Thursday 17 May 2007

Interview with Tamara Tilley

It is my pleasure to introduce you to Tamara Tilley, author of romantic suspense release, Full Disclosure and Abandoned Identity to be released by Evergreen Press in Summer, 2007.

Read below for Tamara's thoughts:~

On Writing....

Please share some of your writing/publishing journey with us.

I will try to keep it short. In 2003, Bob Phillips (co-author of the Babylon Rising Series with Tim LaHaye) who’s a neighbour of mine found out I was writing. He asked me what I was doing about it and at the moment, all I was doing was entertaining my friends. That year he went to the CBA convention (now ICRS) and found out what publishing houses were looking for new authors. In August, we sent out two books to two different publishing houses. In September, I got a phone call from Evergreen Press who was interested in publishing FULL DISCLOSURE. FULL DISCLOSURE was released in 2006 and ABANDONED IDENTITY will be coming out in July 2007.

Why Christian fiction?

I think it was a natural fit for me. I love stories with action and suspense, and characters with obstacles that need to be conquered. Since I’m a Christian, it’s only natural that I point the characters to the redemptive qualities that Christ has for the believer. Now granted, my characters aren’t perfect, and at times find themselves struggling with right and wrong, but I pray that the message of God’s love is evident in my writing.

What kept you busy before the writing bug bit?

Before I started writing I was home schooling my two boys (now 20 & 27) and working full time at Hume Lake Christian Camps. I still work full time, but as my home schooling duties tapered off I started filling my time with writing. That was in 2003

What project or book are you working on now?

Unfortunately, I have a bad habit of working on more than one book at a time. Right now, I am working on the third book in a western series. The first book in the series is the first book I ever wrote. I am also working on a story about an actor ending up on a ranch in Kansas, leaving Hollywood behind in search of something better, and a story about a girl struggling with her Christian upbringing while making her way singing in a roadside tavern. Those are just a few.

What does a regular writing day look like for you?

Well, since I still work full time, I don’t have any regular habits. I try to squeeze writing in when ever I can. When I have a day off, I try to get my house in order first before I sit down and write. On those days, I usually can get in 10 -12 hours

On Full Disclosure....

What made you choose a Presidential Secret Service Agent as your hero?

It just sort of happened. I am a by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer so I don’t start with an outline. In fact, when I started writing the book, the main characters were going to be Danny and Alex, but after Ciara and Jack went a few rounds with each other, and sparks flew, I realized the book was really going to be their story.

What was your favourite scene to write in Full Disclosure?

The scenes were Ciara and Jack clash. I love their stubbornness and tenacity.

If Full Disclosure was made into a movie, who would you cast?

Originally, when I wrote the book, I pictured a Don Johnson/Nash Bridges type for Jack. You know, older, a little rough around the edges, yet cute in a bristly kind of way. For Ciara, I would love to see Sandra Bullock. Even though the hair color might be wrong, the spunk and personality would be right on.

Do you have a particular love of art given that one of your character's has such a talent in that area?

Not really. I just thought it would make for an interesting obstacle.

On Matters Personal....

Do you read Christian fiction yourself? If so, some favourite authors or books both Christian and/or secular?

I love reading when I can fit it in. Even with everything else I do, I try to squeeze in a couple of books each month. My favourite author, which I can say is what inspired me to write is Dee Henderson. My other favourites are Karen Kingsbury, Terri Blackstock, Kristen Heitzmann, Lori Wick, Lori Copeland, M.L Tyndall, Mindy Starns Clark, and the list goes on.

What are you reading at the moment?

Speak Through the Wind by Allison Pittman

Favourite movie and favourite line from a movie?

I don’t know that I have one favourite when it comes to movies. My favourite suspense movies are: Deceived, The Net, and Sleeping with the Enemy. I like most romantic comedies, especially Sandra Bullock movies.

Who inspires you?

Without sounding overly spiritual, I would have to say the Lord. Since I was a C-student in school, and loathed, English, Literature, and writing, I feel it has to be the Lord that’s put this passion on my heart.

Please share some of your faith journey...

Without being too long-winded, God always gave me friends that were involved in their churches, so naturally, I went to church functions with them. It was in high school, at Hume Lake that I made a true commitment to Christ. Hume Lake is also where my husband and I got engaged, so it’s been a pivotal part of my life for the past 28 years.

Some essential Aussie questions...

When/if you make the trip Down Under what do you want to see first? A platypus or a koala?

Platypus (I’m an underdog type person.) I think the koala has a large enough fan base.

Vegemite or Peanut Butter?

Peanut Butter

Barrier Reef or Uluru (Ayers Rock)?

Barrier Reef

Any last words....

As a new writer, I don’t know that I have enough wisdom to pass on much advice, but I can pass on what’s been given to me. Number one - “If you’re writing to quit your day job, quit writing.” Writing has to be a passion, something that you’ll do regardless of publication. I have seven other novels that I would like to see published one day, but I wrote them because I felt inspired too, not because I had a publishing house on the line waiting for another book. Another piece of advice I heard might seem a bit harsh, but to me it was encouraging. I can’t quote it exactly but here is what I got from it. If you were working on any other kind of career, you would have to go to college for 4-5 years to learn what it is you need to know to succeed. Then, you would have to put in years of hard work in your specified field before seeing the fruits of your labor. Why should you expect for a writing career to turn you into an overnight success? I thought this was a great insight. Max Lucados and Karen Kingsburys don’t happen overnight. You have to be passionate about what you do, and persevere through rejection. I’ve told my friends I will keep writing even if they are my only audience. The rest, I have to leave up to the Lord.

Thanks Tamara - it has been fun getting to know you more :)

Read my review of Full Disclosure here then go out and grab a copy!


Anonymous said...

Thanks Rel, for a wonderful interview with Tamara!


Christina Tarabochia said...

I went to Hume Lake as a child. Fond memories! Thanks for the interview.

Rel, if we ever meet in person, we'll have to do a scene or two from the Princess Bride! ;-)

If you ahve a minute, come over to and subscribe to my newsletter.

CeeCee said...

Great writing advice. Thank you ladies for the interview.

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