Friday, March 29, 2013


Tara Tyler Talks to Sharon Bayliss... Wild West Style!

Sharon Bayliss and I got into Western Wear to talk about Sharon's book, THE CHARGE, set in an alternate Wild West. Here we are outside an Old West saloon...

So, Sharon, would you kindly describe the Wild West in THE CHARGE for all these folks?

The "Wild West" of The Charge is similar to the modern day American West, except it's made up of 6 territories instead of states: Texas, New Mexico, California, Deseret, Nevada, and Navajo. The West is "wild" in that it has fewer laws than the real version. Prostitution and illegal drugs are legal here. You can purchase guns at the convenience store and the legal drinking age is 16, but even that law is not often followed. Only 20% of roads have assigned speed limits.

That is really WILD! Lawless, even! It's like Las Vegas exploded! Now let's play Jeopardy Wild West Style. Here are the categories: Transportation, Potent Potables, Culinary Delights, Recreation

Transportation: What are vehicles that are too big and use too much gas?

the Blue Storm cocktail
Potent Potables: What are all the same drinks we have in the real world, but more of them, and they're easier to get?

Culinary Delights: What is Tex-Mex, fast food, meat?

Recreation: What is gambling, sports, movies, outdoor activities, being mad at the U.S.?

Party all the time! But that means outlaws go crazy too. I'd be mighty scared! Could you share a review or highlight of your tour so far?

I had a lot of fun creating the personality quiz. You can take it here.

And so far all the reviews have been a delight to read. Here are some quotes:
"The characters were well developed; I really rooted for Warren and Lena and even found myself occasionally cheering for the bad guys." - Beth Winkour 
"The Charge, just like the lightening on the front cover, this book runs its course with a unrelenting fury until it reaches the final destination." - Fel Wetzig 
"This book is fast paced, with lots of mystery and suspense, and sizzling energy like the Energizer bunny." - Charissa Stasney
I need to check out that quiz, those things are a hoot! And yeehaw reviews! Love hearing good news! So how did you all get inspired to write THE CHARGE? Challenge: sum it up in one sentence!

I love my home state of Texas and have an active imagination, adding fantastical to the familiar was my natural instinct.

Hoooo-wee! Well done! Now here tell, what was your favorite scene to write?

I like this one:

"It's weird what you remember and what you don't. I remember I had a doll named Molly. My uncle handed me over to the missionaries to be smuggled out. I couldn't take much and he told me I could take one toy. I took Molly. I carried her all across Texas. I held on to her for dear life at the shelter in Little Rock. I took her with me on the bus when they transferred me to Washington, D.C. Then . . . ." Tears ebbed out of her eyes and she wiped them away, embarrassed. An eighteen-year-old shouldn't cry about a doll. "I left her on the bus. She was my only possession. The only thing I had that my parents gave me. I brought her all that way and I left her on the bus when I got to D.C."

Some tears made it through and slid down her cheeks. She tried to laugh. "Isn't that ironic?"

Wow. Rip-roaring emotions. You could make a cactus cry! And in so few words. You'll wrangle up loads of readers with that teaser.  And I know you have to skeedaddle, so here is yer last question. Are you a cow girl at heart?

I did grow up in Texas...Austin, Texas, which Texans can tell you is a little different from the rest of the state. So I certainly wouldn't call myself a cow girl, but if that works for marketing purposes, I'm happy to pretend. :) As a kid, I did live next door to people who had cows and they paid us to feed them. And I did go to horseback riding camp one summer. So, I guess I have a little bit of cow girl in me.
A toast to THE CHARGE with Blue Storm cocktails
Texas has it all, doesn't it? And I think we all have a bit of cowgirl in us - seeking adventure, wanting to ride a horse, admiring tough cowboys, etc! Even if just to write a story about it =)

Speaking of, here's a blurb about THE CHARGE...
When King of the Texas Empire kidnaps Warren's brother, Warren embarks into a still Wild West to save him. On his journey, he makes a discovery that changes his life forever—he and his brother are long-lost members of the Texas royal family and the King wants them both dead. 

He gets help from an activist Texan named Lena, who's itching to take on the King and happens to be a beautiful firecracker Warren can't stay away from. Convincing her he's not one of the bad guys becomes harder when a mysterious energy stirs in his body, turning his brain into a hive of emotions and memories—not all his own. A legacy of violence is not all he inherited from the brutal Kings of Texas. The myth that the royal family possesses supernatural powers may not be myth at all. 

Gone are the days when choosing a major was a big deal. Now Warren must save his brother and choose whether or not to be King, follow a King, or die before he can retire his fake ID.

And y'all take a peek at Sharon's links:

Sharon Bayliss is a native of Austin, Texas and works her day job in the field of social work. When she’s not writing, she enjoys living in her “happily-ever-after” with her husband and two young sons. She can be found eating Tex-Mex on patios, wearing flip-flops, and playing in the mud (which she calls gardening).

Well, I had fun playing showgirl and learning more about Sharon and THE CHARGE! Hope you all did too! Y'all come back, now, for the A to Z challenge, ya hear! Kicks off MONDAY!!!


VikLit said...

This sounds awesome!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Most roads don't have speed limits? I want to drive there!
Congratulations, Sharon!

Dana said...

This one sounds really great! Congrats, Sharon!

I always enjoy your interviews, Tara. Have a wonderful weekend. ☺

mshatch said...

Wicked fun interview, Tara (as always!) and congrats to Sharon :)

Rhonda said...

20% speed limits, hmmm, either awesome or scary. Fun interview.

Shell Flower said...

What a creative interview. And I sooo want to read this. Congrats to Shannon.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sounds like the book is packed with everything!

Jeremy [Retro-Z] said...

Yee-Ha! great post!

Mark Means said...

What happens in the Wild West, stays in the Wild West...right?

Sounds like a very cool book..congrats to Sharon!

Tyrean Martinson said...

Sounds like a fun read

Christine Rains said...

Such a fun interview! Nice twist to the wild west.

M Pax said...

Congrats to Sharon! Sounds like a great book. I love the west.

michelle said...

Such a fun interview Tara!
See you Monday!

LD Masterson said...

Rip-tootin' interview.

Sharon Bayliss said...

Thanks to everyone who commented. I LOVE the interview Tara!! :)

Rena said...

Great interview ladies. Now I think I'd like to go have a Blue Storm!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Congrats Sharon and creative interview style Tara.

Livia Peterson said...

Congrats Sharon! I love your interview style Tara!

Donna K. Weaver said...

What a premise! A Vegas on steroids.

Yolanda Renee said...

I'm reading The Charge, and it is one of the best reads this year!

Great work Sharon, deserved kudos!

And Tara, excellent way to change things up in an interview!

Joyce Lansky said...

I haven't seen many westerns come out recently. Good luck.

Chase Manhattan said...

Good luck Sharon with THE CHARGE! Its time for Westerns to make a comeback.

D..J. Kirkby said...

This book sounds like a fun read! I agree that we all have a bit of cowgirl in us.

Nickie said...

Great interview (especially the Jeopardy style questions, hehe). I like how the author took inspiration from our society for her fictional setting. It'd be interesting to see how a lawless area in the US would be handled in the modern world.

Tara Tyler said...

i had some rootin tootin fun hosting sharon! looking forward to reading the charge, myself!

thanks for the comments y'all!