Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Day Two of our Tour with Tamara Leigh!

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I fell in love with Tamara's flawed female characters when I first read "Stealing Adda". After reading "Perfecting Kate" I emailed her to let her know how wonderful her stories were...these women felt like friends!

I quickly felt as if Tamara was a dear friend after emailing with her. I was thrilled to hear we were going on tour with Tamara's newest release, "Splitting Harriet", and eagerly signed up.

Tamara and I emailed each other once again, and had a virtual sit down interview for our stop on the blog tour. So, without more blabbin' from moi, here's Tamara!

1) You've now written about Adda, Kate, and Harriet. Who's your favorite lady of the three, and who is most like you?

All three have pieces of me. When I wrote Stealing Adda, Adda was my favorite as she's a historical romance writer just as I was when I first entered the publishing business. Many of her experiences were mine--though certainly not all! As for her character, she really isn't much like me as I wrote her to have the spunk and quick wittedness that I seem to lack (can always think of the right thing to say AFTER the fact). What we do have in common is a search for God's love which, at the beginning of both of our searches seemed too big to be believable. Not too far into writing Perfecting Kate, Kate became my favorite as she reflected many of my own struggles with appearances and acceptance of self. As for Harriet in Splitting Harriet--You know what's coming, don't you?--she was next in line to be my favorite. Though my past is nowhere near as wild as Harriet's, I've struggled as she does with cha nge and growth in my church and acceptance of forgiveness for things that have long been forgiven. Now there's Grace of Faking Grace. Oh, the fickleness of my affections!

2) I've noticed that each of the heroines in your stories are deeply flawed--which makes me love them even more:-) Adda searching for God's love, Kate struggling to accept herself and find genuine love, and now Harriet, the prodigal returning home to "redeem" herself. What is the message you find at the heart of all of your writing?

Wow. Good question. What is at the heart of my writing? If not for your lead in, I would have said "God". And He is, but in terms of character-specific messages, you've nailed it: we are all deeply flawed, whether or not we acknowledge or even realize it. And yet we are so loved in spite of those flaws, regardless of their size. That's an amazing love.

3) What inspired you to write? And do you have any new projects in the works you'd care to preview?

Books, books, and more books! I've always loved to read and, as a young girl, dreamed of writing stories that would touch others as deeply as I was so often touched. That desire, combined with the longing to stay home with my children, led to the publication of my first historical romance in 1994.

As mentioned, Faking Grace is the project that's currently in the works and will be released in the summer of 2008. Here's a peek:

Maizy Grace Stewart dreams of a career as an investigative journalist. But her last job ended in disaster when her compassion cost her employer a juicy headline.

A part-time gig at a Nashville newspaper might be her big break. A second job at Steeple Side Christian Resources could help pay the bills, but Steeple Side only hires committed Christians. Maizy is sure that she can fake it with her 5-Step Program to Authentic Christian Faith—a plan of action that includes changing her first name to Grace, Jesus-themed accessories, and learning “Christian Speak.” If only Jack Prentiss, Steeple Side’s two-day-stubbled, blue-jean-wearing managing editor wasn’t determined to prove her a fraud.

When Maizy’s boss at the newspaper decides that she should investigate—and expose—any skeletons in Steeple Side’s closet, she needs to decide whether to deliver the dirt and secure her career, or lean on her newfound faith, change the direction of her life, and pray that her Steeple Side colleagues—and Jack—will show her grace.

(Side note from Deena: I Can't Wait for Grace to make HER debut:-)

4) When it comes to chocolate: milk, dark, white, or GIVEITTOMENOW!!?

DAAAAAARK! Those other ones--milk and white--good, but they lack the element of premeditation. If either is present, I will indulge. If not, so what? Now DARK chocolate... That involves premeditation--as in, I don't care how late I'm going to be, I WILL stop and get me some.

5) Where's the one place you go to write that inspires you most?

Barring interruptions, I love to write in our sun room. But interruptions regularly figure into my life, whether self-generated (must do those dishes/laundry/etc.) or other-generated ("Mom..." "Honey..."). Thus, I often pack up and head for my local Starbucks. Where everybody knows my name...er, favorite coffee drink :)

6) What's on your iPod/stereo/cd player?

My boys gave me an iPod for Mother's Day and it is fast filling up with artists such as: Enya, Hayley Westenra, Peter Cetera, Avalon, Charlotte Church, Celine Dion, Gabrielle, Laura Turner, and Sarah Brightman.

Great taste in music, Tamara! I encourage my readers to get your hands on every single novel by this amazing and fun writer! Each heroine is your hero and each storyline could easily be your own life. I can barely wait to find out more about Grace and how she fakes it in her walk with God...got a feeling she's going to nail me to the proverbial wall:-)

One more day on tour, and then I'll dish about the extra special giveaway...come back tomorrow for my review and final post on this fun tour:-) To purchase a copy of "Splitting Harriet", click on the cover image!

Happy Reading!



Ausjenny said...

This looks really cool.
i haven't read her books but will look for the other 2 when in Adelaide next week.

ohAmanda said...

Great interview! I got the book and I just loved it! I identified w/Harriet so much!

Here's my review:

Tamara Leigh said...

Thank you for hosting my blog tour, Deena! I'm ticking off the days until SPLITTING HARRIET makes her appearance on the shelves. SOOO exciting! Have a blessed week!

Rel said...

Great interview, Deena and Tammy!