I think it is safe to say - Easy, surprised us, in a good way. I don't get a chance to read a lot of self published books anymore, but when I heard about Easy, I wanted to read it. So I purchased it and read it in a matter of hours - called Stacey and forced her to read it too; then we purchased the rest of Tammara Webber's self published books.We know, you are really busy with all the new publication stuff – but we are wondering if you have anything new in the works?
We were surprised at how great the writing is, the amazing love story and also that this book had not been picked up by a publishing company (it is now being released by Razorbill). If you don't believe us, then let me tell you this - as a self published book, it came in 2nd in the 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards Best YA Fiction category and 6th in Best Goodreads Author category.
I’m working on a fourth in the Between the Lines series. After that, I’ll be writing another stand-alone novel.
We were wondering how you created your playlist for Easy - are these songs you listened to while writing or are they songs that work with that chapter?
Both. My actual playlist (the music I listened to while writing Easy) contained all of those songs, plus an additional forty or so tracks. Once I decided to create a playlist, I thought it would be best to apply songs to chapters, and narrow it down to those. Lyrics are generally important to me—I associate certain songs very strongly with particular characters and/or scenes, so most of them fell right into place.
You write such realistic, complex characters. Where do you draw your ideas from – are they based off of real life experiences?
My characters are influenced by many things, among them: personal experiences, experiences of people I know or speak with, news stories, dreams, you name it. Each character is an individual, apart from the other, and I try to find a way to understand them and how they react, even if I don’t agree with their actions. I keep notebooks with more information than ever goes into the story itself—backstories, connections, people with whom they've been involved, those they loved, trusted, hated or deceived. I don’t use all the details I amass about a character’s history before the book’s narrative begins, but those notes help me flesh them out as I write, and I add to the notes as I write as well.
Lucas has arms full of tattoos – if you were to get a tattoo that represents Easy – what would you get?
Definitely the poem. I wrote it in April 2010. I woke up with it in my head and scribbled it on a pad next to the bed. Later that day, I made a blog post of it, but had no idea I would ever use it for anything further. When I began writing Lucas, I went searching for it.
You started out this year as a self-published author and you are ending it with being picked up by a huge publishing company. How do you see yourself moving forward in the publishing world? Do you still plan on self-publishing or are you willing to try the traditional route again?
I’m straddling both worlds. Part of my contract with Penguin (US) allows for me to indie-pub the fourth Between the Lines book as my next project, after which I've contracted with them to produce another stand-alone novel. (Rights to all four existing books, plus the next two, have been purchased by Penguin/Razorbill UK.) My experience has been very positive thus far, though I’m busier right now than I've ever been in my life. 2013 will be an interesting year. The publishing landscape changes so rapidly, there’s really no way to know what my choices will be at the end of it. I think it’s best to concentrate on getting the promised work done, and dealing with the future as it comes.
What does being on the Goodreads Choice Awards in two categories (YA & Author) mean to you?
I was utterly floored. As a member of Goodreads, I've voted in past two Choice Awards, but never thought I’d be in one. These awards are the only worldwide “people’s choice” awards in literature that I know of, and it’s an honor to have been nominated. When the finalists were announced, I was shocked again, and when Easy finished in second place for Young Adult Fiction—well, I’m just glad I wasn't standing. I’m so grateful to everyone who read and loved the book, and to everyone who voted for Easy (or for me!).
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