Friday, 5 October 2012
Friday Feature: Interview with Tammara Webber
I loved Tammara Webber's Easy and really enjoyed the first book in her Between the Lines trilogy, so I leapt at the chance to grab an interview with her.
1. When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?
Lots of women of all ages…and a few guys.
2. What made you decide to self-publish your books?
My best friend (a non-writer) hounded me until I did it, after witnessing me (unsuccessfully) query my first book and attend conferences to pitch it.
3. After your huge success self-publishing, was it a tough decision to sign with a traditional publisher in the UK?
Not at all. It’s much simpler for me to sell to an audience in the US, where I can keep a handle on the promotion and how the books are faring. Outside the US, it’s difficult. Distance is an issue, but there are also cultural barriers, even with a common base language. Razorbill proposed answers to answer those concerns, and I’m thrilled that they’ll be presenting the books on their home turf.
4. There seems to be a fair amount of debate on whether 'New Adult' exists as a genre - do you think the success of Easy is likely to inspire more books written with this sort of age range in mind?
‘New Adult’ was suggested as a new category (not genre) three years ago by St. Martin’s Press. Other publishers didn’t take it up. I didn’t write Easy to try to fly in the face of that – I wrote it because the ages of the characters speak to me. I began working on a university campus when my husband was a sophomore, and as he finished his final year, I began taking classes. I was interrupted by motherhood, but went back part-time to finish my degree once my children were in school. After graduation, I began working for the university again. I was an academic advisor there until a few months ago.
5. I think one of the strongest aspects of Easy is your wonderful dialogue - as my review mentions, there was one particular speech that made me want to stand up and cheer! Do you have any tips on writing great dialogue?
You have to see the scene in your head, I think. It’s not enough to just put words in the characters’ mouths. I write dialogue like someone might write a screenplay – I imagine body language and facial expression, even if I don’t mention these things to the reader.
Fab tip - thanks Tammara!
6. I also loved the setting of Easy - you really seemed to make the college spring to life. What's your favourite fictional setting?
I don’t really have a favourite setting. My characters go somewhere, and I go along for the ride. I do think it’s easier to follow the old adage: Write what you know.
7. If you could collaborate with another author on a novel, who would you choose and why?
I’ve never been a great team player, for two reasons. One, I’m very shy. In a group or pairing, I’m likely to have a difficult time speaking up and saying what I want to see happen. On the other hand, I have definite ideas about what I want a project to look/sound/feel like. So I get frustrated. Out of authors I know, I’d choose Colleen Hoover, because she and I are very similar in that way. We ‘get’ each other’s stories, but we’d also be like those super-polite Warner Brother gophers: ‘After you!’ ‘Oh no, I insist! After you!’
8. What books would you recommend to readers who enjoyed Easy while they're waiting for your next novel?
Slammed (Colleen Hoover). I loved it.
That's high on my list of things to read! I'll have to make sure I get to it very soon.
9. Are you planning on writing any more books featuring any of the characters from Easy? I'd love to know what happens next to them all, particularly Erin, who was my favourite of them all.
I loved writing Erin! I also loved Benji. I don’t plan to do a sequel; however, I was intrigued with a very minor character from Easy, and plan to use him in my next stand-alone. I haven’t started writing that one yet, though, so I’m not quite ready to discuss it.
That sounds brilliant! We were talking about 'linked' books where minor characters from one book took the spotlight in another one a few days ago on Twitter, and it tied into a blog post I did on here as well.
10. What's next for Tammara Webber?
I’m currently working on the fourth (final) Between the Lines. Reid is about to face his final battle for redemption. The series began with him and will end with him. I’m a fan of tales redeeming bad boys, but no one turns over a new leaf and makes it stick without a fight. In addition, a real bad boy is always going to retain elements of that badly behaved side of his personality (thank God – it’s why we’re intrigued with them in the first place, after all). Successful redemption, then, is a question of balance.
Given how much I want to punch him in the face after reading book one, I'm going to be really interested to see how it goes!