31 January 2014

Author Interview, Book Spotlight & Excerpt, Giveaway: T.F. Walsh discusses her debut paranormal romance, Cloaked in Fur

I love reading books by debut authors - particularly those that blow me away. So today, I'm delighted to welcome Australian author T.F. Walsh to Fab Fantasy Fiction. T.F. is the author of the paranormal romance, CLOAKED IN FUR. If you love shifter romances, make sure to add this book to your TBR list!

T.F., I think that you may have travelled the farthest distance to join us today. So THANK YOU for taking the time out from Australia to visit Fab Fantasy Fiction.

May I get you a cup of coffee or tea? A glass of wine perhaps as I know it’s evening for you now? (I think I have an Australian Shiraz). Great! Well, now that we're all set. Let's chat a bit.

(EVW) Can you share a bit about living Down Under? It's summer there now right? Is it your vacation time or are you writing constantly?
(TFW) We are in the middle of summer here in Australia, and it's been a scorcher. Last few weeks have seen a huge spike in temperatures and bush fires, which are never fun. Luckily, Sydney has had some rain this past week, which helps a lot. While the kids are currently in school holidays, everyone else is working, and when it comes to writing, that's pretty much a full time job. I don't think I ever stop, and that includes when I go on vacation.

(EVW) Speaking of writing. I realize that Cloaked in Fur is your debut novel. How did you begin writing it? What inspired you to set the words to paper (or screen)? I know that sometimes just the *act* of writing is the most difficult - the beginning - so would love for you to share your experience with others.
(TFW) I've always dabbled in writing from a young age, but it was only 5-6 years ago that I started taking it seriously. For the first few years I studied the art, found my writing style, and uncovered what I loved writing the most, genre wise. I started off with short stories, and have had some appear in e-zines, and what I discovered was that I loved dark, paranormal stories. I guess it shouldn't be a surprise since I read a lot of horror. I grew up listening to bedtime Romanian stories that could only be compared to the Brothers Grimm tales, and ever since then folklore and mythology has fascinated me. So, these influenced the type of story I wanted to write, along with showing the real Romania, since I was born there. I'm a bit of an organisational freak, so I plotted Cloaked in Fur out in detail, down to the chapter, along with researching who my characters were, the location, how wolves behaved. By the time I sat down to write my first words, the story was already alive in my head, and the words just flowed.

(EVW) TF may I say that Cloaked in Fur captured me from the moment I began reading it. I love the Carpathian setting of a city surrounded by woods - and wolves, werewolves that is. I know that you are originally from Romania and emigrated to Australia at a young age. How much did your memories of Romania shape the setting of Cloaked in Fur? Have you returned there at all?
(TFW) I was born in Romania, but sadly haven't returned yet. I do plan on visiting Romania with my husband very soon. I still remember so much about the country, having spend my childhood there, and a lot of those memories trickled into my writing, along with small intricacies that were specific to how the Romanian culture influenced me. One particular character in Cloaked in Fur, Daciana's boss, was loosely based on the older generation Romanian people I know. To this day, they still fear the government or any authority after living in a communist country because of the way they were treated. And Daciana's boss has that exact mentality in his approach to everything in life.

(EVW) Let me say that Cloaked in Fur has a beautiful love story that is woven throughout the action of the story. But there is so much at stake for Dacia and Connell - and so much against them - that I have to admit to almost cheating to see the ending. When you were writing it, did you have a definite conclusion in mind or did some of the characters take over the action a bit? (May I just say your secondary characters are wonderful also!)
(TFW) I knew exactly how I wanted the book to end, though along the way, some the characters did hijack the plot a few times and decided they wanted it go a different way. I really wanted to test the theory of how far would someone go to protect the one they loved, and unfortunately that meant Daciana and Connell went through a lot to be together. But no one ever said fighting for what you want would be easy.

(EVW) What's next for you, TF? Will this become a sequel perhaps? If so, who will it feature (I know who I'm rooting for seeing more of!)
(TFW) Oh yes, there will be a sequel and more books planned in the series. Book 2 will be a continuation, however it will told from Enre's point of view, and as far as Enre is concerned, he has his own way of tackling the encroaching danger. And that can only mean he's headed straight for trouble.

(EVW) Returning to writing, I've become very aware during the past few months that writers are not only focused on typing their stories to share with readers, but have also become social media mavens. Between Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, I don't think writers have any time or events to themselves (nor do any of us). How do you go about promoting your work, beyond what your publisher (Crimson) does, if anything? Are you developing a Street Team? How can your fans help you?
(TFW) Finding that fine balance of time between writing and promoting is really difficult. I'm torn between finishing the next story and connecting with my readers with book 1, so I tend to set a schedule with allocated hours each day between writing and social media. I love chatting to my readers and answering their questions. Right now I don't have a Street Team set up, but it was on my list to do, so I am looking for any fans who'd love to participate so I can kick it off. I can be found on Facebook (facebook.com/tfwalsh), Twitter (@tfwalsh), and regularly blogging at tfwalsh.com.

(EVW) What writer or writers do you think most influenced you growing up and as an adult? What's on your bookshelf now?
(TFW) I have a few that have influenced my writing for certain. Laurell Hamilton - love her Anita Blake series. Richard Laymon who writes the creepiest stories, so if you're a horror buff, you probably already know who he is. Currently, I'm reading The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefater, and I love her writing. I've read everything she's written.

Thank you so much for joining us here today. Could you share with us what you'll be offering readers for your giveaway? And what question should they answer or entry?

I'd love to offer your readers one ebook copy of Cloaked in Fur. They simply need to answer the following question to enter: If you could transform into any animal, what would it be?

Looking forward to seeing you again with the publication of your next book, T.F. Cheers and safe trip back to Oz!

Thanks… It was great being here and I loved chatting with your readers.
Crimson Romance
Price $4.99 (on sale for $3.82)
Publication Date: August 5, 2013

A modern tale weaved with a fresh twist on werewolf legends, today's forensics, betrayal, romance, and a dash of kick-ass.

As a moonwulf, Daciana never expected to fall in love with a human. Hell, she never imagined that she'd abandon her pack, endanger everyone around her, and break the worst rule possible. But she did.

A rogue werewolf is killing Daciana's friends, and she sets on capturing the creature. She'll do whatever it takes to stop the beast. The police and her boyfriend, Inspector Connell Lonescu, are starting to question her involvement in the murders, which is endangering the pack's secret existence. But when the pack alpha kidnaps Connell, revealing the awful truth about the creature and its connection to the pack, Daciana must choose between saving the man she loves and saving her pack family from certain death.

Sensuality Level: Sensual
Warning: Bloodthirsty monsters, sexy men, and intense suspense.
Add CLOAKED IN FUR to your Goodreads shelf
Purchase from Amazon

To win a digital copy of CLOAKED IN FUR, make sure to answer TF's question, "If you could transform into any animal, what would it be?" in the comment section below.


My emotions tore between apologizing and confessing everything, yet all I managed to do was stare at his bare torso.

“Your institute has been issued passes to travel into the woods, and Vasile has yours. I can give you a lift there.” Connell cleared his throat and took my cup to the sink. “You’re awfully quiet.”

Heat exploded across my skin, and I climbed to my feet. “My mind is a swirl of thoughts, but I can’t pin any of it down. I’m devastated that my neighbor is dead, the police suspect me, and even worse, I feel you slipping away from me. So, what am I supposed to say?”

Instead of collecting me into his embrace and kissing me, Connell stood there like one of those God statues in museums that wore almost nothing, but were sculptured to perfection. I wanted to forget everything the day was about to bring and beg Connell to make love to me until I passed out.

T.F. Walsh emigrated from Romania to Australia at the age of eight and now lives in a regional city south of Sydney with her husband. Growing up hearing dark fairytales, she's always had a passion for reading and writing horror, paranormal romance, urban fantasy and young adult stories. She balances all the dark with light fluffy stuff like baking and traveling.

She writes young adult and adult fantasy fiction.

Keep in touch with T.F.

TF suggested that for this extra, it would be great to introduce all of you to "the real town of Brasov, which is where the Cloaked in Fur was based on." She said that, "I love this picture as it captures the city and the way the Carpathian Mountains hugs the location. Perfect for werewolves to hide inside:)"

Visit Brasov (official tourist site)