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Hey Miss Tammy! I’m so glad you are taking a little time out of your day to hang out with me. Let’s start with a few easy questions.
When you are writing, what are you drinking? I drink coffee, but never black. I love Hazelnut creamer. But in an attempt to be healthier, at times, I will drink water when I write.
I love hazelnut creamer, too. But I’ve had to cut my coffee to once or twice a month.
Do you have any pets? I do have pets, in fact. There are currently two as our two labs and turtle have passed: 1 Shih Tzu (indoors) & 1 black cat (outdoors-she adopted us fifteen years ago and at the time was an indoor/outdoor kitty, but got herself kicked out of the house a few years back and now she seems to be the queen 😊).
I’m sorry your labs and turtle have passed. I’m glad you still have a dog and cat, though!
Beach or mountains? I love the mountains. While I am not a huge fan of the beach, I am always in awe of the ocean when I see it.
Someday I’ll see the ocean in person…
PC or Mac? PC, it’s just what I know.
PC here, too.
What was the last book you read? Desire of the Heart by Anne Perreault
Now, let’s get into some more detail!
What author(s) has/have really influenced you? Edgar Allen Poe (“Annabel Lee,” when I was very young, and was totally blown away with his depth and love and descriptions), Jane Austin (love-simply put, clever and amazing), Nicholas Sparks (I tend to write most like him), Beth Moore, Liz Curtis Higgs (Love the ways they go into the Bible and make it relatable and leave readers wanting to know more)
That is quite the list. I love the credit you give each of them.
When did you start writing? It appears the gift showed up in 2nd-grade. This I found out a few years ago when my 2nd-grade teacher revealed that she had kept a poem I wrote, but I have always loved to write. It allows me to be real and creative.
I love that she kept your poem. That is beautiful.
Why did you start writing? I started writing novels because I was speaking on behalf of the Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega, AL where my life was forever changed. At those speaking engagements, I was getting encouragement to write a book about growing up at the Home. Because I already loved to write for fun, I prayed, and then took it on. I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to pursue more. When I was younger, I enjoyed the Sweet Valley High Romance series. As I got older, I desired to read romance novels that did not have the detail that readers like myself, could read without embarrassment.
Wow. You are definitely supposed to be writing. Keep it up.
What does your family think of your writing? Very supportive
How did you come up with the title for your book? A Teacher’s Prayer (2012) my autobiography, non-fiction Christian Inspirational, was inspired by the power of prayer and my second-grade teacher (whom I spoke of earlier).
Happenstance (2019), a Fiction, was chosen as a factor of the story plot and whether or not romantic relationships are formed from fate or chance encounters.
Share an excerpt from one of your stories (make sure to tell us which one and include a buy link).
University had brought a huge change in my life, at no small cost. Earning a full ride to a more advanced school, I was able to get out of my hometown of limited futures, to work towards my passion for art. College provided me opportunities for growth beyond the academic world. As I understood, it was the ideal time for personal development into the young woman I was meant to become. I myself was not one of the rapidly maturing students that experienced this change. My character traits seemed to ring true, underdeveloped, and unsure. Some would call me fun loving and kind, while others called me naïve and a dreamer. Regardless of how one described my personality, one trait that always stood out a little stronger than the rest was my love for and ability to learn. Because my personality did not indulge in the independence found within the college realm, college in and of itself had proved to not be the most 14 promising year. I discovered that independence and feeling grown up could not be fulfilled in all areas of college life, like that which I felt in the romantic relationship’s department. It was not for lack of trying, mind you, but a lack of worthy contestants. In my mind, the bar was simply set too high by another, a mere memory of last summer. This memory wasn’t just tall, dark, and handsome. This impossible standard was set by one who was kind and respectful, mature and driven. Makes sense, looking back, that I didn’t find another one like him.
What is most important to you for readers to gain from your stories?
Spiritual enrichment on their own journeys in life, while realizing the impacts we have on one another, and just how much God uses us, even when we are not aware.
And I save the best two for last:
What is your dream writing space and do you have it already? A small library office, designed like the one in Beauty and the Beast. I do not have one currently, but I do have a small office I write in. It just does not have built-in bookshelves or a rolling ladder, or high back, super comfy, leather chair. It does have a lot of great Bible resources though and some amazing art on the wall (simple but I love it).
I think it is so important to have a space we love that lets us really get into our creative/writing brain.
Where would you go, for how long, and what would you work on if you received an all-expenses-paid writer’s retreat? I would love to go anywhere new, in the mountains but near waterfalls and an ocean preferably (as in on the beach, so I could sit out on the deck at night and listen to the waves crashing onto the shoreline). I would like to think I wouldn’t need long, so maybe 1-2 weeks at the location (so travel time not included).
Sounds like perfection to me.
A Teacher’s Prayer – When a young girl’s life is turned upside down at the age of four, it sets the stage for a life that only the grace of God could right. At home, school, and even at church, she would suffer some of the most common and often unspoken abuses that still occur in our society today. Yet somehow faith, love, and kindness seem to fight its way into her life, in the form of friends, teachers and other good Samaritans who followed God’s guidance to intercede. Come follow the inspirational true story of hope, courage, and second chances lived out loud and see how the power of prayer from an unlikely source paved the way for a new life.
Happenstance – This book asks the question: how many times will happenstance allow two people to decide their own fate? Is there such a thing as love at first sight? What if circumstances do not allow us to follow our feelings through? Is there a second or third chance? In today’s Christian culture, what are the questions so many of our young people encounter? Also, what are the religious convictions that they have to deal with? Many people have loved and lost. Some never even get started. Some never know a “partnership” kind of love at all. One which is experienced as trustworthy and stable, like only a true friend can provide, both compatible and fulfilling in the most intimate way. This was the type of love Lori wanted to experience. This story shows that when we do know that kind of love, when we get that first encounter, sometimes chance meetings are not enough, and sometimes, how deeply we love can win out amidst the most trying of circumstances. In fact, fate may actually play a bigger part than what we give it credit for.
I am a child of my Heavenly Father. I am very blessed to be married to the love of my life, Patrick Brown (who is an Occupational Therapist) and we will be celebrating 29 years this December. We have two amazing grown, married, children, Anthony and Lauren who have equally amazing spouses, Julia and Alex. I have worked in Human Resources and Accounting for over the last 20 plus years. But currently, my focus is on accounting and writing.
I hold two degrees and am lucky to say they are a Bachelor’s of Business Administration (BBA) with a concentration in Human Resources and Organizational Behavior from the University of North Alabama (UNA) Florence, AL and a Master of Arts (MA) in Biblical Studies from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN.
Currently, I teach Sunday School, as well as am an active participant in LifeGroup at our church. I love talking about scripture and learning from others in the process. There is so much I have yet to learn and I am so grateful for all of the many amazing people I have met along the way.
I have also taught Women’s Bible Studies-multi-denominational, worked with youth for over 28 years, Girl Scout Leader, Speaker at various churches, retreats, schools, state conferences, etc, as well as been fortunate to be interviewed with various newspapers,
radio, and even appeared in a t.v. segment for Fox 6 News out of Birmingham, AL in “What’s right with our schools?”
My heart is with the following:
Blue Monarch (volunteer and support when able): Blue Monarch serves abused and addicted women, along with their children, who are “currently recovering from physical, emotional and/or sexual abuse, alcohol or drug addictions, poverty and mental health issues.”
CASA Works, Inc. of Tullahoma, TN Provides a voice for abused and neglected children in Bedford, Coffee and Franklin Counties. Their vision is, “that every abused and neglected child who enters the court system has a special advocate”
Where can we find you online?
https://www.facebook.com/ATeachersPrayer A Teacher’s Prayer
Happenstance: published through Austin Macauley Publishers, USA (hybrid publisher)
A Teacher’s Prayer
Thank you for spending time with me today! It’s been a pleasure having you on the blog and getting this interview with you. Do you have any final words for our readers?
My motto is…“Each day you get to turn a new page and write the next chapter in your life, so I ask you how do you choose to write your story? Remember John 15:16, “He chose you…”
Also, I would like to pass along some wise words (probably an old saying too) that a friend once shared with me, “Your mess is your message, and your test is your testimony.”
Until next time,