Please tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m a newbie author, sci-fi fan, romance junkie, and self-proclaimed globetrotter. I’ve lived in Thailand, Australia, the U.S., and thanks to my husband’s job, the U.A.E. and Pakistan (all before my thirtieth birthday). I’m now preparing for our move to Italy. Our vagabond lifestyle makes it impossible for me to have a traditional career, so I get to learn different languages and embrace being a starving writer guilt-free.
Tell us about your Undead Fairy Tales series:
A year and a half ago, for reasons I can’t quite recall, I decided a post-apocalyptic zombie word would be the perfect setting for fairy tale-based romances. Inspired by Rapunzel, Tower in the Woods was my debut work. A fateful snowstorm pitches my tower-bound sniper against a mysterious federal agent, and several hot nights and near-death experiences later, they get their happily ever after.
The second book in the series, Catching Red, is scheduled for release on February 3, 2014 (so this interview is basically my cover reveal). My knife-wielding Little Red Riding Hood gets herself into a world of undead trouble, and it’s up to Agent Marcus Woodsman to save her. Writing this novel was loads of fun since I could let my sci-fi side come out to play. Not only did I describe the progression of the Undead Reanimation Virus in great detail, I set quite a few scenes in futuristic Washington, D.C.
What inspired you to write Catching Red?
That’s easy–finishing the first book. Because Tower in the Woods was a Rapunzel story, about 70% of the world I sketched out never made it into the novella. The romance is, after all, set in a tower. As soon as I was done whipping Book 1 into shape, I was dying to create a heroine who could hack and slash her way through a zombie-infested world. Little Red Riding Hood seemed like just the ticket.
Please share a favourite snippet from your book:
This is how Red and the Woodsman first meet [pre-final version]
Before she could process what had happened, a dark shadow appeared. The tall broad-chested man hacked through the creatures like an angel of death. Wielding a modified woodcutter’s axe, he removed heads with the apparent ease of cutting grass. Lethal and silent, her savior made his way through the swarm. He moved so fast her blurring eyes struggled to capture his progress.
She heard sounds of parting flesh and breaking bones -- thuds as bodies and heads fell to the ground. The axe’s crescent blade appeared as silver arcs against the black and gray tableau. The only other source of color was the man’s golden hair. For a moment, she was certain he was a delusion spawned from blood loss and terror.
A large hand closed over the scruff of her neck and yanked. Jerked to her feet, she gazed into eyes of brightest blue. Knowing she wasn’t fighting alone gave her failing body a second wind. Turning so their backs met, her knives and his axe slashed out in tandem. Before long, the undead around them became a mound of body parts on the dusty white floor.
Which comes first for you – a character's looks, personality or name?:
Oddly enough, it’s always been the name. Once I decided on Scarlet “Red” Ryding, it seemed only right to make her a petite redhead.
Any tips for aspiring authors?:
I’m an aspiring author myself, so I’m drawing a blank. Oh—once you have that first contract, all the books you buy (as well as your laptop) are considered “business expenses” for American tax purposes. According to my husband, I contribute to our family income in the form of deductibles.
Questions for fun:
If you had the power of time travel, is there anything you would go back and change? Why/why not?:
I would stop myself from getting that horrible haircut in high school.
What super-power would you choose?:
Teleportation. Words cannot describe how much I hate going through airport security.
If you could have three wishes, what would they be?:
1. Become a NY Times bestselling author
2. Be able to afford a private jet that will take me wherever I want whenever I want
3. Be able to stay in shape without exercising
Coffee, tea or wine?:
Tea. Specifically, Cacao Mint Black from Teavana (which I just discovered they might have discontinued).
What is your favourite book? (aside from one of your own!):
I’m cheating by naming what I think are now 7 books–the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh
Favourite genre and why?:
I’m not sure I should admit this here, but I have a love affair with paranormal romance.
Let’s see. My laptop’s cover is pink. My keyboard protector is pink. I have a pink Hello Kitty ATM card. My favorite purse and shoes are pink. I’m going to insist it’s purple.
Upcoming news and plans for the future?:
I’m taking a full-time Italian course right now, so I’m on a self-imposed writing break. Nonetheless, I’m mulling over a shifter romance and a fairy tale set in space. By March, one of them will emerge victorious.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!
Catching Red (pre-final blurb) – Coming February 3, 2014
Scarlet “Red” Ryding is on a mission. To prevent mass suicide, she must fulfill her grandmother’s evil wishes and return posthaste. With knives in hand, she dives headfirst into an abandoned hospital full of zombies. But after getting trapped within, she is forced to accept help from the world’s most dangerous predator—a man.
Covert Agent Marcus Woodsman received strict instructions against interfering in the affairs of nomads. As a spy for the Federal Military Agency, his mandate is to observe and report. But when he finds a little redhead caught in the center of a brain-eater swarm, conscience compels him to put his axe to good use. By the time he realizes this smartass scout comes equipped with a world of trouble, it’s too late—he would do anything to keep her safe.
As Red and her Woodsman work together to survive undead, brave a snowstorm, and bring down an evil cult, they learn to laugh, love, and fight for happiness. The second book in Tara Quan’s Undead Fairy Tales series, Catching Red is a post-apocalyptic thriller with a happily ever after.
Consolidated Buy Links: http://www.taraquan.com/books/
Where Readers Can Find Me: