Ames Public Library Hosts ISU Alum’s Debuting Event


The Ames Public Library hosted ISU alumna, and newly published author, Tara Goedjen on Tuesday. Goedjen’s new gothic mystery novel “The Breathless” was first released on October 10th, and since October 17th the book tour has been taking place.

Haven’t had been in Ames since college graduation, Goedjen was incredibly excited to be back and share her work, in a place where her love for writing was deepened. 

The night started out with comfortable chit-chat and Goedjen sharing a slideshow she put together for her audience. 

Goedjen first shared some information about herself. Two main points she emphasized were that she’s always loved to read, and that she moved around a lot as a child, six states before the age of twelve.

“I grew up reading. Books were my friends,” Goedjen said. “I took books with me to all my new schools, so that I didn’t have to talk to people in the cafeteria or waiting for the buses.”

Goedjen also touched on how some of her own childhood fears and obsessions played certain roles in “The Breathless.” A childhood fear of hers being the concept of eternity, and an obsession being secret passage ways. 

Upon going to college, Goedjen knew she wanted to write, but didn’t know that she could write, coming right out of college. Her passion towards wanting to be an author came as a bit of a surprise for her family as well, being from a family of engineers and teachers.

Goedjen decided to minor in English, and later even became an editor in Sydney, Australia. Mostly editing fantasy and super natural stories. This made Goedjen even more inspired to begin working on her novel “The Breathless.”

Goedjen’s self-introduction then led her to presenting her book to the audience. While reading the prologue, the audience was fully engaged and enchanted by the mystery and gothic-charm the novel offers. The novel is written in three different points of view, Mae Cole being the main female character, Cage Shaw being the main male character, and a small section of the book being written in the late ancestors of the Cole families point of view.

Goedjen got many different sources of inspiration for her novel. Abandoned houses, ghost stories, and places she’s lived, on top of a variety of novels, also gave her inspiration when writing “The Breathless.”

Upon finishing her presentation, Goedjen opened the floor for questions and discussion. The audience had many questions, and a great discussion took place.

“I don’t have a favorite genre. I love atmosphere and working with places, I get inspiration from places I’ve lived,” Goedjen said when asked what her favorite genre was.

Goedjen is working on another stand alone novel, that has a completely different genre than “The Breathless.” The novel is set in a California desert and will be a science-fiction.

“For me, some of my characters are based on people I’ve seen in passing, but not that I fully know,” Goedjen said about “The Breathless.”

“[Young adult] is about focusing on teenager experiences, and we can all relate to that. It’s a time of firsts, the world is totally wide open in front of you,” Goedjen said when asked why she decided to write for a younger crowd.

Looking forward to what Goedjen writes next, this event was a great opportunity to meet Goedjen, learn more about her background, and learn about why she loves to write.

The event concluded around 8 and truly was a wonderful way to spend a chilly Tuesday evening. 

To learn more about Goedjen’s background, events and book, check out her website.