Author Interview: Tami Jayne Jackson
Tami Jackson, the author of Ravena and the Resurrected is here for an interview.
Here's what I found out about her from the SunTigerMojo website:
Tami Jackson works so hard while typing, her fingers occasionally drip with as much blood as the pages in her book, Ravena & The Resurrected. "Readers give me their valuable time. I attempt to honor that by writing fun content to make their experience incredibly worthwhile." Said Tami.
Tami earned her bachelor's degree in communications/English from Washington State University, which is about the same time she received an Emmy Award. Tami has sold many magazine and trade journal articles, written as a news correspondent for Seattle area newspapers, and worked as public relations writer and editor in business and marketing.
Born in Seattle, the fifth among seven children, with two school teachers for parents, Tami is the mother of three adult children and two grown step-sons. She is happily married to Doug, and the couple live with a Pug, a Dachshund and two rescued house cats, as well as with back yard chickens and a rabbit named Oscar.
As always, she loves writing and remains an avid fan of all things vampire, werewolf and sleuth! In addition to writing, Tami loves nature and reading action/adventure and dark fiction. Tami is a member of: Pacific Northwest Writer's Association.
She often volunteers in the community for:
* Emergency Response efforts
* Environmental projects (e.g., habitat restoration)
* Emergency Response efforts
* Environmental projects (e.g., habitat restoration)
Here's the interview:
VARSHA: So let's talk about you first. Is there any aspect of you that you'd love to share with us?
TAMI: Well, hmm. First of all, I'm really grateful to be here Varsha. (Thank you for hosting this interview when I know you have much to do, studying electronics and communication engineering at Kerala University!)
Secondly? I really like to change my hair, the color, style, everything. Sometimes I simply wrap my head in colorful scarves because that's how I'm feeling on a given day. I grew up in an ultraconservative home where make-up and jewelry (colorful forms of self expression) were not allowed. So maybe I'm overcompensating when I often wear rings on every finger and more than one necklace at a time. Fortunately, there are plenty of people in Seattle who express themselves similarly, so I feel like I definitely fit in with folks from the city.
VARSHA: The vampires in R&R are extremely different from the normal ones we keep seeing in post-Twilight books. The main character is a mile from the usual heroines. What inspired you to write R&R in such unique fashion?
TAMI: I'm glad you said "post Twilight" and not "post True Blood" or "post Dracula." See how much the vampires inRavena & The Resurrected actually have in common with Bram Stoker's, Anne Rice's, and Charlaine Harris' vampires. Example 1: Socially (1000+ Books To Read Blog). Example 2: Physically. (Nyx Book Review Blog)
Beyond that, the vampires in R&R have different personalities and characteristics from each other, depending on what time-period they were resurrected from. Some of R&R's vampires have lived centuries. Ravena's roommate, Eva, for instance, exudes both Dracula's gothic sensuality and terror. Ravena also suffers occasional bouts of self chastisement but she's not the sort to do that for long. None of the vampires in R&R sleep in caskets, although they do sleep during daylight hours and away from sunlight.
In some ways, the vampires in R&R have similarities to vampires in The True Blood series with their retractable fangs, the ability to swim, the potential for a human to be in danger when around them. Like vampires of old, the night stalkers in R&R remain physically preserved from the day they were resurrected. That means, a vampire with gray hair had to have been older-looking on the day he or she was made. Like mythology, R&R vampires are much more powerful now than when they were human.
Regarding Ravena being "a mile from the usual heroines" I think you might be comparing her to vampire slayers? (As in Buffy The Vampire Slayer or Anita Blake Series?) Ravena's not a slayer. She loves and adores vampires and wants to become one. So in that way, you're absolutely right. She's very different. Not only that, but she has a very strong sense of humor and not many vampire books have been written where vampires like to laugh.
Another distinction might be how Ravena's normal-looking, instead of appearing like a run-way model. In the beginning, she's a bit overweight and hates her diabetes. By the end of the book, she's also just recently turned vampire, so she's still learning how to thrive in her new lifestyle and she is not nearly as seasoned as some of her resurrected associates. Judging by feedback from my readers, Ravena is adored for her quirky personality. Reviewers say she is easy to relate to.
VARSHA: Is Ravena anything like you? If yes, in what way?
TAMI: Ravena's young, just one year out of college. I'm a woman of a "certain age" (an empty nester). She has her whole life ahead of her so her current take on life is obviously very different from mine. When I was her age, I was never so quick with the witty comebacks but I was much more effective at making friends than she is. I think I always wished I had been as quick-witted as Ravena (that's something I'm developing with age). The biggest thing Ravena and I have in common now is the fact that we're both female, we both do personal analysis and attempt to live authentically by pursuing whatever version of life will bring us the most happiness.
VARSHA: Since this is an art blog too, let's talk cartoons! Tell us a little about your cartoon works (and any other art-related promotion)
TAMI: I consider myself a real amateur as an artist. I draw for fun. I've always considered myself a writer and studied journalism/English in college while I have also worked as a news correspondent and wrote as a public relations writer and editor.
As a writer, I've learned that it often helps me get to know a fictional character more intimately if I attempt to draw him or her. So I draw a lot of my characters and the places they go as I write about them. I post many of my drawings (writing vicariously as Ravena on her character blog: Vamchoir.blogspot.com). Sometimes humorous ideas come to me while I draw and then my "art" turns into a few comic panels (see image).
VARSHA: Is it difficult to write laugh-out-loud funny books when the rest of the book world is focused on angst?
TAMI: By this question, I'm assuming you're one of my readers who's admitting she laughed out loud? (I've been told, repeatedly, that happens.) I don't think a writer can receive a bigger compliment than having successfully solicited some sort of emotional response from a reader. While R&R is not exactly a "comedy," getting someone to chuckle is the most difficult sort of writing because humor must be very intelligent and personal to work. Not everyone will laugh at the same thing and some versions of humor can even offend some people. Because the reader must relate to what's being said to laugh, I do think it's most difficult to write laugh-out-loud funny books.
Meanwhile, I really like to laugh myself and I see my job as a writer as being that of an entertainer. That's why I worked extra hard at making my book as enjoyable as possible. What better form of reading is there (besides the sort of book that brings out different emotions in the reader)?
VARSHA: Last question. Any tips for writers from your side? (especially those going for self/indie publishing promoting)
Never give up. Keep writing what you know. If you have written a book that you believe in - move forward with getting it edited and published. For goodness sakes don't ever give up on your dreams. Study authors who have been successful with their marketing and try to emulate whatever they're doing to succeed (giving your marketing messages your own flair, of course). Something I keep reminding myself is that "Rome wasn't built in a day." I also look at writers like J. R. R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings Trilogy) and remember his books became famous and were made into movies long after he had died. (It was his son who actually had his writings published.) You don't want to wait that long. Publish your work now, while you still have oxygen in your lungs.
Thank you again, Varsha, for taking time from your studies to conduct this wonderful interview. If any of your viewers want to get a hold of me they can just search "Vamchoir" on-line. I'm on Facebook, Twitter, and blogger under that name. Anyone who is interested in blog hopping to visit other blogs that participated in this author tour may see my calendar: http://suntigermojo.com/book-
I reviewed the book here
Thank you, Tami, for stopping by and awarding me with a comic image of your creation. It's proudly displayed in the awards page.