They chant wicked things to frighten her.
Every morning she wakes with the same sentence ringing in her ears.
‘You’re dead. You’re dead and I just forgot to tell you.’
The problem isn’t entirely the sentence.
It’s the person she sees in her dreams chanting it.
It’s her mother.
Interview with the lovely Tara Brown
How would you introduce your books to someone that has yet to read them?
This is my kryptonite, Promo. Even worse, self promo. I’m great at writing the books, I did ten last year, but the promo is tough. I don’t even like doing the blurbs to try to make them sound all special and amazing. But since humble artists never get discovered…
*pulls off shabby robe to reveal sequined gown*
I would simply say…
“You have to read these books.”
I am kidding. I never wear sequins. But really, I am great at world building and juggling huge numbers of characters. The stories pull you in and consume you.
Vengeance, my NaNoWriMo for 2012, is amazing. You can taste the fire ale and feel the wind coming off Amillia’s swords. You can see the sweat dripping off Grayson in the underground fighting bar. It’s visual and intense. At the same time you have no choice but to see Amillia as the young girl she is no matter how hard she tries to be the warrior.
The Roses are the same.
The Light of the World is better. When the Nixie give their light and life, you can taste the spray of the cold sea water.
Born is painful and savage and the small bits of light and hope I give you heal the damage I have done to you. It is a realistic book. In some ways. Okay, that’s what I would say. But I’m Italian, so I would have the hands moving all over and knocking things about. And I would have probably pulled an imaginary sword to tell you about Vengeance. I’m somehow theatrical and an introvert. I’m an Aquarius. What can I say…
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
This time that you speak of does not exist for me. The letters and emails and death threats ensure I never stop. But let’s say I did, tots hypothetical mind you. I would hang with my girls. I have daughters who are Tweens. So fun. We have hit the chick flick era, thank you Jesus. And of course my hubby would be hanging too. Family is really important to me. We live a world away from the rest of our family, so we need and depend on each other. Plus my daughter’s are cool.
What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
DO IT!! We might be thinking about different things when I say that sentence. So let me clarify. Write. Write everyday and even when you don’t feel the need. Don’t force one book. Let the world pull you in and spit you out. I write anywhere from 4-10 books at a time. Just write until your fingers go numb. Oh and drink coffee. That is the magical secret ingredient to any good book. Well, BS and Coffee.
What’s your favorite scene/line from your works?
It would have to come from Vengeance.
The scene starts with a young girl, a princess, dressed in a red cloak, breeches and a loose shirt. She is standing on a breezeway high in the air. She is beaten down emotionally, and spiritually exhausted. The breezeway is high in the air and very thin. It has no railings. Just a stone path between a castle and a tower. It is a dark night. The wind is cold and filled with disappointments she hasn’t even begun to comprehend. She has this bracelet with a locket that shows her the face of her enemy. She is kneeling on the breezeway and glances at the locket. Faces are flashing one after the other. She looks up at the door to the castle, where armed men start running from. Because of the narrow breezeway, they can only come at her a few at a time. She pulls her double katana swords and fights to death with over fifty men. You can taste the blood in the air as screams are silenced with the final thud of the men who are dying and falling below. It was amazing to write. The visuals were incredible. I could feel her strength and brutality in me. But at the same time she is a kid. It’s hard to see her be so strong because in other parts of the book she is weak and stupid. Definitely one of my fav character.
What’s the hardest thing about writing? The easiest?
Editing is hardest. Easiest is telling the story. I feel like I’m telling the tale of a person who is telling it to me. I don’t believe it’s me that tells the story. It belongs to the characters. I get angry and hate the choices they make, the same as everyone else.
Was it hard to transition from your other books to writing this new one?
No. Not at all. Each world and each story is so different. They each have a special space in my brain and heart. The book I’m focused on now is Blackwater. It’s my dirtiest book to date. Quite feisty.
What are you currently reading?
Le sigh. Reading…I love reading. It is what I miss most about writing too much. I will be reading Flutter by Melissa Andrea, On the Plus Side by Tabitha Vargo, Hidden Wings by Cameo Renae, or Recalled by Cambria Hebert. And probably sooner than later, I would love to read Jamie McGuire’s stuff.
What books did you read as a child?
Stephen King, Sweet Valley High, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. VC Andrews (that probably explains a few things) everything I could get my mitts on. Anne Rice. Love her.
How has your life changed since you began writing?
Writing ate it all up and swallowed and I’m currently in the bowels somewhere. Haha. No, it has consumed it though. I look homeless. A lot. Sometimes I look at my one hand and it is saying shower and the other hand says answer fan mail, blog, finish that chapter, approve cover page changes. The shower has such a tiny voice compared to the others.
Do you listen to music while you write?
Every moment. I don’t believe I could write without music. Lumineers, Sean Paul, Kesha, Lana Del Ray, Fun, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Snow Patrol, Damien Rice (Yes Please), Angus and Julia Stone, Lykke Li, Radiohead, Nina Simone, Bon Iver, I can’t even remember them all. I have playlists for emotions. And I always listen on repeat. Sometimes one song, sometimes ten, usually four.
What’s been your favorite moment as an author?
A man wrote me that he had not read a book in a decade. He read my Roses series and he’s reading all the time now. That was amazing. Partly cause it was a dude. Like come on. How fab is that??!!
Out of all of your characters, who is your favorite?
Why must I choose…can I pick who I most want to have relations with hahahahaha. Okay okay. It has to be Lorelei Huntington. From Blackwater. She is amazing. She starts her life so stupid and confused. She is a debutant in the south. She is a moron. Clueless and naive. Her strength comes to her quickly. She doesn’t fall for the guy when she discovers what he is. She runs. She stays one step ahead of him for 50 years. His love is consuming and treacherous and she sees it. I’m not saying eventually there isn’t some bow chicka wow wow, but she is smart when she needs to be. And besides who doesn’t want to be chased around the world by a sexy creature of the night, who only wants to show you how good love can feel? But honestly, I love that she isn’t a doormat. She sees the things wrong with the love. She sees her value.
For me her strength and growth go in the right direction where as Amillia from Vengeance, she goes backwards to me. She becomes vulnerable and weaker and discovers she needs people. But hey, even Zena Warrior Princess needed help sometimes.
What do you want readers to take away from your books?
Since I am giving them my heart and soul, adoration for me. Hahaha. *takes off sequined gown and pulls on shabby robe*…I hope they get mental and emotional escape. I want it to make them feel all the emotions and have them feel real, but not be real. A mental holiday. I want them to get caught up in the smells and the sounds. Get lost in the feel of love’s first kiss. Books save us from the monotony of life and responsibility. Books bring us around the world and help us try on different shoes and a plethora of hats, without having to get dressed or leave the house. We are a confusing species. We want the things we can’t have and the guys who aren’t good for us, but at the same time we want the responsible guy at home and some peace and quiet. I always think of the Hobbit and the way the Hobbits are. They like the simple things in life, everyday life. Relaxing calm peace. Good company. Good pipe weed (only in the approved states) and good food and ale.
It’s okay to dream about the adventures and chaos, but don’t bring it home. Books make the dreaming easy. They do all the work. We just get into the boat and sail away on the pages of someone else’s imagination. My hope for you as a reader is that the boat ride is different than the everyday, more painful, more pleasurable, more sensual, more disturbing. My hope is that it wakes you up and makes you feel something and then lets you close it. Leaving all that drama behind.
What inspired you to start writing?
My grandma. She wanted me to be a writer from about 5 on. That is essentially when I started storytelling, or lying as my mother called it. But sadly my grandmother died before she got to see me do it. Her death spurned me on. She wanted to be a writer too. She wrote a novel and never got it published. She died never fulfilling that dream. So I did it for us both. One day I hope to get hers cleaned up and for sale.
What are you currently working on?
Here is the Blurb
‘Danger Lorelei, he’s coming’
Icy whispers brush against her cheeks when she’s sleeping. Most nights she wakes to the voices of her ancestors, always at 2:47 am. Like all monsters, only the light keeps them at bay. Lorelei Huntington knows what it means to fall for the wrong guy. She knows what it’s like to hide in the dark and wait for the light to save her. She knows how it feels to watch, while everyone you love and everything in your life, is taken. After fifty years of looking over her shoulder and running for her life, certain she could feel his breath at the base of her neck, the icy voices come back. Again their whispers find her vulnerable and exhausted, just as they used to. Fearful of seeing him again, but desperate for answers, she goes home. What she finds isn’t exactly what she left. Who she finds, isn’t exactly dead or aged a day. But then again, neither is she.
Where can fans find you?
Thanks for having me!!