Special Feature: Forecast

by Jane Tara

It’s difficult to pinpoint the inspiration behind Forecast. There was never a moment or event that led to that light bulb going off, which is what normally happens to me. Instead, a family of psychics simply strolled into my head and wouldn’t leave. It wasn’t a matter of telling their story, but deciding which part of their story to tell. While I eventually stuck to modern day events, my characters and their ancestors mapped out a myriad of tales for me, dating back to the 1500’s.

It has been a long road to publication, one that began years before I met my characters. I grew up in a small Australian beach town, where the inability to tan was virtually illegal. All good Aussie kids were meant to be sporty little sun-worshippers. But I was (and still am) a pale skinned, freckle-faced bookworm, who would while away the summer days in shady spots, reading and writing love stories and fairy tales. It was during this time that I developed a lifelong love of romance and magic. As an adult, I’ve written everything from plays to children’s books, but I’ve never been happier than when I recently returned to my romance roots.

The day I started writing Forecast, I knew it would be published. I believe I was given a sign. I, like the Shakespeare women in my book, believe in signs.

I’ve always adored bees. They are an ancient symbol of good fortune and happiness. They remind us to embrace our creativity, and enjoy the moment. I love that it’s aerodynamically impossible for the bumblebee to actually fly; yet it does anyway. The bumblebee has so much belief in itself that it performs miracles every time it flutters its wings. We can learn from that.

I clearly remember the first page I wrote, because within minutes of starting there was the most almighty roar. I thought a plane was headed for my house. I rushed over to the window and saw a swarm of bees coming towards me. I quickly shut the window and, for the next two hours, watched the bees hit the glass. Eventually they continued on their way. I returned to my writing, and immersed myself in the second page…followed by the third. I decided to flap my wings and fly, even though the laws of nature were probably against me.

The Shakespeare women came to me fully formed and quite forceful in the direction they wished to take. While I enjoyed immersing myself in their colorful world, the subject matter certainly wasn’t alien to me. I grew up surrounded by highly intuitive women and spent part of my childhood in a delightfully haunted house. It was in this house that I saw my first ghost. Yes, that’s right, not only was I a freckle-faced bookworm, but I was also “a bit odd.” At least to others. It was all completely normal to me. Which is why, when I wrote about the Shakespeare women and their gifts, I didn’t want them to be too outlandish. Unconventional perhaps, but still normal. Their gifts aren’t superpowers. They don’t save the world with them. Their psychic abilities and eccentricities are more routine than that.

As the book hits the shelves, I feel like I’m saying goodbye to some old friends. It’s their journey now. I hope you enjoy reading Forecast as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Jane Tara

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