We start off the year with an interview with inspirational author, Tammy Dennings Maggy who brought out her first book about the same time I brought my first one out J. Although, while mine was a little novella, hers was enormous! (See more below)
Over to you, Tammy:
Writing has always been a passion of mine, but it took a backseat for the last 19 years as I concentrated on being a veterinarian. Now that I’m approaching the 20 year mark of that career, I decided to devote more time to my writing. I enjoy writing erotica and erotic romances because I can live out my own fantasies as well as those of others through my characters. My poetry has been another outlet for me and last year I published my first collection that chronicled my journey to find my path in life. While the emotions I write about are my own, they resonate with many readers because they too have gone through similar struggles.
Do you have anything in common with your characters?
Like my characters, I’m far from perfect.I’ve buried myself in my career and shut myself off from finding my soul mate for many years and when he was right in front of me, I almost pushed him away. That’s real life. My characters do that too. They don’t always choose who others feel is their perfect match, but they follow their hearts even if it means devastating heartbreak. It’s all about the journey with them and with me. In the end all of us will get our happily ever after.
Is there any trivia about your latest/forthcoming story that you can share with us (eg, the name of a real life pet that you used in the story)?
Well, it’s not about this book but one of the pen names I chose is from a real life person. Lia Michaels is one of my alter egos and I picked that name because of my husband. His first name is Michael and his middle name is Liam. My other pen name is Stephanie Ryan and that is a combination of my sister’s first name and the first name of a cousin.
I can relate to that – my pen name is made up of names similar to my late parents!
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
I love to cook for a crowd. The holidays are some of my favorite times of the year because we usually schedule a family get together here at our home and I go all out with the food, from the snacks and appetizers all the way to the desserts. I think that’s the Midwestern girl in me. I was raised to be sure that folks feel welcome to our home and the best way to do that is through their stomach! LOL
What are you currently working on, or what’s on the horizon?
I have so many irons in the fire that at times I don’t know where to start! The most important project at the moment is The Surrender of Julia (Now and Forever 3). It takes place at the same time as The Island but tells it from Julia’s perspective. I have a book of vampire inspired poetry due for release within the next few weeks and I’m working on multiple other projects as myself and two other pen names. I’ve also started up a review site to go along with my Sassy Vixen Publishing projects.Sometimes I don’t know whether I’m coming or going!
I know what you mean when you have several stories you are working on at the same time!
What do you do when you’re not writing?
When not writing, I’m reading or plotting out another story idea/series idea. I also love to knit and crochet, cook and bake and overall just spend time with my hubby. We were just married in May so we still consider ourselves newlyweds. ;)
And your pics you posted on Facebook looked lovely!
Who did you dedicate your first book to?
For the Love of Quinn was dedicated to my dad who passed away Thanksgiving 2005. I dedicated my first book of poetry to my husband, Liam. Many people were in the dedication for The Island. These women helped me get through some rough patches as a new writer and whether they knew it or not at the time, they inspired me to be able to learn to juggle my evil day job and my writing. I couldn’t have completed that book without them.
How do you come up with inspiration for your books?
Inspiration for me can come from just about anywhere, but for the Now and Forever series and my first book of poetry, it all came from my own life and some of the struggles I was going through at the time to find myself and my own happily ever after.
What’s the hardest part of writing?
For me, the hardest part of writing is to know when to stop and let go of the characters. The first book I this series ended up being a HUMONGOUS novel at over 219K words. Many readers enjoyed it at that size, but just as many felt it would have been better as two books. I took that to heart for The Island and the rest of the series. I found if those secondary characters get a bit vocal on me, I can and will give them their own book to shut up! LOL
Here is the blurb and an extract from Tammy’s latest book ‘The Island’:
After losing her brother in a fatal motorcycle accident, Quinn’s life spins out of control. Shutting herself off from friends and family in Michigan, she buries herself in her work, wishing for the pain to end. In her dreams she’s finally able to find the peace her heart craves on The Island.
Driven to recklessness over a heartbreaking betrayal, Jacob races his motorcycle on a rain slick California freeway. Near death in the hospital, he’s given a choice. Stay on The Island or go back for a second chance at love.
Destined to be together, but repeatedly torn apart, these two lost and melancholy people draw the attention of the Goddess Fate. As Quinn and Jacob’s lives hang in limbo, the soul mates are given a very special gift from the Gods, and the chance to finally have their love of a lifetime.
He said a silent prayer as he entered the room. Please, let this be a huge mistake. Jake can’t be the one here. It has to be someone else. Eric’s stomach churned and he struggled to keep down what little food he had eaten before he boarded the plane in Las Vegas. He had never seen his big brother look so small or helpless. The tears stung his eyes and blurred his vision a bit, but by sheer will alone, Eric held them back. It took several moments to comprehend the scene playing out in front of his eyes. The patient lying in the bed before him could’ve just as easily been a complete stranger, except for the long, light-brown hair. Eric would know that unruly mop anywhere. He stood frozen near the door, staring at the battered and broken body of his brother.
Jacob Hartley was wrapped head to toe in bandages, tubes, and wires. Machines surrounded the head of the hospital bed, whirling and beeping, keeping time with Jacob’s breathing and heartbeat. His face was barely recognizable, colored in various shades of black, blue, and purple. His eyes were hidden beneath severely swollen lids. Every now and then the respirator took over his breathing, just to give his body a little bit of rest. Oh my God! This can’t be happening. Eric approached the bed as his sister reached out for him. They clung to each other. Her body trembled against his, her fear coming off her in waves. He tried to continue to be strong for them both, but he was quickly losing the battle now that he was actually there.
Eric glanced around the room and found his mother, Katrina. She smiled as she stood up from the chair that was placed close to the bed. She was small in stature, but she looked ten feet tall to Eric as she walked toward Jacob. Katrina leaned over, kissed the one part of his stubbly chin not bandaged, and spoke softly near his ear. “Your whole family is here now, Jacob. I’m here, my son. Momma’s here. If you can’t come back to me, it’s okay. Your poppa’s there with you and he will show you the way.”
“Mom—Jake’s not going to die!” Maredyth’s red-rimmed eyes flashed with determination. “It’s not his time to go yet.” She reached for one of Jacob’s bandaged hands and clutched it tightly.
Eric knew he should try to hide his feelings from his sister, but he was struggling, really struggling to find even a spark of hope their brother would ever pull out of this. “Mare—”
“No! We can’t lose him, too. Pop’s been gone a year now. Are you telling me God would be so cruel to decide on a whim to take Jake away almost to the very day we lost our father?”
* * * *
“I’m right here my little girl. I won’t ever leave you. Jacob’s going to need all of us now. We have to convince your brother he has to fight his way back.” Michael Hartley approached the bed and looked down at his son, his middle child. “What were you thinking driving your bike at night during a storm, Jakey?”
“He wasn’t thinking clearly, Sarge. That’s the problem.”
Michael looked up at the blonde, heavily tattooed, and pierced young man leaning against the wall near the foot of the hospital bed. “You remind me a lot of him you know, full of piss and vinegar.” Michael chuckled softly to himself. “It looks like we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us here, Danny. Thank you for staying with him after the accident and dulling his pain.”
Daniel Quartermarsh moved to Jacob’s bedside. He nodded slowly and looked up at his partner. “I did what I could as soon as Fate let me go to him.”
“I know you did. I expected nothing less than if I was allowed to be there with you. It’s just hard to see one of my children in this state and not be able to fix it like I could when he was little.”
The younger angel smiled. “Don’t worry. We have a lot of ground to cover with him, and I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunity for you to work your magic, Sarge. If Fate didn’t think we could handle it, she wouldn’t have entrusted Jake and the rest of them to us. Speaking of the others, I just checked in on Quinn. She’s throwing herself into her work again, but handling things okay for now. I left this world not even a month ago, and she’s not allowed herself to grieve for me.” He glanced down at the very battered and broken man in the bed. “Your Jake’s our priority this visit. Once we get him to The Island, we can work on getting Quinn there, too.”
Michael reached out and folded his arms around his wife. Katrina looked as beautiful to him at that moment as she did on the day they first met. He wished he could really hold her now, so she could physically lean on him during this horrible time with their son. Katrina took a deep breath and smiled. Michael knew she felt his presence with them, as always. “Your poppa’s here with us, Maredyth.”
Eric and Maredyth looked at each other and then back to Katrina with their eyes wide. Eric put his arm around his sister before addressing his mother. “I sure hope so, Ma. All of us could use him right about now.” Maredyth buried her face into Eric’s shoulder as he held her tight.
Daniel added his own angelic light and love to that already surrounding the Hartley family and smiled. “I bet the two of you visited each other’s dreams while you were alive, too.”
Michael kept his arms around his wife of over forty years and nodded. “Now and forever. I promised her I would never leave her, no matter what. Not even death can keep me from her and our children.” The elder angel sighed and his eyes filled with tears. “Jake has always been the free spirit of the family. I never worried he wouldn’t discover his path eventually. But now?” Michael shrugged and shook his head. “How did my son’s life get so out of control so fast?”
Thank you, Tammy. It was lovely to learn more about you. Next month’s inspirational author is Michelle Graham.