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!