Friday, August 06, 2010
My love for writing about the Old West was inspired by my grandmother’s stories of her grandmother and grandfather, a Cherokee Indian woman rescued by a western wagon train scout. Riding horses across the west, historic places I visited there, and journals written by those who lived in the West when it was still being carved—each of these spurred my imaginings, and the stories and characters that began to unfold. My love for romances? Simple. I’m a hopeless romantic. =)
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
My second pregnancy was very difficult, and dangerous. I knew I’d never be able to have more children, and I had always wanted a daughter, and I really wanted three children, not just two. So the pregnancy was bittersweet. Then I went for my mid-pregnancy ultrasound, and the technician started asking unusual questions that drove up my concern. “Is this your first ultrasound for this pregnancy? Did your doctor warn you to be aware of anything unusual?” I carefully asked why she was asking these unusual questions, fearing the worst. She answered, “It isn’t my place to tell you this, but you’re going to have twins.” I was stunned. “How do you know?” I asked. She smiled and said, “Because there’s two of everything in there!” She scanned further. I was expecting a second son…and a daughter. I laughed—for probably five minutes—in pure joy.
How has being published changed your life?
I’m living my dream, and every day is my best day. I never had that before, no matter how many different jobs I undertook, and there were many jobs (wedding coordinator, ballroom dance instructor, travel consultant), over many years. When I write, I get to use the gift God gave me. Until I did that, I was never completely happy.
What are you reading right now?
Steven King’s The Dead Zone. Can you believe that was first published in 1979?
What is your current work in progress?
The first book of my next trilogy, which takes place in the Wind River Mountains, in Wyoming.
What would be your dream vacation?
A peaceful Caribbean cruise—no political trauma, no hurricanes, and plenty of time to buy emeralds on St. Thomas. =)
With each series, a different western mountain range inspires me, each for its own reason. I research the history of the location, and the story unfolds from there.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Wow—what a fabulous question! Until Patrick Swayze died, I would have said Patrick Swayze. Now I’d have to pick Antonio Banderas. I love ballroom dance, and, to quote a bumper sticker I once read, “Life is too short to dance with ugly men.” =)
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
In my spare time, you're likely to find me baking, gardening, behind a camera, or hugging a horse.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Outside distractions—disagreements between the kids, the lawn that I have to take time out to mow, bills I have to take time out to pay, groceries I have to shop for, dust dragons that multiply like things cloned, great days outside that beg me to go out and play in them. I try to set aside my Saturdays to do those things, and I try to take Sundays off, so that my workdays remain as conducive to work as possible.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Write what you know, write what you love, and never give up. No one who gives up accomplishes their dream.
Tell us about the featured book?
Hope’s Promise, book two of The Sierra Chronicles:
Jake Bennett is finally wed to the love of his life, Jessica Hale—but he isn’t convinced she won’t leave him. Life is a constant struggle for the Bennetts as they battle drought and live in fear of raids on Southerners, and he is not sure that Jess knew what she was getting herself into when she married him.
Jess, however, despairs for another reason—she is unable to conceive a child.
While trying to prove their unconditional love for each other, the Bennetts must defend against attacks on the Paiutes, the doubts that haunt them both, and an unknown force that threatens to destroy all they hold dear. Together, they must stand in faith through betrayal, barrenness, and a very real threat, trusting that God will reward their hopes for a better future.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Western Nevada Territory
“Would you care to rest awhile, Jess?”
Withholding a smile, Jess leaned forward in the saddle as her horse clamored beside Jake’s to the top of the rocky bank. When the ground leveled out, she glanced at the progress of the small herd of Thoroughbred stallions close behind, then tossed a lightly accusing gaze to her husband.
“Rest awhile? Are you coddling me, Bennett?”
In the shadow of his hat brim, Jake’s whisky-brown eyes sparkled at her as he grinned the crooked grin she loved. “No, ma’am, I wouldn’t dare.” He nodded sagely to Taggart and Diaz, the hired men with bandanas pulled up against the rising dust, who wrangled on the opposite side of the herd. “But the boys haven’t stood on their own feet twice since sunup, and they’re looking peaked.”
“Peaked?” Jess looked to the burly, orange-haired Irishman and the sinewy, born-in-the-saddle Spaniard and burst out laughing. “Those two wouldn’t walk to their dinner plates if they could ride!”
The sleek, long-limbed Thoroughbreds continued, heads bobbing, toward the mountains, whistled on by the two cattlemen. From her position riding flank, Jess took in the beauty of white nose blazes and white socks flashing amid the bays, chestnuts, and blacks, framed by the red earth and green pines of the Sierra Nevadas.
They were going home.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’m at http://www.tammybarley.com/index.html , along with a lot of surprises and goodies!
Thank you, Tammy, for visiting with us again.
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