Monday, August 29, 2011
FEATURED AUTHOR: Tonya Lampley
Tonya was born and raised and currently resides in Ohio with her husband. After she graduated from the University of Cincinnati, she pursued a career in the corporate arena, working in the areas of sales and marketing, employee benefits and recruiting. Eventually, she left corporate America to pursue a career as a life and career coach.
As she continued on her own path to fulfillment, she was surprised to discover a natural talent and love for writing. She began writing a coaching newsletter and online articles, and then her first novel began to take shape. Her debut novel is titled A Taste of Love.
How did you start out your writing career?
It started by accident, actually. I read in a magazine that creative writing was a good way to relieve stress. I had grown dissatisfied with my corporate job and I started writing as a distraction. I sat at the computer one day and began the story. I finished a couple of chapters and walked away from it, only to pick it up where I left off years later after months of self discovery, a career change and an unexpected illness. Life can be funny.
What did you learn while writing this book?
Patience, for one. For me, good writing takes time. It comes from a place outside of me. I can’t rush it. I can’t force it. There are some days that it just won’t come and I have to be okay with that. There are times when I try to force it, but I can tell the writing is different. It’s not as good. I have developed a healthy respect for the creative process and those that earn their living by it.
I’ve also learned that writing can be very subjective. What pleases one, might not satisfy another. I appreciate the diversity of the human experience and the variation that is life. I love that we live in an environment where we have choice!
I would say the biggest thing I’ve learned is that writing spurs me on to greater growth. I’m challenged daily as I learn more about the craft; wanting to give readers the very best experience that I can. I’m moving beyond my natural “bent” toward introversion as I form new partnerships and connect with readers. Even the story itself reminds me that we are all doing the very best that we can, allowing me greater compassion for others and their experiences.
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?
I really just wanted to immerse readers in a good story. A moment where they can disconnect from the hustle and bustle of life and forget about the day to day “stuff” for a little while. If something about the story allows someone to see themselves or a particular subject in a different way…that’s icing on the cake!
Which character did you have the most fun writing about?
The juicy, strong and silent Daniel. I’ve noticed that the male characters seem to capture my heart a little. I find the minds of men completely fascinating. I find it interesting to get inside their heads and write from their perspective. They think completely different from us, ladies. We make a huge mistake in believing that the way in which they think is the same. Their needs and motivations are different.
What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?
How rapidly the industry is changing…my head is spinning.
What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?
I love the creative process—telling the story and getting it down on paper. The editing process is another story…I’ll just say…it’s growing on me. I’ve learned to try to write cleaner the first time, so that when I go back and edit, it’s not as much work. Outlines help me with this as well. In a perfect writing world, I fly by the seat of pants and just let the story come forth but I’m finding that having a tiny bit of structure( which is about all I can stand), helps me keep track of the story better.
What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
I came to the writing world completely naïve. It was probably better that way. This business isn’t for the faint of heart. If I had known even one thing about it, I might not have seriously considered it.
Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?
As with any other field, get confirmation of your gift from others and make sure you’re passionate about what you’re doing. When the going gets tough, your love for it will allow you to stick with it. As for the don’t— don’t give up.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
For me, it can be hard work, even though I love it. I expend and incredible amount energy when I’m working on a story or trying to get a scene and a character just right. When I hear people say they started a book but never finished, my heart goes out to them. I understand completely.
If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?
Great question! In most of the books I read, the characters are a little messed up. At least in the beginning, anyway (smile). That’s true for the stories I write as well. I’ll answer this way: my junk and drama, past and present is mixed up in all the characters I write and others I read about as well.
When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I love movies and spending time with my husband and close friends. I also love to learn new things. I read both fiction and non-fiction.
What do you do to interact with your readers?
This is one of my favorite parts. I’m always completely overjoyed when someone who has read the book contacts me. Please visit me at www.tonyalampley.com and send me an email, whether you have a question about me or the story, I promise I’ll respond. Please friend me on Facebook as well. If readers sign up for my newsletter, they’ll receive periodic updates of what I’m up to. I’m new to Twitter but I am hoping that I can connect and dialogue with readers there as well.
Our theme for this month is NON-FICTION. Have you ever written non-fiction? If so what did you write?
I have plans to. I have the outline for the book already. I’m a certified Life Coach and it’s my sincerest wish that everyone create their ideal life. My hope is to write something that will start people on their journey. This is also the theme of my blog at http://www.tonyalampley.wordpress.com/ called Chapter One.
Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?
Life is delicious and our role here is to expand and become everything that God has called us to be.
Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
The story centers around a guy who is basically his own worst enemy. Full of game and swagger, he knows he’s capable of being a “real” man and leaving his past immaturity behind. He can feel the potential inside. The larger part of him wants more out of life, but he just keeps making one bad choice after another. His true love leaves him and takes his son, he marries a woman who’s good, but he doesn’t love her, feeling trapped, he tries to cheat with a customer and almost gets caught and finally, he makes one mistake that just might cost him his life.
How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
Facebook: Tonya Lampley
Twitter: Tonya Lampley
Goodreads: Tonya Lampley
Shelfari: Tonya Lampley
A Taste of Love
Alex has got this one in the bag. An admitted control freak, she has planned every move that has led her to this moment. She has worked her tail to the bone for several years as stockbroker, at one of Chicago's prestigious investment firms, and her sacrifice is just about to pay off. She is about to break the chained hands of the Old Boys Club and join the ranks of senior management. All she is waiting for is confirmation from the board. They invite her to a meeting to hear her ideas on what direction she would like to see the company head in. She welcomes the one last opportunity to dazzle them. Her presentation is all set, she’s ready to make the pitch. Piece of cake…
And in walks Daniel. Tall, dark, and luscious. Where did he come from? Who is he? How was he hired without her knowledge? His presence sends her into a tailspin. As time goes on she finds herself reluctantly falling for him and going against every belief that has gotten her to where she is today. Will she surrender to love and plunge head first into the abyss or will she listen to the voice inside that is telling her that if something looks too good to be true, it usually is?
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