Long and Short Reviews welcomes Tara Fox Hall whose latest novel, Promise Me, is out from Melange Books.
Tara has loved vampires ever since she saw Frank Langella in the first "hot vampire" version of Dracula. The love intensified in her later teens with The Lost Boys and reading Interview with the Vampire, along with anything else vampire she could get her hands on.
"I wanted more than the evil monster chasing young virgins; more than the sweet, misunderstood handsome fanged stranger that becomes the perfect mate for the woman who captures his heart after so many lone centuries. I wanted a vampire so well-crafted in detail that I could believe he was real. I wanted something different to happen in the story, other than girl becomes vampire, or vampire becomes dust. I wanted passion, tragedy, romance, suspense, action, and the haunting sweetness of poetry and song floating on a soft night breeze. So I penned my own vampires," she told me.
Tara's first work, Surrender to Me, was the prequel to the Promise Me vampire romantic suspense story. The first book in the series, Promise Me, follows country woman Sarelle McGarran's love affair with vampire Danial Racklan, who she discovers badly injured on her land one night. It's not long before Sarelle is drawn into Danial's world of murder, dark pleasures, and old grudges. Devlin, the hero of Surrender to Me, is the villain of this story, having lost his beloved Anna more than a century ago and still at odds with Danial over it. Adding to the mix is the half demon Terian, who was responsible for Danial ending up injured at Sar's place—he thinks Danial killed his brother.
The series doesn't belong to just Danial and Sar, even though it starts with them. Other characters, like werefoxes, demons, dhampirs, witches, faeries and, of course, other vampires also feature heavily, with their own personalities and backstory. For examples, the short story "Partners" in May 2012's Midnight Thirsts 2 anthology tells the story of how Danial, the vampire her from Promise Me, met his best friend Theo, another major character of this series. Another Midnight Thirsts 2 story, "Night Music," gives the backstory of another ally of Danial's, the vampire David Helm.
More novels will release in this series every few months, beginning with Broken Promise in Sept 2012 and Taken in the Night should release in Dec 2012. These works will be available in both print and e-book.
Tara is working on other things besides the Promise Me series. I asked her to tell us about things.
"I have several more stories in the works for anthologies, about ten currently under consideration, and a list of projects I’m interested in doing. I’ve got several half finished manuscripts that I plan to complete by the end of this summer, and submit. I’m planning on submitting a brand new tale of Latham’s Landing to a Melange Books Halloween anthology (My short horror story “Origin of Fear” from last fall’s Spellbound 2011 got great reviews). I’m also collaborating with my fellow Melange author Jenny Twist on an anthology called Twilight Tales, tentatively scheduled for release in September 2012. That will include some of our work that had only been in other anthologies, or in e-book until now, and also some brand new tales from each of us. There are also plans for my collaboration with another author on an erotic anthology slated to come out sometime this summer from Melange Books."
Most of the time the title that the public sees is not the first title the story was given. Tara will usually come up with some kind of label title, write the story, then go back and modify the title into something catchy. She always tries to have a double meaning for each title, especially longer works.
"Sometimes, though, I’ve had to change titles as the ones I picked weren’t commercially appealing, or didn’t convey what the story was about successfully," she said. "When you want to be read and stand out from the crowd, the title is often as important as the book cover. You want something that’s going to draw the reader in using words that are different from everything else being used already, but not so different that people think your book is too weird or different to be of interest. It’s a tall order to fill sometimes. At times, I think of a title first, then make an outline from that, then write the story. But half the time the story that comes out is not one that works with the existing title, so I will then change the title again."
"When did you first consider yourself a writer?" I asked.
"When I began regularly publishing inCatnip Blossoms Magazine years ago, I considered myself a writer. If you write one article, technically, you’re a writer. But when you write ten or more, it's undeniably true. The reality is though that I didn’t feel like a 'real' author/writer until I signed my first contract and saw my name in print on my book cover. It’s happened in stages for me, as I went from page articles to short stories to novellas to anthologies and now, finally, to novels. I’m glad to be here. Whew."
Tara doesn't really have a set writing space, because her writing space is wherever she needs to be to multitask. Sometimes she will be at the small dining room table working, because she will be cooking in the kitchen which is right in the next room. Sometimes she'll be at the formal dining room at the other end of the house because she will need to collaborate with her husband and his laptop is closer to the WiFi. Other times she will be in bed working in her pajamas. However, her usual working space if she's writing novels –or on something that requires all her attention—is either at the dining room table or her bedroom. She will usually have a cat or two lounging on her lap or on the bed helping to encourage her.
Her favorite story is Promise Me. It was actually the first story she wrote—the story that began everything. Tara has lived with the characters for five years, trying to get them published, so Lash, Sar, Danial, Theo, and Devlin are like old friends.
"I’m always eager to slip back into that world I created and visit with them. I went over and over the stories refining them again and again to make them the best they could possibly be," she said. "I’ll write other stories in my career, and likely even other series at some point. But Promise Me will always be special to me."
About the Author:
Find the author online at:
Tara's Blog: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5286654.Tara_Fox_Hall/blog
Tara's Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/pages/Tara-Fox-Hall/151813374904903
When young widow Sarelle McGarran finds the vampire Danial Racklan unconscious and hurt in her woods, intuitive concern quickly becomes passionate love. Together Danial and Sar work to overcome their own past heartbreaks, their vastly different lifestyles, and Danial’s relentless enemies. Yet Danial asks still more; an Oath Sar will be his forever.