Monday, May 10, 2010

Guest: Tate Hallaway

Please welcome Tate Hallaway to VampChix today!  We're excited to feature her as a guest, but a little bummed because her latest release is the last in an awesome series.  Tate has 5 copies of HONEYMOON OF THE DEAD to give away to 5 random commenters, so give her some love in the comments and be sure to follow her on Twitter and FB!  [Winners announced Wednesday.]

Saying Good-bye

Everyone knows a never-ending series that should have stopped at book eight.  A friend of mine and fellow writer made a conscious decision to end his popular urban fantasy series while he was ahead -- in sales, as well as fresh plotlines.

Me?  I’m not that savvy.  I was looking forward to writing DEAD & RETIRED, book four hundred and seventy-three in the Garnet Lacey series.  But, my publisher had other plans. 

It was particularly hard to say good-bye to a set of beloved characters under those circumstances, as I’m sure you can imagine.  It was a bit like I woke up one day and got the news that my main character, Garnet, was killed in a car crash.  Worse, because I wasn’t prepared for the news, I wasn’t able to write the last book conscious that it was the end.  I’d already turned in a complete final draft when the publisher decided it was uninterested in the proposals for the next three books my agent and I had offered.  Which meant, I’d written the entire book PLANNING the next – there were plotlines I’d intentionally left open ended, with the idea I’d use those as seeds for the next book.  My main character is a witch, who, we learn through the course of the series, isn’t exactly careful about her spells.  I’d left some of the consequences of her carelessness in the text for a three-book long “clean-up” and character arc in the proposals I submitted.

When I got the book back for revisions, I had to scurry.  I did what I could to patch plot holes and tie up series-wide loose ends.  For readers, I rewrote my acknowledgements so that it was clear to them that it was this was the last book (it’s not labeled that way on the cover.  In fact, the cover art doesn’t match the style of the rest of the series at all.)

In the end, after a lot of sweat and some tears, I’ve ended up with a book I’m proud of, but sad about as well.  I wish I’d had more of a heads-up earlier in the process so that I could have lingered over good-bye.  I think I would have written a very different story, had I known.

It’s tough because, for me, one of the things I like about writing series is the opportunity to expand themes over several books.  My books are always structured to stand alone.  Their story is self-contained.  The problem I bring up in the first chapter is resolved at the end.  However, I like leaving little tease-y bits in the sub-plots hanging loose so that they can show up later, and readers can say, “Ah ha!  That’s the consequence that little thing she did in book two!”  I also like watching a character change and grow over the course of the larger arc.  I always try to have my main character learn something about herself at the end of each book that changes the way she deals with the next.

Garnet, alas, still had a lot to learn.

But, perhaps there will be opportunities in the future.  The first book in the series, as far as I last heard, is tentatively scheduled to come out in paperback in December of 2011.  As we say in magical circles, “Merry meet, merry part, and merry meet again!”

Blurb for HONEYMOON OF THE DEAD (Berkley):  In wintry Wisconsin, occult bookseller-and witch-Garnet Lacey isn't immune to the cold. But even though her new vampire husband doesn't actually have a pulse, love will keep them warm-if the honeymoon doesn't drive them apart. 

Thanks to a vengeful frost demon, instead of a gothic honeymoon in Transylvania, Garnet and Sebastian are stuck in exotic Minneapolis, Minnesota. And with gods and goddesses running amok all over town, Garnet can't seem to find much quality time for her new hubby...

Read and excerpt

Twitter:  @tatehallaway


cait045 said...

Hey Tate, so sorry to hear that your series is ending. It has to be bittersweet. I understand how shocked you must have been a little heads up would have been nice.


SandyG265 said...

I'm sad that this is going to be the last book in the series but I'm looking foward to reading it.

sgiden AT verizon DOT net

elaing8 said...

I found this fantastic series through an anthology and loved it. Sad to see it come to an end.
Can't wait to read Honeymoon of the Dead.

Mayhem and Magic said...

Sad news - But be proud of your awesome run!


WickedLilPixie said...

When I read you Myspace post many months ago that this was the last Garnet book, I had a sad :(

So sorry to see the end of one of my favorite series.

Kirsten said...

Hi Tate, I suppose that all good things have to end some time, but it makes me sad to see this series end.

Anna Dougherty said...

I've known for awhile now that this series was ending and it makes me sad. I could always rely on Garnet to make me laugh- a good light read isn't always easy to find. I'm hoping to read this book soon.

I like the new cover but it isn't as bright and whimsical as the others. It is dreamy though:)

tina werner said...

i love garnet, so sad that it's coming to an end...

stampitchick at yahoo dot ca

tate hallaway said...

Thanks for all the condolences. I feel like someone who's had a beloved pet die, you know?

And Anne... yes, the cover is very, eh, different as we say in Minnesota. This is another one of those baffling things that the publisher decided. I'd have preferred the cover to continue in the look of the series, but they wanted to try something new.

The colors are nice. :)

k_sunshine1977 said...

i'm sorry that your series is coming to an end...will there be a possibility of glimpses into this world through short stories (anthologies and such)?

tate hallaway said...

I'd love to write some short stories in this universe. But, alas, I have had no offers. I was lucky enough to do one with Charaline Harris called MANY BLOODY RETURNS...but, my short stories are admittedly not my strongest format, so, I haven't been asked back! :-)

van_pham said...

I'm sorry to hear that your Garnet Lacey series is coming to an end. Are you working on any other projects?



tate hallaway said...

I am working on other projects! I have a young adult novel coming out this August, that's the first of three in a series called "The Vampire Princess of Saint Paul."

My science fiction writer alter ego also has a new book coming out from small press this December called RESURRECTION CODE (Mad Norwegian Press.)

Barbara E. said...

Sorry to hear the series is ending, and I haven't even had a chance to get started reading it yet. I guess I'll need to get started so I don't miss out. said...

i enjoyed your story in ,many bloody returns!

but i love the series and really going to miss chewing my nails off, waiting of rthe next book to come out said...

o ove been a facebook friend and twitter friend for while


mariska said...

sadly to say that i had missed so many books of yours, since you are a new for me Author !

And i would really like to read one of them before it's too late !

enter me in please :)

uniquas at ymail dot com

Martha Lawson said...

This is a series I've yet to start, even tho it is on my list.. I'd love to win this one, so I would go on and start the series!! They look awesome. Please enter me.

I follow

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

mbreakfield said...

I'm sad that your series is at an end but glad that you were able to fix all the plot holes. I hate it, when a series ends and keeps you hanging.

buddyt said...

I have not read any of your books as yet and now I find out about this series just as it is ending !

Thats sad.

If the giveaway is open worldwide, I would love to be entered to get a copy of the book in case I can't find the earlier ones in the bookstores.


Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Shauna Leigh Kemp said...

Aw, I'm sorry to hear this as well! I'm excited to merry meet this one though! Thanks for sharing about it here!! Best wishes, Shauna

tetewa said...

Sad when a series comes to an end, looking forward to your new releases!

Mustang Heritage said...

I am sorry,i hate it when a series ends. I am adding you to my list of people to start reading now. Your books sounds awesome!
Now i gottta go put this series under my wish list for kindle/ amazon!

throuthehaze said...

Sounds like a good book. I hate when a good series ends :(
throuthehaze at gmail dot com

Rosie said...

Wow, I really am behind. Looks like I have some reading to do. At least knowing that I have the whole series to read, it will keep me happy for a while, even though the series ended. Thanks for stopping by and for the great contest!

Anonymous said...

I think your publisher has made a HUGE mistake... on the new cover art and ending the series! I mean, why change the look of a series for the last book? Silly! Not that I don't like it, but it makes my OCD get all twitchy! :) Also, I don't know anything about the business of writing, but as a creative person myself, I can't imagine being told I couldn't follow the creative course I was on. Some things just beg to be given life to... whether it's a story, or a painting, or a song. Anyway, I have faith that this is not the last we'll hear from Garnet Lacey! I wish you many blessings and continued success! -Julie