Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Interview & Giveaway with Tamara Hogan

It's a pleasure to welcome debut author Tamara Hogan to my blog...

Hi Tamara, Welcome to Anna's Book Blog! I'm glad to have you here. To start off can you tell the readers a little about yourself?
TH:  My partner Mark and I live near Minneapolis and own two cats—or do they own us? Sometimes it’s hard to know. I love reading, bubble baths, electric blankets, endless pots of coffee (can you tell it’s winter in MN?), listening to music, and shopping for screaming deals at vintage and consignment stores. Nordstrom shoe department is my happy place.   

Taste Me is your newest release, can you tells us a little bit about it?
TH: Taste Me is my debut release, and the kick-off book in The Underbelly Chronicles, a gritty, fast-paced urban fantasy romance series set in a world where incubi, succubi, sirens, Valkyries, vampires, werewolves and faeries live undetected alongside humankind. In Taste Me, incubus security guru Lukas Sebastiani is suckered into bodyguarding his former lover, siren rock star Scarlett Fontaine, and neither is happy about it.

What is your writing day like?
TH:  I write new pages for at least two hours a day, at least six days per week, first thing in the morning when I’m freshest. I get up, get dressed, brush my teeth and hair, and then drive to my hometown coffee shop, where I’m one of their first customers. I’m so productive there because there’s nothing else for me to do except boot up, slap on my headphones, pick the day’s tunes, and write! I then come home and start my day job, where I telecommute as a process and quality standards analyst for a company that makes networking gear. Other writing-oriented activities—reading, writing or commenting on blogs, responding to email, monitoring writing loops, taking classes, revising, page-proofing, critiquing and judging— all happen between day job meetings, over my lunch break, or in the evenings.     

When you’re not writing what kind of books do you like to read?
TH: I was a feral reader as a child, roaming the adult library stacks at will starting at about age 10, reading mainstream fiction, mysteries, thrillers, horror, science fiction, and of course, romance. Even though I have a B.A. in English and took all the requisite literature classes, I’ve always been a genre girl at heart, and I no doubt horrified my college advisor by choosing to do an Ellery Queen survey as my senior seminar topic. While I read widely, especially across romance sub-genres, I consider paranormal romance and urban fantasy romance to be “home base.”     

What are 3 things that are "must haves" for you when you sit down to write a book?
TH:  A netbook (with wireless disabled), black coffee with cream, and a loaded iPod.

What was it like learning that Taste Me was going to be published?
TH: Honestly? Equal parts exhilaration and trepidation. The validation felt fabulous – one of the best editors in the biz thought my book was good enough to publish! – but as someone who came out of a college creative writing program paralyzed by performance anxiety, certain I would never be able to meet what I perceived to be very high expectations, it took me over twenty years after graduating to finally find the guts, and the inspiration, to write my first manuscript. In 2009, there was a window of time between learning that Taste Me had been named a paranormal finalist in RWA’s Golden Heart and Daphne du Maurier Awards (under the title Underbelly) where I was frankly a bit of a mess. But I’ve since gotten a handle on my fears – most of them, anyway!      

Since becoming published, what has been your favorite part of the process?
TH:  Communicating with people who enjoyed reading my book!   

Are there any real life people that have inspired the characters in your story?
TH:  One of the fun things about creating your own world is appropriating and fictionalizing certain aspects of real people’s personas to suit your own purposes. Let’s just say that there are several peripheral characters in Taste Me whose names readers may recognize.

Who or what inspired you the most when writing Taste Me?
TH:  I’ll have to say music, for three reasons. One: I got the idea for The Underbelly Chronicles’ world while watching a famous band perform. One of the musicians was behaving in such a cheerfully debauched manner that I marveled, shaking my head in bemusement, “He must be half incubus” — which led me to explore the incubi myth further from a world-building perspective. Two: My heroine, Scarlett Fontaine, is a siren, a singer of incomparable skill, whose specialty is interpreting and amplifying music’s emotional content with her voice. This aspect of her characterization required that I very carefully consider the lyrical content of every song she sings, because other characters will react—sometimes quite strongly. Each song in the set Scarlett performs at mid-book was very, VERY carefully selected for maximum impact. Three: Music is an essential tool to me while I write. Whether it’s helping block out background noise at the coffee shop, or a short-cut to the emotional vibe I’m trying to convey in a scene, I can’t write without music.

If you can, tell us what is up next for you?
TH:  I just typed THE END on the Taste Me’s follow-up, Chase Me. While I’m revising that manuscript, I’ll start researching Underbelly Chronicles Book Three, Tempt Me. I’ll be going to the RT Booklovers Convention in April—catch me at Club RT Thursday afternoon! —and participating in a panel discussion at RWA National Conference (NYC, baby!) during the last week of June called "The Road to Novel Completion: Potholes, Pit-Stops and Poppy Fields, Oh My!" Follow the yellow brick road as my Ruby Slippered Sisters and I share the tips and techniques that help us dodge life’s flying monkeys and finish that darned novel.


Hot, sexy urban fantasy romance by a new author with talent to burn…

He Wants Her So Badly He Can Taste It…

Ever since their tempestuous fling years ago, incubus Lukas Sebastiani has known that siren Scarlett Fontaine was meant to be his. But when you’re a sex demon with an insatiable desire, relationships are way more than complicated…

Her Siren Songs Bring Men to Their Knees…

Rock star Scarlett Fontaine desperately needs a break after a grueling tour. But with murder and mayhem surrounding her band, and the one man she never thought to see again put to the task of protecting her, life is going to be anything but peaceful…
Every encounter between them creates more turmoil—and heat—until Scarlett pushes Lukas to the boiling point, and unleashes forces that go way beyond anything she can hope to control…

Where to Buy:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Borders | The Book Depository

Tamara Hogan loathes cold and snow, but nonetheless lives in the Minneapolis exurbs 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 writes urban fantasy with a sci-fi twist. Taste Me was a 2009 Daphne Paranormal Winner and Golden Heart paranormal finalist under the title Underbelly. For more information, please visit http://www.tamarahogan.com/.

Thanks to Sourcebooks I have (2) copies of Taste Me to giveaway.  To enter leave a comment along with your email address. Open to U.S. & Canada The winners will be announced on March 18th. Good Luck!


  1. I can't wait to get my hands on this book - from what I've read of the excerpt it's going to be great! I love the writing style and the story sounds interesting, so it seems like a terrific read all around. ^^

  2. The premise sounds fabulous!

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  3. I enjoyed the interview and would love to read Taste Me :) *Thanks* for the giveaway!

  4. I'm very curious to see which real people you put in your book! I'm also glad to know that you are finished writing the second book and have a third in the works. I will be going to RT this year (my first) so I will see you there!

    user1123 AT comcast DOT net

  5. Calliope, I'm glad my writing voice works for you! I was trying to explain 'voice' to some friends the other day, how it can be a huge factor in whether a reader enjoys a story or not.

    Vivien, I hope you enjoy what I do with the set-up. Your email address...fascinates me. ;-)

    Good morning, Cheryl! Thanks for stopping by!

    Stacie, cool! I'd love to meet you! I think my slot at Club RT is Thursday at 1:30-2:30. This will also be my first RT, so I'll be there with my amateur social anthropologist's hat on - the writer's pleasure/curse, always observing. We can compare notes. ;-)

  6. Please enter me. Love to read it! Thanks.

  7. I love Urban Fantasy that mixes music into the action, so I'm really excited of this novel.

    Sara M
    sara_UFblog [at] yahoo [dot] com

  8. rubynrita, SandyG265, tahnks for entering the drawing!

    Sara N, this book is saturated with music and musical references. Being authors can't reference song lyrics in books without paying royalty fees, I've included a list of the songs Scarlett performs during her homecoming show at the back of the book.

  9. I love paranormal books and yours certainly fits the bill.

  10. This book is yummy to look at and to read the little teasers. Please enter me for a chance to win as well.

    Thank you - Miranda
    mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

  11. I loved reading about the background ideas for the story. It sounds like such fun.

  12. Love finding new authors. This sounds really good.

  13. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway! apereiraorama[at]gmail[dot]com

  14. Diane - category-wise, the book is a bit of a mash-up. It has paranormal, urban fastasy, romantic suspense and futuristic components. Hopefully there's a little something for everyone!

    lil - glad you enjoyed reading about my process. I develop technology processes as part of my day job, so I'm a bit of a process geek.

    elaing8 - yup, I'm new, all right! In addition to being my debut novel, TASTE ME is my first completed manuscript.

    Ammy Belle - Thanks for stopping by and entering the drawing!

  15. Sweet Vernal Zephyr/Miranda! (Nice to see you again!) Isn't that cover just nummy? Sourcebooks' graphic design team did a fabulous job, and coincidentally used all my favorite colors.

  16. Please enter me in contest. I really want to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

  17. It looks like a great story.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

  18. All my favorite paranormal entities in one series!

    kissinoak at frontier dot com

  19. This sounds interesting. Please count me in. Thanks

    forwhlz at gmail dot com

  20. Tore, Maureen, Estella, Sandy J - thanks for stopping by! Good luck in the drawing.

  21. Hm... sounds good! I need to enter for this book!
    books (dot) things (at) yahoo (dot) com

  22. Thanks for the giveaway! I love how this book contains a mixture of all the genres I like to read!


  23. The more I hear about Taste Me, the more interested I am in reading this book. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  24. I'm a sucker for books involving rock stars, so needless to say, this one appeals to me greatly. Please enter me in the giveaway.

    jen at delux dot com

  25. Melissa, Winnie and Barbara E, thanks for wanting to read the book. Everyone through and including Jen M. commented before the drawing deadline!

    Jen, me too! I LOVE books with rock stars or performing musicians as hero or heroine. There's a perception amongst aspiring authors that there's not really a market for rock star manuscripts - I can't count how many times I heard, "Rock star books don't sell" - but that perception just doesn't square with what I've observed. Publishers are buying these manuscripts, and readers are hungry for them. I think crushing on popular musicians of either gender is a rather universal experience. I enjoyed peeking behind the curtain, as it were. ;-)

  26. Great interview! Please count me in!

    marieimy (at) gmail (dot) com

  27. sounds like a fun book! thanks for the giveaway


  28. Sounds interesting. I'd love to be entered to win.
    buckfamil at ptd.net

  29. I hadn't heard of this one before, but it looks good!!


  30. I love paranormal/urban fantasy and this one sounds like an exciting one. Great blurb. Soo cool that you have already finished up the follow up book - because I know I am going to be hooked when I read this first one lol.

    Congrats on the release!

    Pam S
    pams00 @ aol.com

  31. Urban fantasy is one of my favorite genres to read. I also love when a book has such a great mix of characters - werewolves and faeries, vampires and ghosts...(examples). Sounds like a fun and gritty read.


  32. This sounds really good. I haven't read it yet, but am already anticipating a new series to devour!
    jennhutson3128 at yahoo dot com

  33. She is a new author to me. I would love to give this book a try. It sounds wonderful. Please enter me. Thanks!


  34. Thank You for the chance to win a copy of Taste Me. :)


  35. Hi Anna!

    Another new author for me, and the story sounds good, another to add to my list!

    Count me in!

    Dottie :)

  36. Tamara,

    Thanks for stopping by to chat with us. :)

  37. Please withdraw my name from the drawing. I won Taste Me in another contest. Good luck everyone!

  38. Sounds great! Love the cover!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com



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