I am REALLY loving all of your comments on these posts! I'm now trying to figure out how I could plan an outdoor movie marathon while watching the leaves change colors with all of us together. And we might have throw some s'mores in there too.
Several years ago, I worked as an intern for my church and one of the best parts of the job was that I got to go have coffee dates with all these amazing high school girls. One of my favorite places to meet was the Borders coffee shop - I'd always show up early, find the little nookish area that was Christian Fiction, grab a novel and sit and read until the girl showed up and made me stop.
The novels I always, without fail, navigated to? Tamara Leigh's. The novels I started buying for myself and my sister? Tamara Leigh's. And the novel that I received in the mail for an endorsement and did the HUGEST happy dance over? Tamara Leigh's!! Tamara Leigh has SUCH an amazing testimony! One that I really want y'all to go read! She's a great inspiration to me because not only are her books hilarious and very well-written, but she's also another stay-at-home-writing-mom. I love that!
Erynn: So, I think we can all agree that this is probably the most important question I've been asking. What's your favorite drink to order at Starbucks?
Tamara: I especially enjoy the fall and winter drinks—pumpkin spice latte, gingerbread latte, and salted hot chocolate—but I always come back to Caramel Macchiato. I like it hot, but in the summer nothing beats an iced one.
You are my new favorite person. We have the same favorite drinks! Tell us a little bit about how you got started writing.
A couple years after graduating with a master’s degree in speech and language pathology, my husband and I decided it was time to have children. Long story short, wanting to find a way to stay at home and raise our children, I took a chance on my love of writing and medieval romances. After completing Warrior Bride, I signed with an agent, made the changes she suggested, and suddenly had several publishers offering on the book. That was the easiest and most exciting publishing road I’ve ever traveled. But though writing as a career can be difficult, the journey has been worth it.
That's so amazing! What a dream come true! So, summer or winter—which one do you prefer?
You had to make that one hard, didn’t you? I don’t like any extreme weather and, in Tennessee, summer is definitely extreme when you factor in the humidity—especially when it’s the year of the cicada. As for winter, it’s definitely mild here compared to when I lived in the Lake Tahoe area, but I really don’t like the cold. So…it’s a draw. Ick. I don't like humidity at all. Love snow, though! Any new books out or in the process of coming out?
This past July, the final book in my Southern Discomfort series, Restless in Carolina, was released (I’m still going through withdrawal from the Pickwick family). Currently, I’m revisiting the medieval romance genre that gave me my start in the publishing world in 1994. When I was transitioning from the secular to the inspirational market in 2005, I was told medievals don’t do well with readers of Christian fiction, but I think I might give it another go. I love that you're writing what you feel called to write - regardless of what is currently "being published". I think that's the best way to write. Write what's on your heart, the story that God has given you. If He wants it published, He'll find a way. So, what is your least favorite part of writing?
My least favorite part of writing has little to do with the actual creation of stories, but what, increasingly, goes hand in hand with it: promotion. I know it’s necessary, but it’s so hard to let go of a scene or the development of a character or a wonderful romantic twist and re-enter the non-fiction world. Tell us a little about the genre you write in. Why did you pick that route?
All seven of my inspirational novels have been in the contemporary romance genre. When I was unable to bring my medieval romances into the Christian market, my agent asked for something “different.” How much more different can one get from twelfth century England than twenty-first century United States? As I enjoyed lighthearted romances, it seemed the natural choice. I love your novels! They're so fun and relaxing to read! What is your favorite part of writing?
There is nothing like a scene in motion, discovering a character’s depth, and bringing together two people who were meant for each other even though they certainly didn’t believe it in the beginning. I love that part - matchmaking people in stories is a personal favorite. ;) Speaking of favorites, care to share your most favorite character you’ve ever written?
They’re all dear to me. If I had to choose, medieval wise, I’d pick Lady Lizanne of Warrior Bride, my first novel published with Bantam. Inspirational-wise, I’d go with Adda of Stealing Adda, my first novel for the inspirational market. Why? I’m not sure, though it might have something to do with each being the start of something good. :) Adda was awesome!! Got any advice for prospective authors?
Write, write, write, read in your chosen genre and on the craft and business of writing, and connect with local and online writing organizations such as ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and RWA (Romance Writers of America).
Last question and it's a big one. You have an entire day with nothing planned—what would you do if money was no object?
Every day I’m surrounded by my wonderful guys—hubby and sons—so I’d probably want to spend a day with my mother and sisters who live out west. Since you’re only giving me one day, I’d fly them nonstop to Tennessee. And what a day we’d make of it! Obviously, I see them way too little.
Well, I hope you get to see them soon!! Thank you so much, Tamara!!
Tamara has SO generously offered her latest novel, Restless in Carolina, for a giveaway!! YAY!! I just know you'll absolutely love this hilarious series!
Y'all know the rules by now - one comment per person per post, please leave your name or some way of identification in the comment (Starbucks drink orders do not count, regardless of how distinctive they are), etc., etc. Don't forget - every comment during Fall Fiction Frenzy not only enters you in a chance to win the book, but also a chance to win an Old Navy gift card! I'll draw all of the winners on November 4th!
Today's comment question: Music can be energizing, cathartic, deafening and make you want to put your head in the freezer (John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt, I'm looking at you). If you had to pick a song that would be YOU set to music, what would it be?