Interview for Tammy Barley

» Posted on Aug 19, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on Interview for Tammy Barley

This week I’m hosting Terri Reed with Treasure Creek Dad and Tammy Barley with Hope’s Promise. If you want to enter the drawings, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at The drawings end Sunday (August 22nd) evening.

Interview with Tammy Barley:

1. What made you start writing?
When I was very little, perhaps in first grade, I started writing letters to people who said something nasty or hurtful, though I never sent them. Letter writing evolved into simple poetry about such events. Writing, at first, was an escape. Then it changed, and evolved. By high school, I was writing nutty, funny stories with my friends. Writing, by then, was great entertainment.

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
I began studying the craft twenty years ago—college classes, books, magazines, online classes, self-teaching, whenever I could between kids and work. Then I spent two solid years writing my first full-length novel, and sold it two years ago—very exciting.

3. How do you handle rejections?
Each is no more than a simple “no, thank you.” It’s like offering hors d’oeuvres at a party. Lots of folks say no, but you patiently keep passing around the tray. Someone likes fish heads and goat cheese.

4. Why do you write?
I can’t turn it off—the imagination, the impulse to create new stories. Writing is my hobby and my joy. I sometimes say, “A bad day writing is better than a good day golfing,” and I believe it. (Of course my golfing is the pits.)

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?
Home design. I love being creative.

6. What are you working on right now?
I’m getting ready to write the first book in my second trilogy, which takes place in the Wind River Mountains, in Wyoming. Lots of anticipation here, waiting to see it come to life. =)

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?
I like my tenacity and grit, and my off-the-wall humor. That, and my love for horses, definitely make an appearance. The rest is based on old journals that were written by folks who lived during the time and in the places my novels take place, and based on imagination.

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.
Hope’s Promise is book two of The Sierra Chronicles trilogy. Here’s a quick blurb:
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.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write what you know, write what you love, and never give up. If you need another pair of eyes, a professional manuscript editor, such as yours truly (editing is my “other” job, plus I also judge a couple of the top writing contests), loves to assist, and critique groups can be a huge asset.

10. How important is faith in your books?
Initially, I tried to write for the ABA audience. God and faith messages kept appearing on the page without forethought on my part. Gradually I realized that Christians need great fiction too, and that God constantly wants to remind His kids (you and me) that He loves us and He’s right beside us. So I do my thing, and let God do His. How important? Faith, even if written subtly or only touched on in passing, is as important as the fictional adventure. Some of the faith messages I plan, and others I don’t. They just end up there.

11. What themes do you like to write about?
I don’t know that I ever write the same theme twice. They tend to rise out of character, history, and circumstance.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?
Love’s Rescue, book one of The Sierra Chronicles trilogy. I worked on it off and on for twenty years—half my life. It’s an adventure from first page to last, and the book really came to life. I love that.

13. What is your writing schedule like?
Sleep four hours. Get jolted awake by an idea. Write feverishly for twelve hours. Remind myself to get breakfast. Repeat. (Yep—Type A.) =)