Interview with Tara J. Stone, Author of 680 Miles Away

24 Apr 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write 680 Miles Away?

After I published “6 Blocks Home,” readers immediately started asking about a sequel. One person in particular—one of my high school Bible study students—made me promise I would get the sequel written and published before she graduated. I missed the deadline—she graduated last year—but my promise to her kept me going until I found the right way to tell Evie’s story.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of 680 Miles Away, what would they be?

This is an easy one, actually, because music plays such an important role in the book. I made Spotify playlists for Evie, Finn, and Sam, as well as a playlist for the book that includes every song and artist reference made by those characters. Evie’s theme song would be Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. For Finn, “I’ve Got A Crush On You” as sung by any of the great vocalists of the mid-twentieth century. And for Sam, “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

My favorite genre to read is fantasy. The prospect of world building is intimidating to me, though, so I’ve never tried writing in that genre… yet.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Like most people, I have a TBR pile that is out of control. New releases by Jeff Wheeler or Sever Bronny automatically go to the top of the pile. Other than that, I mostly have spiritual reading on my current list.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

Oooh, how do I say this without spoiling anything? I’ll give you the name of the chapter and leave it at that: Sisters. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I don’t like to write with other people in the room. I am aware that I wear my emotions pretty openly on my face. I feel all the feels when I write, and it makes me self-conscious when other people can see me feeling all the feels.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

The Gospel.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

The characters. I want readers to finish the book feeling like they’ve just spent time hanging out with good friends.


Tara J. Stone is the author of the new book 680 Miles Away

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