1. If you could have a summer fling with any one of your characters who would
This question proved harder than I thought it would be. In part because I see my characters as being solely devoted to the people I paired them with in their stories. While one or two are bi, most are not. This really created a dilemma for me—until I thought, ‘Well, if not a summer fling, how about a summer vacation?’
Even then, the decision was tough. Why not Rodney? As a gargoyle who wanted to be human, introducing him to the delights of everyday life could be fun. Or what about Alex? He was bi, and I’m sorry, but I think he is damn sexy. Hiding away in his mountain home while being seduced by a vampire would be a decadent way to spend a summer vacation.
But then it came to me. Of course, the answer was obvious. Tate.
Tate, who knew when to play hard and when to seek the comfort of the couch and a glass of wine on a rainy afternoon. Tate who frequently laughed at himself and wouldn’t let you stay in a bad mood for long. Tate with his entertaining stories and his enjoyment of sex. Oh yeah, there would be worse ways to spend a few weeks off than by hanging out with Tate.
2. Describe him for us.
Tate is lean and athletic, like a soccer player. He rock climbs as a hobby, so he is muscular without being bulky. His hair is that color known as titian and his eyes are so pale they seem gold. He is sensual too, appreciating good food, a comfortable bed, and the fun of a sexual encounter.
3. Why Tate? What is it about him that makes him so interesting?
He is always ready to see the humor in a situation. He takes things in stride without getting too upset about them. He’s smart, but he doesn’t shove it in your face. He’s compassionate, and fearless in a way that I envy.
4. You have the chance to go anywhere in the world with Tate. Where would
you go and what would you do?
Australia. I’d explore the Outback. I’d dive off the Great Barrier Reef. I’d see the sights of Sydney with him. I’d walk beaches, climb cliff faces, and enjoy a fine concert. I’d eat like there were no calories, sleep until I woke up, and take each day as it came, without question or too much planning.
5. You plan a romantic dinner; tell us what your idea of a romantic dinner is?
There are really so many different ways to go on this one. There’s something very romantic about an intimate dinner at home—one that begins with the two of you making dinner together in the kitchen and ends with you dipping strawberries into melted chocolate in bed.
There’s something to be said too, for dressing up to go out to a fine restaurant. Teasing each other over entrees. Working each other up into such a heat that you end up tearing each other’s clothes off as soon as you walk in the house. Or the post-dinner walk on the beach, that turns into a sexy romp in the dunes. Romantic dinners aren’t about the trappings of the meal—they’re about who you are having dinner with. I could grill hamburgers on the back porch and it would be romantic with the right person.
Do you make reservations at your favorite restaurant or do you cook a special
Hah. Remind me to read all the questions before I answer them in the future.
6. Is Tate more the love them and leave them kind of guy or does he believe
in happily ever after with that one special person?
Tate has been alone a long time. He’s had relationships that have gone badly. Even though he wants someone to be his soul mate, he is open to the experience of the moment because he doesn’t believe there’s anyone out there for him. But oh, he wants it, even though he may pretend he doesn’t.
7. While slow dancing, what music is playing? Is Tate graceful on the
dance floor or are your toes going to be bruised in the morning?
Nora Jones is singing Come Away With Me on the stereo. We’re dancing together in the living room with the lights off. Tate is the consummate dancer, at one with the music, and with me. I’m the one who stumbles and steps on toes.
8. And speaking of bruises, is Tate more of a slow sensual lover or raw
Tate can go either way here. He is extremely sensual, and is all about the touch, revealing in the sensation of making love. At the same time, he becomes excited by pain and blood, and doesn’t mind when sex gets rough.
9. It's always fun to fantasize about a fling but, would Tate be the kind
to have one? Is he single or if in a committed relationship, is he the kind who
Tate has never met anyone like himself before—so though he wants a committed relationship, he simply doesn’t think it’s possible. He is very much about getting what he can get all in the name of fun—and yet if he found his one true love, there would be no possibility of him cheating. It simply wouldn’t occur to him.
10. Tell us where to find him so we can have a summer fling with him too.
My boyfriend is a huge soccer fan—so by degrees, I’ve been learning about soccer as well. During the last World Cup, I was struck by the appearance of one of the commentators on screen. Here was this really handsome, fit guy, with and open, friendly face and he had intelligent observations as well.
“Who is that guy?” I asked.
“Him? That’s Alexi Lalas. He was a famous soccer player at one time.” And with that, the BF grabs the iPad and starts bringing up images. The transformation from Wildman Alexi the soccer player to the smooth corporate image he has today appealed to me—and the idea of Tate’s dual nature was born.
Vampire Alexei Novik may have the teeth and the coffin, but he’s given up the lifestyle for an old fixer-upper in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Weary of his past, Alex plans to keep to himself, but it seems his sexy, new neighbor, Tate, can’t take the hint—a good thing, since it turns out he’s handy for all kinds of things around the house. Tate even gets along with Alex’s werewolf friends, though one of them pointedly reminds Alex that their friendship is a bad idea.
If a platonic relationship is a bad idea, the growing attraction between Tate and Alex is a disaster waiting to happen. Loving Tate will draw him into Alex’s dangerous world, and Alex is torn between having the relationship he’s always craved and keeping Tate safe. Tate won’t take no for an answer, however, and seems to handle everything Alex can throw at him without blinking. Just when he thinks things might turn out all right after all, Alex’s past catches up with him—forcing him to make a terrible choice.