Posted by Susan Sey Oct 7 2013, 12:19 am in October guests, Social Media, Susan Sey, tamara hogan, truth, Twitter
You know how sometimes you have to do something for your own good? Like going to the dentist, say, or working out. You know you’re going to hate it but you do it anyway, because it’s good for you. With me, it’s joining stuff. I hate meetings. Committees are worse. I prefer to stay at home in my pjs, talking to the voices in my head. (I call them “characters.”) But Mr. Sey insists I get dressed & go out from time to time, so I joined my local writers’ group.
And–as happens sometimes when you do things that are good for you–I was rewarded. I met Tamara Hogan. It’s always great to meet somebody whose writing you love (and I do love Tammy’s writing), but it’s far more unusual to like the person as much as the book. And with Tammy, I do. She’s one of those rare people who tells the truth & does it in such a wry, funny way that instead of being taken aback, you’re all, “I *know*, right??”
To celebrate the release of her novel TEMPT ME, Tammy’s agreed to join us today for a discussion of that ever-complicated intersection of truth and Twitter. Let’s give her a big bandita welcome! Take it away, Tammy!
Thanks, Susan! I’m delighted to be here today. Let’s get down to the dirty truth, shall we?
You know how it goes on Facebook and Twitter for the denizens of Romancelandia. In and amongst the fun personal interactions, the RTing of the news of the day or of quirky stories, the chatting with friends, the snark-o-licious live-tweeting of your favorite TV shows, comes the business of writing: the promotion, and the humble-bragging. We’ve all done it—tweeted great news like a contest final or win, or making a list. Someone will tweet that they wrote 5000 words today. (That person would not be me.) We might retweet an awesome review of one of our books, quoting the tweet and adding a chirpy “Thanks so much!” or “How awesome!” to get double the mileage out of that precious link. In public, we are relentlessly, manically positive. But in private? Sometimes not so much.
Here are some things you never see authors say on Twitter:
“I wrote 118 words today—every bloody one of them pulled out from under my fingernails with a rusty pliers.”
“Sales…really aren’t that great.”
“My royalty checks don’t even pay for conferences.”
“Why can’t I get a release date for my book?”
“My publisher dropped me today.”
My publisher dropped me.
Yes, I knew this happened—this is a tough, tough business—but I hadn’t seriously considered it would happen to me. My editor loves my work! My books are well-reviewed! They’ve won, like, awards and stuff! But sometimes love isn’t enough. Love doesn’t necessarily translate to sales, and this is a business. What my former publisher and I were doing together wasn’t working as well as either of us would have liked.
Several years ago, being dropped by my publisher would have been a crushing disappointment. Now? Not so much—though I must admit it took a day or two to bang the ding out of my ego. The industry has changed radically since 2009, when I signed a traditional publishing contract. There are now so many ways for authors to get their words into the world.
So with TEMPT ME, I join the ranks of indie-published authors, and it’s here that I need to offer infinite thanks to my friend, Susan Sey—for sharing her knowledge, for reminding me I’m a damn good writer, and for listening to me say things an author never says on Twitter.
You are a damn good writer, Tammy, & I’m delighted you’ve got a foot on the indie side of the fence! Because I’ve been following the Underbelly Chronicles since the beginning & I’d have been torqued if I’d been deprived of Bailey & Rafe’s story!
Speaking of which, TEMPT ME is available at: Amazon (Kindle and Print) – BN – ARe (Sony, Kobo & iBookstore are coming soon!)
Want to read an excerpt? Click away!
Now, then, time for our question of the day: If you’re a reader, which vaguely “inappropriate” questions have you always wanted to ask an author? If you’re an author, what do you wish you could say on Twitter?
One lucky commenter today will win a copy of TEMPT ME for her very own, e- or print version! So don’t hold back!
Stock images courtesy of Free Digital Photos, mouse over for artist attribution
TEMPT ME Blurb:
A sex demon and a preacher’s kid? Heaven forbid!
Technology whiz Bailey Brown is one of two humans alive who knows a very important secret: that humanity has shared their planet with paranormals for millennia. When an obsessed hacker from her past threatens to expose the secret, Bailey and her Sebastiani Security colleagues must use every weapon at their disposal to stop him. The stakes couldn’t be higher, and she can’t let herself be distracted by her boss’s gorgeous brother, even if he is temptation incarnate…
Incubus sculptor Rafe Sebastiani hasn’t produced a decent nude in over a year, since he made the most selfish mistake of his life: sleeping with Bailey Brown. Now, with a deadline looming, his cranky muse has finally allowed him to express his memories of that incendiary night in clay. But when his brother asks him to pose as Bailey’s lover to provoke her dangerous ex, he jumps at the chance…to sculpt her, to protect her, and to earn the right to tempt her—and only her—for the rest of their lives…
Tamara Hogan loathes cold and snow, but nonetheless lives near Minneapolis with her partner Mark and two naughty cats. When she’s not telecommuting to Silicon Valley, she writes paranormal romance with a sci-fi twist. A voracious reader with an unapologetic television addiction, Tamara is forever on the lookout for the perfect black boots.
Tamara’s debut novel, TASTE ME, won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Mystery and Suspense, Prism Awards for Best Dark Paranormal, Best First Book, and Best of the Best, The Aspen Gold, and was nominated for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® Award.
Posted by Susan Sey Oct 1 2013, 12:01 am in Amy Andrews, Anna Campbell, Annie West, Caren Crane, Christie Kelley, coming attractions, contests, Debra Webb, gerry russell, reading, Regan Black, sarah jane stone, tamara hogan, Trish Milburn
I love fall. There’s so much to look forward to–chunky sweaters, soft scarves, fresh-picked apples. Then there’s the first frost, first pumpkin pie, first crockpot chili… Some among us might say football season (I’m looking at you, Suz & Jeanne) but some of us married Nebraskans without full disclosure about much of every weekend would be sacrificed to televised Husker coverage. (It’s extensive. I should’ve been warned.)
But here in the Lair, there’s something for everybody! And October is looking awesome. Check out what’s in store for you!
Love a good historical? Check out Christie Kelly’s new release ENTICING THE EARL!
More into the witty contemporary? Caren Crane’s KICK START is now available as a trade paperback!
Looking for something a little darker? How about Trish Milburn’s OUT OF THE NIGHT?
Click on the covers for more details!
On Wednesday, October 2nd, Anna Campbell hosts lair favorite Annie West (www.annie-west.com), who’ll tell us about her latest passionate tale, AN ENTICING DEBT TO PAY. Annie’s always great fun and we look forward to hearing about what’s going on in her life! Plus she’s giving away two copies of her new book!
On Thursday, October 3rd, our own Caren Crane will host Regan Black and Debra Webb as they discuss the Magic of Mentors. Regan and Debra will share what makes their professional friendship so beneficial – and so productive. They’ll be giving away an autographed BULLETPROOF totebag & a $10 Amazon gift card, so swing on by!
On Friday, October 4th, Sara Jane Stone will be celebrating her debut release, COMMAND PERFORMANCE, with us! Tawny says that this is one hot, hot debut, so you might want to wear oven mitts. One lucky commenter will receive her own e-copy of COMMAND PERFORMANCE!
On Monday, October 7th, Susan Sey invites Tamara Hogan to talk about all the things authors should never say on Twitter (but maybe want to.) Come hear all about it, & maybe win a copy of Tamara’s latest release TEMPT ME!
On Friday, October 11, Christine Brooks bring us another lair favorite–the fabulous Amy Andrews with her brand new release from Momentum, HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO.
On Monday, October 21, Nancy welcomes Gerri Russell back to the Lair. Gerri will talk to us about her new release, A LAIRD FOR CHRISTMAS, and dating customs in the 1700s.
Anna Campbell is holding a Halloween contest to celebrate a month-long price cut on her very romantic ghost story, THESE HAUNTED HEARTS, which is now only 99 cents. She’s giving away two copies of the novella (international). All you need to do is email her on email@example.com and tell her the name of her 2012 Christmas novella featuring Alicia and Sebastian. You might just find the answer on Anna’s book page: http://annacampbell.info/books.html For more information, please visit Anna’s contest page: http://annacampbell.info/contest.html
And that’s just what I can round up in advance! Stuff is always cropping up last minute, so make sure to stay tuned!
Turning over that calendar page always brings surprises–some welcome, some not so much. Any surprises on your agenda this week?
Posted by Susan Sey Jun 29 2012, 12:29 am in interviews, paranormal romance, sci fi, Susan Sey, tamara hogan, urban fantasy
Hello, Bandita Buddies! Today, for your reading pleasure, I’ve brought you Tamara Hogan. I first met Tammy in our local RWA chapter where we were both aspiring writers, nervously clutching our manuscripts and our dreams. Tammy sold the first three books of her Underbelly Chronicles to Sourcebooks following a Golden Heart final in 2009, & I’ve been gobbling them up ever since. She’s here today to talk to us about the second book in the series, CHASE ME.
Susan Sey: Hi, Tammy, and welcome! Give us the set up for your latest release in the Underbelly Chronicles, CHASE ME. This is Gabe and Lorin’s story, isn’t it? Both of whom we met in book one, TASTE ME?
Tamara Hogan: Millennia ago, when their ship crashed to Earth, hopelessly marooning them, extra-planetary species 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, their secret is almost exposed when Valkyrie Lorin Schlessinger makes a stunning archaeological discovery while on a dig in northern Minnesota. Her professional nemesis, werewolf geologist Gabe Lupinsky, is quickly dispatched to perform some damage control. Though they were both dating other people at the time, Lorin and Gabe shared a scene – and some sparks – in TASTE ME. Half a year later, away from the constraints of the office, neither is attached, and…well, you know what they say: What happens in Isabella stays in Isabella. Except when it doesn’t.
SS: I love it that your books are set in our beloved Minnesota! And northern Minnesota to boot! Isabella! Love that town. And speaking of setting, tell us about this world you’ve created with the Underbelly Chronicles. What particularly appeals to you about this particular take on sci-fi/urban fantasy?
TH: I’m a complete hoor for science—cosmology, theoretical physics, archaeology, computer hacking, astrophysics, science fiction and science fact. I can’t remember a time when space did not fascinate me: the ungodly distance. The long time horizons. How cute Mr. Spock was. I’ve long thought that sheer math supported the possibility that humanity isn’t the only intelligent life in the universe. As the character Ellie Arroway says in the movie Contact, “If it’s just us, it seems like an awful waste of space.”
So I got to wondering, what if the answer to one of our era’s defining existential questions—are we alone?—has already been answered, and humanity simply doesn’t know it yet?
SS: Oooooh, chills! That question alone could lead to hundreds of books! Tell us about how you answered it.
TH: In this series I crafted a backstory where a ship of extra-planetary beings—just going about their business, and en route to somewhere else—crashed here thousands of years ago. Their descendants have been sharing the planet with us ever since, with humanity being none the wiser. On the ship were a number of species who evolved on adjacent branches of humanity’s family tree, with some strengths and abilities that are not magical by any means, but which provided distinct survival advantages on their planets of origin.
In the world that I’ve created, incubi and succubi secrete luscious pheromones maximizing their sexual attractiveness, and must absorb emotional energy—particularly sexual energy— for sustenance. Sirens amplify emotional energy with their voices. The Valkyrie have hyperactive adrenal systems which makes them vicious fighters and aggressive lovers. Werewolves, the only shape shifters in my world, typically have amazing scenting abilities and a high level of visual acuity, but are starting to exhibit some genetic frailties as a species due to inbreeding. Faeries have stunning empathic abilities, and my vampires, allergic to Earth’s UV rays, drink blood for its hemoglobin, which has healing properties.
I also wanted to suggest that all is not necessarily well environment-wise on other planets. CHASE ME’s villain, the vampire Beddoe, is horrified to find that the locals use water—rare, precious water—to wash their bodies. Such wasteful use is a crime punishable by death on his homeworld.
SS: See, this is what makes me love your world-building! You do it in such an organic way. Same goes for the paranormal aspect of your work. The way you use the supernatural elements of the story to underscore the really human elements of the romance is fascinating. For example, Gabe’s failing vision feeds his insecurity about whether he’s an adequate match for Lorin, while Lorin herself struggles with whether her raging attraction to Gabe is love or just her Valkyrie appetites in action. Can you talk a little bit about how that works? Did you deliberately write it that way, or did it happen more organically?
TH: Crafting Lorin and Gabe with these specific character attributes was deliberate, but I never dared imagine how well these choices might drive the conflict, and pull together thematically. One of the things I wanted to try with CHASE ME was to flip the traditional paranormal/UF gender tropes upside down. It’s Lorin, the heroine, who’s the rough and tumble, sexually aggressive alpha badass, and Gabe, the hero, who’s more cautious and deliberate, who’s protective of his feelings, and who, ultimately, is not at all satisfied with the strictly sexual relationship Lorin proposes. I also wanted to explore the concept of masculinity and strength through the lens of a man who had chronic health problems. Let me reassure readers that Gabe is plenty alpha when the situation calls for it! ;-)
SS: Mmmmmmm. Yes. Yes, he is. Having read CHASE ME, I can attest to this personally. :-) And while I adore your heroes, I truly love your way with a villain. What can you tell us about the villain of CHASE ME?
TH: Ah, the sophisticated vampire Beddoe, wheeler and dealer, captain of the intergalactic pleasure cruiser TonTon. When the ship is underway, his word is law—but his boss, Lorcan, has an extremely long reach, having placed at least one spy on his bridge. He’s almost saved enough money to buy this remote mudball of a planet and its precious water outright when a homing beacon from the long-lost Arkapaedis unexpectedly pops on the planet’s surface, threatening to bring scientists, bounty hunters and all manner of profiteers swarming to the quadrant. Before it blips again, he has to shut it down, once and for all. The scene when Beddoe walks into a northern Minnesota dive bar looking for information while the locals watch the Stanley Cup was my favorite to write. What a blast to see this familiar setting through completely alien (ha!) eyes…
SS: I loved that scene. So what’s next for you? Another Underbelly book, or are you branching out?
TH: I’m just finishing the manuscript for the third book in the Underbelly Chronicles series. TEMPT ME, Bailey and Rafe’s story, is slated for publication in July 2013. Book 1, TASTE ME, is getting some love on the contest circuit, having recently been named a WisRWA Write Touch and PRISM paranormal finalist.
For anyone going to the Romance Writers of America conference in Anaheim in late July, Susan and I are doing a workshop called “Superbad: How Unleashing Your Villain Can Unlock Your Story” which— fair warning— will NOT be recorded due to its interactive nature. (And yeah, because there’s outside chance the language might get a little, erm, spicy.)
SS: Because we’re naughty like that. :-) I’ve had to clean up my language since I had kids, & I tend to cut loose when I’m on vacation. I’ll apologize in advance.
TH: If you’re there, please say “hi!”
Question for readers: Do you think humanity is the sole intelligent life in the universe? Why or why not?
Today, Sourcebooks is giving away paperback copies of CHASE ME to two lucky commenters! (Sorry, U.S. and Canadian street addresses only.)
Tamara Hogan loathes cold and snow, but nonetheless lives near Minneapolis with 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 voracious reader with an unapologetic television addiction, Tammy is forever on the lookout for the perfect black boots. Shopping, anyone?
Tammy’s first book, TASTE ME, won a Daphne du Maurier Award for Mystery and Suspense, and was also nominated for the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart® Award.
For more on Tamara and the Underbelly Chronicles, check her out on:
Her website, Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads
CHASE ME Buy Links:
(Amz | BN | Sourcebooks | Powell’s | BAM | Sony | Kobo | iBooks)
Read an excerpt!