I am delighted that TAMI HOAG is joining me on my blog today. Tami's latest book - Cold Cold Heart - was published by Orion on
15 January 2015.
15 January 2015.
So Tami, what inspired you to write crime fiction/thrillers, having started off as a romance writer?
It was a natural progression for me, which doesn’t speak well about my love life, I suppose. As I started playing with elements of suspense in the romance novels, I found I enjoyed that quite a lot. I like digging deep into the psychology of the characters, and being able to explore the darker sides of the human psyche. And I’m very comfortable writing about cops. I understand them.
Where do your ideas come from?
Sometimes an actual crime will grab my attention and raise questions I want to explore through my own characters. Sometimes a story will develop out of a character’s experience in a past book. Sometimes an idea will strike full-blown out of the blue.
Have your personal experiences influenced your writing? And if so, how?
Sure, absolutely. Our own experiences colour our perceptions and shape our opinions. There’s no way to keep that out of the fabric of the writing in subtle ways and in obvious ways.
Character-driven gritty suspense with cracking good dialogue.
When I’m in 'the zone' and really seeing and hearing the characters in my head, I don’t look at the screen. I look down and to the left. I don’t know why. I don’t question these things.
Do you plot out the whole book before you start or just start writing and see where it leads you?
The story has to unfold organically for me. I know the crime the story will revolve around, and I know a few of the characters. I might think I have an idea of where the story will go, but it always twists and turns and unexpected things happen. That's what keeps me motivated. I want to see how all the pieces fit together in the end.
Your books obviously involve in-depth research. What's the most interesting place that you have visited for one of your books? And what's the strangest? Have you visited anywhere particularly frightening?
South Louisiana is the most interesting place I’ve done research. I spent a couple of days with a parish (county) sheriff in a very rural area. He kept introducing me to all his cronies by saying I was writing a book about a corrupt Southern sheriff. That bayou country is like no place else. His driving was the most frightening thing I’ve encountered! I thought for sure we would run off the road into the swamp and be devoured by alligators.
What do you consider to be the hardest part of your writing?
Well, I hate the business part of being a writer. Writers are artists, but publishing is a business, and I don’t find those two things mesh very well. Within the writing itself, the hardest thing is relaxing within the process and trusting I’ll find my way through it. When I have that great feeling of being in the zone, I think it will never go away. And when it goes away, I panic that it will never come back.
Do you read? If so, who are your favourite authors?
I love to read, but don’t get enough time to do as much reading as I would like strictly for pleasure. I’ve got my nose in a psychology book, or a procedural manual a lot of the time. When I get to read for pleasure, I try to sample a lot of different kinds of books, and, of course, catch up with what my friends are writing.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would be the title?
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
1. Write what you love, and be passionate about what you do.
2. Educate yourself about the business of writing. It’s not enough to write a decent book. You have to be savvy about what to do with it in the marketplace.
And lastly, why should people read Cold Cold Heart?
I have such an aversion to blowing my own horn, I’m literally cringing here. How about this... Read Cold Cold Heart - It’s a darn good story.
About Tami HoagFind Tami Hoag on her website and official Facebook page and follow Tami on Twitter - @TamiHoag
Tami Hoag has written 15 consecutive New York Times bestsellers and has more than 35 million books in print, published in more than 20 languages worldwide. Her first thriller Night Sins was made into a two-part mini-series in 1997. Tami Hoag began her career writing romance novels, penning 16 titles in five years. These novels ranged from romantic comedy to romantic suspense. More recently, Tami is well-known for her thrillers, with fast-paced plots and dead-on police procedure. Her latest book - Cold Cold Heart - was published by Orion in January 2015.
Tami was born in Iowa, raised in Minnesota and currently lives in Palm Beach Country, Florida. She is an avid competitive equestrian in the Olympic discipline of dressage and competes her horse in the prestigious winter show circuit.
Cold Cold Heart
Published by Orion (15 January 2015)
Surviving the nightmare is only the beginning…
Dana Nolan was a promising young TV reporter until she was kidnapped by a notorious serial killer. A year has passed since she survived the ordeal, but Dana is still physically, emotional, and psychologically scarred, racked with bouts of post-traumatic stress disorder and memory loss. In an attempt to put herself back together after surviving the unthinkable, Dana returns to her hometown. But it doesn't provide the comfort she expects: she struggles to recognise family and childhood friends and begins experiencing dark flashbacks. But she's not sure if they're truly memories or side effects of her brain injury.
Dana decides to use her investigative skills to piece together her past and learns of the events that made her become a reporter in the first place: the disappearance of her best friend, Casey Grant, the summer after high school graduation. Looking at her past and the unsolved mystery through the dark filter of her shattered psyche, old friends seem to be suspects, authority figures part of a cover-up. Dana begins to question everything she knows. What is real? What is imagined? Are we defined by what happens to us? And is the truth really something too terrible to be believed?