Author Interview: UK- Meet Author Tammy Tate. #author #amreading #romance @tammytateauthor

Following the official announcement of  my next spring release  with fellow author Tammy Tate.( You can read that post here if you missed it). I had the pleasure of interviewing her from this side of the Atlantic. Here’s what she had to say.. Let’s meet her and get to know her style.

How did you start writing romance? 
One day a good friend of mine gave me a historical romance novel. She said it was good and that I should read it. I took it from her, but living in the country on two and a half acres with six horses, two rottweilers, two cats and three kids I didn’t figure I would have time to sit down and read. One night after I crawled into bed exhausted from the day I thought what the heck.  I took Brazen Ecstasy by Janelle Taylor off my nightstand, opened it up and began to read. Before long, it was 3 a.m.  The bad part was, I still didn’t want to put it down. But I did, knowing I had a long day ahead of me. I had to see my husband off to work, my kids off to school and the horse shoer was coming. Between bowling three nights a week and bouncing between school sports, my husband and I had a full plate. Somewhere in between he made a descent living. 
 
It took me about three days to finish Brazen Ecstasy only to learn it wasn’t the first of the series. But I was hooked. I had to find the others. Some of them were out of print and I searched every used book store for miles around until I had all seven. By the time I finished reading them, I was so pumped up I decided to write one myself. Make up my own rules. Tell a story…my way. 
 
Within no time, I had twenty-seven chapters plunked out on a Brother’s word processor. (I didn’t have a computer back then and was at the mercy of a landline for internet which was slower than molasses.) Back then, to submit a manuscript, you had to print and mail it in. I finally got my first computer and I didn’t want to know what keys to push. I wanted to know why you pushed those keys. One thing led to another and I put my writing on hold. With the help of countless computer books and a computer friend I opened my own computer business. I spent the next seven years writing databases, troubleshooting computers and building them from the ground up.
 
Then a new chapter opened in my life. I got into law enforcement dispatching police, fire and EMS. Seven years went by and my husband took a job in Las Vegas and we sold our house in Texas and moved 1650 miles across the states. He didn’t want me to work in law enforcement in Las Vegas because he was afraid he’d never see me. The hours were long. Holidays and weekends were the busiest. That’s when I decided to write again. But, times had changed. Now, there were ebooks and anyone could put them out there for the world to enjoy. I even put my first story on smashwords.com to see if anyone would enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. Within the first three months The Spirit Path, a time travel romance I had written, had been downloaded over 7000 times. The ones that weren’t complaining about spelling and grammar were screaming for more. I learnt real quick if I was going to continue living out my dream, I needed an editor. 
 
Now imagine the look on my husbands face when I approached him about hiring an editor for a book I was giving away for free. It was the same look he gave me when I got caught up playing FarmVille on Facebook and bought million dollar cows to sell for 60k for experience points so I could level up. That’s another story, entirely. Bottom line is, I have a husband who is supportive and told me to hire an editor so I could live out my dream. After, thirty-seven years of marriage, he’s still my biggest fan.
 Kim: Wowzers Tammy- sounds a bit like my experience when I read Deadly Embrace by Jackie Collins, I then read EVERY book of hers, and started writing romantic suspense! I was not even in my mid twenties yet. It’s great to be inspired by other great writers.
What’s your fav genre to read and write?

Hands down, it’s got to be heart-pumping ROMANCE with gorgeous men who will do anything for the strong-willed women they love! I can’t write just sweet romance. It’s not in my DNA. I have to sprinkle in jaw-dropping time travel, paranormal, mystery, a haunted house and a ghost or two or have my characters get sucked up in the Bermuda Triangle. 

 

 Kim: Umm hmm sounds like my cup of tea for sure Tammy.
How do you go about story telling do you have a signature style?
I’m what you call a pantster! I write by the seat of my pants. I don’t outline before I start. I choose a ‘What if” scenario and jump right in. I write the first few chapters and name the chapter with keywords depicting what I want to take place in that chapter. That always changes several times before I finish. My characters will generally start off with generic names and as they begin to raise up from the pages, I give them their earned names.
 Kim: Haha! A  panster! Love it, I just can’t write like this, I need an outline for sure and develop it  as I go alone. But massive props to you for having this skill. No wonder your stories are great to read!

You’re a bestselling author how did it feel the moment you earned this amazing title?
The first time I made AMAZON’s bestseller list it was a humbling experience to say the least and I was on cloud nine. I looked at my husband and shouted, “I did it!” He shook his head and teased, “Thank God you don’t want to be president.” Yeah, my baby’s got jokes…
Kim: Well done you! Again, I am so happy for you.
What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
The best advice I could give to an aspiring new author is to never give up. No matter what. If writing is your passion, keep writing. And, read…read…read.

Kim: yeah, for sure, never give up!

What’s the most frustrating thing about being a writer?
I would have to say the most frustrating thing about being a writer is not having enough hours in the day. I’m a full time writer and it’s still not enough. I have so many characters bouncing around in my head with so many stories to tell and not enough time to get them down.


What’s the best thing about being a writer?
The best thing about being a writer is knowing there are fans out there that are as passionate about my stories as I am.

What’s your vision for your romance novel with Kim?
I am honored to have taken on a project with Kim and I can describe my vision for our quest in one word. BESTSELLER! Mama always said, “Shoot for the stars, if you fall short, you’re still a winner
So tell us about your latest release Valentine Vision?
Valentine Vision was a fun story to write. Mark, the son of an oil tycoon lost his eyesight in a plane crash a year ago and is now in need of a personal assistant. Who better then to apply then an ex-model who lost her modeling career after a near fatal car crash. He can’t see the scar down the side of her face. There’s chemistry between them from the git go, but Tori fights it. He’s her boss. That isn’t supposed to happen. Against her better judgement, she gives in and after she has to save him from drowning his ego takes a hit. He let’s her go because he thinks she deserves better. Until his doctor calls informing him of a new surgery that might restore his sight. Will he still think she’s beautiful?
Kim: Sounds great! I can’t wait to read my copy.
And that’s a wrap! Grab your copy of Valentine Vision on Amazon UK and Amazon.com now. Connect with Tammy on Twitter and FB
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Writer’s Block: One Author’s Experience & How to Overcome it #amwriting #writerslife

Craft

This writing prompt is inspired by some questions posed for Goodreads authors to answer. I thought about my response, and thought it be great to share with you all aspiring authors out there! And anyone interested in how I went about writing A Stranger in France, Not Just for Christmas and Code Redhead- A Serial Novel.

So when I think of writer’s block in the traditional sense, I think of a writer sitting behind their lap top with a blank page, with a blank mind- they don’t know what to write or how to start. I don’t personally experience this type of writer’s block. I don’t mean this in a cocky way either, it’s because I’ve personally found a way to avoid it. But I’ll be honest I do experience lack of discipline/ sticking to my own writing schedule I set, this is mainly due to life and being  a busy mama. But when I do sit down to write, in between being a mama and work I’m never blank. Generally speaking, the former experience is what I’ve read and heard most writers experience. How do I avoid this common type of writer’s block, that is so damaging to a writer’s productivity  and even decreases their chances of finishing  their novel or short story? Simple…

 I have some form of detailed plan, I know what you’re thinking we all plan our storytelling ideas, hmm yes but the key is detailed.  Before I even write “Chapter One” at the top of my blank page  when I have a novel or short story idea I do the following:

  1. A detailed mini synopsis of EVERY chapter.
  2. A detailed character profile for EVERY character, especially those who take centre stage.
  3. Drum up two possible endings for the story.
  4. Drum up a few shockers/surprises/ OMG I never saw that coming twists. (this step depends on the genre I’m writing. I do this for romantic suspense and thriller a lot).

Every writer finds their own way and their own voice, but for me in order to avoid that “shit what do I write now?” Feeling, or find myself at a dead end with my story, I have a full idea of how the story will play out in the start, middle and end,  and an idea of what will happen in EVERY chapter for EVERY character. It’s quite a detailed plan. This is step #1 this way when I sit down to write I know what direction I’m going in, just from glancing at my synopsis of where I am with writing. Now don’t get me wrong my detailed chapter synopsis is not set in stone, when I wrote A Stranger in France  for one of my characters a scene I wrote  just came to me that very night I was writing. It was a creative  thought on the spot and it tied in with the story (lucky), so I went off the track I set out on. Another thing I find about this approach is it helps me to  think about possible word count, as I know what will take place in each chapter before I even write it and how long  certain scenes may play out for.

#2 is just a personal thing, many writers have an idea in their head of who their characters are, but I’m a little OCD. Mainly as I enjoy writing from first person, and try to make my characters pop on the page. (Which can be  a challenge as you need to become that character and react to situations as they would, not yourself). Due to my personal writing style, I like to sometimes use I NEED  to know my character’s view points, attitudes, likes and dislikes to a T,so I can be consistent when I am writing their POV. But generally I’d say this is good practice.

#3 this is my plan B, in case I decide to move off my detailed chapter plan, just back up! But it also helps me to move in the right direction when writing, to know what to write and when so I don’t experience writer’s block.

#4 I love this part! And it fits with genre I write in and my personal enjoyment of writing. You can’t have a romantic suspense, without the suspense or even a little surprise. You can’t have a thriller without some kind of thrill 🙂 in my humble personal opinion. If I am honest, this is the most enjoyable part as a writer for me, I love building up a little roller coaster to keep the pages turning. 

With  two out of the three of my published works and my current novel I’m writing now I followed my natural “blue print”, of how I  personally avoid writer’s block. I managed to finish a 90,000 odd word novel and 20,000 odd  word novella. And hopefully I’ll finish what I’m working on now as a guess this maybe about 60,000-70,000 words. The only time I went off track was when I wrote the short story for Code Redhead – A Serial Novel with twelve other authors … what do you think happened? Yep I got writer’s block LOL. I had my idea based on the writing prompt we were given but no real direction or plan, I was less organised and it took me a lot longer to get into my flow. Why did I not stick to what works? I think, looking back it was because the authors featured in Code Redhead- A Serial Novel only had 14,000 words as a limit for their story- teeny tiny ! So I thought to myself, this will be a breeze. But I was wrong,  it was a learning curve for me as a writer. Shorter word count (when it comes to writing for a novel not a blog) means  nothing. I learned in some ways it can be more of a challenge, to write an engaging story with a tiny word count  you need to  focus on the story developing plus balance character development etc.  Also when I saw the cover for the book, I went back to the drawing board, originally my story was a nice sweet feel good romance I called it “From London with Love” originally, but the cover of the book did not scream sensible shoes and a nice cardigan when I saw it LOL. No, to me the writing prompt my publisher gave us all, and the cover said to me “Kim, pull out something a little more stilettos and  a little black dress for your main character.” So that’s what I did, but not as quick as I would have liked, I did get writer’s block in the traditional sense for the first time! But I over came it and the story changed direction and the characters took on a new direction … eventually.

What did I learn from this? Stick to my natural blue print that helps to avoid writer’s block. Even if you change the story line last moment, at least you have a detailed idea of where you were originally going before hand and can adapt it,  rather than  just doing what you love …  writing, a little blindly and ending up blocked, pressed for time and like argh! Second no matter the word limit 14,000 or 140,000 you need a plan.

So the moral is, ( for me on my journey to published author) that I want to share with you is plan your direction, plan your character’s direction, and then plan some more! Then write… like no one is looking and enjoy feeling stress free and writer’s block free.

 

 

Novel #3: “In The Name of Love” Preview…. #amwriting #preview

 

This week, I shared with you a little flash fiction, it was a snip-it from the current novel I’m writing. The genre is thriller! ( Yeah baby!), I introduced you to Charlotte Price- Smith the main female lead in my story. Here’s a little background on the story itself. I have named the story ” In the Name of Love.”

Charlotte, (thirty- five in the present day) has been convicted for the murder of her ex- lover’s wife five years ago. Both she and her ex-lover were on trial for the murder at the time. They both had a motive for murder. Her ex- lover   Joseph, is actually an old school friend.  She met him years later  when the affair started, he has a shady background also. He is actually one of London’s notorious drug dealers, trying to make his money and leave that life behind. He spends a lot of time between London and Amsterdam. The two go on trial.

Due to some incriminating evidence the jury leaned toward Charlotte as the guilty party. That and the fact that she is sadly, mentally ill she was diagnosed a paranoid schizophrenic at the age of eighteen, but hid it well from her lover and everyone else who did not know her well, when she was in the free world.

At thirty, she’s trialled for murder, and sentenced to time in a mental institution as apposed to prison due to her mental ill health. The Judge thought she was at the time criminally insane.  Charlotte has pleaded not guilty from day one, and in fact feels she was framed by her lover.   Five years later, aged thirty -five she has a score to settle and wants to clear her name. While  fighting to have her case reopened and heard in court again,which she does manage to achieve due to advances in DNA matching five years later, she falls in love again… I won’t give away all the details. 

Readers will learn who the real murderer is….And have a some what shocking surprise!

I won’t say too much! But I will say, this is not a predictable story, the  “who-done-it” will surprise you, the character line up is diverse, and you will be transported between London, Amsterdam’s Red Light district and the Caribbean as a reader. You know me I like to keep it suspenseful, modern and engaging so I hope it will be an enjoyable story.

I’ll do another flash fiction snip-it soon so stay tuned! But for now here is the one I did earlier this week. Click here.

Book Tour: Author Interview! #author #booktours

Morning,

Still wet and rainy here in London. I planned to go to the zoo today, with my little boy as a treat for his third birthday last week. I think we’ll stay indoors in our pyjamas, and play with his farm and jungle animals instead.

In the mean time I have another author interview published, as part of my current book tour over at T’s stuff you can view it here.

Have a lovely relaxing Sunday.

Book Tour Guest Post: How Did I Start Writing Romance?

Evening

From a wet and rainy London! It’s Saturday night,  I’m staying in it’s too rainy, and nope I’m not working on a chapter for book #3. As guilty as I feel, I’m taking the night off. I will write a letter to my girlfriend in Paris instead- in French. I’ve set (another) goal, to try and increase my fluency in French, to the next level by summer 2017. Here goes!

But let me get to the point of this post…. A Stranger in France is on tour, here is a guest post I done on one stop, “how I started writing within the romance genre.” You can read it by clicking here over on Editor Charlene’s Blog.

Have a good weekend all!

 

It’s Release Day! #romancereaders #amreading #romance

Morning all,

I am super happy to share with you, that today is release day for my second book a romance novella called Not Just for Christmas. It’s available on Amazon now! And a free chapter preview can be  downloaded here.

Book blurb:

In Not Just For Christmas readers are taken on a romantic journey set in London, during the festive season, following two characters originally opposed to each other fall in love, with a enough warmth and sensuality to keep readers warm at any time of year.
As Christmas draws near thirty-five year old social worker Ava Green, finds herself desperate to not be alone at her favourite time of year. Following the break- up of her engagement to her ex earlier in the year, Ava has spent ten months on a mission to get over her ex. With the support of her two of her closest girlfriends Tasha and Marie, Ava makes a bold move which surprises her girlfriends in order to find a companion for the festive season. Ava’s path crosses with tall dark and handsome Detective Jerome Samuels, a forty-five year old divorcee also in search of love. Once their paths cross after a few bumps along the way there’s no turning back, these two characters are caught up in a whirlwind of sensual and heart –warming romance, that Detective Jerome Samuels hopes is not just for Christmas, he’s on a mission to claim his lady Ava.

Buy now Links

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

 

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Christmas 2016

FREE Chapter Preview: ‘Not Just for Christmas’ #romancereaders #amreading #newrelease #christmas

Happy Guy Fawkes night guys,

I hope you all have a safe and enjoyable night, here in London the celebrations have kicked off already. I’ve had  fire crackers going off outside my window, for a few hours now.

Tonight I’m pleased to share with you a free chapter preview from Not Just for Christmas, my second book will be released little later in November. I’ll confirm the date for you all soon. In the mean time,  if you’re not out in the cold watching fireworks, then enjoy the start of a modern, feel-good romantic story, with a Christmas theme.

Book blurb:

In Not Just For Christmas readers are taken on a romantic journey set in London, during the festive season. Following two characters originally opposed to each other fall in love, with a enough warmth and sensuality to keep readers warm at any time of year.

As Christmas draws near thirty five year old social worker Ava Green, finds herself desperate to not be alone at her favourite time of year. Following the break- up of her engagement to her ex earlier in the year, Ava has spent  ten months on a mission to get over her ex.  With the support of her two of her closest girlfriends Tasha and Marie, Ava makes a bold move which surprises her girlfriends in order to find a companion for the festive season.  Ava’s path crosses with tall dark and handsome Detective Jerome Samuels, a forty five year old divorcee also in search of love. Once their paths cross after a few bumps along the way there’s no turning back, these two characters are caught up in  a whirlwind of sensual and heart –warming romance, that Detective Jerome Samuels hopes is  not just for Christmas, he’s on a mission to claim his lady Ava.

Click the link below to download the first 2.5 chapters for free.

chapter-preview-not-just-for-christmas-by-kim-knight

 

not-just-for-christmas

Christmas 2016