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Fresh Interview | T. L. Costa Talks PREMIERE: The First Collection of Tales from Romance Writers of America®

Just in time for Valentine's Day, Romance Writers of America® presents PREMIERE, the organization's first ever anthology. Edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sylvia Day and written by bestselling romance authors, this collection features tales for every taste, reminding us why romance is the world's most popular genre of fiction. PREMIERE contributing author T. L. Costa chatted with Features Editor Pasha Carlisle to give us the inside look at this fabulous collection.

Interview with T. L. Costa

Pasha: Welcome to Fresh Fiction, T. L.! Thanks for joining us today. To begin, will you tell us about how you first became involved in writing for PREMIERE?

T. L.: I saw the call on the RWA homepage about the upcoming anthology and thought it was a wonderful idea, but since I don’t usually write short stories, I just sort of tucked the information away for later. One day I was on a jog in a park and overheard a disgruntled teen on the phone with his mother, complaining about her choice of names for a dog or maybe a new sibling, I couldn’t tell, and the idea for the story started to come together. Thankfully, when the story was finished, I knew just where to send it.

Pasha: Every sub-genre of romance is featured in this collection, from historical to New Adult, paranormal to inspirational, and beyond. It’s like a chocolate box for readers—there’s something for everyone’s tastes! Could you tell us a bit about your contribution to the anthology?

T. L.: My contribution is called The Poet, and it is a story about a lovesick football player who accidentally sends a text meant for his mom to his crush. He has to brave the fiery pits of the inferno, I mean, um, ZUMBA, to try and intercept the text before she reads it.

Pasha: That sounds delightful; we look forward to reading it in PREMIERE! Since RWA was founded in 1980, it has grown to over 10,000 members, and romance has become the world’s most popular genre of fiction. What are some of the ways your partnership with RWA has benefitted you?

T. L.: I could write an entire book of praise for the RWA if I could. I joined RWA as a brand-new author with her very first unpublished manuscript. I had no idea how to edit it or query it or anything. RWA hooked me up with a critique group, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling mentor and walked me through the entire publishing process as I found an agent and a publishing contract. Now that I am part of the Published Author Network (PAN), I not only get to give back to my chapter, but also have to good fortune of growing as a writer with a lovely and extremely talented group of ladies (and gentlemen) who have grown to become lifelong friends. I recommend RWA to every aspiring writer, and published writer, as it truly has a place for everyone.

Pasha: Fresh Fiction readers want to know: What are your top three favorite romantic stories of all time?

T. L.: I like a little humor with my romance, honestly, so I am going to pick some movies as I have so many favorite authors there would be no way possible for me to pick just three! I would say, The Princess Bride, a classic. To this day I have no idea why my husband doesn’t respond to everything I say with, “As you wish.”

Secondly, I might have to say Moonstruck. It’s not so much just the love story between the two main characters, but it has such a wonderful ensemble cast of characters that really make the movie pop.

Along similar lines, I love the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Everything about it just made me so happy, the adorable romantic storyline and the loving yet overbearing family. So perfect.

Introduction to The Poet

The idea for this story came to me during a morning run in the park. In between gasping for air and praying for death, I ran by a teen boy who was on the phone with his mother. He was absolutely horrified about her plans for the name of their new puppy. He was insistent that the wrong name would scar his dog for life. So I thought about the idea of what a name could do to a dog (not much, really, dogs are a happy bunch) but then what they could do to a child, and The Poet was born.

Excerpt from The Poet

I’m cursed. Yes, I mean cursed. I’ve had a crush on Hannah Smith for as long as I’ve known that girls grow boobs.

So, um, for a while now. Like, for years and years.

You wouldn’t think that this would automatically equal eternal damnation, I know. But for me, the problem is that she’s all I think about, the only girl I ever see myself wanting to be with, and, well, I can’t speak to her.

Not like I stammer or start to drool when she’s around, or even that the words come out like a slush of slow-motion pathetic-ness.

I actually can’t speak.


Not a squeak or a chirp.


Everything, all sound, dries up in my throat, and I end up just standing there, mouth moronically ajar, looking like some kind of large, mute, gorilla-man-boy.

Watching the stars blink into view in the chill of the darkening sky, I pull off my helmet and turn over, eyes automatically rising to the bleachers as I start my push-ups.

Hannah’s at the base of the bleachers, talking to her brother. She’s always here. She’s at every game, every practice. She never misses any chance she has to support her brother in his valiant efforts to, you know, make an actual pass. Every day before practice, I tell myself to not get all distracted when I see her, but that’s like telling a frog to run and not hop. I’m just wired to go on the fritz around Hannah.

Push-ups suck. Have I mentioned this? Well, they do. As I hit number ten, I look at Hannah’s hair, how the moonlight sort of gets trapped in its waves, how it falls over the curves of her— Enough of that. I need to get these push-ups done so I can go home. Talk to Juliet about what to do for Mom’s birthday.

But as my fingers dig into the cold earth, Hannah’s laugh carries across the empty field, riding over the waves of chirping crickets and the distant sounds of traffic from Main Street. My insides quiver. That’s right, quiver. I’ve tried to think of a manlier adjective to describe the feeling, but nothing covers it quite like quiver.

Love can either hit like lightning or burn slow and low like a … well, a really good barbeque sauce, I guess. And Hannah is definitely the lightning type of girl.

It started my first day of sixth grade.

About T. L. Costa

T. L. Costa is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and has a Masters of Teaching from Quinnipiac University. Her debut, Playing Tyler, won the 2014 Nautilus Silver Winner in Young Adult (YA) Fiction, won the 2013 USA BEST BOOK AWARD for Young Adult Fiction and was a finalist in the Booksellers Best Awards and the 2014 Silver Falchion Awards. She taught high school for five years before becoming a full-time mom and writer. She has lived in Texas, New York, New Jersey and Spain. Currently, she lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


From Romance Writers of America® comes a never-before-published collection of tales that showcases the breadth and complexity of the world's most popular genre of fiction!

New York Times bestselling authors Cindy Gerard and Allison Brennan bring the thrills in their tales of romantic suspense.

New York Times bestselling authors Sabrina Jeffries and Courtney Milan take you on a trip back in time with lush stories of historical romance.

New York Times bestselling authors Vicki Lewis Thompson and Joan Johnston show the wonder of contemporary romance, while New York Times bestselling authors Monica Murphy and Laura Kaye's New Adult romances delve into the evolving Millennial perspective.

And editor and #1 New York Times bestselling author Sylvia Day's tale of angels and sizzling desire takes readers to the edge with paranormal romance.

From the first love of Young Adult romance to tales of second chances, LGBT romance to the realms of the supernatural, contemporary to historical, suspense to inspirational, the genre of romance has a story for every reader and this blockbuster inaugural collection from Romance Writers of America showcases it all!

Plus tales from:

Lila Bell

T. L. Costa

Diane Kelly

Amber Lin

Katy Regnery

Erica Ridley

Regina Scott

Harper St. George

Lex Valentine

About Romance Writers of America

ROMANCE WRITERS OF AMERICA ® (RWA) is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance the professional interests of career-focused romance writers through networking and advocacy. Founded in 1980, RWA has grown to one of the largest writers associations in the world. RWA represents more than 10,000 members who live in 38 countries. RWA provides programs and services to support the efforts of its members to earn a living from their writing endeavors. If you are interested in becoming a part of this diverse and growing community, visit www.rwa.org for more information.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Order PREMIERE




3 comments posted.

Re: Fresh Interview | T. L. Costa Talks PREMIERE: The First Collection of Tales from Romance Writers of America®

Can't wait to read it, Tracy. I, too, love The Princess Bride. So many great lines in that movie, and Wesley is so dashing!
(Jamie Beck 11:55am February 10, 2015)

This book covers all the bases, and it was such a wonderful
project, to have all of these Great Authors come together,
to add their talent, and make this book a hot item anyone
would love to get their hands on - me included!!
Congratulations on bringing this project to fruition!! I'm
sure it's going to do very well, since all of these Authors
have a huge fan base!!
(Peggy Roberson 12:53pm February 10, 2015)

I have this book in the TBR holding pattern, waiting for me to
swipe past page one and commence reading. I just need a spare
minute, or two - maybe this week-end since Al Roker and his
friends are predicting another round of "chilly" temps in the
It looks WONDERFUL! Actually, the entire book looks like it
will be hours of entertainment - hmm, must be why I purchased
(Mickey McCall 10:11pm February 14, 2015)

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