Jen: Today we welcome Tammy L. Bailey to Romancing the Book. Tammy, will you share a short bio with us?
Tammy: Tammy L. Bailey is a mother, wife, and veteran. After graduating from Appomattox County High School in Virginia, she joined the military, serving five years in the active duty Army before retiring as a Master Sergeant in the Ohio Air National Guard.
She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and enjoys writing both contemporary and historical romance. When she’s not writing or watching Jane Austen adaptations, she enjoys Star Wars movie nights with her 9-year-old and watching her 12-year-old’s drumming gigs.
Without her family’s sacrifice and understanding, she believes she would have never been able to pursue her passion of writing or her accomplishment of becoming a published author.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Tammy: Lord Bachelor is a reality fairy tale about a rich, titled Englishman and a broke and independent American woman. Their love develops during a dating game show. The idea came about after wanting a write a contemporary romance with a fairy tale twist.
He smiled. “Just say thank you, and we’ll call it even.”
For a long moment, she stared at him, mouth agape, not sure if this was some sort of British humor she didn’t understand. Well, she supposed it didn’t cost her anything to give him what he wanted. “Thank you.”
His smile widened. “I thought American girls were all about, uhm,” he paused, his gaze sliding to her slightly parted lips, “…affectionate forms of appreciation.”
Abby exhaled. Did he really expect her to kiss him? Well, she wasn’t going to, no matter how many times her gaze wandered to his mouth. “I don’t know you, and you certainly don’t know me, Mr. —”
“Lord,” he corrected her with the slightest conceited bow. “Lord Rushwood.”
She resisted the urge to roll her eyes. “Pardon me. Lord Rushwood.”
“You may still call me Edmund.”
This time she brought her hands to her face, ready to let out a frustrated scream. He didn’t move as she parted her fingers and peeked through them. Growing more annoyed, she dropped her hands to her sides and squared her shoulders.
“I have thanked you…Edmund, so I will not be wrapping my arms around your neck and inviting you up for a night of, whatever you call it in England—”
She closed her eyes and brought in a therapeutic breath. “Never mind,” she replied, trying to extinguish the blush spreading like a wildfire into her face.
Tammy: I love reading Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte and Elizabeth Gaskell, so I enjoy writing and thinking of new historical romances. My very first completed novel was a Regency romance, although it remains buried inside my computer in a place that has not been viewed in several years.
I’ve dabbled in several genres. Although I’m not sure if there is one in particular I’d stay away from at this point in my career. However, since I love the male point-of-view so much, I will probably not sway toward chick lit anytime soon. Of course, when I was writing and experimenting with Regency romance, I thought I’d NEVER want to write a contemporary romance. The moral of the story: NEVER say NEVER.
Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest? Most rewarding?
Tammy: The most challenging part of writing for me is TIME. Between work and family, I don’t have a lot of down time to just sit and knock out one or two books a year. If I do manage to write a book in less than twelve months, it’s because sleep was not a priority.
I remember, while writing Lord Bachelor, I would probably get three to four hours of sleep at night because both Abby and Edmund had something to say, and I didn’t want to forget their conversation by the time morning rolled around.
The easiest aspect of writing is when I’m in the zone. Words are flowing and my characters are bantering back and forth so fast, I can’t dictate quick enough.
The most rewarding is when friends and family come up to me and say how excited they are for me.
Jen: If this book was made into a movie, who do you see playing the main characters?
Tammy: I always pictured Tom Mison as Edmund, although Tom may have to wear colored contact lenses. His eyes are much bluer than Edmunds. As for Abby, I pictured Hayden Panettiere. You may remember her as the little girl in Remember the Titans. When I start working on a book, I always put the characters side-by-side to see if there is chemistry. They seemed to fit with this one.
Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?
Tammy: Out of the several books I’ve written, Edmund is my favorite character, so far. I had so much fun writing him.
This may sound strange to a reader (not so much to a writer), but sometimes I feel the characters sitting next to me telling me what to write. If I get what they’re saying wrong, they let me know.
Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?
Tammy: I turned in a Regency romance for a writer’s contest. It was my very first book, so I still had a lot to learn. Fortunately, one of my judges just happened to be Debbie Macomber. She put her number on the judges sheet and wanted me to call her. I was getting ready to go out of town for the Air National Guard for a few weeks, so I was anxious to talk to her and see what she had to say to me.
It was a lovely conversation, one that I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life. She told me to keep writing and not to give up my dream. Through the rejections and numerous other setbacks, I’m so glad I took her advice.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Tammy: I would like to finish a Regency romance I started a few years ago and then write a cowboy romance I have bouncing around in my head. I also have a Christmas romance I hope to publish soon.