AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: TARA FOX HALL
Author Tara Fox Hall has stopped by to chat with us about her most recent romance story…
What is your most current work out?
My most current Romance works out are “Kink” and “The Oath,” both featured in Wicked Christmas Wishes, an e-book and print book of erotic romance with holiday themes. This is available at Amazon, Barnes &Noble, and Melange-Books. Here are blurbs of the 4 stories:
Kink by Tara Fox Hall
Paul believes his marriage with his beloved Joy is wonderful, that their sex life is both varied and fulfilling. Yet when Joy reveals her heart’s desire is more kink, Paul is determined to not only fulfill her wish, but to give her a Christmas that satisfies her wildest fantasies.
The Christmas Dream by Jaden Sinclair
Ashley Carter never looked forward to going home for the holidays, mostly because her one and only unobtainable dream was there. So why is this holiday any different? Tony Douglas has always known that Ashley had a thing for him, but not how bad until he found her diary when he started remolding her bedroom. He knows her dreams like the back of his hand, and seeing her home for Christmas has given him hope. But it is too late for him to fulfill her one and only Christmas Dream, or is this the year they both get just what they want for Christmas?
More Than Mistletoe by J. Troy Seate
A young man who goes to visit his girlfriend to spread Christmas cheer, but in her absence, it’s her roommates who initially do the spreading. Both naughty and nice, Ginny’s little helpers take the spirit of giving to new levels which tests pluckiness and loyalties. Good fun with lots of sharing amongst the not-so-secret Santa’s.
The Oath by Tara Fox Hall
Young widow, Sarelle McGarran, is in love with the vampire, Danial Racklan, the charismatic man that has transformed her life in only a few short months. But now Danial asks for more; an Oath, a promise a mortal gives her vampire lover to be his forever, a permanent joining that cannot be dissolved. But having lost a husband once, can Sar bring herself to give her promise once again?
Tell us a little about your stories in Wicked Christmas Wishes. What inspired you to write “Kink” and “The Oath”?
I initially submitted “The Oath” for Wicked Christmas Wishes, as I wanted to get an excerpt from my upcoming vampire romance novel, Promise Me, out for Christmas. There was a very romantic moment near the end of the book that I thought was perfect, so I took that out, made a short story of it, and submitted it to Melange for the anthology.
“Kink” was a last minute story that I submitted for this anthology. The story practically wrote itself, and it was a lot of fun to write. As for inspiration…I wanted a fantasy that would resonate with all women, and their need for a little Christmas fun with their husbands. Who says marriage can’t be fun…or kinky?
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
It depends on the story. My romance and action tends to lead me along as I write, evolving sometimes where I didn’t intend it to go. My horror is usually based on an actual dream, and so for that, I have a plot, I just need to tweak it, or write an ending or beginning. Some horror stories are based on several nightmares I coupled together, like End of Days, out now in serial form in Dark Eclipse Magazine.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I wanted to write a book for my mother and was determined to have vampires in it, as well as a little romance. She hates vampire books, and isn’t into romances. So Promise Me evolved, which is vampire romance, but also suspense with a good deal of action. I had to make the characters likeable and believable enough that someone who wasn’t into paranormal would still be captivated. My horror is inspired by nightmares, of which I have a lot. I’m also doing paranormal action adventure now (like the upcoming Lash, publishing in April from Bradley Publishing), because my mother is an avid “24” fan, and she wanted something with a lot of action. Lash was her favorite character from Promise Me, though he doesn’t appear until later in the series. Several excerpts from the Promise Me Universe are out (Surrender to Me, “The Oath” in Wicked Christmas Wishes) with more to come in Midnight Thirsts 2 in May, 2012 (“Partners” and “Night Music”). Promise Me will publish in June, 2012.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
I am in love with Devlin Dalcon, so I have to say he is my favorite character. But I also love Danial and Lash equally. I have a lot of fun writing all three of them.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
The toughest character to “get right” is and remains Lash. I’m not a male, a weresnake, or an assassin, and I wasn’t born in the 1910s, so he’s a challenge. But I have to say I try very hard to get all my characters as realistic as possible in all ways, even the paranormal ones. I want my readers to be able to believe in the story and lose themselves.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
I draw a lot of my dialogue from real life, from funny things my husband says, or I overhear others say, or see.
Here is a new story I’ve not told before. The infamous red dress that Sarelle wears for Danial in “The Oath” is from real life. On my second date with my to-be husband, I wanted to make an impression. So I wore a form fitting bright red dress made of a cotton blend, and went all out on my makeup and hair. He was very appreciative, and after lunch, we had our first kiss, which literally made me weak in the knees. It was and remains the best kiss of my life. He proposed four months later. And every year, to celebrate our Valentine’s Anniversary, I wear the red dress for him.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Finding the time between the day job, life, and promoing to write I have many projects I’d like to do, many half started. I’m always looking for ways to get more time out of the day to accomplish more.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
This is supposed to be something good, right? LOL. Here is another story. My grandfather began a handmade grandfather clock when I was young. He got the entire thing assembled and stained, and never put the workings in. It sat half assembled for the next two decades. After he died, I vowed to put it together. With the help of a friend and some professionals, I had glass put into the front panels, put on the doors, and put most of the workings in place. But I couldn’t get it to run. My stepfather took over, and spent most of the day working on it. He succeeded, telling me the finished working clock was a gift from my grandfather and him. I think of that happiness every time I hear the clock strike.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Two words: Godiva Chocolate.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
My only requirements are time, something to write on and with, and no loud distractions. I’ve written scenes in the waiting room, in the car, and even in the grocery store.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Music influences me greatly, particularly my romances. Devlin was a bard in his mortal life. Singing and music feature prominently in some of my vampire romance stories (such as the upcoming “Night Music”, from Midnight Thirsts 2) Most of my Promise Me books reference at least one song (Like Lady in Red, from The Oath).
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Realistically, the studio would likely make the characters younger, and pick someone they wanted who I wouldn’t know at all. LOL I can imagine several older actors for each of my characters that would do a stellar job. But if I had my choice, for the Promise Me characters and Lash? Rob Lowe for Devlin, Richard Gere for Danial, Russell Crowe for Theo, and Antonio Bandaras for Lash. Sarelle would be played with greatness by either Dominique McElligott (of Hell on Wheels) or Robin Tunney (Mentalist, The Craft) or possibly Reese Witherspoon. Those are the greats I imagine when I’m detailing out a scene.
Where were you when you got your first contract?
I was sitting on my bed, writing a short horror story.
Who did you tell first?
My husband. I ran screaming into his study and scared him. But he was happy for me, when I stopped having hysterics
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
Sixteen. It was Three Wishes, by Jude Deveraux, I think.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
If you still have one of those pesky non-writing jobs what is it?
I work at a metal fabrication shop as a safety and health manager, just like my character Sar. In the morning meetings, it’s 12 guys, and me. It’s stressful sometimes, but I feel very lucky to work for a boss who appreciates that I write, and is flexible with my work hours. I think I’ve used all the guy’s names in horror stories at least once.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
I’m terrible to write with, I have to admit. Writing The Allure of the Serial Killer with my husband led to some of the worst fights we’ve ever had. But I do like collaborating with him. I’d also like to collaborate with Jenny Twist and Tori Ridgewood in the future possibly, if I can learn to behave myself
How do you pick your characters names?
Some victims in horror stories are named for people who’ve offended me. Others are just random names. Some are from people I know that I like their names. Daryl from The Origin of Fear, for example, is the shop foreman where I work. He is not pleased that his namesake died in the book. LOL Lash is my grandmother’s maiden name. Some names are made up creations, like Sarelle, or Danial.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
It depends on the characters. Sam and Harrison (of Return to Me) had love at first sight, but waited to consummate it until she was old enough. I believe in lust at first sight, yes. Love takes time to develop usually. But there is certainly a strong feeling sometimes when you look at someone, and realize in a split second that they are who you are supposed to be with. I remember feeling that with my husband on our second date, and I was so floored by it I was in a daze for the next ten minutes. I knew he was the one I was meant to be with. But I didn’t love him immediately in that moment. I grew to love him the more time we spent together.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
I say “I write other genres in addition to romance” Seriously, anyone who writes anything is a writer, no matter if you are churning out bestsellers, or writing for your local paper. What matters is sharing what you have to give with others. We can’t all be literary geniuses, though I have met some, like T. Fox Dunham, and they are just as supportive and kind as other writers.
Where can readers find you?
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Godiva truffles. But I devour any and all chocolate, unless it has fruit filling