Hello, Friends! I recently had the privilege of interviewing author Tammy Turner. I’m excited to share her interview with you today. Here it is:
Where are you from?
Originally I am from the most beautiful small town on the east coast, Charleston, South Carolina. It was one of the oldest cities in the United States and history slaps you in the face at every turn down her quiet alleys and cobblestone lanes. Currently I live in a much bigger town, Atlanta, Georgia. The big city is nothing like the seaside town where I grew up but both are special to me.
Tell us your latest news?
The sequel to Falling into Forever is completed and due out in the spring. The title is The End of Never and continues the wild ride Alexandra finds herself on as a high school senior with newly discovered abilities, friends and even enemies. I am also working on the third book in the series.
When and why did you begin writing?
I have been writing my whole life. Some kids sing. Some kids dance. My mom always told me I was a good actress but I think that was polite code for drama queen. From the time I could hold a crayon in my stubby little fingers I was writing words on construction paper about my stuffed animals Patty Bear and Hobbes the Tiger. I always wrote poems or short stories all the way through high school but never shared with anyone. As an adult I put writing aside for a time to concentrate on being a grown up because I got lost in my job and responsibilities and being a mom. What I had not figured out was that writing was just as much a part of me as everything else in my life. It makes me feel whole even if no one ever reads a word a write. At least I am making the effort to do something I love.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The act of putting pen to paper makes anyone a writer but I did not feel I had really accomplished anything until I saw my name on the cover of Falling into Forever and could hold the paper, my words alone on all those pages, in my trembling hands.
What inspired you to write your first book?
A few years ago I devoured the entire Twilight series in about two weeks. I lost a lot of sleep and did not go out in the sun until I had read every single last word Stephanie Meyer wrote. When I was done my imagination was juiced like five year old kid on Red Bull. I had not written much in years but I felt inspired. So I put pen to paper and went for it.
The idea for Falling into Forever did not come to me in words but in a vision. I was at work staring at my computer screen thinking about a cigarette because I had quit for a while but still craved now and again. And everybody in my office smokes. Everybody. Except me. So I was daydreaming and pictured two girls, best friends in matching private school uniforms, who would become the central characters. One was the good girl who was not smoking and one was the bad girl who was lighting up before class. They were talking in a secret hiding spot and catching up on the first day of school. I spent my lunch hour writing a page around that scene in my head. That single page grew into many more because I had to figure out what led the two of them there. What happened before? What happened after? What kinds of things could possibly happen behind the gates of a private school? Are there any secrets? I wanted to create suspense, mystery, maybe even a little longing. After all what teenager do you know is not crushing on someone maybe they should not be?
Do you have a specific writing style?
I never work with any kind of outline. My process is organic, and I never know when I sit down to write where my thoughts will take me. As I finish one chapter I concentrate on ideas for the next until the words start flowing. I also rarely compose at a computer. When an idea strikes I grab a pad of yellow legal paper and a pencil and start writing. Sitting at a computer for too long reminds me of my office job too much to promote any kind of creative productivity.
How did you come up with the title?
Falling into Forever was not the first title of the manuscript. At first it was The Dragon King which sounds too much like a story about hobbits and trolls so it got dropped. I think the title describes what my protagonist Alexandra Peyton experiences in the novel. In the first week of her senior year she goes from a quiet, good girl to a brave fighter when secrets and circumstances beyond her control change her life irrevocably and forever.
Is there a message in your novel you want readers to grasp?
Things are not always what they seem. There really are heroes. Sometimes you just need to have a little hope and faith to see them.
How much of the book is realistic?
I tried hard to blend the fantasy and supernatural elements with the reality teenagers face daily. Most high school students have some sort of issues with their parent. Some are in good in school. Some do not care about school. Boyfriends, girlfriends, homework – they are all a part of life. Even for my protagonist Alexandra despite the fantastical secrets surrounding her and threatening to turn her world upside down and inside out.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I wish I had a handsome, immortal admirer but if I do he has not walked out of the shadows yet like Kraven does to reveal himself to Alexandra.
What books have most influenced your life?
Of course I have to say Twilight or I might still be doodling ideas in notepads. Also I want to mention a story book my dad gave me for Christmas when I was a little girl. He helped teach me to read with an adorable book titled The Sailor Dog by Margaret Wise Brown. I still have it on my bookshelf. And I could not write anything at all without two books my dad gave me from when he was in college many, many years ago: a Webster’s dictionary and a well used Roget’s thesaurus. I would be lost without either of them and the idea that my dad used them when he was a student holds special meaning for me.
Thank you, Tammy, for taking the time to answer my questions!
Here’s the blurb for Tammy’s book, Falling into Forever:
Immortality, thousands of years, and voodoo will make you fall in love . . .
High school senior Alexandra Peyton has a secret admirer with devilish good looks: shoulder-sweeping raven hair, brooding azure eyes, and a ten-foot wing span. But their thousand-year age difference may be a deal breaker for the shy seventeen-year-old. Kraven, the admirer (and immortal victim of an ancient curse), is certain that Alexandra is the reincarnation of his long-dead princess bride.
When Alexandra returns from a road trip to her grandmother’s beachfront estate on the South Carolina coast to the hectic, big-city life in Atlanta, Georgia, she possesses two souvenirs. The first is a once-lost package, sent to her by her now-missing father, which contains a mysterious pendant necklace. The second is a journal filled with the ravings of her dead uncle, an army officer who wrote of meeting the devil during his service in Europe during the final days of World War II.
However, a voodoo priestess who stalks the grounds of Peyton Manor is convinced that the journal will help her conjure the devil and wants the book returned at all costs. As school starts, a vicious wolf man, working for his voodoo mistress, plots an attack on Alexandra. When her life is threatened, the immortal stranger who has vowed to protect her reveals himself and changes her life irrevocably.
Tammy Turner’s Bio:
Growing up in the coastal town of Charleston, South Carolina, instilled an infatuation with history, mystery, and legend in first-time author Tammy Turner. From the time she could shuffle along behind her father, they would hunt for sharks’ teeth, explore crumbling cemeteries, and dig for pirate gold along the low country beaches. Attending school in the heart of the city, the palpable lore of history fed her imagination and inspired her to craft her own stories. An honors graduate of Georgia State University, Tammy has a degree in journalism and works in the field of international trade. Now a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, Tammy plans adventures with her son and capturing the essence of make believe with her writing.
Click here for Tammy’s Website!
Buy Links for Falling into Forever:
Tammy will be awarding a $10 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. I love it when my readers win! So please take a moment to drop me a comment below! (I think it only fitting that the greatest readers in the world get the prize!)
And as always, thanks for stopping by!
P.S. Would any of you like a free advanced review copy of my new book, Cornered Ocean Mist Book Two? I’d love to send you a copy in exchange for an honest review on Amazon. Just let me know in a comment below (include your email address please!), or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org