Interview with Author Tammy Tate
· What is your book about?
Off-Duty Christmas is about Kaitlyn, a police dispatcher who lost her parents in a plane crash and refuses to let anyone get close to her. The thought of losing someone she cares deeply for again terrifies her. She was an only child so she doesn’t have siblings to help fill the void.
Christmas is right around the corner and all she can think about is pouring more hours into her work schedule to make it pass quickly. She buries herself in twelve hour shifts to forget how lonely she is without family.
Her best friend, Officer Gina Jordan convinces her into doing the unthinkable. She’s rented a remote cabin in the snow covered mountains and invited Kaitlyn to go. Ethan, another Officer with the department invites himself. A few days before they are about to leave, Gina is introduced to the handsome new Game Warden in town known as Bryce. He’s taking the place of a retiring veteran in the area and she asks him to come along.
While at the cabin, Kaitlyn finds herself falling in love with Bryce despite the fact that he has one of the most dangerous professions out there. Nine out of ten people he’ll come into contact with, will have a gun. By allowing herself to love him, she’s upped the odds of possibly losing another loved one.
· What inspired you to write this particular story (and/or series)?
With the upcoming holiday’s, I wanted to write something cheery. Since I was a police dispatcher for seven years, I thought, why not combine the two elements. The story begins in the dispatch arena because that was familiar territory for me. The characters sprang to life before my eyes to tell their story.
· Describe your writing in three words.
Romance, humor, compassion
· Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?
When I wrote this book, I had three goals in mind. Law Enforcement, vacation and Christmas. When my publisher asked for Christmas stories 10-14k word count, I had to make things happen fast without sacrificing the romantic attributes. Which meant I needed to get Kaitlyn, Gina, Ethan and Bryce outside of the workplace. It doesn’t leave a lot of room for romance when you work twelve hour shifts.
· Was there any research involved in your work?
Yes, but not where most might think. Police lingo, terminology and procedure came natural since I’d worked in that environment.
But I was completely clueless in regards to snowmobiles. I’ve lived in Florida and southeast Texas most of my life. I haven’t seen much snow, much less snowmobiles. That required research and that’s where the internet came in handy. YouTube was a blessing. I watched snowmobiles in action and got to see how they carve through the snow, blast through a snow drift, and even raise up into the air. There were also videos to show me how to load them on a trailer. I was especially fascinated to learn you could skim one across the water like a jet ski. If the motor dies, it will float. Not like a jet ski, but at least it won’t sink.
· What authors inspire or influence your work?
About twenty years ago a friend of mine handed me my first romance novel. Of course, my initial reaction was I didn’t have time to set down and read it. I had a husband, six horses, two Rottweilers and three kids, need I say more?
One night, I picked it up and started to read. Needless to say, I found it captivating and never made it to bed that night. Janelle Taylor was the author and it was part of her Ecstasy series. After I finished it, I found out it was part three. The real kicker was, it wasn’t a new series so locating the others was a challenge. I probably hit every used book store in a hundred mile radius until I got my hands on all eight of them.
From that day on, I was hooked. Then, one day I told my husband I wanted to write a romance novel of my own. He didn’t bat an eye. We went out and bought a Brother’s word processor. I even wrote a short letter to Mrs. Taylor, told her who I was and what I was doing and that I absolutely loved her books. I asked for advice. She hand wrote me a response and I framed it and hung it on the wall near my desk for inspiration. Thank you Mrs. Taylor…
· Share the biggest hurdles in the marketing process.
For me, the biggest hurdle in marketing has to be to find time to do it. My brain wants to write. It’s relentless. It constantly tosses good ideas at me and I want to get them down.
But I actually think marketing is easier today because there’s so many avenues thanks to the internet. There’s blogs, Facebook, Twitter just to name a few. It’s much easier to reach out and connect with people.
I promote myself nearly everywhere I go. I have a car magnet on the back of my SUV that says “You better be careful, you might be in my next novel”. It’s free marketing. Although, my husband might beg to differ, because at some point I paid for the magnet but I tell him, it’s not disposable. I can use it over and over…
I had a pizza delivered one night and he asked if a writer lived here. He saw the car magnet when he approached my house. I have shirts that boldly state I’m a romance writer and I wear them proudly. Almost always, someone will initiate a conversation and before long I have a new fan. It’s a very humbling experience. I eat, drink and sleep writing and I’m passionate when I talk about it.
· Share with us your biggest hurdles in the writing process?
The biggest hurdle for me has to be, to drag myself out of my office, kicking and screaming so I can get laundry and housework done. I’ve heard some authors complain about writers block. My imagination spurs me on so I haven’t experienced that yet. That’s what I love about fiction, in my world anything can happen and usually does.
My second biggest hurdle has to be, when I write a love scene. Back in the day when I began to write, the romance publishers I geared toward had requirements in regards to love scenes. They needed to be included, they had to be tastefully written and by the time your characters engage in that beautiful ‘heart-felt’ moment of passion the reader would tearfully jump to their feet and shout “YES”! That’s a tall order. It takes practice and a lot of back spacing. Believe me, word choice and timing is everything.
The third hurdle has to be the element of surprise at the end of each of the Spirit Path installments. They are akin to a monster flick. Just when you think the creature is dead, his eyes pop open right before the credits roll up on the screen. It kick starts the next addition. You know there will be a sequel. Not only that, I get to hit the ground running when I start the next installment with an intense opening.
· Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers?
I would love to say thank you for your support and kind words in regards to my work. And please… keep them coming. It warms my heart when I hear you’ve enjoyed my books as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. Inquiries are constantly coming in asking when to expect my next one. I love it. To me, that means you desire more and I have so much more to offer.
Right now, I’m heavily involved in “The Spirit Path” series. “The Spirit Path” book one, published back in June of this year and there are two more to follow. Soon, the editing process will begin for book two, “The Secret Path” and I’m near completion in regards to book three, “The Forbidden Path”. Please be patient, I promise, you won’t be disappointed…
I also have book trailers for “The Spirit Path” and “Off-Duty Christmas”. Check them out… and please feel free to leave me a comment. I would love to know what you think.
Off-Duty Christmas book trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kog64Ti2hbM
The Spirit Path book one book trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yAx-ku4QFo
Tammy Tate was born and raised in Hollywood, Florida. She lived in Las Vegas for 7 years and Texas for 18. Her and her husband, just celebrated their 34th wedding anniversary. Her secret to a long marriage? It's easy when you marry your best friend and by all means, keep the home fires burning.
When she's not breathing life into her characters, she enjoys reading, riding on the back of her husband’s Goldwing and coming up with fresh, new ideas for her next book. Among her favorite movies are romance, science fiction, fantasy, comedy and thrillers. Before writing, she was an Executive Secretary, a Computer Consultant/Technician, and a Communications Officer (Police Dispatcher).
She doesn't mind a challenge which has allowed her to drive a late-model in a women's powder puff race, run barrels and poles in a play-day rodeo and drive an 18-wheeler. Somewhere in between, she and her husband raised 3 wonderful children.
Connect with me:
Facebook Fan Page https://www.facebook.com/tammytateauthor
Books available at:
Amazon The Spirit Path http://www.amazon.com/Spirit-Path-Book-ebook/dp/B00L4KTEHA/
Amazon Off-Duty Christmas http://www.amazon.com/Off-Duty-Christmas-Book-ebook/dp/B00PB85FSS/