It is my pleasure to have Tamara Monteau visit today. Tamara is a very talent author, the creator of the Haven’s Realm series. Today marks the launch of her fifth book.
Thank you for having me on your blog today. I’m excited to announce the release of my fifth novel in the Haven’s Realm series – Secrets & Promises! To celebrate this event, I’m giving away two e-copies of this latest release. I will select a winner via drawing from among the comments to this post. Because this is a special event, I have sister posts on other blog sites. Each one contains different information, so you’ll want to visit them all! Their links are listed below. Comment on them as well to increase your chances to win!
Blog Interview Questions
Before we get to your book, let’s learn a bit about you. Where are you from and how long have you been writing?
Tamara - I was born and raised in Washington State, enlisted in the Air Force, where I met my soul mate, and we now live in Warner Robins. We have four children and one granddaughter.
I’ve always loved to read. I read important works, such as Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, as early as age eight, and discovered within the pages of other people’s fantasies the perfect escape when life overwhelmed me. When reading wasn’t possible, such as at the dreaded bedtime, I often made up stories in my mind to pass the time until the sand man got around to me. I studied the English language throughout my educational career, and dabbled in writing off and on for years.
I began writing in earnest in 1992, on the heels of the short-lived Dark Shadows revival. Dan Curtis influenced my early development by introducing me to the possibility that creatures of the night could have redeeming qualities. I felt so sorry for Barnabus Collins that I picked up pen and paper, and began creating my own vampire culture. The basis for my second novel was developed, and then tabled for almost ten years due to hardships associated with military life.
In 2001, I began writing again, intent on creating a series of short stories for a romance magazine. In 2003, those articles coalesced into what is now Twilight Destiny, the first of many to follow in my developing Haven’s Realm saga. I registered the work with the Library of Congress under the title Dark Destiny, but it wasn’t until 2008 before I was able to find a self-publishing house. I self-pubbed two other titles, The Darker Path and Dragon Lord, and was on the verge of doing the same for Haven’s King when the saga found a home with Secret Cravings Publishing in 2011.
What authors have had an influence on your own writing efforts?
Tamara – Gosh, there have been so many. Linda Lael Miller was the first author I read in the vampire romance genre. She introduced an endearing set of characters, and a few that were not so nice. Her stories were heartfelt and memorable. Maggie Shayne’s works followed. She has written a larger series and is, perhaps, better known. Her unique take on the vampire culture sparked within me the need to create my own, and while our essence differs greatly, I’ve often reread her works and consider her characters old friends.
It was Ms. Shayne who further opened me to the kind of romance series that carries a continuing theme and plot line. I began to see my stories with a clearer understanding of what could be, and where I wanted to lead my own Community. One of her characters influenced the development of one of my own. I see in my character, Antonia, much of what her Rhiannon represents – grace, exotic beauty, and inherent impatience, but there is where the similarity ends. Rhiannon hides a deep personal trauma from her mortal past that hinders her from committing to the man she most desires, while Antonia is a free spirit who gives her devotion grudgingly but with her whole heart.
Do you have a specific time or routine that you try to follow when it comes to writing?
Tamara – I write when my characters tell me to, which is pretty much any time their mood hits. I’ve gotten up in the middle of the night to write down their thoughts so they might grant me a few hours of peace. Sometimes I go on a binge that lasts for hours or carries me late into the night. Other times, they fall oddly silent. When this happens, I take the advantage to catch up with life’s other tasks. I won’t write without my “friends” there with me, because what comes out is usually forced and incomplete.
What’s the title of your latest work and what is it about?
Tamara – Secrets & Promises is the fifth in the Haven’s Realm series, and is, by far, my most complex. As the title suggests, long-standing secrets are revealed, including the backgrounds of all my key players and the foundation of the Community. Promises made, some known and some not yet revealed, are answered.
The primary characters in this story are Vincent, a vampire who has long borne a secret pain, and Dr. Charlotte “Chari” Vinetti, a geneticist who has been hunting vampires for research specimens in hopes of finding a cure. When she is finally captured by Jason and the Community, Vincent steps in inexplicably to defend her, setting in motion a journey no other mortal has taken. It is soon revealed that she is Vincent’s reincarnated love, and that the two are bound by an ancient curse in which she is doomed to die for his punishment, generation after generation.
Secondary to this story, Rudy, another member of the Council, is called away to fulfill a promise he made to a young mortal thirty years prior. They are captured by the Savant, a rival clan who first made their appearance in Dragon Lord. While the couple is held in Blackhawk, they learn the reason for the Savant’s urgent desire to possess Hope, a vampiress with unique talents who, by treaty, should have been theirs. The outcome of their adventure brings some surprising changes to the Community.
Who is the one character you’ve created that you are the proudest of?
Tamara – I’m proud of all my children, but I think it is Ronan who has grown the most. He predates human history and suffered eons in solitude while controlling the entity he possesses, protecting the world from its destructive force. He never let anyone in, never opened himself to the kind of pain that would cause him to lose control, until he met Tyler Jenkins (now Hope Chandler). In Dragon Lord, he introduced himself to the Community for the first time, and through concurrent events learned at last to look within himself, find the capacity for trust and love, and come to terms at long last with the beast that has been his greatest trial. He now serves as a member of the Council, and his heart has grown to truly beautiful proportions.
Many authors picture their works as a movie. What character would you play?
Tamara – I’m a writer, not an actress. I see parts of myself in many of my female characters, most notably Catherine MacAaron (Twilight Destiny) and Mirissa Wellston (Haven’s King). Lindsey, the secondary female character in Secrets & Promises, is more like how I am today, in that we’re the same age and have much the same mentality, but we don’t resemble each other in the slightest. Oh, well.
Are you working on another book? What’s it about?
Tamara – Book six will be entitled Midnight Skye. The lead female in this story is a writer of vampire romance (big surprise, huh?). Published at the astonishing age of sixteen, her three-flame romances stirred media controversy, the free publicity thrusting her into instant literary stardom and bringing her works to the silver screen. What she tells no one is where her ideas come from, because the dreams and nightmares she’d been suffering since she was a child are the basis of her writings, and far too personal to share.
Christian Lafontaine is featured as one of two men who will, ultimately, compete for her love. The other, Lucien Labossière, is his cousin and a member of the Savant. Their story brings into focus the face of their greatest enemy, the Sen Aesir.
What are you reading now?
Tamara – I’ve been trying to read Pride and Prejudice, so I have a background comparison before reading Collette’s parody, Pulse and Prejudice. There really hasn’t been much time lately for me to indulge in the simple act of reading, but when life settles down here, which I hope will be soon, I’ll have better resources. I love losing myself in others’ works as much as creating my own, and I miss it.
Where to find Tamara:
Visit these other blogs to learn more about Tamara's latest release and register to win a copy.
Lindsey Downs, excerpt 2 – http://ajessicasalesnovel.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/havens-realm-5th-book-in-the-series-is-released/
Flossie Benton Rogers, excerpt 3 – http://wp.me/p2ts5R-xw
Tamara Monteau, excerpt 4 – http://havensrealm.wordpress.com/2013/04/26/release-day-blitz-secrets-promises-havens-realm-5/
Davee Jones, excerpt 5 – http://finless.blogspot.com/2013/04/are-you-bloodthirsty-welcome-tamara.html?m=1