Monday 16 June 2008
I promised some interviews and of course more contests and here we go! First up with have the lovely Tate Hallaway author of the 'Garnet Lacey' series. If you haven't already read any of the books from this series then you have to start with 'Tall, Dark & Dead' follow on with 'Dead Sexy' and then know everything there is to know by reading 'Romancing the Dead'.

So here is the interview and keep reading to the bottom to enter the contest!


Amber - Firstly I would like to thank you again for taking the time to answer
the questions and for agreeing to be interviewed for Amberkatze's Book
Blog! I really appreciate it!

I have read all the books so far in the 'Garnet Lacey' series but
I am sure some of my blog visitors haven't. So could you start us off
by telling us a little about Garnet and the series?

Tate - Sure! Garnet is a witch living in Madison, Wisconsin. She starts the series (in TALL, DARK & DEAD) on the run from witch hunters that attacked and killed her coven. During the attack, Garnet drew down the Goddess Lilith, who, well, decided to stay. So Garnet somewhat reluctantly shares her body with a Goddess also known as the Queen of

Hell and Mother of Demons, and who is triggered, Incredible Hulk-like, whenever Garnet gets angry or is threatened. While on the lam, she meets tall, dark and dead vampire Sebastian Von Traum, who she at first mistakes for a necromancer, and hilarity and mayhem ensues.

Amber - How did the idea for the series start?

Tate - Well, I used to write science fiction under a different name and the time came for me to start something new. Before talking to my editor at Berkley about it, I'd had a version of Garnet kicking around in my head in which Garnet was still a witch and an astrologer, like she is in the romances, only in this series she was going to be an amateur detective, who, using astrology, would solve murders BEFORE they happened. However, my editor was really looking for paranormal romances, so I tweaked her around and gave her a dark past, dark goddess, love interest, etc.

Amber - Garnet is an amazing character and I love Barney and Benjamin as
well. Are the characters based on people you know?

Tate - Barney is based on an amalgam of cats that I own and have owned over the years. When we first got Ms. Delia from PetSmart, she had bit of "kennel cough" and the daintiest sneeze, which was the envy of cats everywhere, no doubt. Some of Barney's attitude, however, is from our late, great orange Maine Coon, Beau.

Benjamin existed in an earlier version of Sebastian that survives only in my computer files and an obscure vampire fanzine called "Vampire Ecstasy Coven." The short story was inspired by a house in London that's on the way to Highgate Cemetery, which we passed when we visited there. (My partner and I are big cemetery fans, we go to the major cemeteries in the towns we vacation in). Why I thought the house must be haunted or why by that particular ghost, I don't know. Benjamin is one of those characters that sprang into my head fully grown, like Athena from Zeus.

None of the characters in the Garnetverse are based entirely on people I know, but I have to admit that feel free to crib certain traits from friends and family. The person I tend to steal from the most, however, is myself. There's a lot of me in both Garnet and William, for instance.

Amber - How much more from Garnet can we expect to see? Is there another book in the works? Are you working on any other projects?

Tate - Yes to both questions. I'm happy to say that I just turned in DEAD IF I DO, the next book in the Garnet Lacey series, which will be out from Berkley some time in 2009. My editor has also contracted me for at least one more, HONEYMOON OF THE DEAD, which I plan to start working on…. Uh, any day now, yeah, that's the ticket.

I'm also writing a science fiction book for Mad Norwegian Press, a small press publisher, which is a prequel to a cyberpunk mystery series (with angels!) I wrote under the name Lyda Morehouse.

Amber - What kind of atmosphere do you need to write? Are there any special items you need e.g. coffee and chocolate??

Tate - Coffee zombie! Yeah, I'd say I tend to prefer to be caffeinated when I write (and you may notice my characters drink a lot of coffee too…coincidence???)

But otherwise I've actually learned to be incredibly flexible. When I first started writing I needed, well, coffee, but also silence and long periods of time in which to concentrate. I've never been the sort who prefers to have music going, but when I started I was pretty pathological about needing quiet. Now I can write while watching TV. I can write when I only have ten minutes. I can write on the toilet. Pretty much I can write anytime and anywhere I have my laptop.

Amber - Do you do have to do a lot of research for the series? Or do you know lots of witchy things already? Hang out with vampires? ;)

Tate - I wish! But I haven't done a ton of research for this series. Some, but not a ton. I'd previously read a really wonderful book about the folklore surrounding vampires by Clive Leatherdale called: DRACULA:THE NOVEL AND LEGEND. I got the idea of the dhampyr from his book, actually. That book is wonderfully rich, so I occasionally reread it and discover something I'd forgotten that I want to use in upcoming books.

But, as for the witchy bits, well, I don't need to do a lot of research for that, I practice Wicca. Of course, I take dramatic liberties, but a lot of the ritual and spellwork is stuff I have done or would do.

Amber - Tell us about the events that got you into writing and what you did before selling your first book!

Tate - What didn't I do!? I think I ended up as a writer because I couldn't hold down a steady job. I've been a pizza deliverer, college newspaper reporter, a graphic artist, dishwasher, and a secretary at places ranging from a low-residency college, immigration research center, drug and alcohol rehab residency center to corporate Pillsbury/Grand Met.

I think the key to my "success" was to always pick jobs where I had low job satisfaction. Thus, I was always hungry for the next thing – my big break, the THING that was going to be my real career. To this end, I tried my hand at freelance art. I drew and sold Tarot card inspired greeting cards to New Age bookstores. I was constantly taking classes for "self-improvement." Plus, I was usually bored out of my mind at my job and so I'd start writing. It started out as a lot of letters to friends who'd moved away (yes, this was before the internet), and then I moved on to silly limericks, and short stories. Then I started a novel that I'll never sell that I describe as my lesbian, Irish Republican, faerie novel. Anyway, eventually, I ended up at a class in writing science fiction and fantasy at the Loft []. At the class I learned a lot about the craft of writing, and also about the process for submitting stories for publication. I also met the people who became part of my still on-going writers' group, the Wyrdsmiths (check out our blog: []!) The rest, as they say, is history.

Amber - What books are among your favourite to curl up with?

Tate - I don't know. I'm fickle. I rarely go back to books that I've read with a few exceptions. I'll read anything, too. I love mysteries (cozies with female amateur detectives particularly), science fiction, fantasy, and, of course, romances. In the romance genre I'm fond of paranormal, time-travel and futuristic. The person who got me into romance is Sandra Hill. I loved her Viking time-travel series.

Right now I'm reading a bunch of things for research for a science fiction book I'm writing: a travel book about Cairo, Egypt, a dissertation about Islamic messianic eschatology by scholar Timothy Furnish, and then, for fun, SNAKE AGENT by Liz Williams.

Amber - If you could be any character in your books which one would it be and why?

Tate - I wouldn't mind living forever, and Sebastian has a tidy nest egg set aside… so being rich and having eternity to bum around in, yeah, I'd definitely be Sebastian.

Amber - If you were sent off to a desert island and could only take 5 things with you, what would you take and why?

Tate - Well, you know the joke answer, right? A Marine -- because he'd know how to keep us alive on a desert island. After that, I'm not sure. Even though it makes me a terrible parent to endanger my child, I'd want bring my son Mason because he'd know how to make me laugh and find the simple joys in island life – plus, he wants to be a marine biologist when he grows up and we don't have a whole lot of ocean here in Minnesota. The science fiction geek in me wants to start listing practical things like a water purifier, water-proof box of matches, etc… but I know that's not the spirit of the question.

How about my laptop and a back-up power generator? That way I could keep writing. Also, a Kindle reader and a wireless connection, so I can keep reading new books. I think I'm over my limit now, so I'll stop.

Amber - Thank you so much Tate Hallaway for taking the time out to answer my questions! I hope you will come back again when the next book comes out!


Interested in reading something by this author? Check out her books on

And now time for the contest!

One lucky person will win a copy of the newest release in the 'Garnet Lacey' series, 'Romancing the Dead'!

All you have to do to enter is make a comment here on this post telling us all what 3 things you would like to have with you if you got stranded on a desert island! No answer no entry!!

The contest will run until Sunday 22nd of June and I will pick a winner using Raffle King. Please remember that all of my books are registered on Bookcrossing but I do not expect the winner to be a Bookcrosser or make a journal.

So go ahead and enter!!!

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posted by Unknown at Monday, June 16, 2008 |


At 16 June 2008 at 12:33, Blogger Kathy

I've been reading this series from the first and Garnet is my favorite goddess/witch.

Stranded on a desert island
l. box of books
2. sunscreen
3. George Strait (don't anyone tell my hubby, ok?)


At 16 June 2008 at 13:29, Blogger Terra57

Hmm.......I guess my three things would be:
1. Never ending Pumpkin Martini's
2. DishyGuy in a kilt.
3. A big beatifully built treehouse by said DishyGuy.


At 16 June 2008 at 22:10, Blogger Bunny B

I'd take my hubby, a big blanket and tons of lip balm/sunscreen!

bunnybox9 at gmail . com


At 16 June 2008 at 22:16, Blogger Night critter

I would take:

1. All the books on my TBR pile
2. Lots and lots of chocolate
3. Hawt Handyman


At 16 June 2008 at 23:25, Anonymous Anonymous

I'm going to have to go with
1. A Marine
2. My Laptop (With a connection)
3. An Ice maker


At 16 June 2008 at 23:58, Anonymous Anonymous

I actually just picked this book up at the book store a couple of weeks ago. It looks like a riot! :)


At 17 June 2008 at 01:15, Blogger LadyVampire2u

My threee things:
1. A fully charged cellphone capable of calling help in when I decided the vacation was over.
2. A survival kit with medical aid and knife included.
3. My boyfriend who enjoys the wilderness and would like the challenge of being stranded just fine.


At 17 June 2008 at 09:21, Blogger tetewa

My three things: 1. toothbrush 2. matches 3. books


At 17 June 2008 at 14:20, Anonymous Anonymous

On my desert island, I'd want: A large vat of chocolate, a Leatherman, and a good friend.


At 18 June 2008 at 05:22, Blogger Cheryl

If I was deserted on a island the three things I would need are : sunglasses, chapstick, and a huge pile of books

clbstitch at yahoo dot com


At 18 June 2008 at 07:17, Blogger Theresa N.

oh just three
1. a sexy man (my husband)
2. a sexy book (this one hopefully)
3. a sexy drink (as long as it has ice)
Theresa N


At 18 June 2008 at 09:14, Blogger ChristyJan

1. Never ending supply of dark chocolate
2. My TBR pile (which has over 200 books)
3. My husband (wearing his tool belt, strapped with a knife and carrying a gun)


At 19 June 2008 at 10:54, Blogger IT Boss Lady

1. A hunky nature lover
2. Sunscreen, lots and lots of sunscreen
3. A charged up satellite phone


At 19 June 2008 at 12:00, Anonymous Anonymous

love the title of the book.
I'd take my hubby, my dog and matches. gotta have a fire to cook and snuggle up by.


At 19 June 2008 at 16:09, Blogger Booksforever

3 things I would take:

1. Laptop
2. My children (I'm counting them as one big group)
3. Martha Stewart (ha ha)


At 20 June 2008 at 14:33, Anonymous Anonymous

3 things I would take:

1) Fishing Pole and Line
2) Hunting Knife
3) One of those Convert Sea water to fresh water things.


At 20 June 2008 at 15:30, Blogger teachie

3 things I would take:

1) All my TBR's

2)A hunky handy-man

3)A toolchest.


At 21 June 2008 at 08:17, Anonymous Anonymous

Fun interview - thanks Amber & Tate!

I'll pass on the contest due to my poor sagging shelves ;-)



At 21 June 2008 at 12:49, Anonymous Anonymous

1. Books
2. My Cats
3. Enough food and water to survive (including the cats)


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