I love introducing you readers to debut authors. Welcome, Tammy. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Thank you for having me here, Lena, and hello to everyone visiting!
I wrote a few aspects of myself into the main character in Love’s Rescue, Jessica Hale. Jess gets her fierce determination from me (don’t you love it when people tell you that you “can’t” do something, just so you CAN do it and prove them wrong? =) ). From me she also gets her great love of horses, the need to feel the wind in her hair, and her enjoyment of simple pleasures. The rest comes from places you may find unexpected—from strangers I meet only in passing, whose actions or humor or caring or uniqueness memorably touches me.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I danced down Hollywood Boulevard with a mime in a tux.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I always loved to write, but had never considered writing as a career. The real discovery came in a God moment. After I graduated high school I prayed one night, and asked Him what I was supposed to do with my life. I heard His voice beside me. “You’re supposed to be a writer.”
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Romance, suspense, historical (fiction and nonfiction), mystery, inspirational, romance, chick-lit, some paranormal, and biographies. Oh, and I love a great romance. =)
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I have written devotional series for missionary wives and many other inspirational devotions, Christian plays for mentally handicapped adults, and another historical romance which involved time travel.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’m mom to three young teens who all have lively, quirky humor, and I’m blessed with wonderful friends. When you surround yourself with good people and laughter, you can get through anything.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Baby name books, historical records, and movie credits. Some key grips out there have no idea they have cowboys named after them.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Professionally, this book. It’s my first full-length novel to be published, and the dream of half a lifetime. Personally, that I’m raising three children who every day are a miracle.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
An eagle. I’d love to fly over green forests and high mountains, warmed by the sun, surrounded by wind, and oh, the views I would see! Of course I’d need access to McDonald’s fries and Moose Tracks ice cream.
What is your favorite food?
Strawberries. That’s the job I want in heaven—to tend God’s berry fields (and be chief taster).
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Self editing. I had to learn to write in free-flow thought first and touch up later.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Join a good writers’ group and a good critique group. Great information, great inspiration, great opportunities.
Tell us about the featured book?
The blurb by Whitaker House tells it nicely:
A Dividing Conflict
In 1863, the War Between the States is dividing more than just a nation. To escape the conflict, Jessica Hale and her family flee their Kentucky homestead and head for the Nevada Territory. Her brother, Ambrose, committed to the Confederates, rejoins the Kentucky militia and is disowned by his father. But the worst is yet to come.
A Heroic Kidnapper
When Unionists presume the family to be Confederate sympathizers, they set a devastating fire to their home. All alone and then “kidnapped” by cattleman Jake Bennett, Jessica is taken to a ranch deep in the Sierra Nevada wilderness. Can she overcome her resentment toward Jake for failing to save her family?
The Depths of Love
When Jake launches a plan to help Jessica’s brother escape from prison camp, she sees him for the honest, good-hearted Christian man that he is and now knows the depth of his love for her. Through the lingering smoke and smoldering ashes from her ruined home and murdered family, will Jessica see a future with Jake?
Please give us the first page of the book.
Carson City, Nevada Territory. April, 1860
She was going to lose him.
Jessica Hale pushed back the brown tendrils the wind whipped into her eyes, her fingers trembling. Further down the road her brother handed the last of his cases to the driver on top the stage, then tossed his hat through the coach window onto a seat with an air of resolve. He turned and strode toward her.
His long, wind-tossed sandy hair and mustache gleamed brightly in the morning sun, like gold coins intermittently hidden by shifting dust. His sky blue eyes—eyes that had always teased her, understood her and patiently guided her—now attempted to disguise unspoken regret as he smoothed a hand over each of the sorrel coach horses, and calmly took in the young town he was leaving behind. She knew better. He was going to miss this, the town and their parents. But his heart called him home. Ambrose was every inch a Kentucky gentleman. He always had been. Her throat tightened.
She couldn’t help but smile. Jessica. Like always, he spoke her name with that same flowing, deep timbre of the brook they had often played in as children.
“Now what is that smile for?”
“I love the sound of your voice.”
“You do?” Ambrose’s eyes sparkled at her in amusement. “You never told me that before.”
“Well now you know.” She loved the Southern lilt of it, loved the quiet honor he wore with the same ease that he wore his greatcoat. She took a deep, steadying breath. “Are your bags loaded, then?”
“They are.” Lightly he added, “The driver was kind enough to strap them down. With the rough going, I’ll get bounced out long before they will.”
Her smile faded. “Perhaps you should stay.”
I can hardly wait for my copy to get here. How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’m at http://www.tammybarley.com/. Click on the Bookshelf page to view the book trailer and to enter a drawing to win a Western guest ranch vacation for two, or one of many other prizes, beginning July 7, 2009, the day the book releases.
Thank you, Tammy, for spending this time with us.
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