it will change your life. The challenge for all of us is to think tactically and if trouble comes a-knocking, channel your inner Skeeter. If trouble gets through the door, you are Red Dog, baby!

Joanna said...

Tara, I agree with all your advice about learning to shoot. I also think EVERYONE should learn to handle firearms SAFELY!
And I can't wait to read Loose Ends. I've had a sick boy this week, so I'll have to wait until he goes back to school on Monday. "Anticipation, anticipation..." Carly Simon didn't know the half of it!

Anonymous said...

I so do not want Steele Street to be over. I went to Denver not long ago and tried to picture in my mind where the "shop" would be in the LoDo district. This book is taking my breath and I am in love with JT, scars and all! He can carry my gun any day! Amazing how we become so involved with these characters. Best wishes and I hope you change your mind!

GunDiva said...

Anon - please email me your name so I can get you entered into the drawing for the book. My email is tel835@hotmail.com

Thanks.

Amy Shrum said...

Hey Tara! Love, love, love this series!! Your books are on my do not loan out for fear of not getting them back list. I always loan my books out to friends, but not yours. I want them right there for
when I need a Steele Street fix! Thanks for these great books and many more to come..I hope :-)

Tori Lennox said...

I love this series and I'm sad that it's ending, even though I still haven't read the entire series yet.

So, what's next? :)

Tori Lennox said...

I love this series and I'm sad that it's ending, even though I still haven't read the entire series yet.

So, what's next? :)

klrscouten said...

Tara, I loved this series and waited for 3 months for Loose Ends to come out...it was excellent and I wish there were more to come after it. You can't beat guys that are hot and drive hot cars and can rescue the girl!!!. I will keep track of your future books most definitely!!!

Anonymous said...

As others have said, how can you beat muscle cars, strong men, kick ass women who can hold their own and Steele Street? I will miss the freight elevator that takes 15 minutes to crawl up to the 7th floor; Skeeter Bang, Superman, Dylan, Red Dog, Kid, Creed, Nikki and her angels and all of the rest of men and women of Steele Street. Man, what a ride!! In the meantime, I am almost through re-reading the entire series so I can read J.T's story with all the history fresh in my mind. I heard a rumor there are a different group of boys and girls in the future. I can't wait to meet that group! Never stop writing, Miss Tara, never stop writing!!!

Shelby said...

I am in love with this series! I started reading the books when they first came out and I haven't been able to put them down since. This summer I reread the whole series just so I could enjoy them all over again. It also gave me something to do while I was waiting for the final book to be released! I absolutely love this series! I can't wait to see how exciting the next one is! Thank you so much for the excitment!

kpeyton said...

Sorry to see this series end, glad that JT is alive and kicking

Julie said...

I have read everyone of these books. I found the first one and thought it sounded interesting and was hooked! I get them all as soon as they come out. I love everything about them. I know this series is done but I can't wait for whatever is next. I just love your writing!

Sarah said...

I have loved your books ever since I picked up my first! There is nothing better than not being able to set a book down and losing yourself in a different world. I, like everyone else, can't wait to see what you come up with next:)

Darla said...

Absolutely love your books and will definitely miss the Steele Street gang. Saw in the news that Vermont is considering registering Non-gun owners and charging them a $500.00 fee. Priceless!!!!