Today I am so pleased to welcome TA Moore to Joyfully Jay. TA Moore has come to talk to us about her latest release, Bone to Pick. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
This blog tour is a bit of a departure for me. Usually I do a short story split between the blogs. However, that didn’t really work with Bone to Pick (the characters had met, briefly, before the start of this story but it didn’t go well. Someone might have got punched; someone might have deserved it!). So instead I thought I would give you a spoiler-free introduction to the cast of characters you’ll be meeting in Bone to Pick and tell you a little bit about how I came up with them — and maybe a bit about what I have planned for the future. I hope you enjoy meeting them! I love them all, even the terrible ones.
Cloister Witte: Sheriff’s Deputy
Back in May 2017, when I was visiting Rhys Ford, I decided to write a short story for the Dreamspinner Advent Calendar. It was going to be actually short (a departure for me, since most of my short stories clock in around 20,000 words) and pretty uncomplicated. Family! Reunions! Forgiveness! Christmassy to the max! It was basically a man realising that sometimes people who’d wronged you really meant it when they said they were going to do better.
To be honest, seeing as my most recent Christmas at that point had been ‘Whole lot of family members died in December!’? It was probably never going to work. However, I had just finished the final edit on Dog Days and I was full of confidence.
I opened my notebook and prepared for some painful brainstorming…only to find a guy with a broken nose and his search and rescue dog already chilling out on the doorstep. I mean, it usually takes me hours flicking through a Baby Names book and about a dozen false starts before I can decide on a name.
Not this time, there he was fully formed — Cloister Witte, a man with a dark past and a cute dog.
Not only did Cloister knew who he was, he knew what he did, what he wanted, and who he wanted – which was a pain in my brain I will go into more in Javi Merlo’s later in the tour!
I called it ‘Cynical at Christmas’ (because I sometimes suck at titles) and it was probably the easiest short story I had ever written, albeit with the occasional stop to email people about SaR proceedures, until I was about 15,000 words in. That is the point where I realised that a: I needed to give Cloister a novel and b: that this wasn’t the story I needed to introduce him in….and maybe c: a story about a building collapsing at Christmas probably WASN’T in the spirit of the Advent Calendar! The final straw for ‘Cynical at Christmas’ was when I caught myself cutting out lines and phrases because they were too good to use in a short, these were for the novel.
So I mothballed the original short story (might go back to it one day though, with a lot of tweaks!, since it is relevant to Cloister’s story) and started to work on Bone to Pick (because sometimes I come up with good titles!).
There were a lot of changes made from what I originally imagined for the story — about 70,000 words worth of changes! — but Cloister stayed pretty much the same the whole way through. Still the same broken-nosed dude who turned up at the threshold of my brain in San Diego and hung around until I did what he wanted.
I think he’s pretty cool!
Five (non-spoilery but interesting!) Facts About Cloister Witte
1: Cloister was partially inspired by a friend of my family who used to be a dog-handler in the Paras. He is a huge, Welsh dude with two spaniel/poodle crosses, so there was a lot of variation introduced. However, the idea of joining the army to get away from where you grew up and who you grew up with? Came from him. He also used to do a lot of Search and Rescue work, although his current dog hasn’t really taken to the training. (It FOUND the missing person on the moors, but then crawled in the sleeping bag with them and dozed off.)
2: Cloister has a much younger half-brother that you will meet someday. Probably because he’s going to get arrested and will drop his big bro’s name to try and get out of it. Even though they haven’t seen each other since Cloister left home.
3: Vincent Witte, Cloister’s stepdad, is also his paternal uncle. Because they are that kind of family. Part of the reason Cloister doesn’t talk about his family much is because he thinks he needs some sort of diagram to help people keep it straight.
4: Cloister doesn’t like cats. He doesn’t dislike them or anything, they just make him vaguely uncomfortable. His house was full of dogs growing up, but they never had cats and he just finds them a bit opaque. Cats, however, love him.
5: Cloister’s nose has always looked like that. It’s part genetics and part a pre-natal break after a difficult delivery. He used to be self-conscious about it, but looking like a bruiser means he doesn’t have to get into as many fights as he would otherwise.
Cloister Witte is a man with a dark past and a cute dog. He’s happy to talk about the dog all day, but after growing up in the shadow of a missing brother, a deadbeat dad, and a criminal stepfather, he’d rather leave the past back in Montana. These days he’s a K-9 officer in the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department and pays a tithe to his ghosts by doing what no one was able to do for his brother—find the missing and bring them home.
He’s good at solving difficult mysteries. The dog is even better.
This time the missing person is a ten-year-old boy who walked into the woods in the middle of the night and didn’t come back. With the antagonistic help of distractingly handsome FBI agent Javi Merlo, it quickly becomes clear that Drew Hartley didn’t run away. He was taken, and the evidence implies he’s not the kidnapper’s first victim. As the search intensifies, old grudges and tragedies are pulled into the light of day. But with each clue they uncover, it looks less and less likely that Drew will be found alive
Title: Bone to Pick
Author: TA Moore
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 14/08/2016
Buy the Book:
Thank you for having me over today to talk about my new novel Bone to Pick by TA Moore, which will be available from Dreamspinner Press on August 14.
TA Moore genuinely believed that she was a Cabbage Patch Kid when she was a small child. This was the start of a lifelong attachment to the weird and fantastic. These days she lives in a market town on the Northern Irish coast and her friends have a rule that she can only send them three weird and disturbing links a month (although she still holds that a DIY penis bifurcation guide is interesting, not disturbing). She believes that adding ‘in space!’ to anything makes it at least 40% cooler, will try to pet pretty much any animal she meets (this includes snakes, excludes bugs), and once lied to her friend that she had climbed all the way up to Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, when actually she’d only gotten to the beach, realized it was really high, and chickened out.
She aspires to being a cynical misanthrope, but is unfortunately held back by a sunny disposition and an inability to be mean to strangers. If TA Moore is mean to you, that means you’re friends now.
T.A. has brought a $20 Dreamspinner Press store gift card to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Thursday, August 10th at 11:59 pm EST.
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