About Tara

Tara Sparling on BooksTara writes fiction and screenplays. Originally from the west of Ireland, she now lives in Dublin.

She spends all of her spare time with words. The writing of them and the reading of them. However, she has a day job all about numbers – pushing them around, extracting meaning from them, and sometimes, insulting them.

As a fully certified nerd who loves spreadsheets, graphs and visualisations, there is nothing Tara likes better than a perfectly proportioned pie chart. Unless, of course, you’re talking about a well-stocked bar chart.

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OBLIGATORY/AWFUL LIST OF AWARDS AND STUFF

Blog Awards Ireland

2014:    Winner – Best Newcomer   &   Finalist – Humour

2015:    Finalist – Art & Culture

2016:    Finalist – Books & Literature

RTE Today Show / New Island “Get Your Book Published” Competition 2014

Finalist (Shortlisted), for the novel In June

Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair 2014

Highly Commended (Longlisted), for the novel Statistical Anomalies In The Probability Of Love

Irish Writers’ Centre Novel Fair 2012

Highly Commended (Longlisted), for the novel In June

OTHER PLACES TARA WAS SEEN HANGING AROUND BESIDES THIS BLOG

Short Fiction

“The Narcissist” – published in The Bohemyth

Regular Features

“The Lighter Side” – Featured Guest Blogger on Writing.ie – see all articles here

Articles Published Elsewhere Which May Also Be Vaguely Humorous (but that might depend on your mood, in fairness):

(AnneRAllen.com) Book Title Generators To Get You Through The Holidays

(Headstuff.org) Mr McGuffin’s Plot Device And Writer Unblocking Emporium

(Writing.ie) A Crime World Away From It All: Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Festival In Harrogate

(AnneRAllen.com) Ten Reasons Being A Writer Is Like Being Santa Claus

(Writing.ie) Writing Weather

(Writing.ie) An Arts Festival Is No Time To Get Creative

(Writing.ie) Writer’s Twitch, And Other Illnesses

  23 comments for “About Tara

  1. October 5, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    Hi Tara!

    Fellow Irish blogger and best humour nominee here 🙂

    Had a good ole creep through your blog and just wanted to say that it is hilarious/brilliant.

    Glad to have found it!

    Jane

    Like

    • October 5, 2014 at 4:25 pm

      Hi Jane, I’m glad we found each other! I really enjoyed your take on things and your style of writing. Were you there last night? You want to get a posse together to go down to Waterford and sort those guys out? 😉

      Like

      • October 5, 2014 at 4:30 pm

        I actually couldn’t go 😦 I would have loved to, purely for the fact that I would have pulled a Kanye and ran up on stage 😀

        Ha, yes I think we need to! Plus we can stock up on blaas while we’re there!

        Like

        • October 5, 2014 at 4:35 pm

          They weren’t there! So you missed nothing – there were no opportunities for sabotage AT ALL. Still, we could start a boycott-the-blaa movement and start producing maps of the country missing one corner. That’ll show ’em. And we’ll win next year.

          Oh yes. Victory will be ours…

          Like

          • October 5, 2014 at 4:47 pm

            It wouldn’t have been much of a sabotage without them. We could have shouted out “this competition is a sham..and a farce…and A SHAM!”

            I’m definitely not eating a blaa again or
            drinking out of anything remotely crystal.

            We will! And we can make some kind of “this is Sparta” speech 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  2. March 22, 2015 at 9:01 pm

    Hi Tara, This is Steve Moore, Jack ‘Blimprider’ Tyler’s mate from Scribblers Den in the Steampunk Empire. What a mouthful. Well I just wanted to say Congratulations to all the Irish people and the Irish Rugby Team on Super Saturday when England beat France but were still disconsolate, as it was not enough to hoist the trophy. Bravo Ireland as you are set fair for the World Cup. I also love your wit and verve Tara and wish you well. Steve Moore the Old English Steampunk Cowboy from over the water to the East. Slainte Steve

    Like

    • March 22, 2015 at 10:22 pm

      Hi Steve! Your congratulations are much appreciated, as were several of France’s tries yesterday, although I was yelling obscenities when they started arsing around at the last minute… it really was a Super Saturday, wasn’t it? Every warm wish from here to you there also, Steve, and commiserations on a battle hard fought and lost by a hair. Thanks for the visit 🙂

      Like

  3. May 11, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Thanks for thinking of me Eilish, will definitely have a look!

    Like

  4. tbrpiledotcom
    October 19, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    In June and Statistical Anomalies In The Probability Of Love. When will we be able to read these? They aren’t already out there and I’ve somehow missed them??

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 19, 2015 at 4:18 pm

      Er… yes. That article rather made it look like I’d let these babies walk around by themselves, didn’t it?! Those two novels are written, but not published. I only let them out to play in competition. I’m currently doing surgery on no. 3. Trust me, if and when I do publish, you’ll be on your knees, pleading with me to shut up about it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. March 11, 2016 at 12:25 am

    Um gulp, you’ve won awards and you’ve followed me!? Shouldn’t it be the other way up? Or round? Or some other multi dimensional shape. I touched in a totally normal uncreepy way and deeply humbled much as I was in the playground every time sides were picked for it and stuck in the mud. Ta. Muchly gratified. Will return the oojit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • March 11, 2016 at 8:44 am

      But I liked your blog very much, and you can’t stop me 😉 And I was very taken with your writing style, and your recent piece about our mums before they became our mums struck umpteen chords with me. In fact I think it was an entire orchestral piece…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. June 4, 2016 at 2:25 pm

    Hi Tara. Cool blog, thing I’ll stick around. Pleased to meet you, Marina

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 5, 2016 at 9:01 pm

      Thanks Marina. Please to meet you too. Do stick around. I’ll try and come up with something half decent to make it worthwhile!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. October 20, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    I usually always take a look at the “about” page of a blog very early on, Tara, but strangely, it seems I’d never visited yours before. I wasn’t very surprised to read that you spend all your spare time with words. I already knew you were good with those. However, I was stunned to learn that your job involves also being good with numbers.

    I don’t know how you can fit both words and numbers into your brain at the same time without riots breaking out. They’re so different from each other. Words are cute, friendly and approachable. Numbers are stern, critical and unforgiving. I’m terrified of the latter and only ever go near them if I have no other choice.

    I really like the photograph you use on this page, by the way. To me, it suggests a tremendous love of books, a wonderful sense of humor and a filing system not dissimilar to my wife’s.

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 21, 2016 at 4:24 pm

      I’m glad you commented, Bun, because I forgot this page was there. It’s hopelessly outdated. I’ve had a haircut since I put this up. I’ll get my PR firm on to it immediately. They’ve already sent me a crisis management document about the state of the place since Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up book changed fashionable interiors forever.

      On another note, you’re wrong about numbers. Truly. I know it’s mad, but much as I love words, they can’t give comfort like numbers can. Numbers, for instance, are questions that can always be answered and answers to questions that can’t even be asked. I know there’s something wrong about that, but it just feels so right.

      Liked by 1 person

      • October 22, 2016 at 12:44 pm

        I’ve had many discussions with people who find the precision and certainty of mathematics magical rather than intimidating. I know too that so much of science can only properly be described mathematically. Those who can’t follow the equations are left forever on the outside, having to make do with clumsy approximations constructed entirely of words.

        I don’t blame you for loving numbers, Tara. I imagine you’ve simply never seen their nasty side. I’m sure they are perfectly capable of being nice to people when they want to be. Unfortunately, they’ve always hated me. No matter whether they’re describing my age, my readership or my bank balance, numbers have never wasted an opportunity to twist the knife just that little bit more.

        Liked by 1 person

        • October 22, 2016 at 2:08 pm

          Well, I never said they were kind. Just honest. Sorry, Bun. Or am I…?

          Liked by 1 person

          • October 22, 2016 at 4:30 pm

            Of course, I’m doing numbers a disservice by calling them unkind. Like nature, the universe and our childhood crushes, they just don’t know we’re here.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. December 1, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    Thanks for passing by my blog!
    I like your ‘About Tara’ description.
    You know, I find logic (referring to number thinking) and writing have a lot in common. But am not sure can explain it. The most beautiful and inspiring writing I find is describing something with as few and fitting wording.
    As the opposite of Tolstoy with an incredible amount of adjectives …

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 1, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      I agree wholeheartedly, Red Breast, and thank you. My favourite writing is sparse, using smallish words and complete sentences. It’s how the words fit together which counts. Especially when words are put together which don’t usually go together. Like job and blog. 😉

      Like

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