Basic Facts: Born in November of 1967 in Sacramento, California; grew up in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and is currently drifting back westward as she lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Is mother (ima) of Mason, a four-and-a-half year old charmer who knows the difference between ptyerglotis and megarachne (and the periods in which they lived!), five cats, and eight fish.
Author of: Tall, Dark & Dead, Dead Sexy, and Romancing the Dead. (Also: Archangel Protocol, Fallen Host, Messiah Node and Apocalypse Array.)
Favorite Candy: Dove Promises. Chocolate = yummy, and I’m amused by the silly little inspirational messages, ala “Send a Love Letter Today!”
Favorite Cartoon Character: Hobbes (although sometimes Susie Derkins) of Calvin & Hobbes.
Super Power Most Covets: 12 inch adamantine claws – they’d make good letter openers and all around defense, especially with all the cats in the house.
Q.) Your new release, Romancing the Dead, is part of a series. Can you tell us about this book and some background on the series? (Are the books light, dark, spicy, not so spicy, all the dirt…)
T.H.) Garnet, the heroine of the books, is a Witch living in Madison, Wisconsin. The books are light and humorous, but there’s some undertones of dark – as Garnet harbors the goddess Lilith who has a bit of a murderous streak, and when the books begin Garnet is on the run from modern-day Inquisition witch hunters.
Q.) In addition to writing paranormal romances as Tate Hallaway, you also write science fiction as Lyda Morehouse. Why the two names? Why science fiction? Why romance? And why not scifi romance?
T.H.) The two names have a couple reasons – the first of which is the idea of “branding.” Branding is a business buzzword that’s been kicking around advertising for some time and which now many authors (and their publishers) are adopting. The idea is that a company sells the consumer the entire brand (rather than each individual product) and instills a sense of brand loyalty. You love Green Giant’s big belly laugh and sexy green physique so much, you’re compelled not only buy his carrots, but also the green beans, the peas, etc.
Thus, the name Lyda Morehouse is supposed to invoke a certain kind of book: edgy, cyberpunk, religious science fiction. Tate Hallaway equals kicky, fun, chick-litty paranormal romance.
Never the twain shall meet.
As for why I write the genres I do, well, I love a good romance. If you picked up my earlier scifi books you’d notice that as well, as there’s a strong romantic element in all the books (plus the main character of Archangel Protocol is a closet romance reader, which I was at the time. I’m happy to say I’m out of the closet now.)
Science fiction was my first love. I fell for it after seeing Star Wars, I suspect. After that I was all about being a space pirate. And I have the outline for a science fiction romance, but I haven’t found the time to write it.
Q.) How long have you been writing? Which came first (in the published world) Tate or Lyda?
T.H.) Lyda came first. She died (book speaking, anway), and then Tate rose from her ashes. Which leads into the second reason that I have two names: my first set of books didn’t sell as well as the publisher hoped they would. The AngeLINK series, as they’re called, got a lot of critical acclaim, which is to say they’ve won several awards (most notably the Shamus and the Philip K. Dick Special Citation for Excellence), but they just didn’t become break-out bestsellers we all hoped for.
Q.) Actually some might call your paranormal romances, urban fantasy. Which do you think of the series as? What do you think the difference between the two is?
T.H.) I noticed that ROMANCING THE DEAD was labeled an urban fantasy by Bookclub/Romantic Times. I think that’s the sexier label, the one that’s getting all the good buzz, but I envisioned the Garnet series as paranormal romance. The difference, for me, at least, is that in my books the relationship is the center of the story. That makes it a romance.
Q.) Are you a plotter or a panster? Character-driven or plot driven? Ever try to be the opposite? Do you have a set method you use when starting a book?
T.H.) These days I sell my books on proposal, so I’ve written down the plot bones in a synopsis. But once I actually start writing the book I tend to let the characters lead the way, so much so sometimes I’ve gotten lost and have had to go back and do a boatload of revision.
Q.) What can readers expect to find in all your books no matter the name on the cover?
T.H.) Humor. Irreverence.
Q.) Who are your favorite authors and/or books?
T.H.) Rachel Caine, who writes the Weather Warden series, and Kristine Katheryn Rusch who writes the Disappeared series, a kind of futuristic police procedural on the Mars.
Q.) What is the best thing about being a published author? What is the worst?
T.H.) I’ll admit it. I LOVE seeing my name in print. And, seeing myself on the shelf next to favorite authors? There’s nothing more awesome in the whole world. The worst part is working to deadline, and having to be creative on a schedule. You know, some days I’d rather play video games than write… or write something else.
Q.) Any new projects on the horizon? What would you like to try next?
T.H.) Some day I’d like to write that futuristic romance. I’m also hoping to go back to the world of Lyda Morehouse’s AngeLINK books some day.
Q.) Finally, where can readers find you on the web? How about your books-where can they buy them?
T.H.) You can buy Tate’s novels anywhere fine books are sold. Amazon has them, of course, as well. Lyda’s books are somewhat more difficult to track down. Amazon has a few used, but you can still buy them from Uncle Hugo’s or email: UncleHugo@aol.com. You can also order on-line from Dreamhaven Books.
I’m all over the web otherwise. Tate blogs alone and as part of her writers’ group’s blog, she’s also a member of Fangs, Fur & Fey a LiveJournal community for readers and writers of urban fantasy/paranormal romance. You can also friend her on MySpace and FaceBook. Of course, there’s also http://www.tatehallaway.com.
Lyda blogs separately on LiveJournal , and on Wyrdsmiths, and also has separate MySpace and Facebook pages. Lyda also contributes to SF Novelist’s blog. I also have a website at: http://www.lydamorehouse.com.