How is it nearly the end of March?? So today we have an interview with Tammera 🙂
Tell us a bit about your book
Drenched Sunflowers, my debut novel, is the story of a young widow starting over in a small Southern town. It has mystery, romance, and a ghost. It is part 1 of a trilogy.
What would say is the genre for your book? Southern Fiction
Where did the inspiration come from? I was watching a documentary in 2014 about the Underground Railroad along the North Carolina Coast including Washington NC. My brain started thinking of all the people who lived and walked the streets of Washington before us. What would happen if someone found artifacts and a ghost in an old house they were renovating? The Water Street Chronicles were born.
How did you come up with the title for your book? Drenched Sunflowers is symbolic of the code flowers that were used to warn runaway slaves before the Civil War. They warned freedom seekers that there were too many eyes around and the area should not be approached.
How long did it take you to finish writing the book before the first edit? How many drafts were there in total? I worked on the novel for four years. There were so many drafts. When I started, I never dreamed of working with an editor. Last year I made it happen and found a wonderful editor, Jeni Burns. It went through two rounds of edits, and the final was ready. Of course, I set a date for the release date thinking that proofreading, etc. would take place quickly and problem free. Then Hurricane Florence hit. Power outages and internet issues caused a lot of issues. I rushed the release. In hindsight, I realize that my readers would have understood. The second edition has just been released to correct the errors that my readers informed me about.
Are there any characters in the book based on people you know? Beth is based on my experience as a young widow. Living in the small town that I placed the story, I had to be careful not to use people I know. My fiancé swears that he is Sam.
How did you celebrate being published? Did you have a launch party? I had a signing at the museum in town, The Washington Waterfront Underground Railroad Museum. I loved how supportive everyone was. There was a blog tour online. My family went out for sushi and breathed a sigh of relief.
Would you care to give us an extract?
BETH PEERED INTO THE DARKNESS, blinking to focus while confusion
took hold. An unfamiliar shed with a dirt floor? Water came
into the building from an unseen source. It flowed with force,
holding her feet fast to the ground. She couldn’t move. Panic
overtook her senses. She willed her feet to move, but they were as
stuck as if they were in hardened concrete. The water became
deeper. She heard a noise from the corner of the room.
A young black woman holding a bundle close to her, her eyes
huge with fear, huddled in the shadows. Beth’s eyes started to
adjust to the darkness. The girl was dressed in a long cotton
gown. Her hair wrapped with a scarf. She tried to speak, but her
mouth wouldn’t form the words. We have to get out of here. The
shed boards creaked against the strain of the water. It was going
to collapse. We have to get out. The young girl waded toward the
door. She pushed on the latch, but it was locked on the outside.
She began to scream. She banged on the door, but it only made
the building sway. The water sloshed at Beth’s waist now. The
beams supporting the roof gave way. Beth tried to dodge the
pieces as they fell, but her body refused to respond. A beam broke
free. Everything went black.
How do you beat writer’s block? Any tips? If the words aren’t flowing, I will read romance or thrillers. Another activity that breaks through the funk is writing a blog for my website, www.SouthernRomanceOnThePamlico.com. I write about whatever inspires me there. Sometimes I will write short stories based on my characters.
Do you have any hobbies apart from writing? I love photography. My pics on Instagram make great writing prompts.
When you write, do you consider yourself to be a plotter or a pantser? Definitely a pantster
Do you have any advice for fellow writers? Write every day. Even if its just a sentence during lunch break. It will keep your brain working.
If your book became a film- who would you pick to play the main characters?
Sam- Chris O’Donnell
I see you have new work in progress- care to tell us about it? I have two projects on my plate right now: edits for Book 2 Sleeping Mallows, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44020669-sleeping-mallows?from_search=true, and finishing up The Water Street Chronicles in Waning Honeysuckle.
Sleeping Mallows turned out better than I expected and I can’t wait to share it with you. Savanna McCormick is a strong woman working as a cadaver dog handler. She arrives in Washington NC to help Deputy Tim Whitaker solve the case that falls on his desk in Book 1.
Lastly, where can readers find you and your book on the internet?
Book Depository (European and UK orders) https://www.bookdepository.com/Drenched-Sunflowers-Tammera-L-Cooper-Jeni-Burns/9781732866102?fbclid=IwAR0z_nJspet3YkE7y9UILvjty7At5PrbgXHb-RSHCW72Zf_iKY_i8XI6X64
Many thanks- Look forward to reading this 🙂 Thankyou for taking part!
Tammera Cooper is a self-published Southern author, currently working on the final book of the Water Street Chronicles. She currently lives in North Carolina by the Pamlico River with her fiancé, enjoying their own Happily Ever After. Her own life’s challenges inspire her stories of overcoming life’s tough patches with love.