Tara Fox Hall
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Scarred from a childhood spent in constant indigence, teen years infused with ill-gotten affluence as the son of an influential criminal, and finally into adulthood rife with complications—weresnake Trystan Valeras is hardened into the titular Lash: a whip-wielding killer with a talent for violence and a thirst for vengeance.
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m originally from New York State…and I’m still here. J I got an Associate Degree in Science from Broome Community College, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Math (with minors in Biology and Chemistry) from State University of New York at Binghamton. Here is my official Bio:
Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She also coauthored the essay “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” published in Serial Killers – Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). Her first e-novella, Surrender to Me, was published in September 2011. Her first full-length novel, Lash, will publish in April 2012. She divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.
As the bio says, my passions are writing and animals, with a few bullets thrown in for spice. I just donated a bunch of cat beds to the East Coast Maine Coon Cat Rescue in February to sell at a cat show for profit. I make them regularly year round for other shelters, too. It’s a way I can help besides just sending a check, especially those months when I can’t afford to donate much cash.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
The book Lash is centered on a badass weresnake who shows up in the later books of my upcoming vampire series, Promise Me. My mother, who I wrote the books for, originally didn’t like him. I felt challenged by that, and gave the character more depth, a humanity beyond his bad deeds, and hinted at a past chock full of reasons for him to be as nasty as he was. Before long, Lash was her favorite character of the Promise Me series (she likes action/adventure over romance). She liked him so much she demanded an entire book about him, with details of the events I’d hinted at. I know better than to displease Mom. Lash came into being a few months later.
How do you create your characters?
For males in my action series, I think of a woman, and take away logic and knowledge of consequences. Just kidding!
In all seriousness, many people inspire me in my life. The character of Lash is a mix of me, my husband, my various family members, with some personality traits of the guys who I work with in the metal shop. Danial, the vampire lead from Promise Me and The Oath, is a mix of my husband, me, and leading men from various films, such as Richard Gere in Pretty Woman. Devlin, the vampire from Immortal Confessions and Promise Me, is a mixture of my husband, meshed with my model of the sexiest vampire I could imagine, with some of the odder parts of my personality.
Women are harder sometimes for me to characterize. I want them to be strong, always, but not so strong that they can’t be comfortable being a woman. There’s a fine line between confident and aggressive, both in real life and in books. In addition, when using a heroine who finds her strength partway through the book (or loses it), you want to convey that believably. My perfect heroine would be someone who I would want as a best friend, or at least, someone I could identify with enough to call a friend, even if I didn’t like everything she did. I always aim for that.
What inspires you to write?
Absolutely anything and everything inspires me. For example, I just finished transferring all my cassette tapes into Itunes. Hearing some songs I hadn’t heard in years got to me on an emotional level, and made me remember events where I first hear them. For some, I’d never really listened to the words before, or understood them the way I do now years later. I kept getting inspired, and finally got a pad of paper near my computer to scribble notes on as I worked.
Another example is random conversation. I was taking some employees for medical tests last week, and a few of them said some great remarks during the ride, which then prompted an entire scene in my mind. It was all I could do to drive them back to work, where I grabbed a piece of scrap paper and hastily jotted two sentences down so I could remember the scene to write about later on.
What do you like to read?
I read anything and everything. I have been sticking lately to horror books, but I have two romances that are next on my list to read. My favorite genre would be suspense of some kind, but I don’t read that exclusively.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
Really love to write, because you’re going to have to go through a lot of pain for your work to see it in print, and even more for it to be successful, unless you are incredibly lucky. Some authors send out a few queries to agents and get picked up immediately. A big house publishes them, and they go on a book tour, and then, like magic, their book is #1. Don’t count on that happening.
That was the bad news. J The good news is there are many places online looking for short stories to publish. There are many small presses that will be eager to look over your work. If writing is in your soul, go for it! If you don’t give up, and keep trying to hone your craft, you will be a success. Sometimes, you’ll even find much-needed support in an unexpected place.
I was feeling terrible one night, this time last year. I’d counted on a certain agent making my dreams come true, and it had fallen through in the worst way. This came right after a small press taking me to the cusp of signing with them, and then also dropping me cold. I was ready to quit, and forget about a writing career. Then I noticed a new email in my inbox.
I’d emailed a professor to thank him for an audio course he had done (I had bought a CD from The Great Courses, a magazine for audio and CD lectures), and he had replied. With tears rolling down my face, I poured out all my worries about never getting published at all, and asked him if I should give up. After I hit send, I immediately felt like a jerk. But I hadn’t been able to hold in my grief at being so close and losing.
Within a few minutes, he sent back a reply that was three words long “Don’t give up!” I will never forget that, or stop being grateful to him for taking the time to encourage me, a stranger he never even met.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I run a contest on my website (www.tarafoxhall.com) each month, where I give away an e-book copy of any of my releases in a random drawing on the first of the month. All you have to do is be a member of my mailing list by the last day of the previous month.
Thank you for taking the time today to visit with me.