Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Interview: Tammy Robinson

What have you had published?
Charlie and Pearl, available on Amazon.
What genre(s) of book do you write?
I find the whole genre area to be a bit narrow at times. Charlie and Pearl, for example, has romance in it, but I’m loathe to list it under Romance on Amazon as the majority of those books are of the Mills and Boons kind of romance. Nothing against them at all, but if someone bought my book expecting that kind of story they would be sorely disappointed! I guess I write under the General Fiction/Contemporary fiction umbrella, with a touch of romance. I’m also really interested in magical realism, and hope to write something in that genre some day.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. It is the only thing I’ve always been certain that I want to do in life. For years I travelled and worked overseas and never had the time to dedicate to it, but now I’m back in NZ and settled, I write whenever I get the opportunity (not often at the moment with a baby in the house!)
How long did it take you to write “Charlie and Pearl”?
Around 4-5 months of writing most nights after work and on weekends. 
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
Er, ‘From the first minute’, which is total crap. I can never really think of the ‘right’ title until the book is finished. Charlie and Pearl for example was called, ‘This exact moment’, while I wrote it which is also crap and doesn’t suit the book AT ALL.
When and why did you begin writing?
I have dabbled in writing all my life; short stories here and there, a novella when I was 19, a couple of unfinished manuscripts shoved in the back of the office cupboard. It’s just something that’s in my blood. I can’t imagine ever not writing.
Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
I self published. In the end it was remarkably easy and I wish I’d done it sooner. My advice to anyone considering it is to go for it! New Zealand is a teeny tiny country compared to the UK and the US, where I imagine there are scores of publishers and literary agents. I did a Google search for literary agents here and there were about five, and four of them weren’t accepting submissions! A lot of overseas agencies don’t accept electronic submissions, so I just found it too hard to try and go the traditional route from here. Also I read some great advice from self-published authors who highly recommended doing it yourself and retaining control over your work. 
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
In this day and age of Facebook and blogging and oh so many entertaining things on the internet, it’s hard not to get distracted. Motivation can sometimes be a little tricky too, although once I sit down and start typing I’m happy and can go for hours.
Also there’s the fear that you are pouring your heart, soul and time into something that maybe no one will like.
What do you do in your spare time?
Spare time is non-existent now with a baby in the house! I was sadly misguided and thought that once Holly came along I’d have all this time while she slept to write. Sadly, she doesn’t like to sleep during the day and if she does it’s usually crashed out on me, so it’s all I can do to make sure the TV remote is within reach before she does.
Who is your favourite author?
I can’t narrow it down to just one! I do love the non-fiction books ‘Tales of a Female Nomad’ by Rita Golden Gelman, ‘Grounded’ by Seth Stevenson and more recently the book ‘Wild’ by Cheryl Strayed.
Fiction, I enjoy Laura Esquivel, Paula Wall and Fannie Flagg.
What’s your favourite genre to read?
I don’t have a particular favourite. I’ll read just about anything (except horror, erotica, misery-lit, you get the idea). I enjoy everything from Literary fiction to teen fiction (if you haven’t read the Georgia Nicholson diaries you’re missing out) I do have a soft spot for Travel memoirs, especially humorous ones.
Right now I’m reading ‘The Taste of Apple Seeds’ by Katharina Hagena.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. If writing is what you love then write. Write until you’re happy with what you’ve written and then publish it. Don’t be afraid to go down the self publishing path.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for this opportunity!
Twitter: @TammyRobinson76

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