Today I have the great pleasure of welcoming Tammara Webber on Bookish Temptations. She’s the New York Times Bestselling Author of “Easy” , an amazing book that I loved ( you can find my review here). I was so excited when she agreed to do this interview and I’d like to thank you once again, Tammara, for taking the time to answer my questions.
Let’s see what Tammara told me…
First off, thank you Tammara for agreeing to do this interview. It’s a pleasure to have you here. I adored Easy. It’s on the list of my all time favorite books and I’d like to congratulate you on all the success it’s having. What did inspire you to write Easy?
Thank you, Elena. I’ve wanted to write this story for a long time, because it’s a subject that needs to be discussed. Love stories are my thing – they’re what I prefer to read as well as write, so wrapping the serious issue I wanted to tackle into a romance felt like the right way to go for me.
Lucas is a wonderful character and it’s hard not to fall for him. He’s handsome, caring, supportive and kind. Did you have someone in mind while crafting him?
The ideal guy, of course! I try to write my characters as realistically as possible, but if someone is going to be the hero of the story – he’s going to have heroic characteristics. Are there real guys out there who are caring and supportive and also pretty darned cute? Yes – and I found mine. Are all guys like that? No.
If you had to choose just one adjective to describe Jacqueline, what would it be?
Easy deals with the sensitive issue of attempted rape but at the same time shows how girls can find the courage to speak up and defend themselves. Was it difficult for you to incorporate such a topic in the story?
For me, the topic of acquaintance rape was the story. The romance was a cushion around an issue that some people either can’t face head-on, or want to avoid because it seems too depressing or frightening. The building relationship between Jacqueline and Lucas was also a testament to the fact that no matter what happens, we’re stronger than we know, and we’re capable of healing – ourselves, and each other.
What scene was the most enjoyable for you to write and which one was the most difficult and why?
I’m not gonna lie – I love writing the kissing scenes. There were many parts that were difficult for a myriad of different reasons – from technically challenging (the fight scenes – ack, I watched so many people beat each other up on youtube!) to personally emotionally painful. Writing the reveal of Lucas’s past was particularly difficult, and I agonized over how to do it, because it couldn’t be overdone, but it also couldn’t be glossed over.
Do you think you are going to continue Lucas and Jacqueline’s story in the future?
No. I wrote Easy as a stand-alone.
Did you start writing with the thought of having your books published someday or was it just a hobby?
While I’ve always written as a hobby (poems, essays, blog posts), I never began a book as a hobby. Each one was a story that I needed to tell. I did write three “shelf” novels, however, before I wrote Between the Lines. I just chose to leave them on the shelf, and that’s where they’ll remain.
What are your writing projects right now?
I’m working on the fourth (final) in the Between the Lines series.
With Easy you’ve become a New York Times Bestselling Author (congratulations again!). What do you think made Easy so successful?
I honestly don’t know. I put my heart into the story, and wrote it to the best of my ability, but I’ve tried to do that with every book. I’m always looking for that connection to my characters, and hoping the characters can extend in print and reach the reader. I think because the subject itself is so very important to me, that must have come across to the readers more clearly that it ever has. But this is all conjecture on my part.
What’s the best compliment you’ve received from your readers?
Whenever someone tells me that what I wrote helped them to heal, or find the strength to tell someone what happened to them, or just know for the first time that they weren’t to blame – that’s the very best outcome I could hope for. A close second are readers who’ve told me they signed up for self-defense classes after reading Easy. I love that.
What’s your favorite fictional couple?
Classic has to be Darcy and Elizabeth. Present day – no one’s been able to top Adam and Mia from If I Stay & Where She Went (Gayle Forman). I adore both of these couples.
Who are the authors you look up to?
Sarah Dessen, Jennifer Echols, Melina Marchetta, John Green, Maggie Stiefvater, in addition to Austen and Forman.
Who is your favorite classic author?
Jane Austen and EM Forster. In my twenties, I devoured everything either of them wrote and was sad there wasn’t more.
Which book that’s on your TBR list you can’t wait to get your hands on?
There are too many to narrow down to just one. I pre-buy lots of books, which is often funny because something will pop up on my e-reader or arrive in the mail that I forgot I’d ordered. I still get so excited by new books. I love to read and wish I had more time to do it.
Name 3 things you couldn’t live without.
My family, books in whatever form, coffee. (Okay, I could probably live without coffee… but I wouldn’t be happy. Or productive.)
What is your motto in life?
A song came out a few years ago – Dare You to Move by Switchfoot – that helped me get through several patches of really hard stuff. I guess if I have a motto, it would be that phrase, based solely on the number of times I’ve had to say it to myself. We all have hardships, uncertainty, and heartbreak in life; the key is to not let any of those things stop you. Sometimes it really is all about having just enough guts to move,to keep going. To quote Robert Frost: The best way out is always through.
Rapid fire questions:
Coffee or tea? Coffee (I like both)
Cats or dogs? Cats (I like both)
Favorite song? I Will Wait – Mumford and Sons (at this moment)
Favorite food? Carrots. Or carrot cake. Or chocolate. (Can coffee be a food?)
Early bird or night owl? Sadly, both. I make up for it by crashing in the afternoon sometimes, or going to be bizarrely early on Friday night.
Your latest obsession? Always my next book. I have a difficult time thinking about anything else once I begin an new WIP. I wake up thinking about my characters, and imagine conversations between them while I’m showering or driving or eating… it’s all extremely annoying to people who know and (thank God) love me.
Thank you Tammara for this interview! It was a pleasure to have you here.
And congratulations to Tammara on the Penguin deal! That’s right. Easy was picked up by Berkley of Penguin US. You can find its page here
Make sure to check out Easy. It’s a terrific book!