Today we have an interview with Tate Hallway, author of the Garnet Lacey series of books. Welcome Tate!
UFL: For those that may not be familiar with your books, could you tell us a bit about The Garnet Lacey series and about yourself?
Well, I’m an, ehm, pleasingly-plump forty-something Scorpio witch living in the capitol city of Saint Paul, Minnesota, with five cats and five fish and my soon-to-be-five year old son.
The Garnet Lacey series started with Tall, Dark & Dead (Berkley Trade, 2006) and it follows the exploits of a reed-thin, thirty-something Aquarius witch living in the capitol city of Madison, Wisconsin, with a cat allergic to magic and a vampire boyfriend.
Dead Sexy (2007) continues Garnet’s adventures adding a dash of ex-boyfriend, sexy FBI agents, and frat boy zombies. The third book is available now, Romancing the Dead (2008), and there might werewolves and ghouls, oh my!
UFL: You’ve written Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy and Science Fiction under a different name. Is there any genre or subject that you would like to write about but haven’t yet?
I’m a big mystery fan. In another life – the one that wrote science fiction – I actually won a mystery award, the Shamus, for my novel Archangel Protocol in 2001. Though that was science fiction, I’d love to try my hand at “mainstream” mystery.
In fact, the Garnet books were originally conceived as a series of cozy murder-mysteries. Astrology is a hobby of mine, and I thought it might be cool to have an astrological counselor who, through her predictive readings, would actually solve murders BEFORE they happen. But the opportunity came up to write vampire romance and Garnet seemed like the perfect heroine for that series.
Also, if Marvel Comics ever finds themselves short a writer, they should feel free to call me.
UFL: What would be your dream job if you weren’t a writer?
All through high school, I did a lot of visual arts. I drew superheroes and what would now be labeled “fan art,” (portraits inspired by fantasy and science fiction novels). I had dreams of running away to Japan to learn to animate, which were never realized… mostly because I grew up in a small Wisconsin town where Japanese language classes were hard to come by. Also, what artist do you know who can afford a plane ticket to Tokyo?
Oh, and I could be a rock star. Not that I have any musical talent, mind you. But it seems like a pretty cool job.
UFL: Garnet is a witch and so are you. Have you written much real life into your stories?
In a way, I have. My characters and their situations are often so outlandish (and silly) that I try to add a touch of realism where I can. Sometimes it’s something simple, like describing Wisconsin weather or wildlife. Other times, I try to incorporate the way Wiccan magic works for me. For instance, there’s a scene in the first book, Tall, Dark & Dead, where Garnet sends out a plea to the Goddess for help to distract the witch hunters that have William cornered in the storeroom. The reader is likely expecting a big clap of thunder or other vastly dramatic event to happen. Instead, Garnet hears their phone ring and they all leave. I’ve had situations very similar to that, minus the witch hunters, of course.
Also, I work very hard to make Garnet and her friends dynamic people. That is to say, they change — and hopefully grow — from book to book, which I think is more real than characters that are exactly the same from book to book.
UFL: You write under a pseudonym. What are your thoughts about why some people are so insistent on identifying who is behind a pseudonym?
I didn’t realize some people are! I’m sure it’s natural curiosity, though. I know that for me, I always check the copyright page to see what name owns the copyright. Sometimes I do it because I notice someone has such an awesome name that I have to ask myself, “is that their real name?”
I’m sure people are trying to be savvy consumers, too.
UFL: Comic Book Genre Smackdown: Captain America Speculation – Truly dead? Or Coming back via The Punisher, Bucky or New and Improved Cap? Discuss.
Well, you know Marvel comics: it’s hard for heroes to stay dead.
I haven’t heard of a Punisher replacement, and that would bother me, because, well, Cap is such a good guy and the Punisher so isn’t.
I have to say that having followed much of the New Avengers: Civil War (Brian Michael Bendis) and the Captain America: Winter Solider (Ed Brubaker) storylines, I would really like it if dead would be dead in Cap’s case.
I really fell in love with Captain America right before he was assassinated. His patriotism, which I had found annoying, naïve, and cloying in the Watergate and Reagan eras, resonated for me when he broke with the party line and went rogue rather than sign the Patriot Act, er…. I mean that Superhero Registration Act after 9/11… I mean, the Samford School Disaster.
As for who should/will replace Cap, I’m pretty happy with Brubaker’s solution of having Bucky/Winter Soldier pick up the shield.
Of course, maybe none of that may matter. I’m ready to have an aneurism over the events of Bendis’ Secret Invasion.
UFL: Can you tell us what other projects you have in the works?
I would, but then I’d have to kill you.
No, seriously, I just turned in Garnet Lacey’s fourth book, Dead if I Do (due out in 2009), and will be soon starting number five: Honeymoon of the Dead, which is under contract for publication sometime in 2010.
I hope to be signing a contract soon with a small press for a prequel for my other persona’s AngeLINK science fiction series called Resurrection Code.
As my mother would say, that should keep me off the streets for a while.
Thanks for stopping by, Tate!!