How do you pronounce your name?
Ooo, I'm glad you asked that! It is pronounced Ta-mar. It's not pronounced 'Tamer' (Tamer than what, I wonder when I'm called that.) It's not pronounced 'Tamara' because if it was, my parents would have put an 'a' at the end of my name. It's just Tammar.
On the jacket in your books, it says your dog is bi-lingual. What languages does your dog speak?
She understands English and German. My husband and I adopted her while we were stationed in Germany with the army. She was eleven months old and already trained in German commands. Over time she picked up the English, but when we really want her to listen, we shout in German. It's very impressive.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
When I was five I wanted to be a mermaid. By age nine I was slightly more realistic and wanted to be an astronaut--the first woman on Mars. I went through a brief marine biologist phase--ironic given my pathological sea-sickness--before realizing in high school that what I really wanted to do was read for a living. I am addicted to books. I cannot read enough. But I didn't really see a way to make money reading books, so I decided the next best thing would be to write them.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends. Light Years took five years to write. It's not that I'm such a slow typist. It just took me a while to figure out what makes a good story. What keeps the pace tight, the plot riveting, the characters people that a reader could care about. I revised it about 50 times. Literally, I read and re-wrote each page about 50 separate times. High Dive took almost three years. I wrote an entire draft but it wasn't very good so I threw it away and started over. Still, High Dive took two years less to write than Light Years which was great. Kindred clocked along at two years, so I'm hoping my speed continues to increase. And if I continue halving my writing time, my seventh book should take about a month and a half to finish. I'll keep you posted.
I want to write a book. How do I get started?
First of all, congratulations! I'm so glad you're interested in writing. We can't have too many good books in this world and the only way to get them is have people just like you write them. So, thanks. Now, different writers have different styles. Some like to outline the entire plot so they know where they're headed when they sit down to write chapter one. I think this is very sensible. Unfortunately, my brain doesn't work like that. I have an idea, I write about it, and 200 pages later I realize I made a wrong turn at chapter 3 and have to start all over again. So maybe I'm not the best person to ask for advice.
I would say find a local writer's group to join. Hanging around other writers is the best thing for aspiring writers to do. You learn about the craft, the discipline, the ins and outs of the business, and have other writers critique your work so that you get better and better at it. Writing is like anything else; it takes lots of practice before you're any good at it.