Name Taabia Dupree
Where are you from?
I am from the east coast of the US.
A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc.
Author Bio Taabia Dupree was born in the United States and grew up on the Eastern Seaboard. Her love of books and anything with words came from her parents. As a young person, Taabia read anything she could get her hands on, from cereal boxes, to the Encyclopedia Britannica, to the National Geographic, to the business section of the local newspaper. Yet some of her favorite reads came from writers; L’Amour, Tolstoy, Eddings, Tolkein, Hugo, Wright, Dickens and Hemingway. In 1999, Taabia started writing erotic fantasy stories for online story groups. She self-published her first erotic story in 2011. Today, Taabia Dupree writes coming of age stories, erotic short stories, mystery & psychological-thrillers, paranormal shapeshifter stories, and poetry. Taabia enjoys a challenge. Her plans are to write more romance mysteries and shapeshifter books. So, keep watch for her books coming out in 2015, and 2016. Author Taabia Dupree’s books include an Amazon Best Seller Jessica’s Obsession, book one in her Anthony Stone Series. This book was recently put on a Barnes & Noble bookstore shelf in Boston. Her book Wolfsblood is releasing March 20, 2015. It’s the first in a two part series in the paranormal genre for shapeshifters.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I have a new release that came out 20th of March. WolfsBlood is my first paranormal experience. I’m really excited about this one. I’ve wanted to write something like this for some time now.
In April I have two new released due out in a series I created, The Cathouse Series. Tremaine and Paul Book 1 and Boss Joe Book 2 will release sometime during the middle to end of April.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have always loved writing. I started when I was young. My mother made sure I had what she called ‘busy work’ to do at home. She gave me paper and pencils. I would draw and make up stories about my pictures. She told me to write them down. As I got older my best friend and I would sit in the basement of my house and create stories together. I had a vivid imagination that brought me to where I am today, still writing.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Good question. When I was younger I thought a writer was someone who had books already in stores. I thought you had to be a professional to be considered a writer. When I was in college an English Professor told me you’re a poet and a writer but you lack discipline in your writing. What he meant was I can tell a story but I lacked a filter. There was no consistency I just wrote whatever came to me. Yet, I always had stories to tell. Now, I try to tell one story at a time.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Harlequin had the most romantic stories but not enough detail in the bedroom. I wanted to write stories that give readers a seat with the door was open and right where the lovemaking was happening.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I prefer to write in third person, and I enjoy having a backstory for my main characters. Jessica’s Obsession, Flagentio’s, WolfsBlood, anyone of my books you will find that everyone has a voice, and the main characters backstories reflect on how they perceive and act in the word. Just like any one of us, we are a product of our past. In my stories, my characters are alive and they express themselves as if they were someone you know. In Jessica’s Obsession, I was told by so many people that she reminded them of one of their ex-friends or someone they went to school with, etc…
My style of writing is to grab the reader, put them into the story as if they were a fly on the wall, so to speak. Each story gives the reader a look into the main characters past to see why they do what they do.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My newest release WolfsBlood was an idea that I had about a family of humans that shifted into wolves. A picture helped me to create the title.
There was a picture with Billy Thomas, the cover model on WolfsBlood that I really liked.
When I went to the RNConvention last July in Vegas, Billy had photos taken, and arranged by Jimmy Thomas, C.E.O. of Romance Novel Convention. On his Romance Novel Cover website, you can buy photos for your covers, and on that site was Billy’s picture. In the several shots taken, I instantly saw an Alpha Male, and the leader of the wolf pack that I have had in my head for eons. I knew exactly what I wanted on my cover when I saw Billy’s picture, I wanted a wolf, the moon, and some blood on the cover. Fiona Jayde designed the cover and did an exceptional job listening to my wants.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In WolfsBlood if there is any message I would want the readers to grasp, is family isn’t just about blood ties, because in a wolf pack, bound by heart and loyalty, you can still be a part of the family unit.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
The most realistic part in WolfsBlood is the wolves. They hunt to kill. They protect their own, and they are loyal to one another until the Alpha gets old and a younger, stronger wolf takes the lead.
Rua Rainer wants to lead the pack of WolfsBlood wolf pack, and those in the mountains, he isn’t the only one that will make a play for what they want in this book.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No, there aren’t any general experiences in WolfsBlood that pertain to someone specific or myself.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? A mentor?
I would have to say there are four authors that inspired me, Judy Blume, Piers Anthony, David Eddings, and Tolkein. Judy Blume wrote Are You There God It’s Me Margaret, and ever girl back then wanted to increase their breast or know about menstrual cycles didn’t they? Ha. My best friend and I did, and after that I read every one of her books, even into adulthood. I liked her style and how she could put the reader inside the story. Which made her in my book, a great storyteller. Anthony, Eddings, and Tolkein are three of my favorite fantasy writers. I never thought I could write fantasy. There is a fantasy novel inside of me dying to get out, and because of these gentlemen, I will write that epic novel. They took me on many journeys and had me believing every place I went was real, until the end of the book of course. Then I was back to reality wanting more. I want to write books like that I said, and I am hoping that I am on my may to being just as great as they are to millions of readers.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Honestly, I have had no time to read because I am trying to get my books out by their deadline dates. I do have a few that I have started including, LOST SOUL by
Malika Gandhi, and Renzo by Jamallah Bergman. There are so many others that I need to finish by great writers.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
No, not at this time. When I am ready to pick up a book I do plan on finishing the ones that I have on my TBR list. Afterwards I will likely find an upcoming writer in my favorite reading genre fantasy. Then I will move onto romance for a relaxing read.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
As I mentioned, in April I have two new released due out in a series I created, The Cathouse Series. Tremaine and Paul Book 1 and Boss Joe Book 2 will release sometime during the middle to end of April.
Then in May, I plan on taking a short break before I finish my preparation for the Romance Novel Conference in Vegas in June. There I will showcase my books, and sign autographs. Plus, I get to meet some fantastic writers, bloggers, reviewers, cover models, and so much more. The actor Sean Kanan will also be there so I get to meet him too!
Following the convention I will delve back into finish two books that I plan on releasing before the end of the year, Callous Truths and Damnation. One is a murder mystery, and the other has a vampire, and mystical creatures.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My faith is the one entity that I can depend on outside of my family. I will always believe there is a higher power that guides me, protects me, and strengthens me when I feel I need that extra lift.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do see writing as a career. I love writing, and although difficult sometimes, it has its own rewards besides financial. With that being said, I use those rewards to push me along when I fail to understand the muses that go dormant in my head. *grin*
The challenge to promote and to get readers to pick your book out of millions is a difficult one, but I choose to believe in my writing, and believe that my hard work will someday pay off.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
In WolfsBlood, I would not change a thing. I loved the ending, it’s actually taking readers to book two. The beginning came to me when I need that one thing I thought would get readers invested. I thought a letter would do that, and the middle of the book, fits.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
When I was younger my mother would give me a piece of paper and pencil. That was her way of giving me busy work. I read lots of books, and wanted to create my own stories. So, it began.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Kaine sat at his desk and read his brother Aohdan’s letter over.
Kaine! Da is sick! You have to come back home. Aiden was told to not write. I was away and when I returned Da was down. Brother it hurts me to see him this way. I do not know if he will be in this world for long and it worries me. Rua Rainer has stepped up to help the young ones and my fur bunches to think Aiden or I were because of how he is taking care of the young ones. Kaine come home! No more wasting time away. Ma is gone, and Da has been going downhill for years. He tells you only what he wants you to know. He knows you will not listen to anything else. Brother I am telling you, get your ass home. This time listen to me. Rua will take the lead if Da dies and our family will no longer rule these mountains.
Kaine stopped reading, grabbed his keys off his desk and walked out of the office to his car. Once inside the car he slammed his fist against the window pane. He could care less that he’d hit the window so hard it shook. He yelled, “Da, what are you thinking letting that animal come near our clan?” Kaine pounded the steering wheel. His body was tense, and his blue eyes turned gray.
He needed to calm himself he thought. He got out of his car and walked away before he did any damage inside. Despite his temperament, he found himself headed in the direction of the nearby park.
For six years, he’d stayed away from the Rocky Mountains. His father and brothers still lived near the stream at Oakea. The family was midway into the mountains but not too far up that the weather does not change. The cabin that his grandfather and grandmother built for their family still stood sturdy through tough winter storms. Kaine’s father, Stephan Maccon, and siblings helped keep the land around the cabin cleared and vegetated. The lower village’s townspeople stayed clear of particular paths in the mountains if they hiked. Anyone who walked close to that area would say the area above where they did not trespass was not feasible to vegetation. They also passed gossip around that it was dangerous for folks if they trekked higher up because there was a strange type of wolf that dwelled in that area. His grandmother, Stephan’s mother, who died several years before Kaine came into the world, loved her flower beds and tended them until she expected the first frost. She would fill their cabin with the scent of freshly cut wildflowers during their springs and summers. His brothers and sisters had separate areas to rest their heads, but when they were old enough they went off on their own. Mostly the boys, the girls lived nearby in the village of Oakea. Kaine heard these stories over and over as he grew up.
As he walked closer to the parks edge, he watched children playing and mothers sitting nearby watching and chatting with others on benches. The park was near his office, and he usually went there to think.
Today he went there to figure out what he would do about his brother’s letter. His younger brother Aiden was only twenty-one years old, he’d heard Aiden had a backbone but not enough to take on someone like Rua Rainer. Aohdan, twenty-six, strong willed, but more of a nature lover like their grandmother, had not sufficient strength to take on any Rainer, Kaine thought. Perhaps one of the others in Rainer’s pack, but not Rua himself. Anyone who took on a pack leader had to be as strong as his Da, and cocky. Willful wasn’t enough; they had to be that assured of themselves to fight for what was right, and fight to kill if needed. With a tensed body and balled fist, Kaine cursed his father. Dammit Da! Why did you have to get sick and not tell me? Why? Why is it so hard to speak to me? So I left! So I made a life for me! I deserved a bit of freedom. I worked hard to get where I am, and I refuse to….
He stopped. He knew his next thoughts would be lies, and he could not lie to himself. He wanted to say he would not go home. However, he knew if Rua took over as pack leader, the Maccon’s would be shunned and run off their land. Kaine turned away from the children who agitated him, because they stirred up memories of his childhood.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I found creating scenery, not so much challenging, but remember I am the writer, not the reader. A reader wants to see where the scene around a character most of the times. My imagery is usually in thought, what’s around the character as they walk or as they are doing something significant to the story. There usually isn’t a lot of environmental scenes. I think once I get into fantasy writing, there will be more of those types of scenes. Especially in book two of WolfsBlood.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
One book or series that I have read more than 7 times is David Eddings The Belgariad & The Mallorean, both having several books in their series. All pertaining to ‘The Will and The Word’. You speak it, and make it happen.
The couple were geniuses I thought, all because of how they collectively grabbed your attention, and took you on this journey that seemed never ending. When it did end, I was sad because the characters had become a part of my life. I read a book a day, or one book in two days. I became an invested reader.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet. I have done outside research for my books though, including when I was in Vegas last year at the convention. I would love to travel to Ireland to do research.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Fiona Jayde of Fionajaydemedia.com did the wonderful cover for WolfsBlood.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest park about writing this book was watching movies on a wolf’s kill. I’m not into gore, or bloody details, but I had to come outside of my box, and research wolves and their habits.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I have always been intrigued by wolves, and I used what I already knew, but I had to study their kill patterns. That was intriguing because I learned about their sense of smell. They can follow a Moose by the flatulent scent they give off as they stroll along. While learning about the food that the wolves find eatable, I learned more about specific fish they prefer, and not just about the four legged animals they stalk.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I tend to tell anyone who is interested in writing, write. Write your name, tell your story on a piece of paper. Find something of interest and write about that or write what in your head. Worry about grammar later. There are editors and proofreaders out there that will be more than happy to help you succeed. Don’t give up if anyone tells you that what you have written isn’t good enough. Join writer groups, find peers that are like you so you won’t feel alone. Get support and ideas from these groups that will enhance what you already know about your writing. Never give up, and always keep learning about what’s new out there in genres. Also, write outside of your box just once to have the experience of doing something different. Make your writing a challenge, and try not to be like everyone else, be different. Lastly, be leery of a good thing. If you are offered a contract, make sure you not the only one reading the fine print. Money may sound good, but be wise not to sell your soul. There are going to be people who want to read and review your work, be sure to copyright. Publish your work first before giving your work to a blogger or reviewer.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope that any reader who enjoys my books would leave a review. Let me know what you think. If you feel you would prefer to say something nice, compared to telling me what you really think, I am always open for constructive criticism. I am a writer who prefers to learn, and keep learning as I grow into the writer I have always wanted to become, and then I plan of growing more. You can email me also, taabia @ taabia.us.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I was four, almost five, and it was a book my mother bought for our family. It had words, definitions, maps, all things you might see in an encyclopedia. I learned how to spell, and pronounce words, their definitions. As well as name continents, presidents, and medical terms. The book Babar the Elephan became an easy read after that book of information.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I like silly things. I will find something silly that no one else does, and crack up laughing. I love comedians. Anyone can inbox me or write to me to find out who are my favorites.
I don’t cry easy, but I will tear up over commercials, seeing a video that pulls at my heart strings, and if a character in a book I had read died expectantly, I may tear up.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Mother Teresa. I grew up reading about what she was doing next. I loved her work with people. I wanted to be her in a way. The more I learned about her, the more she became a hero to me because she only wanted to do good for others in her life.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Here lies a woman that spoke the truth, lived truthfully, and helped others along the way.
Why? Because it’s the truth about who I am.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Yes, I love doing things creatively. I love painting, drawing, and designing on Photoshop.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Some of my favorite shows deal with fighting crime. NCIS, COVERT AFFAIRS, and then there are the Sci-fi shows like Atlantis, Arthur, and Revelation.
If I can find it on Netflix, I will watch many other shows. I do DVR the reality tv shows like Bachelor, and Amazing Race and Big Brother USA.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
My favorite foods, I love cereal, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, pink grapefruit, caramel, soy ice cream, raw spinach, guacamole dip with chips or tortilla’s, and not being a big meat eater, I will eat chicken and turkey. I love when I go out I get bbq ribs. No, I am not that much of a healthy eater as I am more of a picky eater.
My favorite colors are red, pink, black, and different shades of blue.
I can listen to almost any type of music, but my favorite is the Native Flute, Classical, Irish Folk, and Soft Rock.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I went to school for psychology, law and education. I think more than likely I would have stayed in education.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I have a few sites.
My Facebook Author’s Page – https://www.fb.com/Taabia.The.Writer
One Honest One – https://1honest1.wordpress.com
Erotic – https://taabia.wordpress.com/
School of Erotic Dreams – http://taabia.us
Amazon Page http://www.amazon.com/Taabia-Dupree/e/B006OU1YIW/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1