Saturday, February 2, 2013

[Featured] Tammara Webber, Author of Easy

Hollywood Portal is BACK - Alive and Ready to roll out the Author Interviews that I did over the past couple of months. School and reading books are keeping me busy that's why I can't come up with blog posts over the past few days. There's loads of great books out there. *Bookworm* I'm really thinking to convert this blog into a BOOK BLOG. What do you think, readers? 

Well. Let's just kick it off already with my interview with Ms. Tammara Webber and get to know more about her. 

Part 1 of the interview: 

1. Can you tell us more about yourself? I was an undergraduate academic advisor when I began writing the first book I published (Between the Lines). I resigned to write full time when I was about halfway through writing Easy. I grew up in Texas and met my husband in high school; we were best friends for months before we began going out. We have three kids and four cats.

2. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? 
I don’t have a true favorite – I like many authors, and when I have time, I like to try new (or new-to-me) authors. I do love Jane Austen – she wrote romantic realistic and complex fiction, very character-driven, and her insights into the way people think and behave was so spot-on. Most astounding of all – she wrote a hero who still makes women swoon 200 years later.

3. What books have most influenced your life most? 
I love English authors – Charles Dickens, EM Forster, Jane Austen. Each of them wrote from the heart and what they knew, and I strive to emulate that. An essay by Ralph Waldo Emerson inspired me to write fiction again – it was something I gave up for a while. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen made me want to write YA.

4. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? Any person who inspired you in creating your own line of books? 
I’ve written (outside of school) since I learned to write. When I wasn’t writing fiction, I wrote poems, essays, memoir stories and blog posts. I suppose I could say I was inspired to go the self-publishing route by Amanda Hocking. I studied what she did and tried to follow it as closely as I could.

Second part of the Interview, which mainly focuses on her book Easy and the writing process. 

1. How did this book, Easy, came about? How did you come up with the title? 
I began seeing Jacqueline’s story in my head. I read and write romance, and didn’t think I’d ever write an “issues” sort of book. Once I got the idea for this story, however, it just wouldn’t go away. I’d originally intended to focus much more on Buck’s rumors about Jacqueline – hence the title – but I ended up cutting a lot of that during revisions. It just wasn’t the right focus and detracted from the real storyline. I’d already done a cover reveal – which announced the title, of course. I saw no reason to change it.

2. When did you start writing this? Is there any dream behind it or any inspiration for this? Are the scenes in the book somewhat based on someone you know, or events in your own life? 
I began writing it while editing my third book, in late 2011. I tried to put it off to finish that series, but it just wouldn’t go to the back burner. I didn’t “dream” any of it, but I would sometimes wake up in the morning with a particular scene in my head. I am a survivor of acquaintance rape, though my case was different than any portrayed in the book.

3. Do you have a specific writing style? 
I think I have a YA voice, and I love romance and happy endings.

4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book? 
I don’t ask myself that question unless I’m able to make changes. It would drive me crazy. ;)

5. What was the hardest part of writing your book? 
I very much wanted to do justice to the serious subject matter, the romance, and the need to write something that would ultimately be uplifting rather than depressing. The character of Erin was a huge help with the latter, because of her optimistic, supportive presence. All of us need a friend like her – luckily for me, I have one.

6. Any hardships you faced in getting this book published? 
Not really. I self-published Easy in May 2012. It was republished by Penguin Berkley in October 2012, and has fifteen foreign translation contracts, which is still just astonishing to me.

7. What sets this apart from the other YA novels around? 
I don’t see other books as competition – I love to read, and many of my readers do, too. We read lots of books, and I believe in referring people to anything I find and love. Easy is a little different from many YA novels in that it’s set on a university campus. One of its labels is “New Adult” – a book category that doesn’t exist – yet. To become a legitimate book category, it will have to be approved by the board of and have BISAC codes created and assigned. This isn’t a quick process – though that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

8. For those who haven’t read this book, can you give them a little preview of this book? 
Two to three chapter samples are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I always strongly suggest that people read samples before buying. If you aren’t pulled in by the first chapter or two, then that book is probably not for you. I almost always read samples.

A girl who believes trust can be misplaced, promises are made to be broken, and loyalty is an illusion. A boy who believes truth is relative, lies can mask unbearable pain, and guilt is eternal. Will what they find in each other validate their conclusions, or disprove them all? (Source)

Last part of the Interview:

1. What are your current projects? 
I’m working on a fourth (final) Between the Lines book.

2. Do you have any advice for other writers? 
Don’t be afraid to cut, revise, or rework what isn’t working.

3. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 
Just a big thank you to each of them for spending valuable time reading something I’ve written. Writing is more than just what I do for a living. I’ve connected deeply with books all of my life, and it means so much to me to have others searching for that same type of connection in what I write. I don’t take any part of this life for granted.

From this interview, I picked a couple of lines that stuck in my mind and those were - (1) "I don’t have a true favorite – I like many authors, and when I have time, I like to try new (or new-to-me) authors." This caught my attention because I know and observe some people prefer to read books by certain authors and genres only. That's quite sad for them because they are missing loads of fun with the other reading materials surrounding  us. If I'd be given a chance, I would totally hook up with every single book published. But time is quite ruining that part. I don't have that much time to read. 

(2) "I think I have a YA voice, and I love romance and happy endings." I totally love happy endings. Sad endings just make me weep LOADS OF TEARS. But it just goes to show that that writer is very effective in his/her writing because he/she affected your emotional well-being. Right? So kudos, to those writers who always make their readers weep because of their stories!  

(3rd - last one) "I don’t see other books as competition – I love to read, and many of my readers do, too. We read lots of books, and I believe in referring people to anything I find and love." Let's just love to read and share those reading experiences with other people. Cherish those moments with them ... FANGIRL with them! That's what I always do with my friends. 

Whoa. This is quite a lengthy post! Ending it here now ...

Bye, readers! Til next time! 
- Amanda <3

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