Tamera wrote to me recently to tell me about her first novel, The Pond, and also request that I interview her. I was very pleased to oblige and without further ado, I have great pleasure in introducing you to Tamera Lawrence …
Aneeta: Tamera, thank you for writing to me with a request to be interviewed.
Tamera: Thank you for having me.
Aneeta: O.K., let’s start with your story. Tell me a little about you: where were you born and what was your youth and childhood like? Where do you live now? What do you do for a living?
Tamera: I was born in Norristown Pennsylvania and grew up in Collegeville. As a child, I always had my nose in a book. I loved to act out stories with my Barbie dolls. I always had a vivid imagination and would often daydream in class, making up stories in my head. I married young and had six children, five sons and one daughter. Over the years, much of my time was spent helping my husband run his business, a landscape and excavating business. I am now writing five days a week and continue to grow as a writer.
Aneeta: I know, from the webpage you directed me to, http://outskirtspress.com/webpage.php?ISBN=9781432724740, that you have six children. Can you tell me what life in the house is like with six children?
Tamera: I have two adult children, two teenagers and two elementary school children. It is not always easy to juggle it all. The wash can easily pile up as quickly as the refrigerator can be empty. We can go through a gallon of milk every two days. But life is fun. I have always enjoyed being a mom. My kids are proud of my first book and I recently had my first book signing at a Barnes and Noble. It went so well that I was asked to return to the store in December. Thank God, I finally got that girl! She is a big help to me and what a surprise, she also loves to read and write!
Aneeta: When you say, ‘Thank God, I finally got that girl’, you remind me so much of an aunt of mine – she had six sons. No daughters! Let’s talk about your book, The Pond. Please provide a description and also tell me where my readers can buy it.
Tamera: The first chapter of The Pond is based on a true story that my mother had told to me. I put my own spin on it and added a tale as to why the tragedy could have happened. It is a current day mystery/thriller set in Kimberton, Pennsylvania. When Michael Adams and his family move back to his family mansion, unexplained happenings occur. Was the death of Carl Weber and accident or was there something more sinister going on? Although it has a paranormal atmosphere, it also is about a family discovering it past and all the secrets that go with it. My web address is http://Outskirtspress.com/ThePond.
The book is also for sale in some bookstores and/or can be ordered by customer service in most Barnes and Noble bookstores and/or Borders.
Aneeta: I know that this is your first novel. How did you learn the craft of writing? Did you attend a course or are you self-taught? What is the most important aspect of storytelling when writing a novel?
Tamera: I have always loved to write, but it wasn’t until several years ago, I took it upon myself to learn the craft of writing. I took on line writing courses through Writer’s Digest School and worked one on one with a well-known author, who took the time to mentor me with a different book. I think the most important aspect of storytelling is to entertain. I want to be able to hook a reader right from the beginning and pull them all the way through the book. The nicest thing I hear about my book is when my readers say that they loved it, especially the ending and they squirmed a bit.
Aneeta: What about the process of getting the book published? Was there any interesting story about your journey to becoming a published author, which you can share with us?
Tamera: I didn’t know when I started out writing, just how hard it is to get published and the competition involved. Good publishing houses already have their prize writers, who write them more books. There is a 99% rejection rate for new writers. As a first time author, it is hard to get your foot in the door and even get past hello. I had an agent hold one of my other manuscripts for almost two years before returning it to me. It was really frustrating. I have learned to be patient and get over rejection letters. A writer needs to develop a tough skin and keep working at your dreams. My biggest thrill was when recently I was at my local Borders bookstore, searching for one of my favourite author Dean Koontz’s books and there beneath his manuscripts sat my book The Pond for sale. That was a dream come true.
Aneeta: You also say that you’re working on your next novel. Are we allowed to ask what this is about?
Tamera: My next novel, Before I Wake, is also a thriller. It is about a woman, whose husband wants her dead and will stop at nothing to make it happen. It is a life and death battle right from the beginning that ends in a climatic moment of triumph.
Aneeta: As you know, this website caters for storytellers. What advice would you give those who would like to become storytellers?
Tamera: I would say to storytellers, to tell their tales, to write every day and make your dreams happen. There are so many options out there for writers, if you take the time to research your avenues. The Internet is a great tool to use.
Aneeta: Tamera, this is all I have to ask. Is there anything you’d like to add?
Tamera: If anyone reads The Pond please take a moment and write a review on Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com .You can also e-mail me on my website.
Aneeta: Tamera, thank you.
Tamera: Thank you, Aneeta and God bless!
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