Friday, December 11, 2009

Tami Hoag

Tami Hoag's new novel is Deeper Than the Dead.

From a Q & A at her website:

What is the new book about?

Deeper Than the Dead is set in 1985—the early days of criminal profiling, and modern forensic science—in an idyllic southern California college town. The story begins with four children stumbling onto a murder victim, and revolves around the hunt for the killer—who may turn out to be someone very close to them.

Who is your favorite character in Deeper Than the Dead?

I love my heroine, Anne Navarre, who is the children’s fifth grade teacher. She’s smart and plucky. But hands-down my favorite character is FBI profiler Vince Leone. Vince wasn’t supposed to be the hero of the book, but he had other plans. Vince came on stage and took over with a wink and a grin. I love this guy!

There are several characters in Deeper Than the Dead who stand out for special reasons. Tell us about that.

In 2008 I was asked to donate something to a live-auction fundraiser for the United States Equestrian Team Foundation, to help send our team to the Olympics. I donated the right to become a character in a book. The winner was Jane Thomas from Idaho. Jane’s family own the most famous horse in the history of American dressage, the fabulous Brentina, and are great supporters of the sport. Jane’s character plays a very important role in the story, and I incorporated a lot of real-life Jane’s characteristics into her. I even included Jane’s black pug, Violet, in the story. I had a lot of fun writing Jane into the book and was able to support USET at the same time.

Also in Deeper Than the Dead is a character named Fran Goodsell, who is based on a real-life character, my dear friend Fran Goodsell. When I was unable to travel to Germany for Franny’s fortieth birthday bash (Franival!) I knew I had to do something really special for a gift. So Franny became a character in the book as well. I had a blast writing him in as Anne’s best friend.

And last but not least in Deeper Than the Dead is Petal the pit bull. Petal was the real-life companion of Jane Berkey, whose literary agency represents me. An incredible ambassador for her much-maligned breed, Petal unfortunately passed away last year after a long and wonderful life with Jane. I had previously promised Jane that I would include a pit bull in one of my books. What better character than Petal herself?
Read the complete Q & A. Visit Tami Hoag's website.

--Marshal Zeringue