Wednesday, 20 February 2013

For our 3rd Thursday of Guest Blogging, I’d like to welcome LGBT Writer Tammie Welch!

Here we go!

Tell us abit about yourself –what genre you write and any work you currently have published?
I am a former teacher and I now work in the retail industry. I write in my spare time, but hope to be able to write full time one day very soon. I typically write Lesbian fiction, although I do occasionally dabble in poetry. I have also done some freelance work on several erotica projects, including lesbian, gay, and straight topics. I have one published novel in the Lesbian Fiction/Romance genre. It is titled Difficult Lessons.

Sounds fab Tammie, what inspired you to start writing?

I actually started writing rather late in life. I was thrown into a classroom teaching Language Arts, including Creative Writing, which was out of my comfort zone. I was a math and history teacher. While I was researching for ideas to help me in the classroom, I thought I might try some of the things out that I was discovering. I had this idea in the back of my head for a novel, but never was really sure how to get it from inside my head to the page. The inspiration for the novel itself came from watching some of my LGBT friends suffering from homophobia and discrimination, both in and out of the workplace.

How did you come up with the title of your first book?

The title, Difficult Lessons, came from the main character learning that true friends and family will love and support you for who you are on the inside, not what you are on the outside. The only way to truly be happy is to be yourself.

Is there a message in Difficult Lessons that you want readers to grasp?

As long as we continue to strive to be the best that we can be and surround ourselves with supportive people, there is nothing that we cannot accomplish.

How much of this book is realistic?

There are no specific things in the book that have actually happened to anyone that I know, but they are real possibilities for all of us in the LGBT community.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I have to admit that there is one character in the book that is based on an actual person. An administrator in one of the schools in which I taught was a very arrogant and homophobic person. I did base one of my antagonists on him, not only his disposition, but a good bit of his physical appearance also.

What are your current projects?

I have two projects that are in the beginning stages. One is a Young Adult novel. Its tentative title is The Strength of Faith. Faith is a young lesbian who has left home because her parents have discovered her sexuality and are unsupportive, to say the least. She has taken off to be with her girlfriend who has moved to another state. I don’t want to give away too many details, but let’s just say that she has several trials throughout the story. I am hoping to have this one ready to publish by late spring.
The other project is more of a romance. Two women from completely different backgrounds meet under innocent circumstances, but fall in love. I haven’t really put a lot of work into it other than a basic sketch, but it will all come together soon.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know that I have a particular style. I am experimenting with my upcoming projects to see what works best.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members?

Of course my son and my partner are my main support. Outside of them, I have a great circle of friends that are very supportive.

Do you see writing as a career? 

I hope so. I’m striving to make it so.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Organizing my thoughts into something coherent. When I get an idea, my brain goes into overdrive. Getting everything organized is kind of like herding chickens.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Patricia Cornwell. I love the intensity of her books and the way she really draws you in with her characters. They are so vivid and realistic.

What was the hardest part of writing your first book?

Convincing myself that I could actually do it.

Aw, well you did, and you did an amazing job of it! So, since it’s a Valentine’s theme this month, I’m gonna ask some questions about romance! :-) 

How do you usually spend Valentine’s Day?

I like to spend Valentine’s Day at home with my wonderful partner of 10 years. 

What would be your ideal date? (What would you do? Where would you go?)

I’m a homebody. My ideal date would be a great home cooked meal by candle light and then cuddling up to watch a good movie.

Have you ever been on a date like that?

All the time! I love to cook, so I often cook for my partner and try to spoil her every chance I get.

Ever had a terrible first date? If so, how?

I don’t think I have ever had a terrible first date. I have had some where it was a mutual decision not to have a second date.
Do you believe in love at first site?

Definitely. Ten years ago I saw a beautiful woman and fell in love with her on the spot. I still get the same tingles when I think of her today that I got back then.

Aw :-) Who was your first celebrity crush?

I don’t even have to think about that one. Melissa Etheridge. I still have a huge crush on her. Wonder Woman was a close second.

What do you think is the most important value in a relationship?

Does it have to be just one? For me, there are several things that you absolutely have to have in a relationship. You have to have communication, trust, and mutual support. Without those, there is no relationship.

Sounds great Tami! So where can we find out more about you and your books?

The best place to find out about me and future projects would be Facebook or Twitter. I am trying to make a major effort to update both a little more regularly.

How may readers contact you?

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

The first thing I want to say is “Thank You.” Also, be on the lookout for more to come. 

Great stuff Tammie! Thanks for joining me today, now lets have a sneaky peak at your book, Difficult Lessons...

Excerpt from Difficult Lessons:

 “What could he possibly want?” Sara mumbled softly as she read the note in her mailbox at work. She knew in the back of her mind what Mr. Michaels wanted, but hoped for the best.
She decided to go to his office immediately. The rest of her day was packed full. They were testing all morning and classes in the afternoon. There was a meeting with the counselors during her planning period. She was always busy after school with students coming in for extra help. 
Mr. Michaels looked up from his desk when she knocked. 
“Come in Ms. Carson and close the door behind you.”
Mr. Michaels was a man of about 50. He was tall and thin. His hair started thinning about 3 years ago. He was so vain about it that he shaved his head. He never smiled, giving off an unapproachable air.
“Something has been brought to my attention that disturbs me and I want to discuss it with you.”
Sara tried not to show that she had an idea of what he was talking about as she settled into a chair in front of his desk. She mentally braced herself for what was coming.
“Someone has informed me that you were seen at Mel’s one night this weekend. Is that correct?” His tone was accusing and unnerving for Sara.
“Well, yes sir. I...”
Mr. Michaels cut her off before she could offer any kind of explanation. “I don’t think that is an appropriate place for our faculty members to be seen.”
“Mr. Michaels, I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but I was not doing anything wrong. Not that I feel I have to justify my actions, but the owner happens to be a good friend of mine. Besides, our students don’t go there. What would be so inappropriate about it?”
“Ms. Carson, I know what kind of place that is. I don’t think we should be associating ourselves with those people.” Mr. Michaels was speaking louder than before.
“Those people?” Sara was thrown completely off guard by his statement. Her blood pressure began to rise. 
“Like I said, I know what type of place Mel’s is. I do not want our faculty patronizing such a business. Do you understand where I am coming from, Ms. Carson?”
“No sir. I actually don’t. I don’t understand why you think that you have the right to tell me what I can do and where I can go when I am not at work. I am offended that you would even consider basing your opinion on the sexual orientation of the owner and the clientele. What about the teachers who go to other bars in town? Are they being told not to go to them? Some of those places are known hangouts for prostitutes and drug dealers. People go to those places for quick hook-ups. They are a lot more unsavory than Mel’s.”  
“Those places, Ms. Carson, are not gay bars. Do you understand what I am telling you?” Mr. Michaels was visibly angry at this point.  
“I think I understand you perfectly. Will there be anything else, Mr. Michaels? I have classes to prepare for, if you are finished.” Sara was standing before she even finished her sentences.

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