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I'm one of those writers who came out of a university creative writing program feeling more beat up than energized. I knew, even way back then, that I wanted to write genre fiction instead of literary fiction. But like a good little English major who wanted a good grade, I spent my university years writing poetry (which I loved, and was pretty good at), reading literature (which I loved as well), but writing the type of fiction that met professors’ and classmates’ expectations rather than had any sense of real passion or authenticity. When I graduated, I felt like a poser. My enthusiasm was dampened, my voice felt compromised, and I needed to take a serious break from writing.
I never dreamed that the break would be over twenty years long.
That's totally on me. Life got in the way, as it often does. I built a technology career, got married and divorced, got sick, fell in love again. Over the years, I took the occasional writing class to keep my hand in—finishing nothing, but rediscovering my love of genre writing. Taking workshops for pleasure rather than for a grade, and from working writers, was an utterly liberating experience for me. Over the years, I'd also gained enough confidence to simply not care what other people thought about what I liked to read or write.
One night, watching Motley Crue with a friend, inspiration hit. I was watching all of these middle-aged women lifting their shirts, flashing their middle-aged boobs at drummer Tommy Lee. I remember thinking to myself, "Why are these women behaving this way? Is he half incubus, or what?” (Incubi are mythological sex demons.)
What if he was?
That sole thought set my imagination on fire, and led to the creation of the world that I built for the Underbelly Chronicles series. Screw the rules, I wrote a book I wanted to read: a love story with mystery and science fiction elements, with naughty language and love scenes and a (gulp) rather sympathetic villain. I reveled in the writing, rediscovered my joy—especially when the manuscript was named a 2009 Golden Heart finalist and a Daphne du Maurier paranormal winner, and sold in a three-book deal to Sourcebooks.
I tell myself that things happen for a reason, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have regrets. I grieve for that young writer, for books not written, for the career that might have been. But what would that career have looked like had I embarked upon it right out of school? Would there have been any fire, any authenticity, in my work whatsoever? Any spark at all? And coincidentally, during those years I didn't write, when my energy was going toward other things, look what happened to the romance genre, particularly in the paranormal realm. I couldn't have written these books twenty five years ago, and there certainly wasn’t a market for them.
So…maybe I lost some time, but I'm trying like hell to make up for it now. Maybe things do happen for a reason. ;-)
CHASE ME BY TAMARA HOGAN – IN STORES JUNE 2012
|(Amz | BN | Sourcebooks | Powell’s|
| BAM | Sony | Kobo)
THE SECRETS SHE'S UNCOVERING WILL BE HIS TO KEEP...
Centuries ago, when their ship crashed to Earth, paranormals of all types settled secretly into our world, quietly going about their business with humans none the wiser. Self–ruling and careful to stay below the radar, all is threatened when Valkyrie archaeologist Lorin Schlessinger and her werewolf geologist partner Gabe Lupinsky inadvertently draw evil attention to Earth and its treasured natural resources.
As the threat intensifies, Lorin and Gabe struggle to contain the chaos they've unleashed, and to resist their explosive mutual attraction...Read an excerpt here.
“Hogan’s sharp, funny dialogue and strong but subtle character development elevate both the story and the fierce chemistry between insecure, bespectacled Gabe and lusty, aggressive Lorin. Paranormal fans will enjoy this fresh take on the genre.” — Publishers Weekly
Tamara Hogan loathes cold and snow, but nonetheless lives near Minneapolis 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 enjoys writing edgy urban fantasy romance with a sci-fi twist. A feral reader with an unapologetic television addiction, Tammy is forever on the lookout for the perfect black boots. Her debut, Taste Me, was a 2009 Daphne Paranormal Winner and 2009 Golden Heart Finalist. For more information, please visit www.TamaraHogan.com or follow her on Twitter, @TamaraHogan1.