Monday, June 24, 2013

Interview: T Hammond

Today I am welcoming T. Hammond to the blog to talk about her new books Red Rover and Blind Seduction. Both books are actually the same story about Teresa and her dog Red, but Blind Seduction is the more "adult" version while Red Rover is more PG-13. Read on to find out more! 

1. What was your inspiration for this book?  
Would you believe boredom? In November 2012, NaNoWriMo had its 50k writing challenge. I got as far as 4500 words into Blind Seduction before the Holiday Season diverted my attention (all those shiny things!). In January, I was bored after the holiday rush and came across the untitled scribblings I had started a few month prior and decided, What the heck? Let’s see where this goes. It started as a story about a woman blinded in an accident who gets a service dog; I had no clue where it would go from there, I just sat down and started typing.

2. Would you classify your writing as plot driven or character driven?
Plot? You’re joking, right? I am most definitely character driven. The few times I tried to outline the story, I got sabotaged. First, I was in the first chapters of Blind Seduction and the dog started talking telepathically with his new owner- what’s with the paranormal stuff, he was just supposed to be an intuitive service dog?  Second, the dog gave himself a different name- I planned to call him Druid, I was surprised he called himself Red. Third, I knew exactly which of the two men in the book would win her affections *snort!* - that certainly didn’t happen according to plan. I was in Chapter Nineteen when I realized that a blind woman and a talking dog were driving the novel and I had lost all control. I no longer plot—I vaguely outline and just start typing.

3. Can you tell us a little about your main character?
Depending on which readers you talk to, there are probably two characters that can claim the main protagonist status. Teresa March is a woman blinded in a freak accident on the day she picks a puppy from her friend’s kennel. The story follows her relationship with her friends (Ken and Janey), two sexy suitors, and her companion dog as she learns to adjust to her blindness. But, if you read the reviews, it’s all about the German shepherd! Red seems to have developed a following, and I have to say, he has some of the best dialogue.

4. Without giving away too much, tell us a little about the main conflict in this book. 
The main conflict is who is going to win The Siege of Teresa March. There are two sexy retired sailors in the novel that compete to win her heart. Sebastian (aka: Bas, or Bastian) is Janey’s brother. He and Teresa have a history that involved Teresa avoiding him for over twelve years. David is Bas’ friend who retired from the Navy, and the guys are planning to go into business together. David is also interested in Teresa and decides to pursue that interest. And so begins a very spirited competition to win her heart. Seriously, we are talking sabotaging each other’s dates, and bribing Teresa’s friends to get an advantage.


5. What do you hope readers take away from this book? 
Blind Seduction is meant to be a fun, laugh-out-loud, sexy, oft times spicy, story that should leave the reader smiling and, hopefully, excited about the next book. The plot revolves around a talking dog, so how serious could it be? The best compliments I get are from readers that tell me where they were when the book had them laughing: doctor’s office, the dentist, or home with the family darting strange looks at their giggle-fits. One woman told how she kept trying not to laugh because she didn’t want to wake her hubby (lying beside her in bed). These fan stories are the most satisfying feedback for me.

6. What song best describes your writing style?
Ha!  You had to ask… I have a few friends that have cursed me for introducing them to this song (one of those catchy ones that you keep repeating in your head).  Welcome to my world; I found this song in 1988 and it’s on all my home made CDs ever since: Fun Boy Three - The Lunatics (have taken over the Asylum)
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WRNYqsMIbg0#!

7. Night Owl or Early Bird?
Sleep is highly overrated.  I get to sleep around 2am and I get up about 8:30am. I think this means I’m a night owl that catches the worm?

8. Skittle or M&Ms?
At this moment, I have 4 bags of Dark Chocolate Mint M&Ms in my snack drawer in my bedroom.

9. Who are your favorite authors?
This list is eclectic: Ayn Rand, Jasinda Wilder, Laurell K Hamilton, Andrew Vachss, Thea Harrison, Mark Henrick, Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Angela Scott, Gennita Low… the list is really, really long (I read an average of a book per day, on top of the writing – see above reference to sleep patterns- so I have exposure to a lot of excellent writers, and love a lot of authors).

10. Can you tell us about any future projects? 
 I write two concurrent versions of the Team Red series. The Blind version (Blind Seduction) is adult-oriented with mature content. The Red version (Red Rover) is a PG-13ish version that targets the NA audience.  The NA version of Red Rover is not a separate story, it is a modified version of Blind Seduction where I reduced the ages of the characters, gave them a different background, and changed the underlying sexual theme of the story, I also removed the graphic sex although there is inference to it (i.e. ‘and the next morning’). The interview questions answered to this point are based on the reviewer’s copy of the book: Blind Seduction.

At this time, I am on target to release Color Blind, Team Red Book 2, in mid to late July (depends on editing). Once that is done, it will take about three weeks to modify and release the story for the NA audience. The New Adult version, Red Zone, Team Red Book 2, will follow in August. 

Read more about T. Hammond's experience with writing concurrent books on her Goodreads Blog. Here's an excerpt of her post. 

"To separate the Adult and the less explicit versions, I decided to re-issue Red Rover as Blind Seduction.

The Team Red series is to be offered in two versions: “Blind” for adult readers preferring a spicier, adult-themed story, and Special Edition “Red” series more suitable for New Adult readers. 

The “Blind” series is written first, then ages are modified and subtle changes made to each story to tone down adult themes and language, making them a new story, with obvious mirrored elements of the original. The Special Edition is not meant to be an original work, it is meant to be a modified work of its original Blind counterpart. I WILL NOT WRITE TWO DISTINCTLY SEPARATE STORIES-- the "Red" series will always be a modified version of the "Blind" series. 

The genre thing will probably never be solved to anyone's satisfaction, especially mine-the Team Red series is a Humorous Paranormal Romance with crime solving thrown in to make it interesting.

So here's the scoop:

Team Red ‘Blind’ series:
Blind Seduction, Book 1 (originally issued as Red Rover)
Color Blind, Book 2 (coming May 2013)

Team Red ‘Red’ Series:
Red Rover – Special Edition, Book 1
Red Zone, Book 2 (coming June 2013)"


EXCERPT 
David's hotel was closest, so we stopped there first. He stepped out of the backseat on the driver's side and reached through the driver window to give Janey and awkward one-arm hug. He surprised me by coming around, opening the passenger door, and asking me if I could step out for a moment. 

Feeling a little bemused, and admittedly, still a little in shock from the looping replay in my brain about Bas overhearing me. I stood up and found my personal space being Invaded with a capital I. Before I could register his intent, David had me backed up against the back door, bracketed my face gently in his big hands and tilted my face up towards his warm and waiting mouth. 

I was stunned by the gentleness and underlying hunger as his lips parted mine and his tongue swept me away. Oh. My. The man had serious kissing skills. I also judged him at a glorious 6'4" or so, since I found myself rising up on my toes for a better fit of my mouth against his. My hands clenched at hips set higher than my own. 

He pulled away from my lips and let his breath fan my face. He smelled of coffee and maple syrup. He brought his mouth back to mine again in another kiss that caused my knees to buckle. He caught me against his front, it was a very nice front: Hard, solid, and with some very intriguing contours. His chuckle was a combination of triumph, pleasure, and need. 

"Dinner." Soft kiss. "Tonight." Softer kiss. "Pick you up at five o'clock?" His mouth stopped tantalizingly close, barely resting on my lips. His breath was warm. 

I'm pretty sure I whimpered. Geez, where had my brain disappeared to? It had been here a moment ago. 

I felt his lips quirk up in a smile. "That last part was a question. You're supposed to give me an answer." He enticed me with a carnal kiss. "A really good answer would be, 'Yes, David'." 

"Okay," I answered, with a sigh against that awesome mouth. 

David helped me back into the passenger seat. Pressed a quick kiss on my nose, and told me he'd see me at five. 

Janey put the car in drive and inched away from the curb. I turned to her and asked, "Did you get the number of that big-assed truck that just hit me?" 

"Oh, Girlfriend," she sighed. "You've got your hands full, with that one."

***

Blind Seduction  (INTENDED FOR MATURE ADULTS OVER 18) is available now from Amazon US and Amazon UK

Red Rover (NEW ADULT VERSION) is available now from Amazon US and Amazon UK



T. Hammond lives in Spokane, WA with her goofy, neurotic, long-coat German shepherd, Dexter; he's noble and brave, until someone turns on the microwave, then she has 100lbs of quivering dog trying to hide behind her chair or bury his head under a pillow (Little known fact: a 100lb German Shepherd CAN fit under a coffee table).

Writing is not a calling so much as it is a compulsion. No one is more surprised than she is when characters take over the plot and dialog, and (re)direct stories in directions she had not (consciously) intended. She is fully convinced that the writer is the tool a story uses to tell its tale. Some tools, of course, are more appropriate for the job than others. Here's hoping, you feel she did her stories proud.


T. has a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Management from Whitworth University, and a Master's Degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University and before becoming a writer she was a bookkeeper, technical/manual writer, Call Center Manager and the owner of a freshwater aquarium store, Guppy Tales.

Connect with T. Hammond online at Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and Team Red FB