So this is me – Tatter Jack. At least, it is when I’m not being someone else, because Tatter’s my (to date) self-published cover name. There’s another name on different covers that isn’t self-published. But this isn’t about him, and I try to keep him and TJ apart. Not because I have any issues with what Tatters writes. But just like you don’t keep your shoes in the refrigerator and your ice cream in the shoe cupboard (well, unless you do, in which case I’m never coming over for ice cream ), I keep what Tatters does separate from other things I do. And my shoes stay warmer too, not being in the fridge and all :-).
So if that’s a Tatter Jack, what’s a BORN YESTERDAY? Well, sometimes I hope it’s not really ‘an’ anything. Because the minute you put a label on things, you kind of limit them. Like telling people your friend Jenny’s a blonde. They start thinking all sorts of ‘blonde’ things – but they never know she’s fostered eight kids and has medals for kick-boxing. So a BORN YESTERDAY? It’s a (takes a breath) ParanormalUrbanFantasyRomancewithSpiceandHumour. And maybe none of those – because that’s really for readers to decide. So over to you – what do you think it is?
Let’s Get To Know Tatter Jack
Q: What are the top five books that have influenced your career?
A: Lordy :-). The top five. Should I say things like ‘The Oxford Style Manual’, or ‘Garner’s Modern American usage’? Probably not – that’s like a top chef saying the book that influenced his career most was the list of Government Hygeine Regulations. Possibly true, but not necessarily going to get him a guest spot on Iron Chef :-). Should I say something like ‘The SharePoint 2010 Bible’, because I was, like, reading it for work, and it was driving me mad, and, like, i thought ‘bugger this’, and started writing something else? Er – no. Mostly because it’s not true (blush). So if not the top five, how about one? A book my ‘other hat’ co-authored (I can’t tell you the title – this is about TJ, not ‘the other guy’). That book led to my first ever Query submission. Trust me – it was a truly awful Query :-). But some of the responses I got led me to write my first ‘other hat’ novel, and a much better Query for that. And that book was published. And then some others. And then I wanted to experiment in another genre with self-publishing and Tatters. And here we are :-).
Q: What’s the funniest thing a reader has ever said/emailed to you?
A: The funniest? Hmmmm. Most of the ones that spring to mind relate to my ‘other hat’ – mostly because that one’s been around longer. But for Tatters? I’d say the one who said ‘I thought writing was supposed to be done in the dark, in private, and you should wash your hands afterwards?’ :-). But (and my apologies if it’s inappropriate), I’d have to say the best was when my ‘other hat’ was playing with a new character concept. I wanted to break the Rules and write a book with a Main who was totally unlike-able – who no reader could connect with. And then spin things round at the end to suggest the reader think again. So I took an initial stab at it, wrote maybe three chapters and sent them off to three of my alpha reading team. I got three replies. One said she liked my books, but for this one, if i didn’t give her something to like about the Main before the end, she’d probably never read anything i wrote ever again. One said I’d messed up. Because I’d told her I wanted to write a character nobody could like or connect with – and Xxxx was hilarious! So in her view I’d blown it. But it was the third one. She told me she’d just broken up with her boyfriend, and could she have Xxxx’s phone number? Given Xxxx’s job mostly involved stopping people breathing, I told her I didn’t know what to say. So my 72 year old alpha reader sent me a note back saying I shouldn’t worry. She wasn’t trying to take out a contract on her ex – she wanted to date Xxxx!
Q: If you could go back in time before you published your first book, what advice would you give yourself about publishing?
A: Tha’t writers aren’t about being published – publishing is about writers. And readers. That great stories are more important, and more satisfying, than great sales figures. And that even if he believed me, nobody, not friends, enemies or bank managers, would ever accept it was true. Unless they were also writers. Because, to paraphrase Barry Longyear in ‘Circus World’ – writing? It’s a disease :-).
Q: Pick a super-power and tell us what you’d do with it.
A: The power to know the last version of what a book would look like after I’d worked with my Editors, before I sent them the first version (blush). So I could write it that way up front (blushes again). Or maybe the power to somehow ‘know’ (without getting into their heads in any creepy way) how each reader of my books felt as they read them – the smiles and the tears, the laughter and the sorrow. Because, to me, being a part of how a reader generates those feelings from words on pages is what writing is all about.
Q: What’s your favorite AND least favorite thing about being a writer/author?
A: My favourite? Writing. My least favourite? Marketing (blush).
About Born Yesterday by Tatter Jack
No, not here—down there.
See her? The woman behind the rock? The one with a Glock 43 in her hand? That’s Schae Summers, fantasy author. She only came to Scotland to do some book research. Not to be chased over the heather by a wolf. Because everybody knows there aren’t any wolves in Scotland, right?
Well right now Schae’s wishing someone had told the one behind her.
But being chased is one thing—even if it’s by a wolf. Being chaste? That’s something else entirely. Especially where men with storm grey eyes are concerned. Men like Darek Banakar—who just might be more dangerous than any wolf.
So here she is. Schae Summers. She’s smart, and she’s hip. She wasn’t born yesterday—but she’s going to be.
Why do huge gems torn from the eyes of underground idols always have to have sharp bloody edges? The two slung over my back are no exception, and from the feel of it the ‘bloody’ is rather more literal than I’d like. I scramble up the rock slope so I’ll have a good line of sight, and crouch behind a rock to catch my breath.
“What?” I spin and draw in one movement. The point of my sword nudges the man’s throat.
He raises eyebrows over storm grey eyes flecked with blue and red. “Er—ouch?” He raises a hand, and pushes my blade aside. I twitch my wrist, and it settles on his throat again. He sighs. “I said, you’re late.” He looks up at the sun. “About half a candle mark, I’d say.”
The man with storm grey eyes sighs again. “You’re not big on conversation, are you? By the way. You should probably get down.”
The man sighs a third time. He must get a lot of practice—he’s good at it. At least, his chest is. Not that I’m looking at his chest, of course. Or his eyes. Or his…He shakes his head, and waves a finger. “Ahem. I think you’ll find I’m up here.” I lift my own eyes from where they most definitely weren’t looking. He shrugs. “Ah, well. Perhaps I’m early. You get to my age, the memory’s not what it used to be.”
I raise an eyebrow. Age? Not from where I was looking. Not that I was looking, of course. That would be unprofessional. But a girl has to keep her wits about her and her eyes open if she’s going to work the ‘blade for hire’ business. So I tell myself the only reason I’m checking the man’s, um, ‘chest’ is to assess him as a possible target. But damn. Whoever he is, it’s strange. If you look at him, he’s nothing. Just another face. But if you look at him? I think it’s the eyes. Stormy grey, with flecks of red and blue. Damn, he’s hot. I grin. After all, there’s more than one kind of target, right? Maybe unprofessional isn’t such a bad…
“Oh. Do you mind?” He pushes my sword aside, and kicks my feet from under me. I drop to the ground. Which is a little unfortunate for the Orc arrow making a determined effort to occupy the space my head used to be in. “I don’t think they’re happy with you, Sonas.”
With my other hand I pull the short-stave from my belt. I concentrate and the purple gem on top of it glows—then a bolt of power shoots at the man. But the battle in the Orc lair took rather a lot. The bolt gets halfway to him and fizzles, the gem shattering with a bang. I drop the useless staff and set my sword to his throat again. “Who in all the nine hells are you, what are you doing here, and how do you know my name?”
You shrug. “Does the order matter?”
“Order? What order?”
“Well, that was three questions. Actually, rather more—but we’ll have time for that later. I’m your…”
“You do know sentences can have more than one word, yes?”
“Are you laughing at me?”
“At you? Never, heart. Let me see. I think this was the way it went. Me? I’m—well, it doesn’t matter. What’s in a name? I’m your new partner. We’re going to be like Bonny and Clyde. Or we would be if they’d been invented yet. Beauty and the Beast, maybe.” The man grins. “Guess which one’s me.” I must be looking as blank as I’m feeling, because he sighs. “You? Sonas Dealanach. Though that’s not your real name. It’s just the one you chose for yourself when you ran away from home. You’re deadly with a bow or blade, and a damn fine sorceress. Well, at least you are when you don’t buy second rate staves from back-street merchants. Remind me to make you one worthy of you.” He smiles. “I’m going to anyway. But if you remind me you can pretend it’s your idea. We’re going to save peasants, start wars and end them, steal ancient treasure, and fall in love. With each other, I mean. And then you’re going to tear my heart in two. Oh, and you think world peace is a crock, that dresses are for dorks, and your favourite colour’s pink.”
My favorite quote from Born Yesterday is:
Hmmm. A tough one. There are a few I like – but some don’t really make sense without the text they appear in, or are just too spoiler-heavy. So I’d probably go with this one:
“OK. Um, will you marry me? Oh, and you should probably say no.”
But my very, _very_ favourite? It’s the last line of the book – the last line of the Epilogue. And no. I’m not telling you what it is – you’ll just have to read BORN to find out :-).
Born Yesterday Tatter Jack
GoodReads || Amazon || Barnes & Noble
Weekly Feature: Born Yesterday by Tatter Jack was first published on Fiction Vixen
This post first appeared on Fiction Vixen – Romance And Urban Fantasy Book Reviews, please read the originial post: here