We’re thrilled to have author Tina Moss with us today! Between The Key Series, and the Paranormal Crimes Division series, this author is sure to have something for every paranormal romance lover. Welcome, Tina.
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Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Hi all! First, let me just say thanks so much for having me on today. I love connecting with readers. That said, I hate talking about myself, so…official bio time!
Tina Moss is an award-winning author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, and New Adult novels. She lives in NYC with a supportive husband and alpha corgi, though both males hog the bed and refuse to share the covers. When not writing, she enjoys reading, watching cheesy horror flicks, traveling, and karate. As a 5'1" Shotokan black belt, she firmly believes that fierce things come in small packages.
I also have a long sappy story, if you’re interested, on my website here, and my newsletter and Facebook links are below:
What, in your opinion, makes a good story?
Dynamic characters! I can forgive a shoddy plot or subpar writing, but I cannot read a story with dull characters. I want to get inside a character’s head and connect with the hero or heroine. I also love well written villains or anti-heroes; the ones you love to hate. I want to go on the journey with these characters not simply to be told about it. So, authors, make me feel something, whether it’s happiness or sadness, love or hate, anger or excitement! As long as it’s not boredom, I’m in.
What authors do you look up to, and why?
My list will be long, but my first love is J.R.R. Tolkien. For a man that wrote this massive fantasy, he still made you connect with those hobbits. That’s a skill I aspire to possess. In today’s paranormal world I am a huge fan of Jeaniene Frost, Ilona Andrews, Gena Showalter, Patricia Briggs, Nalini Singh, and J. R. Ward just to name a few.
Do you keep tabs on the constant shifting tides of romance writing? If yes, how do you adjust your writing (if at all) to suit them?
Yes, in my alter ego side, running City Owl Press, I have to keep up-to-date on what’s hot and what’s not in the world of romance. What I’ve learned, however, is that while trends come and go, die hard readers always pick up the next book in their beloved genre. So, while some may say that XYZ genre is “dead”, it rarely is. On the writing side, I stick to my guns and try not to chase trends. When I have in the past, I ended up either hating what I was writing or missing the trend anyway, so it’s not worth it.
What is your greatest struggle in writing, and how do you overcome it?
I’ve had different struggles at different points in my career. When I first started, having the confidence to put myself out there was a big challenge. Nowadays, it’s finding enough hours in the day to sneak in writing time. I used to guard my writing time like a momma bear protecting her cub, but now other responsibilities have come into play. The key is to know that all writers struggle, so you’re not alone. Connecting with other writers helps get through those hard times.
Do you have a set writing schedule? What time of the day is most conducive to get your creative juices flowing?
I was very consistent when writing my last two books. I’d write every evening from around 7pm to 10/11pm, depending on the day. When I changed jobs, however, it became more difficult to keep that schedule, so I’ve had to make adjustments. Ultimately, it’s about finding out what works best for you.
Which one of your heroines is most like you personality wise, and how?
Jame from RED ALERT, book 2 in the Paranormal Crimes Division series, has a lot of spunk and probably is the most like me. She’s little, but fierce and determined to succeed. Her stubborn streak tends to get her into trouble as well, which is more like me than I’d care to admit. I hope you’ll consider reading about her when the book releases this winter. For all her faults, she’s a pretty cool character and I’d have no problem being compared to her.
Are you a creature of habit when it comes to your writing? Do you need to have your space set up a certain way? Have a certain drink?
Honestly, I can’t afford to be a creature of habit when it comes to writing. I have to sneak it in wherever and whenever I can. I think it’s great to try for consistency, but I would advise any aspiring writers not to get stuck on needing to have things a certain way. Stephen King used to write in a closet, and when he’d felt that he had “made it” he bought a large ostentatious desk and placed it in his study. He soon got rid of the desk, because he found that writing takes place “in the middle of things”, not away from them. I found that to be a foundational truth.
So much! It’s frightening in the best possible way. Out now is A TOUCH OF DARKNESS the first in the Key series, co-authored with Yelena Casale. It’s a gripping and award winning urban fantasy that takes the traditional angel/demon mythology and turns it on its head. CODE BLACK, the first in the Paranormal Crimes Division series, is featured in the MASTERS OF THE HUNT: FATED AND FORBIDDEN box set. It’s out now and will come out as a single title this October. The follow-up to CODE BLACK, which I hinted at before, RED ALERT, will also release this winter. For more details, I’d highly encourage readers to sign up for the Ninja Newsletter, or join the street team, Team Ninja. Yelena and I give away gift cards often (in fact, we have one coming up now for a chance to win $20 to Amazon or B&N), opportunities to read ARCs before release, and special contests, excerpts, and swag just for our fans.
Can you share an excerpt of your upcoming book, or recently released one?
Absolutely! Since I mentioned Jame earlier, I think it’s only fair to give her some spotlight. This is from a scene in CODE BLACK in Jame’s POV. IT features Jame, a feisty and spirited shifter along with her partner, Bull, a big bad vampire with a gentle heart.
Bull’s strong hands gripped his biceps as his arms crossed over his chest. Pound upon pound of muscle stretched under his t-shirt and jeans. His cowboy boots appeared polished as always. “Jeez Louise. Talon’s gonna be all-fired up ‘bout this for sure.” The scent of worn leather wafted on the breeze when he leaned closer. “Think it’s a good idea for you to tell him?”
“When you get back from the police station and I’m done handling these idiot reporters, I’ll call Talon. In the meantime, phone Slick and let him know the deal. Meg should have some concrete answers by then.” Jame shrugged. “Better Talon hears all the news at once, not bits and pieces.”
“Not what I meant.” His eyes glistened far too sympathetic for her liking.
“I’m fine, Bull.” She slapped his shoulder. “Gotta get over the school girl crush sometime, right?”
“I’m sorry, Jame.” He patted her arm. The gentle touch showed his expert control. His strength, both in his size and his natural vampire state, could be devastating.
“I know. Thanks.” She tried to smile, but couldn’t. Scratching her nails against the bricks, she opted for a subject change. “Anyway, let’s meet up back at the office. We can review there. Try to get some dirt from the local boys, ‘k?”
“That’s a job I like, digging up the dirt.”
“You sure? Don’t you want to talk to the press?” Her eyebrows raised, a quick shot of hope running through her veins.
“Nah, darlin’. That’s your department.”
With luck, not for long. Solving the case lay at the forefront of her mind, but even so, a plan began to take shape for her future. Visions of barking out orders and taking point danced in her head. “Yeah, alright. See you.”
Bull disappeared down the alley. His large body moved far faster than his size dictated and surprised many a criminal suspect.
Jame sighed and kicked a can into a nearby gutter. When she felt confident Bull was out of earshot, she screamed loud and long. Her veins pulsed at her temples, the blood pouring into her ears. Energy zapped through her like an electric shock. Her body begged for a shift, but duty beckoned. With a last groan, she prepared for a fate worse than stakeouts, shootouts, or even all-nighters without coffee—a press conference.
Thank you so much for answering all my questions, Tina. It's been a pleasure getting to know you better.