Friday, March 9, 2012
10 Questions with Writer Tammy Bleck (@TammyBleck)
This Author Spotlight features Los Angeles-based writer Tammy Bleck, author of SINGLE PAST 50, NOW WHAT? (see above).
Tammy describes herself as a writer, life commentor, social observer and provider of the profound written word; in other words a blogger extraodinaire. She is also a non fiction writer, author of the book Single Past 50, Now What? and a freelance writer for hire.
1. How did you get into writing?
I think I first started writing when I realized that no one was listening to me. I must have been about 15. I quickly discovered that when I wrote, people paid attention. By the way, they’re listening now.
2. What do you like best (or least) about writing?
Everything. It’s private, it’s public, its truth and fiction. It’s a world where I can say what I can’t speak, share what I feel and report what I see. It is a safe place where other people are allowed to share but no one is allowed to change it. Writing is the sacred place where I am the boss of everything. That, in and of itself, is pretty awesome.
3. What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?
I never pressure myself to write. Ever. It needs to remain a joyful place for me to be. This is not school and I know what I want to say; so I find no need for outlines or mandated word counts. I free write and I never, ever correct as I go along. I often change my mind or my thought; but I just keep writing. When I’m done, I’ll go back and clean it up. I’m usually left with a product I’m happy to put my name on. Of course, it doesn’t take much to please me.
4. Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”
I honestly can’t answer this question, there are just too many of them and new ones springing up every day. Can I get out of this question by answering: everyone and no one in particular? Otherwise you will have page upon page of author’s names and their works. I’m like a mom; I have no favorites and love them all the equally.
5. Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?
What a good question (don’t you think)?
6. What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?
I find it irritating. Editors love it but I don’t find a need for it and rarely use it in my writing. I understand that it is there to establish clarity but in my opinion, the Oxford University Press can keep it. I’m not going to get my panties in a bunch over whether we should always place a comma before a conjunction. I prefer to just do my thing and let the commas fall where they may. Just one of the many ways I live on the edge.
7. What is your book Single Past 50 Now What? about and how did it come to fruition?
I’m guessing the book title “Single Past 50 Now What?” is a dead giveaway of what prompted me to write it. It was not my life plan to end up single after 25 years of marriage, be past my prime, unemployed, have a child in college and the cat and dog to feed. Finding my way was hilarious, sorrowful, entertaining and enlightening; and so a book was born.
8. What’s your current writing project?
I’m working on building readership for my weekly blog (by the way, have you subscribed)? Sorry, I hate it when I get pushy. I’m also working on my second book which should come out this summer. It’s a compilation of my take on many of life’s excruciating turns and twists. In other words, it’s a comedy.
9. What book(s) are you currently reading?
“The Historian” by Elizabeth Kostova, has been a wonderful read. It’s a bit lengthy (over 1,000 pages) but boy it’s riveting. I’m also reading the “Monster of Florence” by Douglas Preston about a serial killer. It is a true account and somewhat grisly and I’m loving every minute of it. Two books at once is not my general habit, it just so happened that I got hooked on both about the same time. Life can be so demanding! I have a frightful love of murder, mayhem and mystery. My night stand has half a dozen books waiting their turn to be read.
10. Who or what inspires your writing?
Yikes, this is going to sound so ridiculously corny but my everyday life is the inspiration for my writings. The people I meet, the problems I face, the emotions I feel, the injustices and blessings that cross my path. I guess that’s why so many readers relate so strongly to what I write about; because they are living it too. One of my most popular pieces is a conversation I wanted to have with God about aging: http://WittyWomanWriting.com/dear-god-we-need-to-talk/. Who doesn’t want a sit-down with God about something, right?
Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.
I have been compared to Erma Bombeck and Andy Rooney (suitable curtsey) and consider myself to be a life commentator that always has a humorous take on things. I would invite everyone to tune in and subscribe to http://WittyWomanWriting.com/blog/ for a weekly dose of insanity made sane. I also offer a pretty good keynote to corporate and community groups. Visit the “Hire Me” page at http://wittywomanwriting.com/hire-me/ and get the witty details. If you happen to find yourself single in mid life, well then, you’ve got to buy my book “Single Past 50 Now What?” which can be found in all brick and mortar stores, Amazon and if you want a signed copy, go to my website and click the PayPal button. It will be the best 14 bucks you’ve ever spent! How’s that for shameless promotion?
Self-promotion is the name of the game. Well done!
Thank you for sharing your story and your book with us, Tammy. You provided some great answers here. Let us know when the next book is ready, and we'll accommodate further shameless self promotion.
Visit Tammy's website if you haven't already done so, and subscribe to her blog. A lot of gems there.
Thanks again, Tammy!