Tamara Leigh was writing for the general marketplace, earning awards and recognition on national bestseller lists, when her life took a turn. She signed with Multnomah, and over the course of the next several years she released seven inspirational novels, chalking up additional awards and/or nominations, this time in the Christian market.
In 2012, Tamara ventured into new territory—indie publishing—combining her passion for historical romance with the desire to write inspirational fiction. Her first independent release, Dreamspell, was a medieval time travel romance. Now, The Longing is the fifth book in her Age of Faith series.
Tammy, her husband, and their two sons live in the Nashville area.
In 1993, when you were sitting down to write your first manuscript, did you envision yourself as the “literary adventurer” you would become?
Literary adventurer? Me? Oh my goodness, no, Kathy. No, no, no. I was a writer first. And second. And third. Writer. Not marketer. Not promoter. Not formatter. Not blogger. Not website designer. Not, not, not. So no, I absolutely did not see myself as becoming a “literary adventurer.” Amazing how twenty years can stretch a person into a shape they never envisioned, hmm?
Let’s talk about The Longing, Book Five in your Age of Faith Series (April 2014). Please tell us about it.
The Longing is the love story of the final Wulfrith sibling, Everard. The back cover says it best:
The one he can never forgive. For years, Lady Susanna de Balliol has borne the blame for betrayal—well-earned, though not as believed by the man she can never forget. Now her nephew must prove his legitimacy or lose his claim to his father’s lands. When Susanna is forced to flee with the boy following an attempt on his life, will the one man who knows the truth of her nephew’s birth grant them sanctuary within his walls? More, will he aid the woman whom he believes cost him the love of his life
The one she can never forget. Eleven years—a long time to have loved and lost. Certain he will not love again, Everard Wulfrith has committed his life to the command of Wulfen Castle. But when the girl whose betrayal he can never forgive appears to him as a grown woman and demands he atone for his sins, can he lay bare his past to aid her nephew? And what of his unexpected feelings for the scandalous Susanna de Balliol whose indiscretions may very well put his own to shame?
Will this be the final book in the series?
Yes. Maybe no. But probably yes. Now that doesn’t mean Sir Durand won’t end up with his own story. I did, after all, put the poor guy through the wringer through four of the five books, but I think that if he comes into his own, it won’t be under the Age of Faith series. Perhaps a new series. We shall see.
God often uses our stories to teach us. What did you learn (about life, faith, and/or even yourself) in the process of writing this book and/or series?
LIFE: Things are not always as they seem. Look, listen, go deep if you truly wish to understand another person’s journey.
FAITH: Unanswered prayers are often answered prayers in disguise.
MYSELF: Persevere, for all things are possible with God.
How do you manage to wear so many hats—writer, publisher, marketing specialist, and more—and still release several books a year?
As I’m first a wife and mother, I don’t believe it would have been possible to be a “literary adventurer” until recent years. Now that my babies are mostly grown up and my days of chauffeuring are over, I have more time to don those many hats. Granted, the fit isn’t always the best, but not too bad either.
What advice would you give to authors who are considering self-publishing?
There has never been a better time to take a chance on going it on your own. However, if you decide to test these waters, you must learn your craft well enough that an agent or editor would, at the very least, accept a submission from you. So hone your craft by writing, rewriting, and rewriting again your story; read books and articles that address the craft of writing; read books in the genre you write; and join writing communities and organizations. Oh, and look into the Scrivener writing program. It’s an amazing tool that will make your life as a self-published author much easier.
A few fun questions…
You’re also creative in the kitchen, tempting tastebuds everywhere with delicious looking photos and recipes posted on your blog. What’s your favorite new food find?
My favorite new food find is fresh—really, really fresh—mozzarella cheese. So fresh it’s actually moist. Pair slices with ripe tomato slices, sprinkle with salt and pepper, perhaps even a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and who cares about the calories!
What’s the kitchen tool you can’t live without?
This will sound lame, but I cannot live without a spatula. They are so handy dandy.
What are you reading—or what’s on the top of your TBR list—right now (cookbook, novel or otherwise)?
A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by E.L. Konigsburg, to be followed by Sharon Kay Penman’s A King’s Ransom. Can’t wait!
You’re a fellow dog lover. Do you also cook for the canine member of your family?
In a way. I make sure Uzi gets all the choicest leftovers. I know I shouldn’t indulge him outside of his regular doggy fare, but it makes him so very happy.
Thanks, Tammy! It’s great to have you back at DivineDetour.
Thank you, Kathy. It’s wonderful to visit with you again.
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For more information about Tamara, her books and her recipes, visit her website.
To purchase The Longing and other books in the Age of Faith series, logon to:
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I love your statement that “unanswered prayers are often answered prayers in disguise.” I needed that today! Thank you. God’s blessings always! Linda