Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My debut novel, Flawed Happiness, was released in March 2015. Here’s a little more about me, taken from the back cover of my book:
Cori Tadrus was born and raised in Syracuse, NY. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Syracuse University. She spent most of her twenties working as a refugee case worker by day and a bartender by night. Although passionate about this work, at the age of 30, she decided it was time to get a 9-5 job that paid the bills and did not require so much of her time and heart. She pursued a career in finance but it left her feeling empty and uninspired. She found respite in writing a story about a character named Athena who, like her, was seeking a more fulfilled life.
A few years later, Cori married an active duty Army Officer. When she was nine months pregnant with her first child, she left her job to join him in his travels. With change came perspective, and the ability to look inside of herself to discover what she truly wanted to be: an author. When she is not writing, Cori enjoys mixing and drinking cocktails, listening to spoken word poetry and soulful music, impromptu dance parties with her daughter, and eating dessert.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Flawed Happiness is my latest book. I go into more detail on my website about this, but I started writing it when I left the nonprofit world to pursue a job in finance; a career move that left me feeling empty and unfulfilled. Creating the story began as a type of therapy for me me; it provided direction and meaning during a time in my life when I felt I had neither. I didn’t get any further than the first chapter, though, until a few years later, when my daughter was born. It was the first time in my adult life when I wasn’t in the workforce, so living vicariously through Athena’s experiences was a creative outlet that also allowed me to work through my own obstacles to finding happiness.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I get inspired in the weirdest places, usually when my mind is furthest from the writing process. In a way, writing has always served as a means of procrastination for me. Like, when I’m supposed to be doing something I really don’t care about, my mind tends to drift into a more creative space. I don’t know about an unusual habit, but if I like to set the writing mood by burning a candle or essential oils, and listening to jazz, blues, neo-soul, hip hop… any music that is soulful. A glass of red wine also helps the words to flow, but I’ll only do that during the draft phase (not while I edit!).
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I have eclectic taste in literature, and enjoy reading everyone from Terry McMillian to Paulo Coelho. Honestly, though, the writers who inspire me the most are my peers. I’ve met a number of people through local writing groups, mostly unpublished authors, whose raw talent and passion for their art is mind-blowing.
What are you working on now?
My life is in transition right now, between preparing for a new home and a new baby, but once things settle down I have a few ideas that I would really like to pursue. I’m not sure yet if we’ll see more from the character Athena, but the topic of finding happiness is a constant in my writing.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
As far as social media is concerned, I love using Facebook as a platform for my brand and for building relationships with my readers. I’m trying to be more savvy at Twitter and Instagram, but I’m not the most technology inclined person, so it’s a work in progress. I spend a lot of time on my own website/blog, making it an appealing and fun experience for people. Goodreads is also a great way to promote books, host giveaways, and meet readers.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
“Dismiss whatever insults your own soul.” It’s a line from a Walt Whitman piece that strikes a cord with me. Whether it’s an old pair of tight jeans lingering in the closet, or a relationship that makes you feel less than whole, I think letting go of the things that weigh us down allows us to become the happiest, most authentic versions of ourselves.
What are you reading now?
I’m currently reading The Ribs and Thigh Bones of Desire by an author friend, Sandra Hutchison
What is your favorite book of all time?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho