Author Interview: TAMMY BIRD
I'm welcoming another fab author to the blog today to discuss their journey to publication as they anticipate the release of their second book very soon!
Here we go...
Tammy Bird is a suspense/thriller author. She lives in North Carolina with her wife and two cats. By day, she pours her heart into helping students fulfill their educational dreams. By night she sinks into her own rhythm and voice, creating new characters and new stories for anyone who will listen.
Tammy’s work is rarely defined as sweet or cozy, and she likes it that way. She is not here for sweet or cozy. She is here for the beautiful swirl of hard and gritty fiction where good people are sometimes bad and bad people are sometimes good and no one is safe from the psychological makeup of those around them—or from their own.
You can connect with Tammy on FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/tammybirdauthor/
and Twitter @Tammy_Bird.
You can also visit her website at https://tammybird.com.
The Book of Promises
Coming of Age
Who are you and what do you write?
Who am I? Wow. That's a tough one right off the bat. In addition to being a mom, a mimi, a wife, and an educator and speaker, I am a fifty-something author with stories to tell. I love the short story and spend quite a bit of time on that genre. I dream of editing an anthology of short stories with an "appearances versus reality" theme. Novels are hard, but oh so rewarding. My first novel, Sandman, is an adult psychological thriller. My third novel, tentatively titled, Protege Once Removed, is the sequel to Sandman. I recently finished my second novel, The Book of Promises, that will be out May1. It is a young adult suspense.
Did you have any surprises with book two?
I don't know about surprises, other than one of the characters does something I had no idea s/he was going to do, but I can't tell you about that. It would spoil the surprise. LOL. I do have a funny story about the title. It was originally called only, Book of Promises. When the cover was created, the artist used, The Book of Promises. I was so smitten with the way she used the bleeding heart in the title and how it looked just as it was that I decided not to mention or correct. Instead, I changed the title on my end.
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you?
I wish I could say I have written my whole life, but I have not. I have loved reading my whole life, and my dad was always sneaking in ways to create stories together, but it was not until my late thirties/early forties that I really found my love for short story writing and not until my fifties for novel writing.
How has the journey to this point been? Can you give us a basic rundown?
I am a high school dropout with a PhD. That about sums me up. I was a lost soul for so many years. I fought drug addiction, an abusive family, early marriage and divorce, waiting tables to survive and raise three kids, and just barely hanging on. And then I met a woman who believed in me and saved my life. She was a literature professor. She paid for my GED, guided me through applying for grants and securing sitters and learning to love myself. It was her love of writing that sparked my own. I am forever grateful for her presence in my life. Once that spark was ignited, life changed. I found my voice and started publishing in literary anthologies. Then I discovered short stories and found a home for a few of those in anthologies. And then I found GCLS about four years ago. If your readers are not connected to this group, they should be. I have never felt more accepted and loved than I have with this group. I wrote the first draft of Sandman during my year in the GCLS Writing Academy.
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
Marketing is actually the most central answer to both of those questions. I didn't realize the time commitment AFTER the book is published. I love doing it. The connections I make are phenomenal. But, oh my goodness how nice it would be to be able to pay someone to do a portion of it for me.
Would you go back and change anything?
Oh so many things, but I try not to dwell on that. What is done, is done. Forward movement is always best.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time? And 10? Or, what are your plans for the future?
I would like to have my wish-list edited anthology completed and at least three more novels, maybe 5-10 more short stories published and a few speaking gigs completed. I am enjoying the ride. I just want to keep going.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to new writers just starting out?
Right now, take a piece of paper and pen and write down what motivates you. Why do you want to do this? What makes your heart race and your tummy tickle? Post this somewhere you will see it. When you want to quit, and you will, read it. Read it and keep going just one more day.
And MOST importantly...
Ketchup or Mayo? - Neither, typically, though I will use a bit of ketchup on a hotdog.
Night or Day? - Day. Nights have always been a weird time for me and my anxiety.
Inside or Outside? - Inside. Do writers do outside?
Dogs or Cats? - Cats are easier to care for, and I am currently all about ease, so cats. But I love dogs, and I do want another one someday.
Twitter or Facebook? - Twitter all day long. I think it is the forced character count. It feels doable. I can write and read and connect with a lot of people in a shorter amount of time, and the witty tweets make me smile.
Ebook or Paperback? - Words are words. If I am out and about with no paperback, I know I can pull out my phone and read whatever wonderfulness I have downloaded.
Sun or Rain? - I love a chilly, sunny day.
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? - I start with pen and pencil in my notebook of ideas. Once I have a rough outline of a story, I switch to the keyboard. Sometimes I will print out chapters if I am struggling to get them right. It resets my brain.
Comedy or Drama? - I like both. I think it is a mood thing.
Chips or Chocolate? - Chips. I am a saltaholic.
23/4/2020 06:24:49 pm
Nice, concise and informative. It's amazing to start in one's fifties, but perhaps the practice of short story writing was good preparation for tackling a novel. Hope to see more!
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