Writer, hiker, TV addict, book nerd, Tamara lives in Adelaide and is fuelled by Doritos, Chocolate Sultanas and Shiraz. She writes stories of young women finding their place in the world, making choices, sometimes in difficult circumstances, there’s suspense and romance and maybe a few laughs. Tamara is a finalist in the 2018 Romantic Book of the Year Awards for her novella The Rise of Jaz.
Q. What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
I’m about to go to Scotland and have an Outlander tour planned as well as a visit to the Hogwarts Castle.
Q. What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
I’m not sure I know of any worth sharing. I get frustrated by the speed of the industry having come from a different background where everything moves at warp speed.
Q. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing energises me like nothing else. Its invigorating and satisfying, almost like good sex. Almost. Can I say that?
Q. What is your writing Kryptonite?
Netflix. I have to be strong. I’m only allowed to turn the television on when my writing day is done. But I can’t help it, sometimes I just sneak a little here and there. I’m stuck on Heartland at the moment but season 3 of Outlander just dropped and its killing me not to watch it. But it’ll be my reward for finishing the edits I’m currently working on. Hopefully Saturday is Netflix day with a bag of Doritos.
Q. Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
Absolutely! Usually after I’ve finished something awesome and nothing else I try hits the spot.
Q. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I can only write the stories that are in my heart and hope it resonates with someone.
Q. What do you expect form an author when reading a book, short story or article?
To be entertained, challenged, inspired. I need to go on a journey, to feel something.
Q. What authors did you dislike at first, but grew into?
Can’t say I have one. I’m terrible for not being able to read a book that doesn’t resonate with me. Sometimes I’ll put it aside and come back to it with a different frame of mind and enjoy it but if it doesn’t resonate, I don’t waste my precious time and just move on.
Q. How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?
I think all the demands are on the author to provide a good story for the reader to escape into. My editor always makes sure I’ve covered emotional development so the reader will feel satisfied. I want to take readers on a journey, to make them feel, the same as when I’m reading, I guess. I want the reader to feel uplifted and inspired when they read the last page.
Q. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
I do! My best friend makes an appearance in a lot of books. And there’s some truths snuck in there but they wouldn’t be a secret if I told you which ones were which 😊
Q. Tell us about your travels.
I love travelling to new places and seeing something that blows my mind. I have the worst sense of direction but it doesn’t stop me. You can always see where I’ve been travelling by where my characters go in my books, One of my favourite moments travelling was in a Piazza in Rome and I was sitting next to this older Italian lady who didn’t speak any English but somehow we had a whole conversation while she fed the pigeons and we laughed and laughed, it was pretty special.
Q. Has it (your travels) added to your inspirational well, or taken from it?
It always fills the well. I always return inspired, relaxed, revived. One of my favourite places was Gallipoli, I went for ANZAC day in 2008 and slept on the grassy beach and there are no words for that other than it was the most spiritual experience.
Q. Do you have any expectations of your readers?
I don’t think you can have expectations of your readers. But hopefully I can give them some joy, entertainment, insight in the few spare moments we share in their busy days.
Q. On your writing journey, what has been the lowest and the most painful moment and vice versa?
On the road to publishing there are many lows. I nearly quit in 2008 before that trip to Europe but I returned and a number of things fell into place and people came along and I found a new path and then again in 2015 I didn’t know what else I could do and then I was lucky enough to have some wonderful conversations with publishers and then met my editor, attended a panel with a writing idol and my trajectory changed again and 6 months later my first book was published.
The biggest high so far, my novella The Rise of Jaz, was a finalist in the RWA Romantic Book of the Year awards this year and that blew my mind.
Would you like to learn more about Tamara and her writing journey!? Why not check out her website, http://www.tamaramartinauthor.com!
Thank you for talking with us today Tamara!