Leave a comment to win one of two print copies of The Wolf Who Loved Me--US and Canada only please. Please make sure we have a way to contact you. Long and Short Reviews welcomes Tammy Falkner and Ava Stone of North Carolina, also known as Lydia Dare, whose newest book The Wolf Who Loved Me was released this month. They are currently working on the tenth book in their series—the story of Archer Hadley (one of Dashiel Thorpe's younger half-brothers), Viscount Radbourne, and Lady Sophia Cole. Each of the authors are also working on their individual series. Tammy is writing the second installment in her Unpardonable Errors series, which will begin with A Lady and her Magic in September, and Ava is writing The English Lieutenant's Lady, the second installment in her Heroes Returned series, which will be out this summer.
They told me that coming up with their pen name was worse than naming a child. First, they had to agree. Then it had to be something that wasn't too close to any other author, porn stars, or criminals. The domain name also had to be available. They finally decided on Lydia Dare and it stuck.
Tammy told me she didn't want to commute to and from work after her youngest child was born—she wanted to enjoy those early years. She gave up her corporate job to stay home and began to read voraciously. Characters began to appear to her, so she wrote their stories. She sold the first book she ever wrote and has been writing ever since.
She also told me she's never suffered from writer's block—that as long as she can get her "butt in the chair," the rest follows.
"Sure, sometimes I don’t know what my characters want to do or where they won’t to go, but that’s not writer’s block," she admitted, "it’s me being unorganized."
They don't plan much when they are working on the Lydia Dare books. They come up with a general topic as well as a hero and a heroine. It's important for them to cast the characters first, so they both "see" the same people. Ava does a big family tree for the characters, because she has to know where they came from before they can figure out where the characters are going. They decide what their main conflict is and then they start writing, 1500 words at a time. Neither of them know what the other will come up with when it's her time with the pages, so they just go with the flow.
The titles are usually old movie titles with a paranormal twist, because Ava is a big movie buff.
Ava told me that whichever book she is working on at the time is her favorite, because she has to connect so closely with the characters.
"With that said, there is something I love about my solo book A Scandalous Pursuit," she admitted. "I think it’s the devilish hero."
Tammy said the hardest part about writing for her is keeping all the other stories out of her head long enough to finish the one she's working on at the time.
"I have characters knocking on the door to my mind all the time, and, if I let them, they would move in and refuse to leave until I get their stories on paper," she explained.
When Tammy's not writing, she admitted that she's the ultimate sports mom.
"I enjoy nothing more than following my teenager from place to place so I embarrass him from the stands. And my youngest who is eight just started gymnastics, so I get to learn a brand new sport and follow him around for at least the next ten years. I can’t wait!"
"Have either one of you ever eaten a crayon?" I asked.
" No, not that I am aware of," Tammy said. "But when my son was small, we had a cocker spaniel that devoured box after box of crayons. She went around snarfing them up like a vacuum cleaner. And pooped rainbows. It never hurt her and she really did love them. She also loved chewing up garden hoses into one inch bits. Crazy dog."
Tammy admitted to being both a plotter and a pantser. Ava is very character driven, and Tammy is very plot driven. However, they can't plot too much or they will stifle one another. When they trade pages, they have to know that the story is going to go where it's going and they can't control it.
"What was the most embarrassing thing your mother ever did to you?" I wondered.
"I have a sister who is five years younger than me. We look nothing alike now and we didn’t growing up either," Ava said. "But for some reason, my mother always made us dress in matching clothes. We would end up looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito in Twins. I was mortified half the time I left the house."
Ava was the yearbook sports editor while she was in high school and thought it was perfect.
"I wasn’t necessarily in any cliques. But everyone was nice to me, especially the athletes," she said. "They all wanted to be in the yearbook after all."
"What would we find under your bed?" I asked.
Tammy told me, " Most of the time, you’d find a cat under my bed. But only when I’m in the room. Any other time, they like to wallow all over my bed and spread hair around. When I come in the room, they dive under the bed, particularly the feral one we just inherited when my mother in law died a few months ago. I’d rather have inherited furniture. But she’s growing on me. I just wish she’d grow on our other cats as quickly."
She also told me that her family is what makes her happy.
"I don’t know where I would be without them. My husband, even after 19 years, still gives me that Tender-Sweet-Sense-of-Belonging. My boys are amazing and there are 9 years between them. (Let me tell you – you do it differently when you’re older!). My parents are a huge part of my life and that of my children. And the memories of those who have passed on support me, even in their absence. Life is like a book you can open again and again and read no matter the time or day, even after someone has left us."
About the Author: http://www.lydiadare.com/.
Find the author online at:
THE WOLF WHO LOVED ME BY LYDIA DARE – IN STORES APRIL 2012
Regency England Has Gone to the Wolves!
Lady Madeline Hayburn Has Money Problems...
Specifically, she has so much of it that she's dogged by fortune hunters, including her bewilderingly attractive, penniless neighbor, with his wild nature and uncouth manners...
Weston Hadley Has An Identity Crisis...
Specifically, he's just turned into a wolf while Madeline was watching. Now it's up to the regal lady to tame the wild beast... if she can...