This is continuing feature on Archer’s Aim – Fantasy Authors Unplugged. I hope to frequently share an interview with a fantasy author. If you have authors to suggest and/or questions you’d like to see answered then leave a comment or send me an email. If you are a fantasy author and would like an interview please let me know and we’ll plan one that fits your schedule. Today’s featured author is Tamie Dearen who writes in several genres including fantasy.
Q: Please share briefly about your fantasy books – titles, plots, etc.
A: I have one young adult fantasy series, the Alora Series. The first book, Alora: The Wander-Jewel, is a story about a fifteen-year-old girl from Montana. She’s a normal, teenager in every respect, except for a jewel in her belly button. One day she has a vision of a handsome boy, while taking a shower. When her vision recurs, and then becomes a reality, her entire life is turned upside down. The strange boy in the shower turns out to be her soulmate, with a bond that strengthens their gifts, but makes them vulnerable to weakness and death from extended separation. She learns from her uncle that she had a secret past and discovers she originated from another world, a medieval land called Tenavae. Her jewel allows her to transport from place to place and between worlds through her gift as a bearer. She meets her father, Vindrake, an evil man who wants to control her or, barring that, to kill her. With the support of her family and friends, she becomes involved in a fight between the forces of good and evil in Tenavae, utilizing the new gift she’s still learning to master.
The second book of the series, Alora: The Portal, continues the story of Alora and her soulmate, Kaevin, as they fight to contain her father’s attempts to expand his holdings. The leaders are alarmed with the discovery of a portal between Vindrake’s kingdom and Montana. Alora and Kaevin are part of a team attempting to seal the portal, a feat which involves trekking into the heart of her father’s lair. Meanwhile, the lines between good and evil are blurred, as they realize Vindrake is controlling “good people” through his bloodbond, forcing them to perform evil acts. This realization is more disturbing when some of his warriors appear to seek their own deaths, even in the midst of battle, in an attempt to escape Vindrake’s evil bloodbond.
Q: As a multi-genre author how do you balance working on these different types of books?
A: I’ll admit the fantasy books are much more challenging due to the complicated plots and timelines. But I become totally engrossed in whatever book I’m writing, regardless of the genre. But there is a drawback to writing in multiple genres. The second book, Alora: The Portal, has been seriously delayed while I was completing the third and fourth books of my romantic comedy series.
Q: Staying with the multi-genre topic – how do you decide a story idea is best suited to a particular genre?
A: For me, the writing process is much like the reading process. I sit down and think about a story and it flows out before my eyes. The genre is actually determined before the story, and the plot develops in the direction consistent with the genre.
Q: What’s your writing schedule each day?
A: Unfortunately, I work full time. I’m a dentist, and I own my own practice. So my current writing schedule consist of leaving my laptop open in my office and dashing in between patients to write. I’ve given up watching television simply to take advantage of all my available writing time.
Q: What advice can you offer other independent authors based on your self-publishing experiences?
A: My best advice is to join a group of supportive authors who will provide advice, encouragement, resources, and marketing support. Don’t try to do it alone. Without input from my fellow authors, I would still be floundering around. Rave Reviews Book Club isn’t the only such group, but it’s been a great resource for me. I’ve met such supportive fellow authors at RRBC and even discovered professionals to help in areas such as editing.
I would be remiss if I didn’t advise every author to invest in a professional cover and a professional editor. Please, please, please do this. As independent authors, we are already viewed and treated as less talented and less valuable than authors who publish through the big name publishing houses. Please don’t put out sloppy, sub-par work that verifies that poor public opinion. Every good, high-quality book published by an independent author is a boon to all of us. Every bad one is a detriment.
Q: What project(s) is/are pending.
A: The second book of the Alora series is currently in the editing stage, as is a romantic comedy I originally published week-by-week on my blog, A Rose in Bloom.
Q: What usually inspires you to write a book?
A: I’m inspired by the people I’ve met and the relationships I’ve observed. I think people are fascinating, and I love exploring the plots that develop by simply watching your characters interact.
Q: How long have you been writing and how did you get into it?
A: I’ve been writing poetry and composing songs since the age of six, but I didn’t begin writing my first novel until January of 2013. Since then, I’ve published four novels and a prequel in my romantic comedy series, The Best Girls, along with the first book in the Alora Series. I began the first book as a sort of semi-autobiographical romantic comedy, writing the story as a lark. But one chapter in, I was hooked on writing. Now I write every spare minute. I find marketing to be a “necessary evil”.
Tamie Dearen lives with her very romantic husband of thirty-three years. She has two beautiful daughters, two amazing son-in-laws, and one awesome grandson. She plays piano, flute, harmonica, keyboards, and guitar, and loves composing and art. And she hates housework. She has been a dentist in private practice for thirty years. She plays keyboard and sings in her church praise team and teaches graduate students each week. In her spare time, she writes books.
Tamie specializes in writing “clean’ books without excessive violence, offensive language, or explicit sex. She has published a romantic comedy series called The Best Girls, which includes a free novella, and four full-length novels. She has also published the first book of her young adult fantasy series, Alora: The Wander-Jewel. Book two, Alora: The Portal, is currently being edited for publication. She has also written a serial romance, A Rose in Bloom, and published it on her weekly blog, where it is currently available as a free book until it is published in novel form.
Thanks to Tamie for the interview this week and please take a look at her books. If you’re a fantasy author and would like to be interviewed for “Fantasy Authors Unplugged” just contact me via email or one of my social media channels and we’ll set one up.
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