I was first introduced to Tammara Webber’s sweet and just “slightly bad-boy’ish” guys that stole my heart, about a year ago. Not only were her actor “it boys” from her Between The Lines Series swoon-worthy (especially the broody one ;)) but I so easily connected to their stories. But my favorite of them all? Lucas, in “Easy“. OMG!!!! He is absolute perfection. Tattooed, super- smart, brooding, and a real hero. Everything a girl could want in a love interest. In fiction and in reality.
Yet, he still managed to make my heart nervous. The book may have been called “Easy” … yet it was anything but (which I loved!). I simply devoured that angsty book. (Check out my review here: Book Review of Easy).
And so did everyone else, it would appear, since it not only made the NYT Best Sellers lists, but got picked up by Penguin!! And guess what? Penguin and Tammara are giving away a copy of Easy right here on the blog, and Tammara is here to give us a look into her writing world!
Maryse: Congratulations on your incredible success! From an accomplished indie author to being signed by a big publisher! Did you envision this for your future?
Tammara: Thank you! And no, I definitely never saw this coming. For me, self-publishing was just the alternative to never giving my writing any chance to be read by anyone. My only other choices were to keep up the search for an agent (after a year with no success), or stow that first book away (and the rough draft of a sequel), and try to forget about it.
A week or so after I published Between the Lines – with no advertising or promotion except for a few gracious book bloggers who agreed to read and review – I checked my sales on Amazon to find 12 sales within a 24-hour period. When I went to work, I told my coworker. “Twelve people that you don’t know?” she asked. I nodded, stunned beyond belief. I’ve been equally surprised at everything that’s happened. I’m still hoping no one pinches me and wakes me up.
Maryse: Wow how exciting to realize that you could share your words that way. I’m so glad you didn’t stow it! What’s it like being a “Best Selling” author? How did you celebrate the news?
Tammara: I had been getting emails from foreign publishers about translation rights. Clueless, I asked an author friend what to do, and she said she’d email her agent. Jane (Dystel) emailed me a couple of days later, and then we talked. I decided to sign with her for subsidiary rights. She was the one who called a week or so later to tell me that Easy had made the NYT combined print/e-book list. I was standing in my study at the time. I just sat right down on the floor and said, “What?” That was the first of nine weeks on the list. (I don’t think I’ve properly celebrated yet… I should probably do that.)
Maryse: Yes!!! You need to get on that. 😉 What an incredible achievement! It’s funny, I hear that a lot from other authors. Getting such monumental news, and yet, being in the midst of a simple, quiet moment. How much has your life changed? Have your future writing projects changed since the release of your books?
Tammara: In some areas, everything has changed; in others, nothing. A couple of months after I began writing Easy, I quit my academic advising job to write full time. I work a lot more than I did before, and I work every day. Before Easy, I had a small following, and I spent a couple of hours a day keeping up with social media and email. If I try to keep up now, I don’t get any writing done. I’m still adjusting to time management issues—something that’s never been a problem for me before.
I don’t base future writing projects on anything but what I want to write. If I can’t write what I want to write, I won’t feel passionate about it, and that will show. That’s why I won’t do sequels about couples I’ve brought to an HEA. I’m not going to throw new conflict at them to capitalize on the first book. If I write more about someone, it’s because I’m still waking up with questions and conflicts that warrant another book.
Maryse: I agree. I find that I connect more with a book when I can tell how passionate the author is about her story. The detail and intensity in the writing makes the book come alive, and I believe it is the author’s personal enthusiasm and excitement in telling that story, that provides the magic in a book I loved. What is it like seeing your books in major retail stores? Any fun “fan reactions” you’d like to share? Funny moments in public?
Tammara: It was weirdly anticlimactic seeing the book on a shelf. I thought I’d be giddier, but it felt very serious. Like—this is who I am and what I do now. I haven’t met any fans in public, except for the one book signing I did with Abbi Glines and Fisher Amelie last summer. (I did meet a couple of people when I was at one of Erika’s signings, but they were there to see her, of course!) Abbi and Fisher are awesomely extroverted and bubbly, so I think they made up for how quiet I am. I hope. The funniest thing that happened was the change in attitude of the bookstore salespeople from when we arrived to when we left. Lots of people showed up to see us. I’m sure we blew their typical Tuesday night sales out of the water in the two hours we were there.
Maryse: And what you do is so important to your readers. Tell us about your inspiration for “Easy”. How did these characters come to you? Did you envision how the story would go from the start? Were there any surprise character revelations while writing, that you didn’t see coming?
Tammara: Sadly, the inspiration was just the stark truth. Acquaintance rape is more prevalent than people know, and nowhere is it more so than on college campuses. I get angry when someone calls a survivor a coward for not reporting. When you’re assaulted by someone you know, it’s such a breach of trust that it becomes easy to blame yourself. The problem with doing that is you don’t call the thing that happened to you “rape” – so of course you don’t report it. An acquaintance rape study done by the Fort Worth Star Telegram this past summer showed that 51% of acquaintance rapes in Tarrant County that were reported weren’t even sent to trial by the grand jury. Once that 49% went to trial, only a fraction of those were convicted. In acquaintance rape, there is seldom, “I didn’t do it.” There’s only, “It was consensual.” It turns into a classic he-said-she-said. Jurors facing beyond reasonable doubt often acquit, without physical evidence of force. When your guard is down to begin with, not as much force is necessary.
The story began in my head with the issue itself, which I never thought I would about. I write romance and HEAs, after all. The romance came once I began envisioning Lucas, and that was the point I knew I could write it. Lucas’s backstory surprised me. I knew he had something that linked him to Jacqueline, but I didn’t know what it was. I woke up with it one morning, clear as day—the whole thing. We all have our little fears, rational or irrational—and that was/is one of mine. I don’t want to say any more, because I don’t want to give it away for anyone who hasn’t read it and wants to.
Maryse: Well it was fantastic and I’d recommend it to anyone. A heartfelt, personal and very romantic read, but with issues that bring a stark reality to their situation.
What’s next for you? Future writing projects? Any exciting news coming? Maybe even a…*tidbit* or a secret about your upcoming projects that we might not already know? 😉 *nudge nudge*
Tammara: I’m working on the fourth Between the Lines book now—or trying to. (I didn’t take into account that the publishers would view Easy as a “new” book, when to me, it’s six months old! The promotion schedule has kept me really busy.) BTL 4 will be published by Razorbill in the UK, and self-published in the US. The series is about Reid, though other characters take center stage at times. That should be obvious by the end of this book. After that, I have another stand-alone ‘new adult’ due to both Razorbill UK and Berkley, my US publisher.
Maryse: That’s great news! I can imagine what a whirlwind it all is. As an indie author who has found huge success with her first books, is there any advice that you’d offer other indie writers?
Tammara: Put your best work out there, because once it’s out there, it’s out there. I think indie authors sometimes think that if something doesn’t work, they can pull it. Which is true… but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still available. If people have it on their e-readers, they can find ways to pass it along without you benefitting or being able to stop it. It’s best to have it as perfect as you can get it the moment you hit upload.
Maryse: Fantastic advice! Any favorite books that you’d like to recommend?
Tammara: I don’t get to read nearly as often as I’d like, which drives me crazy. I buy So. Many. Books. And they just sit there in my Kindle “unread” collection (I just looked – I have FORTY-TWO books in there! ACK!) or on my night table (another eight!), taunting me. For readers who like edgy YA, I’d definitely tell them to try Pushing the Limits, by Katie McGarry. You’ll fall in love with Noah. The last indie book I read and loved was Fall Guy, by Liz Reinhardt. It’s a deep, feisty new adult romance. Liz writes beautifully, honestly, and from the heart, and I just loved this book.
Maryse: Ohhhh yessss. The never ending TBR list that keeps growing. LOL! I love my e-reader. It’s proven great at keeping up with my book-hoarding. 😉 And thank you for the recommendations, and for spending some time with us today!
Oh!! Another thing. Tammara Webber’s book Easy is up for a 2012 Goodreads Award in the YA Romance section. Click here to vote!
Want to know more about this author? See her own social media pages below!
- Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TammaraWebberAuthor
- Blog: http://tammarawebber.blogspot.com
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/TammaraWebber
Giveaway time!! One lucky reader will be randomly selected for a print copy of Tammara’s Bestselling hit, “Easy“.
How to enter for a chance to win it? Just leave a comment below, and by Friday, November 23rd 2012, at 10pm EST, I will randomly select one winner.
The winner will be contacted and will have 48hrs to respond with a mailing address (must respond by Sunday November 25th 2012 – 10pm EST at the latest), so if you are picked, do not delay or you will lose your chance.
Sorry for my international readers, this is a open to U.S. residents only (but you’re welcome to comment and join in any time!!).
And while you’re here, if you haven’t already joined me (actually “us”, ’cause we’re a big group now) on Facebook and Twitter, whatcha waiting’ for?! Oh and you can also Get Maryse’s Book Blog updates delivered by email, too!