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The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Local author to discuss debut novel, teach historical fiction research

Tara Karr Roberts published “Wild and Distant Seas” in January
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COURTESY OF TARA KARR ROBERTS
Tara Karr Roberts, author of “Wild and Distant Seas.”

Tara Karr Roberts has always wanted to be a writer.

She has worked as a reporter, science writer, freelance writer and University of Idaho journalism professor and student media advisor. Now she is working as an author, and published her debut novel “Wild and Distant Seas” in January.

Roberts will join a discussion about “Wild and Distant Seas,” part of which takes place in Moscow, at 5:30 p.m. March 7 at Moscow Public Library.

Learning to research the times and places she incorporated in her novel took a lot of effort and hard work, Roberts said.

“Writing a novel is a completely bizarre experience,” Roberts said.

The discussion will include a presentation by Roberts on the process of writing historical fiction as well as her book, said Rebecca Rivapalacio, Latah County Library District adult services manager. The program is free and open for all to attend, with refreshments provided.

Moscow Public Library organized the program in partnership with BookPeople of Moscow, which will sell copies of the novel at the event, Rivapalacio said.

“Wild and Distant Seas” is a literary fiction with magical realism. The novel is loosely connected to the novel “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville, but does not require one to read “Moby Dick” to understand it, Roberts said.

While pursuing her master’s degree at UI, Roberts took a class on 19th-century novels, in which “Moby Dick” was part of the curriculum. Roberts said she started writing “Wild and Distant Seas” for a class project about six years ago.

“College students who want to be writers should write everything they can right now and get feedback,” Roberts said. “Be curious about everything.”

“Wild and Distant Seas” begins with a woman who owned an inn in Nantucket, Massachusetts, in “Moby Dick.” Roberts said she has focused on the woman’s side of the story in her novel.

Roberts is a mother of two. A lot of the themes in her novel are about mother and daughter and community among women, which has made this book more relatable to women in general, Roberts said.

“I wouldn’t know how the book world works without their help,” Roberts said of her publishing company, W.W. Norton and Company.

“Wild and Distant Seas” is available on Amazon Kindle and at Barnes & Noble, as well as at Washington Anytime Library with a wait period of 14 weeks.

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About the Contributor
SIA CHHEDA, Evergreen reporter
Sia is a sophomore majoring in psychology. She has been working with the Daily Evergreen since fall 2023 and is driven by the curiosity to understand how individuals make decisions to shape our world.