Tammy Bird started writing fiction with strong female protagonists when she hit middle age and decided a sports car was too cliched. A literature professor by trade, she deemed it fitting to write about the kaleidoscopic prisms of human nature in her thriller/suspense stories and novels. Be warned, her work is psychologically hard and gritty and real. She believes she has the power to help other women through open and honest writing, even when (and especially when) it would be easier to create more palatable characters.
Your 2nd book, The Book of Promises, came out on May 1 of this year. What was the inspiration for the story?
I teach literature in a local community college. A year or so ago, while analyzing “Stone Butch Blues: A Novel,” by Leslie Feinberg, an older woman in my class said that the younger generation has it so much easier than we did. I say we, because the woman was about the same age as I am, which is 57. The younger LGBTQAI students jumped right in, and a wonderful discussion about what we faced then and what younger people face now ensued. By the end of class, we all had much to think about, and think I did. I also researched and interviewed. The end result was Promises.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special?
The story is told from the view of Chloe Imani Spencer Price. Her best friend, Molly didn’t like that both of their names ended with the same sound, and so Chloe became Spencer in third grade. It is Spencer who we meet in chapter one. She is in love with Molly, but identifies as straight as she enters her senior year of high school. She is a twin, belongs to the girl’s coding club at school, and enjoys a side hustle working as part of a team that creates wallpaper, themes, and widgets for a huge technology company. She is loyal to a fault, which is both a virtue and a curse, as the reader will see very quickly in the story.
Which five authors would you invite to a dinner party and why?
Beth Burnett (If you haven’t read, Coyote Ate the Stars, go now. You can thank me later. Added bonus: She would bring Joy. ‘Nough said.)
Lynn Ames (Not only is her writing phenomenal, but her background is fascinating, as well. I learn from her every time she speaks.)
Rita Mae Brown (I owe her a huge thank you for writing words that showed a scared teen that she wasn’t alone in who she was inside.)
Octavia Butler (Her ability to create amazing worlds with timely morals is beyond me, and I want to suck her brain.)
Alice Walker (I love women’s lit, and I love women’s work that pushes the boundaries. Plus, hello. Alice. Fucking. Walker.)
If you were a cat, which book character would you be named after?
Right now, I’m going with Katniss. I feel like I am fighting my way through The Hunger Games Trilogy: The Hunger Games / Catching Fire / Mockingjay, and I am relying on others to do the right thing (though many won’t) and leaning heavily on those I trust.
What’s been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far?
Marketing. I didn’t realize the time commitment AFTER a book is published. I love doing it. The connections I make are phenomenal, and my creative side really digs making pictures and coming up with ideas. But, oh my goodness how nice it would be to be able to pay someone to do a portion of it for me.
The Book of Promises Blurb
Spencer Price is living her best life in Denver Colorado.
But when Jordan Rohan kisses her, and her best friend writes it in their shared book of promises, she suddenly finds herself in a struggle between duty and independence, allegiance and betrayal.
Soon, two things become clear: There is far more to the kiss than Spencer first believed, and the person to whom she is most connected is hiding secrets far deeper and more dangerous than Spencer ever suspected. To uncover the secrets, Spencer must question the promises of the past. But doing so could bring death, not only to herself but to those who are her future.
Buy it here (Amazon Affiliated Links)