Tamara Hogan | My Favorite Writing Teachers
March 9, 2011
In the scheme of things, I haven’t been writing very long. Though I majored in
English with a creative writing emphasis in college many moons ago, I didn’t
start writing seriously until 2007. In an epic case of ‘be careful what you wish
for; you just may receive it,’ that manuscript was named a 2009 Golden Heart
finalist, won a paranormal Daphne, and sold to Sourcebooks as part of a
three-book deal. Though it took me a long time after college to scrape up the
guts to actually put pen to paper (or set fingers to keyboard) I like to think I
was…in training, preparing for publication all along—by reading other people’s
Following are some of my favorite teachers:
Anne Rice: The world-building in “Interview with the Vampire” absolutely
knocked my socks off. Rice’s New Orleans was lush, dark and dank. You could
smell the rot and the perfume. She had a new take on the vampire legend, and her
languid, sensual vamps had a distinct homoerotic edge that I hadn’t previously
been exposed to.
Marion Zimmer Bradley: Reading “The Mists of Avalon” was a
transformational experience for me. As a college student in the 80’s, I found
her retelling of the Arthurian legends through the eyes of the women to
be an absolutely radical idea—and so, so refreshing. I especially liked that
“Mists” was written largely from the POV of the supposedly “evil” Morgaine—whom,
we discover, wasn’t quite so evil after all.
Frank Herbert: The Dune series rocked my world. Talk about
world-building ON STEROIDS. He developed complete solar systems, each with their
own cultural, legal, technical and spiritual practices—right down to the history
books—at a time when we could barely see beyond our own celestial back yard, and
when PCs didn’t yet exist.
Nora Roberts: Ah, La Nora. I’ve read her books since her first category
romance, Irish Thoroughbred, was published in 1981. No one writes
families, beta heroes, or friendships better. POV purists might complain about
her tendency to head-hop, but hey—if it works, it works. I squeed like a little
girl when Nora’s alter ego, J.D. Robb, started her “In Death” series, treating
readers to Eve and Roarke, two of my favorite fictional characters evah.
Nalini Singh: Compared to the teachers I’ve already mentioned, Nalini is
a new kid on the block, but she’s quickly—albeit very politely—elbowed her way
to the front of the paranormal pack with her riveting and utterly unique
Psy/Changeling and Guild Hunter series. The worlds she’s created are utterly
unique, and I find her super-saturated sensory descriptions and POV work
Angela Knight: Ms. Knight is on my list for two reasons. Not only is she
the author of one of my favorite futuristic romance series, The Time Hunters,
but she’s also written my go-to craft book: “Passionate Ink: A Guide to Writing
Erotic Romance.” Don’t be fooled by the title; this book deserves space on every
romance writer’s bookshelf.
Who are your favorite authors—and why?
TASTE ME BY
TAMARA HOGAN – IN
STORES MARCH 2011
Hot, sexy urban fantasy romance by a new author with talent to burn…
He Wants Her So Badly He Can Taste It…
Ever since their tempestuous fling years ago, incubus Lukas Sebastiani has known
that siren Scarlett Fontaine was meant to be his. But when you’re a sex demon
with an insatiable desire, relationships are way more than complicated…
Her Siren Songs Bring Men to Their Knees…
Rock star Scarlett Fontaine desperately needs a break after a grueling tour. But
with murder and mayhem surrounding her band, and the one man she never thought
to see again put to the task of protecting her, life is going to be anything but
Every encounter between them creates more turmoil—and heat—until Scarlett pushes
Lukas to the boiling point, and unleashes forces that go way beyond anything she
can hope to control…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tamara Hogan loathes
cold and snow, but nonetheless lives in the Minneapolis exurbs with her partner
Mark and two naughty cats. When she’s not telecommuting as a quality and
process engineer for a global networking company, she writes urban fantasy with
a sci-fi twist. TASTE
ME was a 2009 Daphne Paranormal Winner and Golden Heart paranormal finalist
under the title Underbelly. For more information, please visit
39 comments posted.
Re: Tamara Hogan | My Favorite Writing Teachers
I also love Nalini Singh for her storytelling and development of the relationship between her hero and heroine. Then there is Ilona Andrews and her world building. I am waiting for the next book in the Kate Daniel's series. Also just started Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress novels and have been working my way through and have found a new favorite author.
(Lindsey Ekland 6:54am March 9, 2011)
Megan Hart for her complex stories and deeply flawed and human characters. Lauren Dane for her Alpha males and for the strong families she creates. Jaci Burton for her Alphas and the action and danger she writes so well. Maya Banks for her steamy Sweet series. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Congratulations on Taste Me Tamara! I would love to read that story!
(Stacie Deramo 8:30am March 9, 2011)
Our mentors are so important no matter what we do.
(Marjorie Carmony 8:56am March 9, 2011)
Charlaine Harris for her world building in the Southern Vampire series. The same with Ilona Andrews with the Kate Daniels series. (Shockingly, considering how I love kate Daniels, I couldn't finish the first Bayou book.) Donald Westlake's humorous crook capers never failed to make me laugh and the humor wasn't forced.
So many people love Anne Rice, but I have never, ever been able to get past the first 10 pages of her books. My sister has the problem.
(Anne Muller 10:40am March 9, 2011)
Lindsey, I know of so many reader/writers who adore Nalini Singh! The level of craft in her novels is simply amazing, on so many levels. I don't particularly collect author pictures and autographs, but she's on my short list. She told me I had a pretty name. ;-)
Stacie, I also enjoy Megan Hart - I thought her "Order of Solace" novella series was stunning, a master class in world-building at novella length.
Marjorie, yes! Your statement is so true. One of my very great pleasures was to dedicate TASTE ME to two of my high school English teachers!
Anne, I adore the world Charlaine's created. So specific, and so, so hot. In terms of Rice, I prefer her earlier work - especially the Vampire Chronicles and "The Witching Hour." Thanks so much for visiting with us here at Fresh Fiction today!
(Tamara Hogan 10:57am March 9, 2011)
I can't say that I have a particular favorite, because my tastes are so varied, but there are authors that I read, depending on my particular mood at the time. Since your question was sort of a pop quiz to me, there are only 3 authors that came into my head, although if I sat long enough, I probably could come up with more. My authors are, in no particular order: Janet Evanovich, Gregory Maguire, and Jennifer Chiaverini. When I get through my TBR list, I'm sure it will be updated.
(Peggy Roberson 11:04am March 9, 2011)
This would definitely be a change in romance genre for me, but I work at a Library and up to anything. I hope I win.
(Renee Howell 11:33am March 9, 2011)
I like Stephen King for the way he can develop his characters and give me nightmares at the same time. I like Carmac MacCarthy, for his conservative use of his words. Each sentence means something, when there isn't alot written.
(Debbie Penny 12:27pm March 9, 2011)
One of my favorite authors is Lillian Jackson Braun---because she made Quilleran seem so real to me. I liked the way she developed her characters--they just seemed like family to me after a couple books.
(Sue Farrell 12:29pm March 9, 2011)
Peggy, isn't Evanovich's Stephanie Plum a hoot? Her setting work is fabulous; The Burg is almost a character itself! My TBR pile is gigantic. I recently pulled Dierdre Knight's BUTTERFLY TATTOO out of the pile. I thought it was an extraordinary book.
Renee - YAY FOR LIBRARIES! You and your colleagues do the work of the angels. If you can read, you can learn to do anything. (Even write.)
Debbie, I'm a huge Stephen King fan - so huge that I actually paid $75 for a set of five Stephen King Russian nesting dolls. They stare at me from the ledge in my office. I also have a very well-thumbed copy of his seminal writing book, "On Writing."
Sue, so many people have recommended LJB to me. I've never read her. I'll have to rectify my error immediately!
(Tamara Hogan 12:44pm March 9, 2011)
The first author to get me hooked on reading was Catherine Coulter... from there some of my favs became Nora Roberts/JD Robb, Jayne Ann Krentz, Sandra Brown... and many more... each one always has me coming back for more!
(Colleen Conklin 12:50pm March 9, 2011)
Love Ann Rice books, she's great!!
(Joanne Bozik 12:56pm March 9, 2011)
I loathe the snow and cold too, and live just south of you in Iowa.
My guilty pleasure is Janet Evanovich. She makes me snort every single time.
As a librarian, I have far too many favorites, which isn't always a good thing. Definitely too many to mention.
(Shannon Jensen 1:07pm March 9, 2011)
wooh this will be a hit
(Debbi Shaw 1:17pm March 9, 2011)
Colleen - what fabulous memories these names bring! I've been reading romance since I was about 10 years old (There was no such genre as YA back in the day; a precocious reader graduated from Nancy Drew directly to the adult stacks). I cut my teeth on Woodiwiss, Coulter, Ann Major and Harlequin Presents category romances. ;-)
Joanne - Have you read "The Witching Hour"? After reading the book, I wanted to be a member of the Talamasca SO BADLY!
Shannon - having too many favorite writers is a good problem to have, isn't it?
Debbi, thanks so much!! Hope you like it. Sub-genre-wise, the book's definitely a mash-up.
(Tamara Hogan 2:24pm March 9, 2011)
Belated congratulations on you 2009 Daphne Paranormal Winner
and Golden Heart paranormal finalist under the title
Underbelly. Interesting information about some of your
favorite authoring teachers.
(Leanna Morris 3:28pm March 9, 2011)
Sandra Brown writes stories that draw me in every time.
(Mary Preston 4:20pm March 9, 2011)
I have always loved the vampire genre since the B&W days of Bela Lugosi, but it was Anne Rice who set the bar for me. Her Vampire Chronicles set the benchmark and the Brat Prince Lestat is on my Top Ten List.
When I first read Marion Zimmer Bradley, yes, when it was first released, I was blown away. A completely different POV of a story that I loved.
Little did I know that the required English Lit in HS would lead to a love of the romance genre starting with Greek Mythology.
TASTE ME is going on the TBR! Sounds wonderful!
(Cynthia Netherton 4:27pm March 9, 2011)
This book sounds wonderful. I love authors like Sherilyn Kenyon and Christine Feehan. Of course I love so many books and authors there's too many to mention. My parents started me on the path to reading since I was little and my desire to read has only grown.
(Tabitha Monroe 5:00pm March 9, 2011)
I have four Anne Rice novels and reread them over and over. I hope to check out Taste me.
(Deb Pelletier 6:23pm March 9, 2011)
My favorites are Ilona Andrews for Kate Daniels (I like the world created and the relationship arcs throughout the series) and Kelley Armstrong for Otherworld, particularly the werewolves (another good world and a good character in Elena).
(Carol Drummond 7:04pm March 9, 2011)
Anne Rice's novels really introduced me to the world of adult urban fantasy and Lestat's narrative style is something I had never seen before. And Nalini Singh's twist on shapeshifters and angels, to me at least, shows it's never too late to put a new spin on an old story. I love both these authors and, likewise, have found much inspiration in their works.
(Samantha Briffett 7:08pm March 9, 2011)
I've always read Historical Romance. I feel that now I should give other Authors' a chance by breaking out into a different genre. This would be the perfect start for me if I were to win.
(Diane Diamond 8:55pm March 9, 2011)
Leanna, thank you so much!
Mary, I join you in your love for Ms. Brown. Always a great story!
Cynthia, my sistah! Sounds like our tastes in reading material align pretty tightly.
Tabitha, I still pull Feehan's first Carpathian novel, "Dark Prince", off the shelf every year or so and re-read it. What a treat.
Deb, sounds like we have a lot of Anne Rice lovers here today! Great minds obviously think alike. ;-)
Carol, more favorites!
Samantha, the thing that I particularly like about how Singh handles the Guild Hunters series is that her angels aren't particularly...angelic. She managed to recharacterize angels as something other than religious. I find Raphael's darkness to be very intriguing.
(Tamara Hogan 9:00pm March 9, 2011)
Diane, up until about 10 years ago, I considered paranormal romance, urban fantasy romance and alternate history to be my reading "home base." I started reading historical romance at about that time, and I now count historical authors like Eloisa James, Sabrina Jeffries, Stephanie Laurens and Julia Quinn as auto-buys.
I actually received a personal email from Eloisa James last week; she referenced TASTE ME's Lukas and Scarlett in a column she did at BN.COM Monday 3/7 on hardheaded characters. So I now have concrete proof that Ms. James, a NYT bestselling historical author, reads paranormal and urban fantasy romance. ;-)
(Tamara Hogan 9:06pm March 9, 2011)
Christina Dodd has always been my favorite author in historical, contemporary, and paranormal.
Nora Roberts (aka J.D. Robbs) becomes my favorite with the Death In series. There are so much developments of her two main character Eve Dallas and Roark. The more you read about them, the more you want to know about them.
There is another author who is fairly new. It's Lydia Dare and she writes about werewolves in the Regency era. Her characters are colorful and I don't seemed to get bored with the stories. She just captured my attention from the first chapter.
There are so many authors that I love and I could possibly writes a novel on why I loves these authors.
(Kai Wong 9:35pm March 9, 2011)
I love J. D. Robbs (Nora Roberts). So many others, Catherine Anderson for sure, Linda Lael Miller, Lauri Lewis is a new one I loved her Leaving Avery. So many new authors I"m discovering by winning books. I'm loving this!
dancealert at aol dot com
(Brenda Rupp 10:16pm March 9, 2011)
I also love Nora Roberts - I've read most her books (just have a few to catch up on).
(Diane Sallans 10:20pm March 9, 2011)
Nora Roberts as J.D. Robb - funny, sexy, smart, great character development, and set in the future. I love those books!
(Robin Daily 10:53pm March 9, 2011)
My favorite author is Stephen King. His imagination intrigues me. I also really enjoy reading Laurell Hamilton. Her vampire series was great fun to read.
(Teresa Ward 11:27pm March 9, 2011)
It changes with my age. When I first started reading it was the world in which Janet Dailey created for her Coulter Saga. Then I found that I enjoyed the rebellion of the Native Americans in the historicals. With a kid, a full time job and full time college life as a single mom, I found time for reading was likely to be college texts. After graduating and finally finding time to read again it was paranormals and suspense from Sharon Sala, Suzanne Brockmann, most anything that was in the line of Silhouette Romance books. The older the kid got the more time I had for reading and found myself reading anything new at the library. With Kindle I find myself reading the hot, sensual romances of Shiloh Walker, Catherine Fox, Lauren Dane. My favorite other world builders are Jessica Andersen and Colleen Gleason (Joss Ware) because they only have built worlds based on the ruins. Colleen based her's on what happens after lost civilization and writes as if Disney's park is a fairy tale and the town of Redlo is what's left from a sign of Red Lobster. Jessica's world is now, but from the ruins of the Mayan civilizaion, lost but a few fighting to save us from the 2012 disaster.
(Christina Harrison 12:44pm March 10, 2011)
Stories for the grown up girls vs the teen girls are much appreciated!
(Darci Paice 3:16am March 10, 2011)
Diane, Robin - are either of you members of the Romance Writers of America? Nora was the keynote speaker at the 2010 RWA National conference, and gave a kick-ass talk about how, regardless of how technology has changed over the years, the important aspects of getting a book written and published really haven't changed all that much. "How badly do you want it?" Butt in chair, hands on keyboard - every single day.
(Tamara Hogan 6:15am March 10, 2011)
Teresa, isn;t King great? As far as LKH is concerned, I'm a huge Jean-Claude fan. It takes massive balls to wear tight satin pants, a poet shirt and Baroque heels in St. Louis. ;-)
(Tamara Hogan 6:18am March 10, 2011)
Christina - I too am a longtime romance reader. Sheesh, I've been reading romance for nearly 40 years. It's been such an amazing experience to watch the genre evolve over a time when women's societal and cultural roles have evolved a lot, too.
Darci, I was laughing with my sister the other day about the big girls vs. teen girls thing. Sis feels my teenaged niece should wait a while to read my book, which is a little steamy. As I mentioned up above, there was no such thing as YA when I was young, and my parents didn't censor my reading. I read what I wanted, understood some or most of it, and what I didn't understand went over my head and certainly didn't influence my enjoyment of the story. I also built a killer vocabulary. ;-)
(Tamara Hogan 9:19am March 10, 2011)
I love Marion Zimmer Bradley too! Your comments about Nalini Singh have me interested because I've never read her and now I'm interested in your book too!
(Renee Pajda 9:47am March 10, 2011)
I have too many to list, but Dan Chaon's Await Your Reply and most chic lits get my eyes focused on the pages.
(Alyson Widen 12:10pm March 10, 2011)
I wouldn't even know where to begin with my own list, but Marion Zimmer Bradley is definitely on it!
(Birgit Lehner 12:39pm March 10, 2011)
I read so many different authors and genres. I've read romance and mystery over the years. The first urban fantasy I read was when my daughter started me on Karen Marie Moning's Fever series. I was hooked after that. I'll watch for your book the next time I'm in Walmart. Most of our Borders just closed; Walmart and Target actually have decent book selections.
(Andrea Infinger 12:50pm March 10, 2011)
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