It’s so easy in today’s era to want to be ‘perfect’ and have the ‘perfect’ relationship. We go on social media and compare ourselves to the thousands of models who look like they have it all. But the truth is we all have flaws, and no relationship is perfect. The point is finding someone who doesn’t run away from our imperfections, who isn’t afraid of them, and vice versa.
This is the message that romance author Kandi Steiner explores in her incredible novel, Tag Chaser. In this emotional, powerful story, Steiner has created a roller-coaster journey of love, heartbreak, healing and second chances that makes you believe in love again.
Not only is Steiner a bestselling author, but she is also a whiskey connoisseur, and her stories are all about flawed characters who find real romance. She doesn’t shy away from the insecurities and hardships it entails, but rather finds a way to embrace them so we learn that we can too.
In a recent, exclusive interview, Steiner opens up about her writing and all things Tag Chaser.
Q: How did you come up with the story for Tag Chaser?
KS: This was the first book I ever wrote and published on my own. I was fresh out of college and the guy I was with at the time was in the military. I would listen to him and his buddies talk so much trash about the “tag chasers” that hung out around the base. Essentially, they just wanted to snag a military guy so they had someone to take care of them, or at least, that was the gist I got. They were after a man in uniform.
So, I was in the shower and thinking about those girls and how no one ever asks their story. They get such a bad reputation, but what if they just want a strings-free relationship, or what if something happened in their past to drive their desire for military men?
That’s when Paisley came to me, and shortly after, Corbin. The rest is history!
Paisley Bronson is a 27-year-old successful advertising professional, but the most exciting part of her life happens outside of work. Claiming the life of a Tag Chaser toward the end of her college career has taught her one thing: Never get too close. She has enjoyed her dating lifestyle, but when her best friend makes a bet that she won’t ever be able to date a normal guy, her competitive nature takes control, and she vows to change the game.
When Paisley meets the incredibly handsome and practically perfect Corbin Ray, she begins to think keeping her word might be easier than she thought. But when an accidental discovery reveals that Corbin is in the Army, she knows she must run the other way and never look back. Although it kills her, she aims to move on and look for a new prospect.
There’s just one small problem… Paisley’s been assigned a new client at work, and his name is Corbin Ray. Will Paisley and Corbin give in to the chemistry between them, or will their past and present complications keep them apart?
Q: Tag Chaser has been described as an emotional rollercoaster, did you plan it that way or did the ideas for the plot come to you as you were writing it?
KS: It’s so funny because this was my first book, and looking back on my process THEN versus now, so much is different. Now, I sit down and really flesh out my characters and plots, dive deep into outlines, etc. But back then? I just sat down and wrote what came to me. I think I had a notebook with SOME plot/character things in it, but for the most part, this story sort of told itself.
Q: The characters in your book are imperfect people, who see themselves as wounded but who find themselves and find each other. Was this done to make them more relatable?
KS: In all of my books, I love to write about real, flawed people and the real, flawed love they have — that we ALL have. I think love is messy. People play games. We miscommunicate. We hurt the ones we love in the name of protecting ourselves. There’s just so much to it, and it’s far from hearts and flowers perfection all the time. So, I strive to write about all the mess.
Q: Reading your novel I felt like there were a lot of empowering messages about love, for example how people aren’t perfect, yet being with the right person allows us to be vulnerable and let our walls down, and how they won’t judge us for being afraid of that vulnerability sometimes. Was that deliberate?
KS: Absolutely! Again, I think what drives our desire for love really centers around how we all feel inadequate in so many ways and all we want is for someone to say “Hey, I see you, flaws and all, and you know what? You’re still worthy of love. And I still want to be with you. And I’m not going anywhere.” I want to convey to my readers that in order to achieve a true love with someone, we really do have to embrace all of them, just as we hope for them to embrace all of us.
Q: What made you turn this novel into a series? Did you have a favourite Chasers novel?
KS: It started as one book in my head, but quickly turned into two when all the readers who read Tag Chaser wanted to know what happened to Tanner. Coincidentally, Song Chaser (book #2) ended up being my favorite!
Click here for your copy of Tag Chaser!