There isn’t a job I love more than chatting with some of today’s most incredible authors. Today I have award-winning author Tamara Hogan. I am dancing on the ceiling, doing a happy Irish jig in excitement that Tamara is here. After catching my breath, I am ready, set to go. Please make Tamara feel warm and welcome as we get started.
While chowing down on my favorite veggie lover’s pizza I was flipping through one of several of my RT Book Reviews magazines. I came across the fabulous fun article by Liz French, Stephanie Klose, Faygie Levy and Elissa Petruzzi titled “Legacy of Love.” In short, the article explained about how the market might be changing, but romance, which I agree whole heartedly, is forever. Tamara, my curious readers and I would love to know your thoughts on what you believe is the “Legacy of Love.”
TH: Fascinating question, and thanks so much for the invitation to spend some time with you and your readers today! When I think of the word ‘legacy’, my first mental associations are historical. Think about how radically the concepts of love and marriage have evolved, just within the last two hundred years! We’ve gone from a wholly patriarchal system where women, having little choice in the matter and with no expectation of tender feelings on either side, were given by their fathers to other men as a way to contractually secure land and seal alliances; to both parties assessing their softer feelings and having a greater sense of choice and agency, but only if you happened to share a skin color; to both parties expecting a strong emotional connection, having even more choice in whom they married, but only if the interested parties didn’t share a gender; to a place, now, where an increasing number of states are saying, “You know what? They love each other. They’re committed to each other. Should gender really matter?” This issue remains a challenging and divisive one, but I, for one, am glad that the very definition of marriage has evolved over time. This evolution makes it possible for romance readers and writers to explore and experience the broadest range of the expression of love, in all its beauty and complexity. This, to me, is the legacy of love.
You’re in the thick of your first series, The Underbelly Chronicles. Can you tell us more about it?
TH: The Underbelly Chronicles series is set in modern day Minneapolis, in a world where incubi, succubi, sirens, valkyries, vampires, werewolves and faeries live undetected alongside humankind, and are ruled by their own governing council. Each book in the series follows one couple as they solve smaller pieces of a much larger mystery, come to love and appreciate each other, and earn a hard-won happily ever after.
This is your second installment in the Underbelly Chronicles series. CHASE ME is a wonderfully rich love story with two very engaging protagonists. Can you tell us more about it?
TH: One of the continuing strands in this series is the paranormal creatures’ origin story: how did these paranormal creatures come to share the planet with us? In Chase Me, Valkyrie archaeologist Lorin Schlessinger has finally found evidence that the remote dig she and her mother have been working for years is the crash site of their ancestors’ ship. Due to a rather serious screw-up, her professional nemesis, werewolf geologist Gabe Lupinsky, is assigned as her dig manager. And the sparks fly.
How difficult was it to research for CHASE ME? Plus, did you learn something in this research that you didn’t know before?
TH: One of the most rewarding aspects of researching this story was interviewing Bruce Koenen, who works at the
Office of the State Archaeologist. ( Minnesota has a state archaeological office? Who
knew? Not me, and I’ve lived in Minnesota my entire life.) But Bruce was a wonderful
source of information about four-season archaeological practices—Minnesota sure
ain’t Egypt—and he provided me with a lot of insight into Minnesota’s recent geological
history that helped me create a hopefully authentic dig site. Minnesota
CHASE ME is set a paranormal Romance/Fantasy. What about this genre piqued your interest? Why write paranormal?
TH: I’ve been reading romance since I was ten years old, long before paranormal existed as a specific romance sub-genre. In 1976, I read a novel that made a huge impression on me: Anne Rice’s Interview With the Vampire. It wouldn’t take much for me to argue that Interview was the first paranormal romance I ever read—and yeah, the romance is homoerotic. But as I read the book, I got pulled into the gothic world Rice created, into her exploration of good and evil, and of the human condition, via the vampires who lived her dark, rotted
. So vivid, so evocative. I heard this
mental ‘click’ that let me know I was home. New Orleans
Okay, I want to give a warm welcome to Lorin Schlessinger and Gabe Lupinsky (waving frantically, trying to get the besotted couple’s attention). I know you two have gone through a lot to get to your happily ever after so I will try to be brief. (Blushes scarlet as she catches the intimate glance between the newlyweds, clears her throat).Okay, so you two are still in the honeymoon stage, I see. I would like to know what each of you thought when you first laid eyes on the other. Was it love at first sight?
Lorin: Definitely not. I thought he was a massive pain in the ass. Gorgeous, smart, but WAY too uptight and straight-laced. Always so…organized.
Gabe: Um, I believe we’ve put the uptight and straight-laced myths to bed, so to speak? And if I’m not mistaken, I think you’ve come to realize that a little detail orientation can be a very good thing. ;-)
Lorin, when was the moment you knew that Gabe was for you?
Lorin: When I tried to sleep with someone else, and just couldn’t do it. Very odd.
Gabe, name one thing about Lorin that you believe changed your outlook on love.
Gabe: How hard she went to bat for me at that Council meeting, when my own Alpha suggested that she risked ‘tainting’ the Valkyrie line of succession if she and I were to have children due to my family’s health issues. Valkyrie love to fight, but when they’re fighting on your behalf? Unstoppable.
Lorin and Gabe, I absolutely adore you two. If you could turn back time, would you?
Lorin: While I’d love to turn back time and learn more about the crash that marooned our ancestors here on Earth, I’d only do it if I knew I could turn the clock forward again when I was done.
Gabe: I’d prefer to turn the clock forward, to the future. Will technology advance to the degree that a treatment might be found before I lose my eyesight? What will humanity do, if anything, about climate change? Will we ever find evidence that proves that there’s intelligent life beyond Earth? Such huge questions. I think the answers are more likely to be found by looking forward, not backward.
Lorin, did you have any apprehension about getting involved with Gabe?
Lorin: I thought he was way too uptight for me, but to be honest, my primary concern was more about me. Before I met Gabe, a physical relationship had always been enough. And make no mistake; he’s a fabulous lover, but I didn’t know what to do about the feelings, the emotions. I’d never been in love before, so I didn’t recognize what was happening to me, and I certainly didn’t have the vocabulary talk about it. Gabe will probably always be more comfortable talking about the emotional side of our relationship than I’ll be, but I’m working on it.
Gabe, what about you? Did you have a sliver of doubt about involving yourself into Lorin’s life?
Gabe: Definite doubts. Initially, I thought she was just looking for someone to sleep with, to help her bleed off some excess sexual energy, as all Valkyrie must do. I thought I was okay with that, but eventually I realized my feelings were getting more involved than I’d intended, and I was pretty sure hers weren’t. The Valkyrie Princess and a Lupinsky mutt? Puh-leeze. She was completely out of my league.
Do you, Lorin and Gabe, believe that love conquers all?
Lorin: I believe love makes it easier to solve the problems that life throws in our path – the serious, and the not-so-serious. Things always seem easier with a trusted partner to help shoulder the load. Having someone at your back, and a safe place to fall, makes all the difference in the world.
One more thing before I let you go. Do you believe that everything you two went through to find one another, fall in love and find your happily ever after was worth the price you had to pay?
Lorin: Certainly. Gabe’s eyesight is failing, but (shrug) I could get hit by a car today on my way home from work. None of us knows what the future will bring. Me? I’ll grab onto happiness with both hands, and appreciate every day I’m fortunate enough to receive.
Gabe: What price? She loves me. What more can a man want?
Now back to Tamara.
Tamara, when you were writing Lorin and Gabe’s story was there a scene that popped out the most?
TH: I have a unique – okay, call it odd – affinity for villains. After all, they’re the heroes of their own stories, right? And they nearly always have a motivation for what they do, even if no one else understands it. So the scene that pops out the most for me is the one where my sophisticated vampire villain, Beddoe, goes to a northern
dive bar to learn what he can about the
archaeological dig down the road. His data is woefully out of date. The place
smells odd. He has a hard time understanding the locals’ slang, and there are
dead animal heads hanging on the wall. Trying to see this familiar setting
through fresh eyes was a great point of view workout. Minnesota
Out of the books you have written, was there one book that was more emotional to write? Or did they stand alone, emotional wiping you out as they all did for me? =)
TH: Having finished two manuscripts with a third coming on hard, I think the piece I find most challenging is dealing with the learning curve—not just learning about a business and industry that changes every day, but also learning about my personal writing process. I’m still figuring out how I write. You’d think that being a process analyst for my day job would help, but I’m not finding that this is the case. ;-) TASTE ME, my debut novel published last year, is getting some love on the contest circuit. This month has been wicked busy, with CHASE ME’s release, a blog tour, and other promotional activities. My third manuscript is due to my publisher in a little over a month. Balancing the work is a continual, exhilarating challenge!
Tamara, what is more difficult to write: an intense sexual scene or a heart-wrenching emotional scene? Why?
TH: I tend not to distinguish between the two. I write in very deep third person point of view, so I try to provide the reader with intimate access to the point of view character’s physical and emotional reactions in every scene!
When you were writing the Underbelly Chronicles series did you have music playing in the background? If yes, what type? Does music play an intricate part in your writing?
TH: Music is a very important component of my writing routine, if only because wearing a headset blocks out the rest of the world - I do most of my writing in my hometown coffee shop. As I set up each morning, I think about the scene I’m about to work on. Which character has point of view rights, and what emotional vibe do I need to convey? Then I pick a band whose sound seems to align. For example, I listen to a lot of Manson, The Prodigy, or Alice In Chains when I’m writing from my villain’s point of view. Tender, sensual love scenes? Roxy Music and Seal are my instinctive choices. According to iTunes, I could listen to my iPod for over a month without hearing the same song twice. Um, yeah, I definitely have a lot of music.
Tamara, please share with desperate readers where they can connect with you in cyber world. =)
What’s next on the horizon for you? When can readers expect to see your next Underbelly Chronicles release?
TH: For anyone going to The Romance Writers of America’s National Conference in Anaheim in July, I’ll be doing a workshop on writing intriguing villains called “Superbad: How Unleashing Your Villain Can Unlock Your Story.” While I’m there, I’ll learn if TASTE ME won the PRISM Award! I’m also finishing up the manuscript for TEMPT ME, Bailey and Rafe’s story, which will be published by Sourcebooks next summer.
Tamara, you rocked RCJR eZine blog and its readers. Thank you so much for stopping by to dish about Lorin and Gabe from your new Sourcebooks paranormal romance release CHASE ME.
CHASE ME BY TAMARA HOGAN – IN STORES JUNE 2012
THE SECRETS SHE'S UNCOVERING WILL BE HIS TO KEEP...
Centuries ago, when their ship crashed to Earth, paranormals of all types settled secretly into our world, quietly going about their business with humans none the wiser. Self–ruling and careful to stay below the radar, all is threatened when Valkyrie archaeologist Lorin Schlessinger and her werewolf geologist partner Gabe Lupinsky inadvertently draw evil attention to Earth and its treasured natural resources.
As the threat intensifies, Lorin and Gabe struggle to contain the chaos they've unleashed, and to resist their explosive mutual attraction...
“Hogan’s sharp, funny dialogue and strong but subtle character development elevate both the story and the fierce chemistry between insecure, bespectacled Gabe and lusty, aggressive Lorin. Paranormal fans will enjoy this fresh take on the genre.” — Publishers Weekly
Read an excerpt here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tamara Hogan loathes cold and snow, but nonetheless lives near
her partner Mark and two naughty cats. When she's not telecommuting as a
quality and process engineer for a global networking company, she enjoys
writing edgy urban fantasy romance with a sci-fi twist.
A feral reader with an unapologetic television addiction, Tammy is
forever on the lookout for the perfect black boots. Her debut, Taste Me, was a
2009 Daphne Paranormal Winner and 2009 Golden Heart Finalist. Minneapolis
THE PRIZE: One (1) lucky reader will win a copy of CHASE ME by Tamara Hogan.
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