We have Tamara Moreau in the house this morning! Welcome Tamara, can't wait to get to know you and your books better. 🙂
Q: What inspires you to write? What or who are your muses?
A: While I feel fairly certain my day-to-day experiences find their way into my work, I can’t say anything external inspires me. I was an introverted child who spent much of my life in a fantasy world that held on into my adult life with uncommon tenacity. My “make believe” friends inspire me to write, but it is my husband who is the grounding point for my work. He helps me keep logical aspects in mind, and provides inspiration to keep my stories active and exciting. He also corrects details I sometimes miss as I write about events from the past. The greatest example in Secrets & Promises was my use of an electronic car key fob and a cell phone during a sequence that took place thirty years ago. (oops!)
Q: Have your experiences in the Air Force played any part in your books?
A: No. Although I’m proud of the eight years I spent in active duty and the three years following I spent in the reserves, I can’t say there is any aspect of my military career that inspired my work. However, my exposure to the skills needed during wartime have helped in developing the dangers my Haven’s Realm characters face, and colored the mentalities of two of my women (Tyler Jenkins from Dragon Lord, and Mirissa Wellston in Haven’s King).
Q: What do you most enjoy about writing books with paranormal themes?
There are a number of things I like about the paranormal genre, chief among them the lack of rules. You can’t really go too far wrong when writing about things that have been developed culturally through human supposition and folklore. Secrets & Promises attempts to explain the vampire condition through the eyes of a scientist, and I’ve paved the way for the magic side of science. I’ve approached the vampire persona with a touch of common sense. For example, my characters are solid beings who cast light and reflect shadows, and so can be seen in mirrors and photographed. My favorite deviation from the norm exists in the founding of the Community, which involved the cooperation of the deities. And for those who are frequently prone to ask, no, my vampires do not sparkle in sunlight.
Q: Do you have any upcoming books you'd like to tell our readers about? This is a great way to "prime the pump" so to speak, plus our readers love hearing about new books to come!
A: I just released Secrets & Promises to the world. Here is a blurb and short excerpt from my most dynamic work yet…
When her best friend is taken by a vampire, Dr. Charlotte Vinetti shifts her genetic research focus in hopes of finding a cure. Five years later, she’s no closer to her goal, and long-troubled by the one vampire she’d killed who was different from the rest. Her worst nightmares become terrifying reality when she’s captured and realizes her captors are intelligent, sentient beings rather than the mindless creatures who continued to invade her home.
Vincent was nearing the end of his strength. Haven’s trials over the past five years had overtaxed his resources, but he knew with dread his problems were only beginning when the hunter the Community had long sought was the reincarnation of his deepest love. Forced by ancient promises to stand against the Bargain, his only hope lies in ending their gypsy curse and winning her love, for only then can he earn the Council’s forgiveness.
Vincent rose to his feet the moment she emerged, set down his empty mug and met her gaze. He wore his control like armor, shielding his pain from the world. How awful it must’ve been for him, to fall in love and watch his love die time and again like a macabre opera with no end. She’d lost count of the lives she visited–each nightmare blurred into the next until even their names became confused.
The muscles in his jaws jumped. His eyes darkened. “How many what?”
Her first instinct was to deck him. She came too close to acting on it. “You know what I’m asking. How many wives or lovers have you met and lost?”
She must’ve phrased her question the right way, because a series of emotions flickered in his eyes–passion, pain, joy, despair…He took a deep breath and countered her. “Do you know who those women were?”
“Yeah. Sure. Women from your past. I didn’t realize you had such a fascination for redheads with ice-blue eyes. If you wanted to share them with me, why didn’t you just tell me instead of scaring me half to death all night?”
His eyes darkened further. “Those memories were not mine. I influenced your dreams in no way.”
Amber and the other girl emerged from the bedroom bearing laundry, and left without meeting either hers or Vincent’s gaze. She was glad of the distraction and the time to contemplate his answer. “Well if you didn’t cause them, who…?” She gasped. “Ghosts. You’ve somehow resurrected the ghosts of all those women and sicced them on me. Am I possessed?”
“You possess nothing today you did not yesterday. As for spirits, there is only one, and she has always been with you.”
His assurance added to her confusion. “What the hell are you talking about?”
He captured and held her gaze, searching her eyes for understanding. The hard control in his eyes made her stomach burn. “Do you continue to deny the truth pounding in your heart? You haven’t been visiting my past,” he said in a low, even tone. “You’ve been exploring your own.”
She gaped at him for several seconds. “My past? Are you trying to say all those women I spent the day dreaming of…they were me?”
“You have that backward. You were once each of them.”
She shook her head. “No. That’s not possible.”
He reached for her. “Chari–”
“No! Don’t touch me.” She paced the sitting area in panic. “If I was…if they’re all…” Reality sank in a minute later. She stopped and raised her eyes to his. “I’m going to die too, aren’t I?”
His eyes pooled with tears. “Not if I can help it. Come. The MacAarons will entertain you today.”
She stepped toward the door shakily. “Vincent, I’m not well.”
“You’re tired. Our exploration was hard on you. I’ll use less incense in the morning.”
“We’re going to do it again? Already? I can’t take–”
“Can and will, Chari. We haven’t much time.”
She wanted to cry. “Why?”
He turned her to face him, blue fire burning dimly in his eyes. “Because somewhere, sometime, you knew how to stop this. The knowledge was in your eyes as you died in my arms. I sensed your urgent mental cries as you struggled for clarity, but you’ve never been able to tell me what we need to know.”
A tear dripped down her right cheek. She brushed it away. “How many, Vincent?”
“Will it help you to know?”
“At least I’ll have an idea what I’m up against.”
His stance slackened marginally. “You’ve always possessed the most amazing courage.” He caressed her damp hair while ancient sorrow overtook him. “The life I see before me is the forty-ninth incarnation of a love I lost more than a thousand years ago.”
“Forty…oh my God!”
“You’ve never skipped a generation. Somehow, we’ve always found each other.”
Q: What is a regular day of writing like for you? Do you do research
first, outline, use index cards? Please share your process.
A: Mostly, I write on the fly, and only when inspiration is with me. If it doesn’t come easy, I put it down and wait for more clarification to occur. As I record what my friends tell me, I pause frequently to pull up google and clarify details, such as historical events and dates, and oddities like the history of mattresses and the effects of certain poisons. I rarely use a written outline, and never index cards. (receiving a flashback from high school. *shudders*)
When I began developing my writing in 1992, I found myself focusing on specific scenes my characters obsessed over in my mind. Those early days found me writing whole chapters from inside the story, and when it came time to pull them together, I found them too haphazard and in need of severe rewrite to blend the sequences together. I dove into what became my first published work in 2002 with the intent of marketing a series of short articles. Starting from chapter one page one made the story flow more smoothly, and resulted in a very satisfying and heartfelt tale. I kept with that formula until recently, and book six is starting out much the same as my first attempt.
While waiting for Secrets to work its way through the publishing processes, I gave in and free-wrote the segments from book six that presented themselves. I’m having a hard time now filling in the gaps, and haven’t started my weekend fireside discussions with my husband yet, but with over half of the story covered, I must now struggle to fit the pieces together and fill in the blanks. It’s not my preferred method, by any means, but as I dealt with the frustrations involved with getting book five to market, these odd scenes dominated my mind until I was forced, finally, to write them down.
Character and plot development take place long before the first word is written. I obsess over my ideas, usually as I try to lull myself to sleep at night, until I hear a storyline that works well with the previous works. By the time I sit down to record my musings, I know who my characters are, their motivations and personality, and I know where I want them to go. How they get there is usually entirely up to them, and they very often surprise me.
Q: If you could do one thing differently on your road to publication what would it be and why that one thing?
A: I don’t have much in the way of creative writing education outside of the classes I took in school. (I always got an A in any English-related courses.) I think if I’d had an additional course or two in college, I might have been better prepared for the rigors of the publication process, and may have succeeded in publishing sooner. It’s hard to say, because real life has thrown obstacles in my path that delayed my work for almost ten years. Would I do anything different? I can’t really say, since I didn’t really feel my work polished enough until just before I contacted Secret Cravings Publishing. I worked hard for a long time before I established a working writing style. I can only think, if I’d devoted more time in those lost years, that I’d be much further along by now.
Q: What advice do you have for writers who have yet to be published?
A: Don’t ever give up on your dream. Read all you can in your preferred genre and study the various writing styles of your favorite authors. Write down your ideas and share them with trusted friends, and take their criticism seriously. Write. Write. Write. The more experience you have writing and editing your own work, the faster you will develop. Do you have a marketable story? Don’t take the rejection of your first submission as absolute. Even Stephen King had trouble marketing his first book. If you believe in your work, and if you have positive feedback from your friends to support that belief, your time will come.
Q: Do you have any hobbies? If so please share with our readers.
A: I’ve involved myself in so many creative endeavors over the years. I’ve made porcelain dolls, worked on ceramics, sew, knit, and paint. The art of three-dimensional paper models caught my more recent attention (and so Catherine’s, my recurring character from Twilight Destiny, who shares my love of crafting), and I’m fascinated by paper automata. I also enjoy tumbling stones and working on the restoration of my 1968 Camaro, which has been in my family since it was new. I love music and dabble on my guitar and electronic piano, and I’ve loved to sing since I was very small.
Q: Name your favorite top three free promotions tips.
A: I’ll admit, I suck at promoting. Even though I consider myself to be computer literate, the concept of social media was practically foreign to me until I joined SCP. I’m still learning, so I really can’t say what has worked best for me. I’m a regular now on Facebook, and post occasionally on other sites, and participate in blog hops and events where I can.
Q: Finally, something fun, what is your favorite all to yourself day
like? You know a day where you can do anything you want to.
A: Most of my days are spent in solitude while my husband works to support us. If my muse is active, I spend a lot of time in my imaginary world. My favorite times are those spent with Mike when we can get away and do something, even if it’s just spending a night or two in a hotel. The reality breaks I spend with him give my muse the rest it needs to continue.
With all the interests I have to keep me busy, I can’t say there’s any one thing I find most enjoyable outside of writing. When I’m not actively engaged in my favorite activity, I flit amongst other projects. I don’t lead a structured life anymore, so all my days are practically mine. I do whatever occurs to me at the time, and only have to share my world when the husband comes home and I must care for him. I’m a pampered house cat, strengthened and supported by the better half of my soul. Who could ask for more than that?
Where to find Tamara:
Secret Cravings Publishing
Barnes and Noble
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to visit your site!
Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Tamara, you had some great answers to our questions, we truly enjoyed having you! 🙂