Today I have the great pleasure of interviewing Tamara Ferguson, author of romantic-suspense books THAT UNFORGETTABLE KISS, the first part of the KISSED BY FATE series, the TALES OF THE DRAGONFLY book series, and TWO HEARTS SURRENDERED, amongst her works, and welcome her to my blog.
Thank you Marcia for having me. I always enjoy our visits!
Q: For how long have you been writing?
A: Probably about 6 years – but much more seriously the last 3.
Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?
A: Once my autistic son graduated from school and didn’t enter the vocational program he was supposed to because of our state’s budget cuts, I was forced to become his full time caregiver. So I guess you could say that ALL my life experiences are behind my writing. I write about what I know; since autism and disabilities are very much a part of my life.
Q: Each writer works in different ways with reference to writing. Do you have a writing program/schedule that works for you?
A: I prefer to write after a good night’s sleep. I find that what I write later in the day doesn’t always make as much sense as what I write when I’m fresh.
Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?
A: I read a lot of suspense and romantic suspense, but I actually love to read historical romance. And because there were a lot of authors in the historical genre who I enjoy, I began writing contemporary-partly because I found a lot of contemporary romances I began reading didn’t always seem to hold my interest.
Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?
A: When I was younger, I would have had a totally different answer for this. I enjoyed lighter romance/chick lit. But now I’d say there are three authors – Mary Balogh, Linda Howard (I love her later romances more than her earlier) & Nora Roberts. All three mix up a great blend of humor & romance, while Linda Howard and Nora Roberts add in the suspense. One of my favorite stories by Linda Howard is Open Season-it’s made me laugh each time I’ve read it.
Q: After reading THAT UNFORGETTABLE KISS, which I found to be an entertaining novel, I enjoyed the romance between Kate and Murphy, but also liked the supporting characters, who backed up the protagonists in a wonderful manner. The detail of home construction was also another striking feature of the book, adding authenticity and background to the characters’ occupations. What inspired you to write this story with its rich tapestry of characters and situations?
A: The home improvement is easy – I do all these things myself. I was a single parent for many years and had a house to keep up. The house I live in now has a list of never-ending problems that have been really hard to keep up with. But all my stories feature strong women who are not necessarily looking for love, so it’s easy giving them jobs pertaining to what I’m the most familiar with.
With this story, I wanted to go in a different direction with my writing. I wanted to write something with a little lighter subject matter and a lot more humor. After getting some critiques from the RWA, I was told that this story would fit perfectly into the new adult genre-which I’d never even heard of! And so began my transition as a writer.
Working with an editor (DS Williams) really helped with this a lot. After my critiques, I began thinking in terms of my target age groups. This makes a big difference in the formality of my writing and use of contractions, etc.
And each editor is different, in the way they approach my stories. Sometimes the slightly older school editors don’t really understand that my way of writing- as far as new adult – is totally intentional.
Q: Amongst your stories, is there one which is closest to your heart, and why?
A: My favorite story is usually the one I’m writing at the time! But the story I think I’m the proudest of (so far) is Two Hearts Surrendered, while Tales of the Dragonfly In Flight is probably closest to my heart because two of my characters are based a little on myself and my autistic son, as well as the troubles and struggles I’ve dealt with as his caregiver.
Q: You have participated in several book compilations with other authors covering themes such as Magical Weddings, Mother’s Day, and A Touch of Passion. How is the experience of writing on a specific theme in combination with other authors?
A: You know as far as the theme, most of us are off doing our thing for several months while we’re writing our stories. The time we need to work together the most is when we’re approaching our release dates-and this can be really difficult. I’ve had a totally different experience with each group I’ve worked with- but mostly good. I’ve made a lot of good friends. I find the more I get involved in anthologies, the more of a promotion person I’m becoming.
Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, either from the past, or currently on the air?
A: I’ve always liked NCIS- and probably won’t ever get tired of it. CSI and Law & Order I’ve liked, but am so SICK of the reruns. Seems like everyone shows the same ones over and over again. I liked HOUSE a lot too. I do enjoy old movies BUT even Turner Classic Movies has become slightly monotonous. The most popular movies are shown so much, that I kind of get sick of them. I used to like their format when they featured the same star the entire day.
Q: Are there any hobbies or pastimes you like to participate in when you have spare time?
A: What IS spare time?? In the old days it was gardening and floral design (I still have a home business) as well as big time home improvement projects, but since I began writing and particularly since I began using social media, I seem to behind my computer from the time I wake up in the morning until the time I go to sleep at night.
Q: You are a versatile writer in terms of genres, tackling stories in the romance, military, new adult and suspense genres. Would you like to write stories in any other genres?
A: It’s strange that I like to read historical, but I don’t want to write it. Right now I’m at a crossroads – I’m trying to decide what kind of story I’d like to write for a new anthology I’ll be in next year. Do I want to go light – and do more of a chick lit theme (which I’ve never really written)? Or do I want to stick to slightly serious subject matter, but still inject a lot of humor? I seem to be best at this, I think. I am not especially inclined to write fantasy, there are just too many authors out there already tackling this, but I think I’d enjoy writing a Christmas ghost story at Dragonfly Pointe. I’m a fan of old movies and The Canterbury Ghost and Topper are a lot of fun to watch.
Q: Have you written any unpublished short stories, you eventually aim to publish?
A: I haven’t had much in-between time lately. Every time I’ve finished up with one anthology, another one has come along. So I am kind of a write on demand person lately. I think I do have a short story tucked away somewhere – that need a lot of work! And I began Tales of the Dragonfly Emergence last year, but I know I’ll be completely changing that up when I go back to it. I really want to revise my first TOD In Tandem – but I know it will require an awful lot of work!
Q: Are you left-handed, or right-handed? Being a left-hander, it is interesting to see how many writers are either one or the other, or ambidextrous.
A: I’m right handed but I use both hands to manipulate my laptop. I’ve had some hand, arm and shoulder issues too; not because of my writing, but because of the time I spend on twitter!
Q: Do you have any other writing projects, or new/upcoming releases, that you would like to mention to readers?
A: First of all, the revised Tales of the Dragonfly In Flight will be released on June 28 with a new cover created by the award-winning Blue Harvest Creative. I’ve joined their author team for the next year after winning a huge prize from Readers’ Favorite. Two Hearts Undone (Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance #3) is due to come out any day now in Annie Acorn’s 2016 Romance Anthology, and I’m currently writing Tales of the Dragonfly Emergence. It should be released sometime next spring. I’m also working on the first novella of a new series to be featured in the bestselling Wedding Pets & Kisses series, which will be released in March of 2017.
I am certain you will join me in thanking Tamara today for her time, and that we look forward to reading more of her works in the future. If you wish to contact Tamara she is available on: