Watery tale: Noblesville resident writes book based on float trip on White River


Tara Cleary has always loved telling a good story and dreamed of writing a book. The Noblesville resident said the COVID-19 pandemic provided the push she needed.

“What the world went through in the last few years reminded me that our time here is short and not to take it for granted,” the 39-year-old said. “If you have a dream, make it happen.”

And that’s exactly what she did. Her first book, “Indiana Girls Night Float,” was published Oct. 25. It is the true story of the adventures Cleary and three friends had floating down the White River in Noblesville at night. It was an adventure that wasn’t planned.

CIN COVER 0131 author cleary tree by white river
The White River in Noblesville is the setting for Tara Cleary’s book, “Indiana Girls Night Float. (Photo courtesy of Tara Cleary)

“We didn’t even know we were going to float down the river until that evening. One of my friends suggested it and we all agreed to go for the adventure,” Cleary said. “It was our first time floating down the river and it was at night. We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into.”

As the four floated down the river on innertubes tied together with string, listening to music without a care in the world, a sudden jostling of tree branches and a splash in the water startled them.

“Do you know what it was?” she asked.

As soon as the adventure was over, Cleary started writing.

“I knew it would be a good story,” she said.

Cleary wants readers to feel as if they are on the nighttime adventure with the four friends.

“Floating down the river with all the surprises a river can have and with friends that can make you laugh and laugh, in Noblesville, Indiana,” she said.

Her friends love the book.

“I had originally changed their names in the manuscript, but after they read it, two of the three insisted I change their name back to their real name,” Cleary said. “They are all very proud of the book.”

Readers also are enjoying the tale.

“When people tell me they read my book, they’re always smiling. Most tell me they laughed out loud,” Cleary said. “Some have said they know the area, so they knew where we were along the journey in the book. That is very neat to me.”

Cleary will have a book signing at Jim Dandy, 2301 Conner St., Noblesville, from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 18.

“It is very neat for the book signing to be held at Jim Dandy. It is the diner where the story begins and ends in my book,” Cleary said. “The first chapter is named JD (short for Jim Dandy). My neighbors told me that is what people used to say whenever they were going to meet friends there to eat, ‘Let’s go to JD (Jim Dandy).’”

Don’t expect this to be Cleary’s only book. The contract specialist at Automotive Finance Corp. at KAR GLOBAL already has another book in the works.

“I have learned so much from publishing the first book, so I know it will be a bit easier to publish my next one and I can’t wait,” she said.

Indiana Girls Night Float Cover 1

More Info

“Indiana Girls Night Float” is available at most bookstores, including Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Cleary’s website, Indiana-girls.com. Cleary will have a book signing event from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 18 at Jim Dandy, 2301 Conner St., Noblesville.