Tara Roberts, NY

Senior Writer

Tara Roberts is the author of the middle grade novels Eden’s Wish and Eden’s Escape, published by Disney-Hyperion. She grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and studied Cinematic Arts at USC in Los Angeles, California. While working in Hollywood, she realized her childhood dream of writing books had never gone away, so she finally decided to pursue it. She moved to Sydney, Australia and earned an MA in Creative Writing at Macquarie University. She now lives with her husband between New York City and their farm in the northern Catskills, where they raise grass-fed cows and pastured chickens.

As a Story Terrace writer, Tara interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.

Alone in Anacapri

“The last bus just left. You’ll have to take a taxi,” said the woman in the tourism office. She spoke with a heavy Italian accent. We were in Italy, after all.

I frowned and checked my watch. “But it’s not even 6 p.m.”

“The roads in Anacapri are closing early tonight. Very soon, actually. You should hurry.”

It had been a stressful day of travel. I’d started the morning in Rome, where I took a subway to the Termini station, boarded a packed train to Naples, found my way to the ferry port, and finally took a ferry to the island of Capri—all while lugging my suitcase and shoulder bag in the August heat. I’d planned to buy a bus ticket to Anacapri, the township at the top of the island. But according to the agent, I needed to change my plans—and fast. I ran to hail a taxi.

The driver whizzed up treacherous roads to the small bed and breakfast where I’d booked a room. The owner greeted me with delight.

“You’ve come on a special day!” she exclaimed. “It’s the first night of our summer festival!”

It was refreshing to hear good news. “Is that why the roads are closing early?”

“Yes!” Excitedly, she explained how to reach the town center.

I unpacked my bags, and then followed trails along vineyards and olive groves until I reached the celebration. When I did, my frustration and exhaustion were forgotten.

There were no other tourists, only locals. Joyfully, they paraded down stone streets. Young girls with braided pigtails danced in aprons. Men in colorful vests harmonized on a platform. Husbands, wives, children, and grandparents sang, laughed, and celebrated.

Their joy was contagious. Wandering through the magic, I couldn’t believe my good fortune. They’d been waiting for this night all year, and I’d inadvertently stumbled into it.

Eventually I sat at a table on a restaurant’s patio and ordered a Caprese salad and veal scaloppini. The celebration carried on, with the glorious Amalfi sunset as its backdrop.

Sometimes life gives you a moment when the world’s beauty is as real as your own heartbeat. Sometimes it comes when you don’t expect it. That night, I was on my own and far from home, but there was nowhere in the world I’d rather have been.

Somehow, that night, Anacapri was where I belonged.

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