An Introduction to Tia
I have never had a real job. Self-employed since dinosaurs roamed the earth, I decided several years ago to make a change. I joined the Indiana chapter of the Romance Writers of America and the national Sisters in Crime. Learning to write has been one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I derive an enormous sense of achievement from my work as a writer.
I live in central Indiana with my husband and a spoiled pooch named Brandolina Jolie--. Brandy for short, or something not fit for print when she is chewing on the downspouts and digging up my landscaping.
Let's Get Started
Amanda: How did you get started writing?
Tia: I took a magazine writing class while I was in my twenties, and I went to a local writing conference. Let’s just say, “It has been awhile since I have been in my twenties.”Mysteries, Dean Koontz, and the books published by my chapter mates from the Indiana Romance Writers of America.
Amanda: Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
Tia: I use both sides of my brain, but not simultaneously. If I am working at my day job, which is very analytical, I can’t just jump right in. I check FB and Twitter, then I read over the last passage that I have written. When the right side of my brain is warmed-up, I’m ready to go. My dog is usually draped behind me on the back of the couch.
Amanda: What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment?
Tia: My younger sister came to live with my husband and me after our dad died suddenly. She stayed with us from her sophomore year in high school, through college and her first year as a physical therapist. We did not damage her for life.
Amanda: Which authors have been your biggest influence?
Tia: Without a doubt Lisa Gardner. Others are Tami Hoag, Sandra Brown, and John D. McDonald. My dad used to read John D. McDonald and I would abscond with the books once he was finished. Those little books were racy, but I loved them. And yes, Dad would have killed me if he had known I was reading them.
Amanda: What do you like to read during your down time?
Tia: Mysteries, Dean Koontz, and the books published by my chapter mates from the Indiana Romance Writers of America.
Amanda: If you didn't like writing books, what would you do for a
Tia: I worked as a real estate appraiser. That might seem odd, but there is a great deal of writing involved in an appraisal. After writing, my second dream job would be a photographer.
Amanda: Blue Falcon is your debut novel – what is next?
Tia: Sweet & Savage. These are the last names of my hero and heroine, only Annie Sweet is savage, and Luke Savage is sweet. It is another novel about a strong heroine trying to come to grips with her damaging past.
Amanda: If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
Tia: Jessica Alba as Grace , and John Caviezel as Jared ,who plays John Reese on Person of Interest.
Amanda: Blue Falcon ends on somewhat of a cliff hanger – how many books do you have planned for this series?
Tia: Blue Falcon isn’t so much a cliff-hanger as it is a choose your own villain. I want the reader to come to their own conclusion as to who the culprit is. I didn’t intend to make this a series, although I have been asked several times if I would write on novel about Rafael.
Amanda: What got you interested in writing this type of genre?
Tia: I love mysteries and suspense. I belong to a group associated with the Romance Writers of America. This organization provided the education necessary to learn to write. I am drawn to suspense, but my training is in romance. I just combined them.
Amanda: What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing this kind of story to life?
Tia: I took multiple on-line classes about law enforcement officers and their mind-set, and I read a vast array of blogs from our returning service men and women. I followed the newspaper regarding the gun and drug trafficking and kept a notebook about the articles. Occasionally, it made me a little crazy .
Amanda: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Tia: It is set in Indianapolis. The hero is a firefighter, and the heroine is a private investigator. She was raised in foster homes and someone from her past is trying to silence her.
Amanda: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? Do you attend any of the book tours?
Tia: I am doing a couple of local book signings this fall and next year. As far as researching the area for the setting, Blue Falcon was set in Phoenix, a city I have visited often, and Sweet & Savage is set in Indianapolis, where I live.
Amanda: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Tia: Critique partners are invaluable. It is hard to receive criticism on you lovely words, but as writers, we don’t always get what is in our heads onto the paper properly. A good critique partner can help with any missteps. I also recommend joining a writer’s group of some sort. In addition to IRWA, I belong to the Speed City Sisters in Crime. Writing is a craft, and it needs to be honed. I have also invested in many books about writing.
The Blue Falcon Dream Cast
James Caviezel is Tia's perfect choice for Jared Cooper. He is tough, hot and has eyes that will see through your soul! We agree - a PERFECT choice.
Tia loves the idea of Jessica Alba as Grace Garcia. She is so smoking hot and we can definitely see her as the tough bombshell that is Grace.
An Excerpt from Sweet and Savage (Tia's WIP)
When the gear was loaded, I reflected on the relative ease in which I had escaped this fiery mishap. There were several practical reasons why the fire had started in the trees, and there was no property damage or injuries. As disasters went, this one was tame. Karma must be getting soft.
Karma must have seen this as a challenge, because she reared her ugly head and spat in my face. From the farthest corner of the row of pine trees someone yelled, “Hey, over here. Call the police department. We’ve got a crime scene.”
Several firemen scurried in that direction and fragments of their conversation were audible. “The water flushed them out…small, like toddlers…must’ve been here awhile.”
With legs made of lead, I crept behind them and peered over their shoulders. My breath caught. Partially embedded into the ground were two tiny sets of bones, as if drawn in cameo relief. The skulls lay on their sides, facing each other, and the knee bones touched. The arrangement of the remains gave the impression they had died while comforting one another, and the entwined skeletal fingers of all four hands portrayed heart-wrenching sorrow.
Perched on each skull were two orange clown wigs. The wigs were dirt free and the color hadn’t faded, as if they had just be placed on the remains. The affront to my senses was overwhelming. Skeletons are a symbol of depletion, death, and secrets. The wigs were a cheap attempt at sensationalism. I wanted to scream at the outrage, but when I lifted my head, all eyes were on me.
Their eyes told me what their voices would not.
Let the lynching commence.
I backed away, never allowing my gaze to waver.
Why is it when the shit hits the fan, I’m the only one holding a shovel?
Sweet and Savage's hero is a hot firefighter - so what a perfect opportunity to upload a gratuitous picture of one for all of you!
Blue Falcon - Tia's Debut Novel
Devastated by her combat experiences, former Marine Grace Garcia is unable to adjust to civilian life until a wayward postcard sends her on a mission that places her in the path of Jared Cooper, the new Special Agent in Charge of the Phoenix ATF.
With a new job and a new daughter, Jared has no interest in a new relationship, but when seemingly unrelated events result in a dangerous threat to their lives, he offers Grace refuge.
When witnesses and suspects die before they can talk, Jared becomes convinced the threats are originating close to home, but the perpetrator is always one step ahead as he searches for answers.
As the stakes get higher, can Grace once again embrace her warrior past?
Caught in a nest of deception, can Jared unravel the lies to find the truth before another life slips away?
The truth lies in uncovering the elusive Blue Falcon.
Tia Loves Hearing From All Her Readers...