Dreaming big has never been a problem for Tessa Bailey who, at barely over five feet tall, dreamed of being a professional basketball player when she was younger. Never mind she was slow, or that she hated running. This girl knew how to dream.
She also knows how to write. Like, she really knows how to write. She writes the emotion, the dynamic dialogue (the dirty talk – good lord the dirty talk), and the tightly woven plot lines. You want to befriend her heroines and bed her heroes.
So we should take a moment to thank her grandmother for owning a copy of Sandra Brown’s Hidden Fires.
“I found it on my grandmother’s shelf during a week-long family reunion and promptly read it three times, before demanding to be brought to the local book store. That’s when my historical romance phase – with a special interest in sea captains – began,” she explains.
Originally from California, Tessa skipped town the day after her high school graduation and drove cross-country to New York City in under four days. It was while waitressing at a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle that she met her husband, her best friend, discovered the magic of classic rock, and managed to put herself through both Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University.
Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention. Protecting What’s His was the third manuscript she had written, and was the first published.

“I wrote it when I’d just had my daughter and was living life as a stay at home mom, which is really hard to get used to. It’s lonely sometimes and I didn’t have an outlet for my creativity.

I was just kind of stagnant. Then Hurricane Sandy hit New York and my husband was out of work for three weeks because of it. So he watched the baby while I basically wrote in a whirlwind for three weeks straight. I think I just had all that creativity stored up!”
Tessa now writes full-time (with motherhood and podcasting as her side hustles) from her home office; “I love love love it because the space is mine alone. There are reminders of my past books everywhere and I can look up at my bookshelf and be reminded that I know how to finish a book. I need to be reminded of that pretty often! Coffee, silence and peanut butter are my must haves,” she says.
Unwilling to place herself under timeframe constraints when it comes to writing a novel, Tessa nevertheless has a daily word goal that she makes sure she hits, no excuses. “Looking at a calendar stresses me out. I just want to focus on the characters and give them a happy ending. But I do write pretty fast, so I can usually write a book in four to six weeks, depending on the length.”
It is this rapid writing pace that lured Tessa to self-publishing; “Like I said, I write fast and got a little antsy, wanting to put my stories into the world on my own timetable. I do love traditional publishing and I’ve learned so much from the editors I work with, but sometimes it’s nice having all the control. I get the best of both worlds this way!”

Tessa was sitting on her couch in Brooklyn eating a leftover bowl of spaghetti when she got the call from her editor informing her she’d become a New York Times Best-Selling Author.

With Mickey Mouse Clubhouse playing on the television, she admits she just sat there gobsmacked. “I was like, do I get a private jet now or what? LOL. I’m really proud of that title, but it doesn’t mean less hard work. In some ways, it means you have to work even harder because the bar is high.”
A career highlight to date has been attending the Romance Author & Reader Events (RARE) book signing in Rome last year, where her daughter got to sit at the signing table with her and understand not just her mother’s career, but the enormous success she has found.
When asked what she likes the most about being a romance writer, she cheekily responds that it’s not having to wear shoes. And what does she love the most about writing romance?

“I love sex, I love banter and fun. But dammit, I love the black moment most of all.

It’s usually something I can see before I start writing the book and I work toward it with each chapter. When the hero or heroine messes up right around the time they realize they’re in love – I live to write that feeling. Like, oh God, I have to make this right or my life is over. It’s so addicting.”
Currently Tessa is working on Find Her, which is a novella about a rock star who falls in love with someone in the front row of his concert. It will be available in audio exclusively on the Read Me Romance podcast. Co-hosted with the duo behind Alexa Riley, the Read Me Romance podcast brings you a new, original audiobook novella every week from some of the biggest names in the romance genre. One section of the audiobook is released each weekday, beginning Monday and ending with a perfect happily ever after on Friday.
Currently Tessa is working on Find Her, which is a novella about a rock star who falls in love with someone in the front row of his concert. It will be available in audio exclusively on the Read Me Romance podcast. Co-hosted with the duo behind Alexa Riley, the Read Me Romance podcast brings you a new, original audiobook novella every week from some of the biggest names in the romance genre. One section of the audiobook is released each weekday, beginning Monday and ending with a perfect happily ever after on Friday.
Having just released Heat Stroke, the second book in her Beach Kingdom series, Tessa admits a favourite of her characters is Marcus from the m/m opposites attract story. And it seems she’s not the only one, with reviewers going a little nuts over the book! ♥
REVIEW FOR HEAT STROKE: “Every time I’ve read m/m before I felt like something was missing at the end. Like fairy bread without the sprinkles… Maybe I read the wrong m/m books because this one did not miss a single thing. It was delectable. Like a chocolate lava cake! Decadent, rich and sinful! Tessa Bailey managed to write one of the dirtiest and sexiest books I’ve ever read but with so many layers into it. Jamie’s past and what he went through, Marcus’s feelings and realisation of who he is. Each struggling but trying to find their way to each other. I just wanted to hug them both so tight.” – Aisling Zena (via Goodreads)
FIVE MINUTE CHAT
Use 3 words to describe yourself…
Impulsive, perceptive, motivated. 
What is your favourite trope to a.) write b.) read? This is so crazy, because my writing has a high heat level, but when I pick a book to read, it’s almost always a slow burn, like Mariana Zapata or Sally Thorne. I love reading a slow burn, especially when it’s friends to lovers. As far as what I like to write, I do love a good forbidden love story. 
What is your favourite trope to a.) write b.) read? This is so crazy, because my writing has a high heat level, but when I pick a book to read, it’s almost always a slow burn, like Mariana Zapata or Sally Thorne. I love reading a slow burn, especially when it’s friends to lovers. As far as what I like to write, I do love a good forbidden love story. 
Listening to? True crime podcasts. 
Favourite drink? White wine or a Moscow Mule. 
Reading? I’m reading The Witch Elm by Tana French. Not a romance! But I was looking for something to scare me a little.
BUY Disturbing His Peace | BUY Need Me | BUY Mouth To Mouth
BUY Disturbing His Peace | BUY Need Me | BUY Mouth To Mouth
#blushmagazine #authorinterview #tessabailey #romancelandia

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