When I was fourteen. My sister's best friend had been writing since she was five and introduced it to her. We're twins, so of course I always wanted to know what my sister was up to :-). I was so fascinated by the idea of writing fiction, creating new worlds that were so different from my own, that I started a journal and a children's book soon afterwards. Writing became my voice.
2. What authors inspired you when you were younger? What books do you enjoy reading today?
Honestly, I don't remember much about what I was reading when I was younger. I do remember loving the Harriet the Spy books because I loved the idea of a curious writer character in a girl and Harriet seemed to be pretty bold. When I was 16, I discovered Anais Nin's short story book "Under a Glass Bell" and that led me in a whole different direction in terms of writing and reading. Today I enjoy reading fiction that is sort of off the beaten path, like Nin's work, Jane Bowles, Paul Bowles, Anna Kavan, Virginia Woolf. But I also love classic literature so I love more classic writers such as The Brontes, Jane Austin, Edith Wharton. I read not long ago Thomas Mann's "Death in Venice" and was blown away by it, so I think I'm adding him to my list.
3. What was the inspiration behind your latest release?
My latest release, Gnarled Bones and Other Stories, came out of a difficult transition I was going through a while back. I had a family crisis and it changed my entire perspective on my family and my childhood. I wrote three of the stories - "Mother of Mischief", "Bracelets", and "Broken Bows" - during that time. I was just discovering my own voice and style as a psychological fiction writer. I wrote the other two - "A First Saturday Outing" and "Gnarled Bones" - about ten years later, when my voice and style were a little more established.
4. Were any of the characters personalities or emotions taken from real life?
Since I write psychological fiction, most of the character emotional realities that I write come from real life. They might be my own emotional experiences or people I know or people I read about. As for personalities, I weave reality and imagination so my characters usually have aspects of real personalities (again, people I know or read about or seen) along with imaginary elements.
5. Why do you write in your chosen genre? What other genres would you like to try your hand at?
I write psychological reality because it's really my passion to explore characters from the inside out. My stories come from the characters internal conflicts and also their pasts and their memories. As for other genres, I've always been fascinated by the psychological suspense genre. Not thriller, but suspense, something more subtle and character-based rather than fast-paced action. I actually have an idea on the backburner for a psychological suspense novel. I'm sure I'll get to it someday!
6. What would you do if you were your main character?
I can't really answer that question, I'm afraid, because my recent work is a short story collection, so there are many main characters!
7. Will we ever see these characters again?
Anything is possible :-). I usually leave short stories as they are, except for revising, of course. But a few people have told me that they would love to see the story "Broken Bows" expanded into a longer work because they were fascinated with the two characters who meet on a train. I hadn't considered it at all, but you never know...
8. Would you like to see this book as a film or TV show? If yes, who do you want to see play your characters?
Again, that's not a question I can really answer, since the book is a collection of short stories. It might be interesting to see the story "Gnarled Bones" as a short teleplay on TV. I have no idea who I would want to play the lead. I'm a little out of touch with contemporary film and TV, I confess. I'm more of a classic film and TV lover.
9. Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?
I've always been bad at visualizing myself in the future! I just hope that I'm continuing to publish the fiction that I love and giving readers something to think about with my fiction and that gives them insights on human nature, and possibly on themselves.
10. Is there anything you haven't touched on that you'd like readers to know about your book?
I would like readers to know that my writing is a little off the beaten path. I write in a more lyrical fashion, so the style of writing might be something they don't see often. But I hope that readers enjoy it and get something out of it.
11. What would you be doing if you weren't writing?
I'm guessing you mean what would I be doing for a living if I weren't a full-time writer :-). I would be involved in my own private tutoring business for EFL (English as a Foreign Language) students. I used to tutor and teach EFL students and I really loved it.
12. Can you tell KSR what you're working on next?
I'm working on a novella series called the Waxwood Series. I'm polishing the first round of revisions for Book 1, The Order of Actaeon, submitting chapters to my insightful critique group to help me with the second round of revisions. I just started the first draft of the second book, The Claustrophobic Heart. I'm also working on another book titled House of Masks.
13. What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?
Honestly, I wouldn't like to collaborate with any author, dead or alive. I'm more of a loner writer type.
14. What are three things that may surprise your readers to know about you?
One is that I have a twin sister who is five minutes older than I am and much wiser :-). Another is that I love watching British mystery series, especially the Agatha Christie Poirot series. And the last thing is that I have a phobia of life-sized puppets and ventriloquist dummies. I don't know why!
15. Please list your links where readers can find you online and purchase your works.
For more about me, readers can visit my website at www.tammayauthor.com and sign up for my newsletter at http://tammayauthor.com/index.php/newsletter/. They can also join me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/tammayauthor/, Twitter at https://twitter.com/tammayauthor, and Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/tammayauthor/.
Thanks so much, Kelly, for having me!