Monday, July 1, 2019

Guest Post: Tal Bauer #Interview

We're excited to have Tal Bauer here talking about his new book Hell and Gone and doing an interview. So much talent and we're so lucky to get to read it all. So, check it out.

One hanged man.
Two vanished cowboys.
Three hundred missing cattle.
The Crazy Mountains are devouring everything they see.

Everett Dawson, Montana’s newest Stock Detective, has been sent from Helena down to the Crazy Mountains. Cattle are going missing in the Crazies and Everett is charged with finding these modern-day rustlers and bringing them in.

When he arrives, he finds a hanged cowboy and a heap of questions. Was it suicide or was it murder? Why are cowboys fleeing the Crazies? Far from a simple investigation, Everett's case plunges deep into the mountains' dark past.

Lawrence Jackson, the bad boy who runs the Lazy Twenty Two, was the last man to see the dead cowboy alive. There’s a whole forest fire of smoke swirling around Lawrence, and where there’s smoke, there’s flame... and maybe even murder.

But Everett is drawn to Lawrence, and if he takes the risk Lawrence offers, will Everett find what he craves, or will the Crazies claim their next victim?


A lot of your books, okay, ALL of your books are very detailed, well researched, and filled with so much character and intense plotlines. How do you come up with your story ideas?

Great question! And thank you! Honestly, I’m not entirely sure where the stories come from. I try to draw inspiration from everything around me. My life, my history, news I hear. I mix it all together in my brain and see what comes out from that mess. I will say that a lot of my stories are heavily influenced by my past, and, looking back at the stories I’ve written, I can personally see threads that I weave that are deeply personal, and seem to be touchstones for me. They say writing is cathartic, and I think I’m probably working through things in my past through some of my stories.

Without giving too much away, tell us about your new release?

It’s a fun one! I love the west, and country life, and everything associated with rural/ranch living. I live in a rural area, between several farms and ranches, and I love classic Westerns and the mythos of the Old West. I wanted to write a modern-day Western, a cowboy mystery/thriller with some romantic suspense thrown in.

So you’ve got Lawrence Jackson, the small-town Bad Boy, ranching in the Crazy Mountains of Montana. And you’ve got Everett Dawson, the stock detective sent to the Crazies to investigate cattle rustling/theft and a series of disappearances. When Everett arrives, he finds a hanged man, and questions about how this man died: was it suicide or was it murder? And if it was murder, who is the murderer? And is this death connected to the cattle rustling throughout the mountains? Everett pairs up with Lawrence and goes deep into the Crazies to investigate, all the while wondering if he’s riding beside a murderer. And if he is, why is he pulled toward Lawrence, craving him in a way he hasn’t craved in man in years?

It's a fast-paced thriller/mystery, saturated in cowboy and Western atmosphere, and hopefully a fun ride for readers! I had a great time writing it, and I hope everyone enjoys Hell and Gone.

What, for you, is the hardest part about writing a book?

It’s not so much hard, but it’s the most time consuming: the research! I take a lot of pride in the nuances and details of my novels, and to get that level of detail, I have to truly dive into researching as deep as I can. For Whisper, for example, I enrolled in classes at a masjid to fully understand Islam, and what it means to be a LGBT Muslim. I also was pulling old CIA and FBI archived documents. I had boxes of papers in my office, reports pinned to the wall, a timeline that bent around a corner. For A Time to Rise, set in the Vatican, I was able to interview several former Swiss Guards, the pope’s personal army/bodyguards in the Vatican. And, for an upcoming release with a heavy space theme, I have toured several NASA facilities and spent time with astronauts and mission control specialists, soaking up as much as I can. Research is a TON of work, but it’s also one of my favorite parts of writing. I love fully immersing myself in a whole new world, over and over again.

What’s the easiest?

Writing is actually the easiest part… once you get past the beginning! Once the characters are in motion and they have some agency, the story really seems to flow well. I often will sit down and just let the words flow, and it’s usually a lot of fun to sit back and compose the story. Lots of time, writers will say something along the lines of ‘I’m not writing the story, I’m discovering it’, or ‘I’m unearthing the story; it’s already written.’ I don’t know if I quite feel that way, but I do know that once the story is formed in my mind, and once I have a good solid grasp on the world the story lives in (see above, re research!), it seems to flow very smoothly. It almost feels like I’ve learned a foreign language and am exploring a new land and using this new language. I’ve embedded myself in my research, built a plot and characters, and the world is fully formed. After all that, writing is part discovery, part exploration, and part narration of what I find, I suppose.
I don’t know, I think we get a little mystical sometimes about the writing process. J In the end, the fingers moving over the keys is the easiest part, and oftentimes one of the most fun parts, too.

I know there isn’t a lot of free time for authors, but when you do have some what do you enjoy doing?
One of the best things I heard when I started writing full time was, “Find a hobby.” When you move to writing full time, your old hobby – writing – has moved into your professional spot, and your hobby spot is open. If you don’t fill that spot with something, you’re going to burn out. You need to have something to do besides writing. We tell other professionals they need to be well rounded and have hobbies outside their careers. Writers and authors are no different.
My hobbies are working out, playing a variety of pick-up and amateur league sports, horseback riding, skiing, skating, hiking, and traveling. I like to be active and outdoors when I’m not in my office working.

Are you currently writing another book, if so can you tell us about it?

I am about to start my July release, and it’s actually going to be a bit of a special event/surprise for everyone…
I am going to be writing, editing, and publishing a novel, from scratch, in 30 days/July. AND… I’m letting my group pick the genre. I had a poll going until July 1 for everyone to vote on to pick the genre of my next novel. After that closes, I will the winning genre and will start crafting characters and a plot. Every day throughout July I’ll be posting and sharing my writing process: outlines, notes, character sketches, idea boards, drawings, daily word counts, excerpts, etc. For anyone who has wanted to see how the writing is done, this event is definitely for you. It’s going to be CRAZY… but it will also be a blast! On (or before!) July 30, my next novel will be released… but I can’t tell you what it’s going to be about yet! The poll has only just closed!

If you’d like to join in on the fun, head on over to my author group, Tal Bauer: Classified, at:

How can readers keep up on new releases from you?

The BEST way to keep up with new releases is to join my newsletter! You can sign up here:
The second best way is to follow me on BookBub, here: BookBub pushes new release alerts for all of my novels, and if you follow me there, you’ll never miss a thing.
You can also join in the fun at my author group and follow me on Facebook! Group link is: and my author page is: https://www.

What are some of your all-time favorite books to read?

I love books by foreign authors. There’s a lot of great literature coming out of Africa and the Middle East right now. Everywhere I travel, I always pick up a ton of local novels, and those always end up on my shelf as my favorites. My all-time favorite novel is The Sparrow, by Mary Doria Russel.

What or who made you decide to take the publishing plunge?

I’ve always wanted to write full time, and the stars aligned one day where it just made sense to pursue it. I had ended one job and that same day, a publishing offer came through to my desk, and I thought, “All right. I can make a go of this.” It’s had ups and downs since then, but I’m glad I decided to persevere and stick with it. I’m happy with writing full time, and I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world. It is HARD work, and you always have to be on the go, on the move, always creating, always in contact with people, always trying to market yourself. It can be exhausting, and I’m not great at a lot of that, LOL. I’m not the best at marketing, and I often get so tied up in my personal life that I leave a lot behind in my writing world. But, as long as I keep creating and keep giving readers quality books to read, I feel like I’m doing my job well. 

What are three things you need near you before you begin writing?

Coffee, usually. I start writing in the morning, and I need that to wake up. Oftentimes my dog will be by me, and if she’s not, then I get suspicious about what she’s up to, lol. And, my notes and outlines. I need to have my references nearby. I’m very old school – I write everything down in chicken scratch on a yellow legal pad!

Do you write with background noise or need quiet?

It depends. Usually, I need quiet. However, once I get in the groove, or if I need to tap into an emotional beat in a certain scene, then I’ll key up a playlist that echoes that feeling/emotion. For Whisper, I had a lot of Beyonce playing. Power ballads, lol. For Ascendent, I had lonely instrumental music playing. And for Hell and Gone, I had country playing. J

Who is Tal Bauer? Tal Bauer is an award-winning and best-selling author of gay romantic thrillers, bringing together a career in law enforcement and international humanitarian aid to create dynamic characters, intriguing plots, and exotic locations. He is happily married and lives with his husband in Texas. Tal is a member of the Romance Writers of America. Check out Tal’s website: or follow Tal on social media.
What is the best way to stay up to date on new releases and all things Tal Bauer? Follow Tal on BookBub and sign up for his newsletter!

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  1. Great interview! Love this book!

  2. Thank you so much, this interview has been very insightful. 🌈🌈🌈❤️❤️❤️

  3. Fabulous interview. Thank you.