I am delighted to welcome a friend, very talented writer and fellow Rainstorm Press author to the blog today. Tammy Maas’ second book, God Save Us All, was released last Friday and is the long awaited sequel to her first book, A Complicated Life in a Small Town. I was incredibly fortunate to get an early copy to read and I have to say this novella is jawdroppingly fabulous – the twists and turns keep the tempo high throughout and I defy anyone to guess the ending! Quite simply, I cannot recommend it enough. Let’s find out a bit more about Tammy and her new baby:
In A Complicated Life in a Small Town and its sequel, God Save Us All, you tackle the effects of the very unusual but serious disease of Prada Willi Syndrome. What drew you to this?
I was ‘shopping’ online for a disease for a character when I found Prader-Willi syndrome. I was fascinated by it, a genetic disorder that causes people to eat themselves literally to death if it isn’t managed. I think everyone has experienced what it’s like to feel full, but people with this disorder never feel that. Many people are never diagnosed. These are the people you read about that are so big a wall has to be torn down just to get them out of their houses.
I think Lydia is an incredibly strong character who has to face so much throughout these books. Is she based on anyone you know?
Lydia is part me and part someone I would like to be. I used to think of myself as a person who would do well when faced with an emergency situation, until one day I was. A friend of my husband called and said he had an accident with a chainsaw and asked us to come to his rescue. He was from Korea and didn’t know emergency numbers to call. First on the scene I was filled with adrenaline but I was not prepared for what I would see.
He had nearly cut his foot completely off with the chain saw. By the time we arrived he had already applied a tourniquet. The man had lost so much blood it was a miracle that he was still conscious. I was shaking uncontrollably, pale white and on the verge of passing out. My husband immediately called 911 and his bleeding, dying friend spent the next few minutes comforting me, rubbing my arm and assuring me that everything would be okay.
I am definitely not the brave part of Lydia!
Both books, but particularly God Save Us All, take us on nail biting journeys with interesting twists at the end. Do you take on the emotions of your characters when you write?
I do take on the characters’ emotions when I write and sometimes that even determines my mood for the day. If I’m working on a certain scene and I don’t get to finish it, I often end up still feeling the way I left my character feeling. This often helps me to write as the longer I wait to get back to the scene, the more feelings and ideas I come up with. But I must add that this isn’t always a good thing for the people that have to live with me.
Where did your ideas come from for these novellas?
Much to my husband’s dismay I am a person who typically figures out the ending to any book I read, or movie I watch. The ideas I come up with have to be unique and have enough impact for me to play with different scenes and characters. My goal is always to write a book where people will not be able to guess the ending. The ideas often begin as harmless situations and the more I think the more twisted the stories get.
You obviously had to put in a lot of research into both the illnesses and other aspects of the story. Do you enjoy research?
I love doing research. I’m a huge fan of ‘facts’ and like the shock and awe factor that can be achieved by pointing out actual truths in a book. The book may be fiction but it contains plenty of facts too.
What can readers expect from you next, and when can they expect it?
Now that I’ve gotten my feet wet with books one and two I’ve established a new goal for myself. I need to write more and worry less. I would like to put out a new book every six months. That sounds like an insane task but I really would like to have the third instalment in the Lydia Porter series completed by August.
You moonlight as a ‘Domestic Goddess’ and clearly have other pulls on your time. How do you balance your writing with your other commitments?
I call myself a Domestic Goddess because I hate the term; stay-at-home-mom and Domestic Goddess just sounds so damn cool! But it really isn’t as glamorous as I would like it to be. Some days I write from morning till night and other days I don’t write at all. Sometimes I will go weeks without writing. But writing for me isn’t just about sitting at the computer. I have to digest scenes and think about them over and over. I have to live them. I go to a place where a scene will occur and I feel it, I touch the dirt and breathe in the air. I let my senses take over. Then when I finally do get a chance to sit down and write, the scenes flow out of me rather easily and I don’t have to continue poking holes or questioning it.
Please share an excerpt of your new book with us:
Lydia pushed past Chuck and walked down the hall to Tommy’s room where she found peace and solitude from the beeping of the monitors and her motionless husband. Lydia dragged her chair over to the side of the bed and sat down. She grabbed Tommy’s hand with both of her hands and studied it as she began to speak with a shaky voice.
“Oh Tommy so much has happened, I don’t know if I can handle it. So far I’ve learned that our daughter has Prader-Willi and that you are Lily’s father. Then before getting any answers from you, you shoot yourself. Now they think I shot you. The FBI is even involved and Liz wants to take Sophia away. If you can hear me Tommy, I really need you to fight for your life. If you die they could convict me of murder and then Liz is right, what would become of Sophia or even Lily? I miss you, I feel so alone right now. I’m so scared and so alone.”
You can buy God Save Us All here:
Tammy Maas is a writer who moonlights as a domestic Goddess. Her debut Novella, A Complicated Life in a Small Town, was published on 2-27-2012. The sequel, God Save Us All, was released on 2-15-2013. Tammy ghost writes for online clients. She was published by Oatmeal Studios, and was a writer/photographer for Houston County News. In addition to books, Tammy also writes articles and songs. She resides in Iowa where she watches the corn and her children grow. She blog’s daily about random things. You can view her blog at; http://www.aniMAASity.weebly.com or contact her on TWITTER and FACEBOOK .