Welcome to Literary Wealth, the blog to find those undiscovered jewels of literature! Would you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi, and thanks so much for having me here! I met Lauren Carr, this blog’s host, when we shared a room at the Writer’s Police Academy last year. We had a blast together and learned a lot in the police academy!
I’m an Amazon bestselling mystery and romantic suspense author. My storylines and characters combine for fun, fast-paced, can’t-put-it-down reads. In my mysteries, you’ll find characters who keep readers hooked, strong-willed women sleuths, and a sprinkling of humor.
My first novel, Storm Surge, was released in 2011 with a sequel due out this year. My latest release, Private Deception, joins two e-book short story mysteries.
I’m a wife and mother of two young boys who keep me busy. I live near Raleigh, North Carolina.
For more information, visit my blog at http://www.authortamaraward.blogspot.com/.
A lot of people are on Twitter these days, so can you describe Private Deception for us in 140 characters or less (which is the size of a tweet)?
Sassy PI reveals deception at heart of #mystery by Amazon bestselling @AuthorTWard. http://amzn.to/NYIfuH
When did you begin writing Private Deception? What inspired this book and how much research was involved in writing it?
I began writing Private Deception after I finished my sequel to my debut novel, Storm Surge. I wanted to create a new series with an even stronger female sleuth. As private investigator, my main character, Jade O’Reilly, has an inside track into the cases she works.
As I write, the fictional characters come alive and provide inspiration for the book. They speak to me. You know how us writers have characters’ voices in our heads – we’re not crazy, right? This particular novel didn’t require loads of research, but attending last year’s Writers Police Academy certainly gave me a head start.
What or who made the biggest influence on you wanting to become a writer?
My mom has always been my biggest influence and supporter. She always has encouraged me to follow my heart (whereas my father wanted me to follow my brain). I’d like to think I did both – followed my heart and brain! Since I was young, I wanted to write, and my mom always was there, urging me to do just that. Even now when she visits, she’ll watch my two boys so I can sneak in a couple hours of golden writing time.
What was the first book you ever wrote about and was it ever published?
When I was a teenager, I wrote a very boring memoir about my very uneventful life. I even sent it out to agents! One wrote a nice rejection letter back, telling me to keep writing.
Do you have any writing habits that people might find unusual?
I think I’m a fairly typical writer. I drink lots of coffee and find myself using social media to procrastinate writing those difficult scenes.
Do you have a favorite character or one that is especially close to your heart?
Not really. I tend to get wrapped up in whichever characters I’m reading or writing about at the time.
What is the best gift you have ever received, do you still have it and who gave it to you?
The best gifts are the ones given from the heart, and when my husband gave me his heart in marriage, that would have to be the best gift. No, I’m wrong. The best gift I’ve ever received is my children. I have two happy, healthy boys.
What is something that you have always wanted to do, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet?
Travel more! Learn to surf!
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you hope to find in your suitcase?
You ask some really intense questions. I’d hope I have a multipurpose tool, a survival kit, and lots of food and water. But I usually don’t pack those kinds of things in my suitcases!
What is your all-time favorite book?
Fictionally speaking, I’m torn between When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin and A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving.
Other than yourself, who is your favorite author?
Other than myself?! Ha! Probably Charles Martin. Or Lisa Lutz. Or Kristen Cashore, or Patrick Rothfuss.
If a TV show was based on your life, what type of TV show would it be (i.e., comedy, drama, suspense, etc.) who would you choose to play the leading character (you), and what would the theme song be? Why?
My show would be a family-friendly comedy with an actress who doesn’t take herself or her image too seriously. As for a theme song, I’d like something with a good beat so we could dance to the credits!
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Read, of course! My Kindle is overflowing with good books I can’t wait to read!
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Neither! I do my best work in the middle of the day! By the end of the day, I’m exhausted, and early in the morning I’m slow and klutzy.
What is your favorite TV show and/or movie?
White Collar is my favorite TV show – it’s light and fun, and you never know what’s going to happen.
If you were throwing a dinner party and you could invite five people (fictional or real, dead or alive), other than family or friends, who would you invite and why?
I’d invite Jesus Christ, Sherlock Holmes, Ernest Hemingway, Martin Luther King Jr., and Mark Twain. I think the dinner party would change my life and expand my brain.
If you had the opportunity to go anywhere you wanted, at any time in history, where would you go and why?
This may not be the most creative answer, but, honestly, a nice Caribbean beach vacation with my family right now would be paradise. Or I might go back in time over to Europe to listen to Beethoven’s final symphony being conducted for the first time ever.
What are you currently working on?
I’m in the very early stages of writing a sequel to Private Deception.
Where can people connect with you online?
Thank you so much Undiscovered Author for being on Literary Wealth! Here’s to Hoping You Get Discovered Today!
You’re welcome! Thank you, Lauren and Literary Wealth!