A huge thank you to Penny for
having me here today!
I’m here today to
promote Shadow Man, the second book
in the paranormal action adventure Lash Series.
1. Give us the
inside scoop on Tara Fox Hall and don’t leave out the part about target
practicing and firewood cutting….
Tara Fox Hall is a capable countrywoman who was raised in
the city. I am equally comfortable sewing or operating a chainsaw. I call most
creatures friend, and believe in practicing random acts of kindness, including
animal rescue. As for target practice...I usually practice with my .38
revolver, just like the heroine Sar from my novels. I also use a .22
semiautomatic pistol, a single barrel shotgun, and sometimes a .22 rifle.
I had a friend named Eric R. in high school that I hung out
with later when I was in college, and he was in the US Army. He taught me to
shoot with a .22 bolt-action rifle that was his mom’s. I enjoyed it so much, I
got my own second hand rifle for my birthday. I was also reading books at that
time by a favorite author of mine, William Johnstone. They promote learning how
to defend yourself with a gun, no matter if you’re male or female, at all ages.
I took that to heart and applied for my pistol permit.
As for firewood, I began cutting it in the summer of 2000,
when I bought a horse farm. (See Saw Man at http://halloweenalliance.com/stories-legends/saw-man.htm
if you’re interested in more of the details). The previous owners has cut down
huge trees and left them to rot. Unwilling to let them go to waste—and unhappy
about how my electric heat was both expensive and ineffectual in May—I had a
wood stove installed and asked a friend to teach me how to chainsaw. At first,
I couldn’t get the damn thing started myself. It took me a while to learn the
procedure, and still more time to fell a tree so it went where I wanted it to
go. But with better than a decade of experience now, I’m pretty decent, as the
pics will attest.
* * * *
2. Tell us a little about Shadow Man and this Lash
This is the blurb
for Shadow Man: A renegade vampire
begins amassing a flock of true believers, threatening America's vampire
hierarchy. Weresnake Lash partners with old enemy Danial and new allies Burl
and Spiderboy to track down and annihilate them. Betrayed and left for dead,
Lash reemerges the victor, edging ever upward in the Assassin's Ranking, and
catching the eye of the sultry nightclub singer Cassandra Nile. Drawn into
drugs by Cassie, Lash begins to doubt himself, yearning to leave his life of
violence, even as enemies close in from every side.
themes of the book are banding together to rise up against corruption,
deception, betrayal, the evils of addiction, the strength of friendship, old
grudges, and the consequences of choices, whether hastily made or
But there are
many other themes that run through my Lash Series: being an outsider,
discrimination, the benefits and drawbacks of family loyalty, evil begetting
evil, and the lengths a person will go to in order to protect someone they
love. The protagonist, Trystan, initially becomes Lash because he sees no other
way to save his loved ones or himself. His actions to protect his loved ones
and himself drive the book series, and change the course of his life, putting
him on the path to infamy. When you have everything in your life reinforcing
the worst in you, it’s a hard not to succumb.
This is the second book in the Lash series. Initially I
thought to end the first book with the events at the close of Shadow Man, but realized halfway through
that the work was going to more than one book by the time I was done. I also
realized that I was hooked on writing Lash’s life, and there was a much longer
story I wanted to tell. I can’t wait to delve into research for more sequels.
3. When the movie version of Shadow Man comes out….who will play Lash?
I’d pick an unknown, so that the viewers would really see
Lash, and not some well-known actor. That way—hopefully—the actor would agree
to be in several sequels…and not be already taken for some other role.
4. I found you have many credits to your name, Tara, and
most look like horror/paranormal stories. How did you come up with the ideas for
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. A large part of the inspiration for
Lash’s personality came from old gangster movies from the 30s and 40s that
depicted the Roaring 20s. I was also watching the first version of The Karate Kid the day I wrote the book
outline, which inspired part of the plot (the racism Lash experiences, his not
having a father around in his youth, and his later training to be an assassin
with the man called “Master”). I travelled to both The Everglades and New
Orleans years ago, so much of the description of scenery and The French Quarter
is from my memories of those weeks. Valerian’s plantation house is loosely
based on Oak Alley, a real plantation outside Baton Rouge where the movie Interview with the Vampire was shot.
Lash is a character from the latter books in my Promise Me
series. He is old when he appears in the Promise Me series, and not much is
known about his earlier years, other that the few details he provides. He was
terrific fun to write in hat series, and he became my mother’s favorite
character, though she hated him at first. As he was also a character I wanted
to know the backstory on, I began telling his story, beginning with the little
info I knew about his past. Unlike the Promise Me series, Lash’s story is not a
romance, but filled with action, adventure, horrific events, suspense, sex, and
yes, a little bit of passion.
5. Have you or do you want to write in other genres?
My writing credits already include nonfiction, horror,
suspense, action-adventure, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal
romance. I hope to try YA in another year or so. I have a book in its final
stages, but as it has the makings of yet another series, it’s going to have to
wait a while.
I am pleased that two children’s stories I wrote, A Tree’s Dream
and The Perfect Dog
, are free online at www.childrens-stories.net
Writer Stories. I am thrilled that a friend, Tina Wildey, agreed to illustrate
them. A new story, The Present People
will release in time for Christmas.
6. Now since your stories run on the scary side, is there
something in the inky darkness that sends chills up your spine?
Almost all my short horror stories are based on nightmares.
Take a look at www.flashesinthedark.com
at any of the 12 stories online there. ALL of them are from real nightmares
I’ve had. The worst of the worst are always saved and compiled for tales of
Latham’s Landing, my fictional partly submerged island mansion. “Origin of
Fear” in Spellbound 2011
That Remains” of Bedtime Shadows
contain my worst nightmares to date.
7. Can you give us all some insight into one of your works
If all goes well, the next Lash Book, War, will be out in 2013. Another 3 Promise Me series sequels will
also publish in 2013: Taken in the Night,
Taken for His Own, and Immortal
Confessions. I am also working on collaboration with T. Fox Dunham for a
shorter work about a werefox couple during WWII. Here is the promotional blurb
written my esteemed colleague:
Human civilization rips itself apart in a second world war.
Sions, the race of were-foxes, are forbidden to interfere, but a young werefox
reaching maturity, following the dark prescient vision given to each of her
kind, breaks this vow for her secret mate. T. Fox Dunham and Tara Fox Hall
combine their art to create this tale for a combined anthology with Jay Wilburn
for Hazardous Press.
8. When you are done with your work, do you have a go-to
person that you let read your story?
My mother reads my work before it is submitted anywhere,
from poem to article to short story to novel. If she doesn’t like it, it
doesn’t get submitted. Believe me, she has no trouble being critically honest,
even being my mom. Recently, the good Jenny Twist also has proofed my shorter
works, like blog posts. She is a huge help to me, and I’m very grateful.
Another good friend, Tori L. Ridgewood has also helped proofing some of my
novels, like the aforementioned Lash,
Broken Promise, and Shadow Man.
9. And of course the
most important – where can we find you and your stories?
Online, of course! Here are my links:
Tara's Facebook Page:
Excerpt from Shadow Man:
went into Abraham’s office. He was sitting there behind his desk, working.
made arrangements with Jacob for him to turn Winnie a week before our oathing.”
this couldn’t wait to tell to me until after my weekly bullshit run?”
scowled at me. “I’m telling you because I want you there, watching him and me,
Lash. I’m worried she may not make the change, that she might die! I love her.
I thought as a friend, you’d understand.”
I felt like a heel. “Sorry,” I hissed. “These trips are wearing on me.”
are wearing on us all,” Abraham said flatly. “Tell Jeanna to move this week,
Lash. We can’t wait any longer. Her reports from this year now are that Eli has
close to a thousand vampires total in his church. That means he’s outnumbered
Jacob and the other local rulers in men by a hundred to one.” Abraham’s voice
was deeply afraid.
numbers scared me, too. “What did Devlin say? I know you’ve kept him in the
Dalcon ‘doesn’t believe the numbers are right.’ He says that there are only a
few Rulers capable of making vampires, and all have sworn they are not helping
Eli. And he says that the borders are being watched, so none are sneaking in.
So he thinks somehow Eli’s got magical help and is bringing them either from
Europe somehow, or more likely that they are not true vampires, but some kind
of faerie crossbreed of demon and some other species—”
know,” Abraham said. “But word is that Dalcon is losing his sanity. He’s stayed
out of the limelight since his visit here years ago, and he’s not seen at all
outside his fortress in the North. They say his legendary reign may be ending.”
wasn’t sure whether to be happy or sad. There was a lot that was bad about
Devlin, sure, but Eli was not a problem I wanted to deal with without someone
like Devlin waiting in the wings as backup.
going,” Abraham said grumpily, shuffling papers on his desk. “I have to make
some calls. Thank God for the telephone. At least it saves me traveling to
meetings every night. If only they’d devise a way for me to be able to view the
person I’m talking to!”
nodded and left as he began dialing.
You have been a delightful guest,
Tara! Your books sound thrilling and
your life sounds – well certainly not boring!
Thank you so much for stopping by
Penny’s Tales as part of your book tour.