Giveaway & Interview Protecting The Pack by Tabitha Conall

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Title: Protecting The Pack
Author: Tabitha Conall
Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance

Publisher: Little Death Books
Release Date: March 3, 2013

Chris leads a pack of werewolves threatened by a rival group.  Alexandra follows love away from home and into trouble.  Ben seeks a new home but cannot escape the ghosts of his past.  The mating lust pulls Chris, Ben and Alexandra together, flooding them with the desire to mark each other and seal their bond.  But their differences combine with outside forces to pull them apart, possibly forever.  Their future, their love, and even their lives hang in the balance.

Tell us a little about the book and where did you get the idea to write this story.

I was working on a series of novellas called the “Stonewall Pack Alpha” series when we started talking about doing this book tour.  I had really fallen in love with the world and characters in the Stonewall series, so when I started brainstorming what I could write about for this novel, that’s where my mind went.

And so Protecting the Pack was born.  It’s set in the same world as the Stonewall series and several of the characters from the series show up at one point or another.  Chris, the main character in Protecting the Pack, also had a cameo in the first of the Stonewall series.  But I wanted this novel to stand on its own, so I purposely wrote it so that no one would have to read the Stonewall series first in order to understand it.  In that sense, it’s not really part of the same series, even though it’s in the same world.

How and when did you get started writing novels?

I remember being a kid, like seven or eight, and knowing that I wanted to be a writer.  It was a few years after that before I first attempted to write a novel (and believe me, “attempt” is the right way to put it).  I wrote it long-hand on looseleaf paper in a spiral binder.  That had the added benefit of looking like a school binder, which meant I could write during class while my teachers thought I was taking notes.  That first novel was a fantasy novel, and I stuck with fantasy for quite a while until I discovered romance novels.  And...uh...sex.  J  But I still enjoy fantasy, which is why paranormal romance is a great fit for me.

What’s the best and worst part of being a writer?

The best part is the writing itself.  I love writing, creating a world and characters and then living in that world with them for the time it takes to write the story.  And just as much as I love one world and set of characters, I love moving on and creating a whole new, different world and characters too.

I’d say the worst part is that it takes a long time to be able to make a living writing, and during that time you have to work in a day job.  Going to work every day doing something you don’t care much about while longing to do something else is hard.

What made you decide to go the self-publishing route? How is it different from traditional publishing?

What I love about self-publishing is the freedom.  I’m in charge of everything.  There’s a responsibility there, too, but it mostly feels like freedom to me.  I get to decide what to write next, I get to decide if I want to write something that might not be “marketable,” I get to choose the covers and titles and which editing changes to make.  Sometimes my choices turn out not to be the best choices.  But I’m okay with that.  To me, that’s far better than watching someone else make bad choices about my books and having no power to stop them.

 What is your writing schedule like?

I’m one of those people who likes to experiment.  So I’m constantly tweaking my schedules, habits and methods to see if I can get more out of the time I spend.  Right now, I’m writing every day.  I write less on weekdays because my day job takes up so much of my time, and write quite a bit more on weekends.  On the weekends, I tend to write in the morning and mid-day, and finish sometime in the afternoon.  During the week, I have to fit my writing in around my schedule, so I’m less consistent about the time of day when I write, but I always make time at some point...even if that means I have to record my favorite TV show instead of watching it, so I can write during that time instead.

I also like to participate in challenges of all sorts, whether it’s Nanowrimo or a less ambitious challenge.  I get revved up by being part of a group of people all going for the same goal.  Also, having to regularly report my word count, even if it’s just on a message board or mailing list, helps to keep me writing.  I really don’t like to report that I slacked off.  J 

Where do you get your ideas?

All over the place.  Some ideas come to me like a bolt out of the blue.  Some are so amorphous I’m not even sure what to do with them.  One day I suddenly saw green...this deep, rich green that reminded me of huge leaves in a rain forest.  I can still see it.  I know there’s a story there.  But I haven’t found it yet. 

But I’ve also developed the skill of brainstorming ideas.  So for those times when I want to write something but I don’t have one of those bolts from the blue, I can still work it.  In that case, I might start with a choice.  Like—I’ve loved reading paranormal romance stories about werewolves.  I want to write a paranormal romance story about werewolves.  And then I question myself.  Not kidding.  I open up a document and start free-writing, sometimes even writing down the questions.  It might go like this:

“So, I want to write a paranormal romance about werewolves.  What makes my werewolves special?  Does the rest of the world know about these werewolves?  Maybe they’ve kept their secrets to themselves and they’re finding it harder and harder to keep quiet because of technology and the internet.  They’ve discussed coming out but don’t want to become lab rats.  Or maybe they’ve already become lab rats?  Maybe there’s a government agency that knows about them and has been capturing them for study and because they’re not “out” they have no legal way to combat these kidnappings...”

And so on.  That, by the way, was off the top of my head, not an idea I’ve written.  But it does sound kind of intriguing.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

If you really want to do this, really really really want to, then do it.  Never give up.  This is the saying that got me through a lot of years: “Every published author is an unpublished author who didn’t give up.”  I’m not sure who said that (might have been me?  I don’t remember.) but it’s gotten me through the ups and downs and all the way to “published.”  Don’t give up.

Have any of your titles ever been changed from your original choice?

Yes, absolutely.  Although these days, what I tend to do is use a working title that I don’t care about when I start writing.  Then I’ll let title ideas brew in the back of my head for a while...sometimes weeks...until one drifts to the top.  By following that process, I change my titles less often once I’ve finally settled on one.

That said, I’m still wavering over the titles for parts 3 and 4 of the Stonewall series, and those novellas will be published very soon.  I’d better make up my mind!

If you could turn any of your books into a movie which book or series would it be?

You know, this was a hard question for me, because I’ve never thought about this.  I can kind of picture Protecting the Pack as a movie.  Or, better yet, I think the Stonewall series might make a good HBO series, along the lines of True Blood.  Not that Stonewall is like True Blood, but I can see how Stonewall could be extended into a series similar to that.

Do you have a character in one of your books that continues to haunt you at night or surprised you when you wrote the book?

In a fantasy novel I wrote quite a while ago, I had a strong female lead character and a male character who was supposed to be the love interest.  The male character surprised me (read: disappointed me) by being a very weak, lovesick kind of character.  I had intended him to be romantic, but he went way too far with it.  And she surprised me by not being at all interested in him.  I quickly realized she was far too strong for him; she’d never soften to him.  The third surprise was a new character who arrived on the scene and was everything the heroine needed in a man.  I’m still a little in love with that new hero.  But where the heck did he come from?  LOL

Is there something about you or your life that readers might be surprised about?

I’m a computer geek.  In my day job I do database programming and occasionally database administration, very technical stuff.  I don’t know if readers would be surprised by that or not, but I do think it’s a somewhat odd juxtaposition—the geek who writes erotic romance with werewolves. J

Do you write a novel straight through? Or revise as you go? Plan a whole series in advance? Or does the series evolve?

I tend more toward writing straight through, although I’m also in the habit of re-reading the last half page or so before I start writing so that I remember where I am and get back into the groove of the scene.  And while I’m re-reading, I occasionally make small edits, although that’s not really the goal.

As far as series, I’ve done it both ways, and I think I prefer to do at least some planning in advance.  I wrote one novel that I had intended all along to be the first of a series, but I had no plan for book two.  When I got to the point of writing book two, I felt like I had already told the story and it took me quite a while to figure out where to go from there.  Because of that, I do like to have some idea ahead of time, even if it’s sketchy.

Do you use Beta readers?

Yes, I do.  For Protecting the Pack, one of my fellow blog tour members, Aubrey Watt, beta read my book.  (Any errors still there are mine!)  I also got to beta read her book, Paragon, and I loved it.

I think it’s a good idea to have at least one person read over your work as a reality check.  As writers, we often get very close to the characters and what’s happening to them, and it can be hard to see problems.  It’s much easier for a beta reader to catch those.  I cherish my beta readers.

Which books were the most fun to write? The hardest to write?

The erotic paranormal romance stories that I’m currently writing are definitely the most fun.  I really love them.  I also love to read erotic paranormal romance and regular paranormal romance and urban fantasy, so it’s not a stretch to see why I enjoy writing it so much.

Hardest...they weren’t books, but the hardest kind of writing I’ve had to do has been technical writing.  Only because I feel no passion for it and so I don’t enjoy it at all.

The hardest book to write...that’s a hard question.  I wrote a mystery novel a while back, and that was difficult in terms of figuring out where to place clues and red herrings and how to give enough information so the readers could potentially figure it out while trying to make it difficult enough so they couldn’t easily figure it out.  That one’s definitely in the running for hardest to write.

What’s next?

I’m just starting a post-apocalyptic menage romance, which will be the first of a set of four novellas.  I’m also brainstorming another novel in the erotic paranormal shifter sub-genre.  I don’t have all the details fleshed out, but I’m thinking something along the lines of “bear shifter spy finds his human mate except she’s on the wrong side of trouble.”

Tabitha has been in love with love since the first play she wrote at the age of eight. That story involved three princes who fell in love with three princesses. What could be more perfect?
Age has brought not just deeper conflict to her stories but also a lot more flesh. Now she describes not just the princes and princesses falling in love, but also what happens when they close the bedroom door. She’s looking forward to sharing more stories with readers very soon.

Places to find Insatiable Reads 

Places to find Tabitha 

Places to find Protecting The Pack

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Tabitha Conall said...

Thank you for hosting me on Read Between the Lines today. I loved the way you laid everything out--it's so gorgeous!

Erin F said...

Congrats to Tabitha on her new release! Sounds fantastic :) thanks for sharing!

Tabitha Conall said...

Thanks, Erin!

Amber Slagle said...

Thanks for the giveaway!!

Nikki said...

I have to say...threesome is my biggest fantasy....can't talk my bf into it though...LMAO!!! Great post and a great looking book!

bn100 said...

Very nice interview

I Smell Sheep said...

Now, I'm not a big fan of the wolves BUT this sounds like a good series to get into to! Fun interview all around! :) Love the sound of the post-apacolypse series coming out! Woot!

Dusty Katt said...

This looks like a great read. Thanks for the introduction.

godan2 said...

sounds great and liked the interview

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I would love to hear your thoughts. :) HAPPY READING !!!!