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Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Long and Short Reviews welcomes Tara Fox Hall, whose most current work is Just Shadows, a short e-book anthology of Tara's short horror works, some of which were first published online at Flashes in the Dark or other flash fiction stories. Just Shadows is available from Bradley Publishings.

Tara initially couldn’t place her novels and novellas, because she didn't have any publications to her credit except some non-fiction nature articles she'd published through the years and an article on serial killers, "The Allure of the Serial Killer", she had co-written with her husband, Eric Dietrich, that was published in Serial Killers - Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). To build up her credits, she began writing down her nightmares and creating stories out of them. Her first short horror story was published May, 2011.

"Encouraged, I began frantically writing down any nightmares I had, transforming them into flash fiction and submitting everywhere I could. Because I was used to writing short, page long works, writing flash fiction came easily," she told me. "I was able to place my longer non-horror works in late summer and early fall 2011. By December 2011, I had amassed a bunch of short stories published online that I had the rights to, and also more than a few that I hadn’t had a chance to submit yet, as I was busy promoting my new romance works. I decided to submit a possible anthology to Bradley Publishing, a new small press, and they accepted my proposal. The title comes from a play on words thought up by my excellent husband, Eric. While I meant the title to mean 'only shadows,' he proposed adding the second meaning, of shadows that dispensed a form of justice."

Tara told me she was inspired to start writing when her mother was misdiagnosed with cancer.

"My mom had a drug interaction with some medication she was taking. Instead of taking her off it, her doctor of the time instead misdiagnosed her with cancer, and told her she had a year to live, at most. She called me at the fabric store on my cell in tears. It dawned on me on my way home from visiting with her that afternoon that I’d always been telling her I was going to write a book, but I never had gotten past a few paragraphs. I was busy with other things and never took the time to write, other than to craft a page-long nature related story for a friend’s magazine now and then. Now I was out of time, and didn’t know if I even would have the time to finish a novel length work before she was gone. I came home that night and started on Promise Me," she explained. "She of course hated the first few chapters I did, and I madly rewrote them a few times, trying to make them more exciting, so she would get wrapped up in the story and not think about what was happening to her. It was a way to escape for both of us, because none of the doctors understood what was happening for more than a month, and they had to do a ton of tests on her beyond that before they understood it was drug interaction. When she finished reading the first book, she wanted to know what happened next, so I kept writing. By the time she was well again five months later, I’d finished Promise Me, and three sequels."

Tara has a paranormal action/adventure work called Lash coming out next month, also from Bradley Publishing—a darker work written from the male point of view.

Scarred from a childhood spent in perpetual indigence after being forced from their home in the Everglades, weresnake Trystan Valeras and his family make their way to the Case Hotel. When his wealthy gangster father arrives the summer he turns sixteen, Trystan’s dream of a better life, along with the lovely aristocrat Mara, is suddenly within his grasp. Instead of paradise, a series of devastating events unfold, leading Trystan to become the instrument of his dying father’s revenge. His violent reprisal instigates a backlash of murder and death, forcing Trystan to flee with the remains of his family to the sultry city of New Orleans where he sells himself into the service of the Vampire Lord Abraham. Becoming the assassin Lash to hide his identity, Trystan finds a measure of peace, even as his skill with killing heightens, bringing to him not only new allies, but also new adversaries.
"Lash is a character that originated in my vampire series. My mother, who loves action adventure above all other genres, asked me to write him his own books," Tara explained. "I hope that the first Lash book is successful, because I would like to publish additional books of this character’s adventures that I’ve written."

Also coming out this year, are two vampire short stories, "Partners" (suspense) and "Night Music" (romance) which will be coming out in Midnight Thirsts 2, an anthology slated to release in May of this year in both print and digital form. She also has several other horror stories posted online and in anthologies: check out her website for the latest news on these stories and links to them. The last short story she had accepted was "The Arrangment" which went live at last month.

I asked Tara to tell us about her family, since she'd mentioned both her mother and husband.

"My immediate family is my husband, Eric Dietrich (yes, we have different last names). We’ve been together for ten years now, and married for nine years this September 27th, 2012. He is a philosophy professor at the State University of New York at Binghamton. In his younger years, he was a professional rock climber (he scaled Devil’s Tower using several different routes). Eric also is a pianist (he went to college on a music scholarship), and composes music for me. He is very supportive of my writing, and always encourages me, though I admit he likes my nature stories best of all my works. He doesn’t like scary tales, even mine. I have several good pets, including the cats Cavity and Jesse, and the dogs Hunter D and Tawny," she told me. "The other family I spend the most time with is my mother, Chris, and my stepfather, Jim. They live just over the hill from me. My mother has also been supportive of my writing from the beginning. As I’ve said, she is the reason there are novels at all. She is the only one who has read them all, to date. Before I submit a work, she usually gets first look. Mom might love me to pieces, but she’s honest, and has no problem telling me something sucks, or needs work. No one else sees it until she’s give it the thumbs up.

"I have other family locally whose names do show up in some of my stories. For example, I do have an Aunt Sylvia (Just Shadows), though she runs an antique store, and isn’t a witch. I did have an Aunt Margie (Just Shadows), though she passed on some years back. She wasn’t a witch, either, though she did often warn me about the Husterman, a Slovak bogeyman which I modified for my story. I do have an aunt Linda and an uncle Gary ("End of Days", a serial out now in Dark Eclipse Magazine). I also have a cousin Courtney (Black Smoke, upcoming story from Cemetery Moon)."

About the Author:
Tara Fox Hall’s writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She also coauthored the essay “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” published in Serial Killers - Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). Her first e-novella, Surrender to Me, was published in September 2011. Her first full-length novel, Lash, will publish in April 2012. She divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chainsawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.

Find the author online at:

Tara's Blog:

Tara's Facebook Page:

For info on Tara's recently published work, Just Shadows, click here:

From the murky depths of a summer lake to the echoing halls of an insane asylum, evil lies in wait for victims. Innocents might escape by a hair’s breath, if they’re lucky. Then again, they might not. The shadows are waiting. Dare you step into the darkness and be judged?



  1. Thank you for interviewing me on LASR, Judy. :) I very much appreciate it.

  2. My goodness, Tara! What a fascinating interview - I could write an entire series around you and your life!
    I too used to have nightmares regularly which disturbed me so much that I recorded them all in a notebook - which I still have. Maybe I could turn them into flash fictions too! I never even thought to look at them for ideas, so thank you so much for that idea.
    I feel I've really got to know you so much better through this excellent interview - and my respect and admiration for you and your work has grown tenfold!
    Lots of love,
    Lyn (Manic Scribbler)

  3. Thank you, Lyn :) Yes, you should try making your nightmares into flash fiction. There is a large market for horror stories, both in print and online. Go for it!