Today I have the pleasure of introducing Tammy to you all. Not only is she a talented writer with a gift for digging deep and making you laugh and cry, but she is also a dear friend of mine. I hope you will all make her welcome and check out her lovely debut novel, White Wolf and the Ash Princess. White Wolf recently underwent a rebranding phase and now has a lovely new cover to fit its genre which I will share with you a little further down. You can buy your copy of this lovely novel right here.
Tammy lives in Lower Michigan with her husband and her three children. Izzy’s home in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Munising) is where she and her family enjoy exploring. Tammy enjoys hiking, kayaking, beach wandering, “hunting” for birch bark and hopes to someday find a porcupine quill. White Wolf and the Ash Princess is her first novel. She is published in Keys for Kids and has been in children’s ministry for over twenty years.
So tell us, Tammy, why do you like to write stories?
My first instinct is to say that I like the teaching aspect of writing. My husband and I have taught in children’s ministries at the churches we have been called to for most of our married life, and I’ve homeschooled all of our kids. I like my stories to teach and inspire. If I were to think harder about why I like writing, I’d say it’s because, even though I find writing to be overwhelming at times, I find it to be a challenge. I like the difficulty of it. I like accomplishing something that my brain screams is impossible. I hear this nagging voice at the beginning of every chapter. Finishing a story always seems “bigger” than me, so when I DO it, it’s like I’ve reached a mountain top. The Lord is forever faithful. He has given me strength to get through many “impossible” projects!
If you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would it be and why? What would you do together?
I would like to spend the day with Izzy because we are both so much alike. We both dislike tea, we have a spicy temper…and both of us would rather walk around barefoot. We would have so much fun walking the beaches of the U.P in search of beach glass or Petoskey stones. Her favorite trees are birch trees and I could see both of us geeking out at our bark piles. Izzy is a good shot with Jonathan’s guns. I don’t shoot anything larger than a .22. I’d ask her to give me a lesson or two with the bigger guns so I could impress my deer-hunting, gun-slinging husband.
Would you want to live in your story world? Tell us why or why not?
Eeeeek! I would LOVE to live in my story world! White Wolf and the Ash Princess is the combination of my two favorite worlds–seventeenth century England and seventeenth century Early America. I love the romantic era of Jane Eyre with the dresses, decor and mannerisms, but I also love the thought of exploring an unspoiled land and discovering a new culture.
Can you recommend any authors/books that have inspired you and your style of writing?
The book that has made the biggest impact on my writing in terms of character building–especially when writing male characters– is The Outsiders by S. E Hinton. This novel, thankfully, was required reading in my high school English literature class. Pony Boy and Soda Pop Curtis were the same age as me, and I could relate to their struggle to fit in. Sixteen-year old greaser, Johnny, made my heart bleed as he shyly hunched through the book with his thumbs in his front pockets. I related most to the oldest Curtis, Darry, who grew old before his time fathering his two brothers after the death of their parents. My goal as a writer is to make my characters shine as brightly as Ms. Hinton did with hers.
Another old favorite is one that my mom passed down to me. Mrs. Mike was published in the late forties by Benedict and Nancy Freeman. Part Two of White Wolf and the Ash Princess is inspired by the stunning culture the Freeman’s introduced me to back in high school. The Ojibwe people and their traditions, customs, and folklore are of specific interest to me today because of the book my mom shared with me years ago.
What is the hardest part about being a writer for you?
I heard this from my parents growing up–and I’m sure most with brothers and sisters heard the same thing: “Don’t worry about what your sister is doing–keep your eyes to yourself and worry about you.” Hmmmm…..anybody else hear this?? My biggest struggle is when my eyes leave my laptop to see what other writers/authors are doing. It’s ok to look to learn, but it is never ok to compare. I often compare my slow writing style with the much speedier versions of the masses and it does nothing but bring discouragement. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made” and each of us is a unique one-of-a-kind creation.
Can you share one lesson you’ve learned from your writing to your readers?
I’ve learned that nothing is impossible. Hard, yes…but impossible? Nope! If He wants it done..it’s going to get done! Through Him, I finished White Wolf and the Ash Princess and Lord willing I’ll finish the coming sequel, Letters from the Dragon’s Son.
If your writing style could be compared to food, what would it be and what would it taste like?
My husband and I have date night out twice a month. We go to the same place, nearly every time, so I can get my fajitas and endless chips and salsa. I’d say my writing is a lot like my favorite date night meal. It’s hard to stop crunching down those chips!! I try to end the chapters of my books/stories that way–with the need for “just one more”. I love the onions in my chicken fajitas, but I don’t like cutting them for myself at home. I buy the bag of already chopped onions to save my eyeballs from the burning. I do like runny eyes when I read, though. If I read through my work and tear-up, I know I’ve gotten the feel right. The next time you read a Tammy project, think fajitas!
Connect with Tammy
Wow, thanks for stopping in to chat with us today, Tammy! I know we all had a blast. There are many ways you can connect with Tammy if you would like to know more about her and her future releases.