Thursday, May 30, 2013

Escaping Darkness by Theresa McClinton: Character Interview and excerpt


Character interview with Tara Weeble, star of Escaping Darkness.

 Age: 17

Race: Caucasian/human

Special abilities: None


Laurie: “Hi everyone. Thanks for joining Tara and I today while we kick back and hang out. I was lucky enough to be able to steal her away from Peter for a while and ask her a few questions. So without further delay—readers, meet Tara. Tara, say hi to your fans.”

Tara: **waves** “Hi everyone!”

Laurie: “So, Tara. I have a list of questions here, and I’m going to ask you a few. Is that okay?”

Tara: “Sure! This should be fun.”

Laurie: “The first question is, where do you dream of traveling to and why?”

Tara: “Oh man. I want to go everywhere. Europe is like, my number one place to travel. Venice has all of those water canals with the gondolas. The gondoliers wear those stripped outfits with those neckerchiefs. Peter said he’d take me one day, when everything calmed down and we don’t have to be looking over our shoulder every two seconds. Then maybe Egypt. I’ve always wanted to see the pyramids.”


Laurie: “I’ve been to Europe and Egypt. They are both places I’d tell anyone to visit! All right, question two. What was the scariest moment of your life?”

Tara: “When Child Protective Services took me from my house when I was little. You know, even when you’re a kid, and even if your life pretty much sucks, your house is all you know. It’s where my bed was, where my favorite stuffed animal was. I knew all the little noises and tricks to my house, like how the widows rattled at night from the wind, or that the knobs on the sink were switched so the hot was cold and the cold was hot. When they brought me to the orphanage, everyone was really nice. Still, I was scared.”

Laurie: “I could only image how that would be for a kid. But you probably have more empathy for others because of your experience.”

Tara: “Yeah, that’s for sure. It’s hard for me to even watch movies with guys who abuse women or whatever. Peter knows all my little pet peeves, and he’s so understanding about them.”

Laurie: “That’s sweet. But after you were rescued, I’m sure you still had aspirations. What did you want to be when you grew up?”

Tara: “I always kinda wanted to work with animals, but since I never went to college, I don’t think that will happen. Peter always tells me it’s never too late, and I may go back to school someday. But until then, I’m looking into maybe working with kids here in Belize at the local villages. I’d love to teach them English as a second language. But first I’ll have to learn Spanish. Renato said he’d teach me.”

Laurie: “Those are really good goals. Teaching the kids around you would be a ton of fun, and Renato is totally the guy to go to. He’s really learned. Let’s see. What other questions do we have here? Oh, how about this one? What is your favorite meal?”

Tara: “It’s no secret I love food. I love baked chicken and breakfast foods. And coffee.”

Laurie: “What do you do to unwind and relax?”

Tara: “When I was at the orphanage I would hang out with Ashley all the time. The other girls there were so catty and I hated how they all talked shit about each other behind each other’s backs. I learned really quickly I couldn’t trust anyone there but Ash, so that’s whom I was always around. Now that we’re in Belize and Ashley is super busy learning how to manage her abilities, I hang out with Peter and Renato until she’s free. Renato is pretty cool for an old guy.”


Laurie: “Haha! That he is. Do you play any sports?”


Tara: “Not really. I tried soccer in the orphanage but I wasn’t any good. I would love to try volleyball, though. That looks like fun.”


Laurie: “If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?” 

Tara: “My mom.”

Laurie: “Your mom? Why would you apologize to her? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?”

Tara: “Well, I’m sure her life didn’t turn out how she wanted it to either. I’ve worked through my issues, but I don’t know where she is or if she’s okay. I haven’t heard from her since we were separated. Hopefully she’s doing all right—cleaned up and sober. I’m just sorry her life turned out the way it did. That’s all.”

Laurie: “Morning Person? Or Night Person?”

Tara: “Night person, for sure. I’m always groggy and grumpy in the morning. But I really like the peacefulness of the night and all the sounds that come along with it. The crickets. The animals in the jungle scampering through the trees. It’s a cool time to be awake.”

Laurie: “What would we find under your bed?”

Tara: **blushes** “Probably some dirty clothes and a shoebox of letters.”

Laurie: “Letters? From who?”

Tara: **smiles** “Next question.”

Laurie: **laughs** “Okay, I’ll leave that one alone. Next question. What makes you happy?”

Tara: “Being around my new family—Renato, Pete, even Hawa. Everyone thinks she’s such a bitch, but when you really get to know her, she’s actually pretty cool. She can ride a horse like a cowgirl and dance to salsa music like a pro.”

Laurie: “What’s the next big thing?”

Tara: “You know, that’s a good question. I don’t have anything planned. Just to be with Peter, keep an eye on Ashley, and start my life. Other than that, we’ll all have to wait to find out.”

Laurie: “Awesome. Will do! Well, thanks so much for hanging out with us today, Tara. It was really fun asking you some of these questions and getting to know you a little better.”

Tara: “For sure! Thanks for having me!”

escaping darkness

Escaping Darkness

She may have spent years in an asylum, but that didn’t make her crazy–just fearless.

Dropped in Moscow with her friends on an impossible mission against underworld forces, Tara is left to her feelings of overwhelming inadequacy. Her boyfriend is a healer, her best friend is “the Guardian,” and everyone else is a powerhouse of awesome strengths. The only thing she has been able to contribute are her memories, which has left her with nightmares of her time spent at the mercy of the evil Sarian–who everyone has gone to fight.

Alone with her emotions, Tara finds herself falling into a city of depravity and corruption. And amidst all this evil is a young man with an agenda of his own, who leads her down a road that will either prove she is a hero at heart, or drag her into a world she’s always feared.

He wants revenge, she wants redemption. And in an underground rings of missing girls and bloody sacrifices, only the fearless can survive…


Light shined through the windows, waking Tara in a cold sweat. She had almost gotten used to the feeling of damp hair stuck to her forehead and neck.

Thankfully, she recognized the gold and burgundy drapes of Peter’s room, and her muscles relaxed into the down feather comforter.

Peter’s room had become her favorite, no matter where in the world they were. Not the room itself, but his energy in it. It blanketed the space with tranquility.

Her inner peace vanished when she allowed her mind to wander to the last time they spoke. She’d broken his heart—and hers. He probably thought she just didn’t want him, which was the furthest from the truth.

A man cleared his throat. Tara startled and sat up, facing Renato who rested on a fabric chaise on the opposite side of the room, his ankle crossed over his knee and a pipe in his mouth.

Tara gripped the blanket and pulled it over her chest. She still had on her tank top and jeans, but for some reason felt indecent, just waking up and still in bed.

Good morning.” His tone seemed calmer than normal while he examined her with a placid stare. “Tara, why did you keep this from us?”

She swallowed. “I guess Peter told you.”

He did. But he waited much too long.”

She hung her head. “It’s not his fault. I didn’t want him to tell you.”

Renato sat silent for a moment, puffing his pipe. His gaze was lost to the view of Moscow through the arched window. He seemed to be contemplating his next words. “Do you not trust me?”

She sighed. “It’s not that I don’t trust you. It’s just that…I just didn’t want to be the crazy girl again. I spent my whole life with doctors telling me I have PTSD, and that my self-confidence was stripped away by…well, what happened.” She pushed locks of curls away from her face. “I just wanted to keep my clean slate, I guess.”

And Peter? Do you have any idea what kind of stress you put him under, asking him to withhold that kind of information?”

Peter,” she whispered, the fresh wound in her heart tearing open again. “Where is he?”

In the lobby. I asked him to allow us to speak privately.”

She exhaled, hoping some of the heartache would lessen with it. No such luck. “As long as he’s okay—”

I did not in any way imply that he is okay.” Renato uncrossed his legs and placed both of his feet firmly on the floor. He leaned forward. “What you did to assist us in finding Sarian was a brave act.” He slowly rested his back against the chaise again, his fingers gliding absentmindedly over the etchings of his bone pipe. “But refusing to inform us of your deterioration has come at a price. I spoke with Marzena and there is nothing she can do to lock them away now. There is nothing anyone can do.”

So…” She bit her lip. “I’m stuck with them?”

Unfortunately, yes. But now—” He stood and walked toward her, stopping at the foot of her bed. “Now we are faced with yet another question. Who is the boy?”

Flashes of a dark alley, the gleam of a blade, and the metallic smell of blood. “Malachi.”

How do you know him?”

I don’t. I mean, not really.” She glanced at the door. “Why? Is he here?”

No. But he did press the panic button on your cell phone. Peter and I tracked the satellite signal to a bus stop, nearly three miles away.”

She hung her head. What she must have looked like when they arrived. She twisted the blankets in her hands, hoping Renato hadn’t noticed her cheeks flush with heat. It served her right. She didn’t have anyone to blame but herself.

Malachi was following me around. Then Mr. Green and those guys…” She could still hear the Russian’s blood curdling screams.

There was a knock on the door. Renato glanced over his shoulder. “I believe that’s Peter.” He peered at her with a chastising stare. “It would be humane of you to offer him some explanations. I have never seen him so torn.”


Author Theresa McClinton
A long time enthusiast of things that go bump in the night, Theresa started her writing career as a journalism intern—possibly the least creative writing field out there. After her first semester at a local newspaper, she washed her hands of press releases and features articles to delve into the whimsical world of young adult paranormal romance.

Since then, Theresa has gotten married, had three terrific kids, moved to central Ohio, and was repeatedly guilt tripped into adopting a menagerie of animals that are now members of the family. But don’t be fooled by her domesticated appearance. Her greatest love is travel. Having stepped foot on the soil of over a dozen countries, traveled to sixteen U.S. states—including an extended seven-year stay in Kodiak, Alaska—she is anything but settled down. But wherever life brings her, she will continue to weave tales of adventure and love with the hope her stories will bring joy and inspiration to her readers.
The Stone Guardian

When myth becomes reality, reality becomes a nightmare.
Like any other teenager in America, Ashley just wants a normal life. But growing up in an orphanage for the insane is anything but normal. After endless therapy and increasing medication, her nightmares have only gotten worse.

Probably because they’re not nightmares.

When Ashley’s mysteriously abducted, she finds a reality even less normal than the orphanage. And she discovers something else—she’s no ordinary orphan. Faced with enemies thought to only exist in fairy tales, Ashley discovers she possesses a powerful Maya bloodline. She’s the daughter of an ancient Maya Guardian, whose duty is to protect the Stone of Muuk’ich, an enchanted relic blessed by the gods. But first she must get it back from Sarian, a power-hungry demigod who slaughtered the last guardian—Ashley’s mother. Without the stone, all will be lost.

When she meets Arwan, a hot Belizean time bender, his delicious olive skin and dark eyes make her feel a little less alone. But his gentle whispers and reassuring touch might not be all they seem. How can she balance love and duty when it’s up to her to prevent the rising of the underworld? Especially when the guy she loves might be its crown prince…


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Ends 6/11/13


1 comment:

t_mcclinton85 said...

Hey Laurie!

The character interview looks fantastic! I hope you and your readers enjoyed getting to know Tara a little better. Thanks so much for posting!