Debut Author Tammy Barley Returns

Tammy Barley visited last December (link) soon after receiving a three-book contract offer for her Western Inspirationals from Whitaker House, and I’m happy to have her back to share more of her journey. Her debut novel, Love’s Rescue, is now available from the major booksellers.

Tammy shares the family lines of James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Emily Dickenson. With that background, she says it’s no wonder she writes Western Romance.

Tammy has lived in 27 cities and towns in 8 states, including the South and the West. At one point, she rode horseback halfway across Arizona with her mom and 22 other adventure enthusiasts. On one freezing morning, she learned to appreciate cowboy coffee, which makes an appearance in her first book.

Tammy learned what pure, joyous laughter is when, during her second pregnancy, she found out she’d never be able to have any more children, but then discovered she was pregnant with twins.

Join me as we learn about more about Tammy and her debut novel.

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Tammy Barley

Tammy Barley

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Tammy’s Journey Begins

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•Please recap for us how you got started writing and what led you to create your debut novel, Love’s Rescue (formerly On the Wings of the Storm).

Hi, Keli. It’s wonderful to be here again. Thank you so much for having me.

In grade school I was the one who actually tingled with excitement when the teacher assigned us a story to write (everyone else groaned). In high school, I was the only one who understood Shakespeare’s writing and humor. I’d laugh so hard tears ran down my cheeks while everyone else in class stared at me blankly.

After high school, one night when I felt I had no direction, I asked God what I was supposed to do with my life. I heard his voice beside me. He said, “You’re supposed to be a writer.” I haven’t experienced anything like that before or since, but he’s opened doors every step along my path, and I’m curious to see where he plans for this path to go. (Since then, I’ve also become fascinated with miracles and the unique ways God touches people’s lives.)

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From First Sale to First Book

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You received an email from your agent, Terry Burns of the Hartline Literary Agency, with news of your first sale just less than a year ago. That event changed your life in many ways, I’m sure.

•What have you been doing to get the word out since you signed the contract?

I’ve added a book trailer to my Web site, which has received very positive reviews. (My 13-yr-old son, a pianist, chose the music—do I sound like a proud mama or what?) I’ve participated in several interviews (very enjoyable) and connected with many wonderful folks at ShoutLife.

I’m advertising everywhere I find large groups of Christian women online. The invitation to my book launch will reach 50,000 people, minimum. Even if only a miniscule percentage comes, it should be a good turnout. With all the general advertising for the book, word should reach half a million Christians in the next six months.

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•A book launch, hmm? Please tell us what your visitors can look forward to.

I’m throwing a huge nineteenth-century themed book launch July 18 that involves the folks of my church and all of northeastern Illinois. If any of you live nearby, I’d love to see you there—for all the information, simply click the Bookshelf page of my Web site; the invitation is 2/3 down.

I’ll be signing my book, of course, while wearing an 1860s Costume (six layers, including underskirts, petticoat, and pantalettes—with the summer heat I think I’ll park my almost 5-foot-in-diameter hoop skirt over an electric fan).

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Tammy Barley for Whitaker HouseThis is me in the costume I wear for book signings and appearances, which Jess, the heroine of Love’s Rescue, wears in book two.

There will be historical and hands-on exhibits featuring the historic West, Civil War, Western Native Americans, and the Shaker people. Guests are encouraged to come in Old West, Civil War or 1860s historical clothing. The person with the best costume wins a door prize!

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•You have a BIG drawing as well. What’s the prize, and how can a person enter?

I’m giving away a one-week vacation for two to a Western guest ranch resort in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado (details on the Bookshelf page of my Web site). Anyone who reads the book and answers the ten questions (yep, on my Bookshelf page) correctly, is entered into the drawing. I will draw the winner on Valentine’s Day 2010. (The book’s a romance, after all. :-)) The winner and a guest get to pack and go to a Colorado guest ranch resort.

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•Wow! You’ve got some great promo underway. Sounds like you’ve been busy and have learned a great deal. What advice would you offer not-yet-published writers about things they can do now to help them prepare for the day they get The Call?

Establish a huge platform, set aside finances for advertising and promotion when the time comes, and plan a book launch party that will draw a lot of attention, including the media’s.

Funny thing—I always dreaded promotion (I was born shy), but it’s true what authors say about promotion—it’s addictive and fun! I love getting my book in front of people and watching to see what God will do with it. An even funnier thing—I’m not nearly as shy when I talk in front of people now. God’s people are truly supportive and enthusiastic, which makes all the difference.

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A Warm Welcome

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Love’s Rescue has begun to receive reviews. I saw some five stars given on the bookseller’s sites. What are some of your favorite comments so far?

Every one of them. I worked on this book for years, and during that time I only wanted to accomplish two things: 1) to enable readers to escape for a while that they may enjoy being immersed another time and place, and 2) to bring hearts a little closer to God.

The reviews show that the book provides enjoyable escape. I love that. As for the other, I will feel complete the day someone walks up to me and says, “This book really touched my heart.”

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Tammy’s Debut Novel . . . and Beyond

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•Please tell us about Love’s Rescue.

Here’s the nifty blurb from Whitaker House:

Loves RescueA Dividing Conflict

In 1863, the War Between the States is dividing more than a nation. To escape the conflict, Jessica Hale and her family flee their Kentucky home and head for Nevada Territory. Her brother, Ambrose, committed to the Confederates, rejoins the Kentucky militia and is disowned by his father. But the worst is yet to come.

A Heroic Kidnapper

When Unionists presume the family to be Confederate sympathizers, they set a devastating fire to their home. All alone and then “kidnapped” by cattleman Jake Bennett, Jessica is taken to a ranch deep in the Sierra Nevada wilderness. Can she overcome her resentment toward Jake for failing to save her family?

The Depths of Love

When Jake launches a plan to help Jessica’s brother escape from prison camp, she sees him for the honest, good-hearted Christian man that he is and now knows the depth of his love for her. Through the lingering smoke and smoldering ashes from her ruined home and murdered family, will Jessica see a future with Jake?

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•What can your readers look forward to next?

In book two, Hope’s Promise, Jake and Jessica Bennett learn there was more to her parents’ deaths than they knew, and both the ranch and Jessica are in danger. Now they must quickly find the murderer . . . and discover for themselves how far they will go for love.

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Five Fun Facts About Tammy

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~ I danced down Hollywood Boulevard with a mime in a tux.

~ In a previous career, I was a travel coordinator for Hollywood celebrities (actors, producers, directors) and helped plan the production accommodations for the movie Flipper starring Paul Hogan and Elijah Wood. (Yep, that was a while ago.)

~ In another previous career, I taught ballroom dance at a Fred Astaire dance studio (one of the best times of my life).

~ I want to travel into space to see just how many stars are out there.

~ I want to be caretaker of God’s strawberry farm in heaven (and chief sampler).

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Tammy’s Question for You

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•I’ve enjoyed having you as my guest, Tammy. Thanks for your great answers to my questions. And now it’s your turn to ask a question of your visitors. What would you like to know?

As I mentioned, I love hearing stories of miracles and unique ways God has touched people. (An angel visited me in a hospital once when I was near death.) Has God done a miracle just for you that you knew came from God? What was it?

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Learn More About Tammy

Visit her Web site: http://www.tammybarley.com

Visit her at ShoutLife: TammyBarley

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Leave a Comment for Two Chances to Win

My Regular Drawing

My next drawing will take place July 10th.

The winner will receive a $10 gift card for Jamba Juice.

To enter the drawing, just leave a comment on any blog post by July 10th and enter your email address when prompted. (I don’t share your information or add it to any mailing lists.) On July 11th, I’ll post the winner’s name in the Welcome post at the top of the blog.

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You could also win a First Sale Scrapbook!

If you’d like to have a chance at winning a First Sale Scrapbook created by me, your blog hostess Keli Gwyn, leave a comment on any post between now and July 31st. Be sure to include your name and email address when prompted if you want to be entered in the drawing. (Your information will not be shared.) Click red link above to see samples of covers and pages.

On August 1st, I will choose one person who will have her/his choice of several covers on an 8×8 inch, twenty-page scrapbook in which s/he can document that long-awaited first sale. The pages will cover various milestones including The Call, signing the contract, receiving the first advance payment and holding your debut novel in your hands.

(No scrapbooking skills required. You just add your photos and journaling.)

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About Keli Gwyn

I'm an award-winning author of inspirational historical romance smitten with the Victorian Era. I'm currently writing for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historical line of wholesome, faith-filled romances. My debut novel, A Bride Opens Shop in El Dorado, California, was released July 1, 2012. I'm represented by Rachelle Gardner of Book & Such Literary. I live in a Gold Rush-era town at the foot of the majestic Sierras. My favorite places to visit are my fictional worlds, other Gold Country towns and historical museums. When I'm not writing I enjoy taking walks, working out at Curves™ and reading.
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7 Responses to Debut Author Tammy Barley Returns

  1. Keli Gwyn says:

    Welcome back, Tammy. I enjoyed learning about you and your writing last December, and this time I found out what a whiz you are at promotion. Your book launch sounds like it’s going to be a blast. And that contest? Wow! What a generous offer.

    I’ve started reading Love’s Choice and am enjoying it. Different things cause me to choose a book: plot, characters, period, setting. In your case, you got me on all four. I like your plot and characters. You picked one my favorite eras. And the setting? With Love’s Choice taking place in the Sierra Foothills where I live, I couldn’t resist. I’ve just begun to book, but I’m eager to read more of Jake and Jessica’s story.

  2. Quilt Lady says:

    Nice to see you here Tammy! Great interview, I really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing with us today.

    A few years ago my husband had a stroke at the age of 45 and thanks to God he made it through and got better. He is able to work now and live a normal life.

  3. Tammy Barley says:

    Happy Monday, Keli and all!

    Thank you so very much, Keli, for inviting me here again. These past months certainly have been a journey!

    I am so delighted you are enjoying Love’s Rescue. The book and the contest you mentioned–they’re all about escape–escape into another time and place, another life, really, so that the one you return to, it is my hope, will be brighter, and you will be ready to once again take on the world. A good escape will do that for a body. =)

    Hi, Quilt Lady! Don’t get me going on quilts–I saw one once that must taken months to design and construct, and I couldn’t purchase it at the time but I’ve never gotten it out of my head. It was a simple white background with an apple tree as its focal point. Each green leaf and each red apple was so perfect that the quilt gave me a sense of peace and joy. I loved it. What a gift you have.

    I’m so sorry your husband suffered a stroke at the age of 45–how young to have that to deal with, and how scary for both of you. I had left a question at the end of the interview about miracles folks have witnessed or experienced. Was his recovery a miracle? How? Thank you for this. When I teach Sunday school, I teach a few weeks about God’s miracles in the Bible and those of folks I’ve met. It’s amazing how much this inspires children’s love for and hope in God.

    Tammy

  4. Tammy Barley says:

    Let’s see if I got my photo to work.

  5. Tammy Barley says:

    Not yet. Well, I never claimed to be a technical genius. I still think I was born in the wrong century.

    =)

  6. Lynn Rush says:

    Wow. Congrats on the 3 book deal. That’s just so great! Your story is a great one to read about. Thanks for the interview.

    As for your question: Has God done a miracle just for you that you knew came from God? What was it?

    Well, I’d have to say BIGTIME. My dad, who wasn’t a Christian while I was growing up. Matter of fact, he and my mom would drop me off at church…long story there, but anyway. After years and years of prayer. He has found Christ. So, I’d say that’s been one of the list toppers on answered prayer.

    Thanks for the post. Great fun!

  7. Tammy Barley says:

    Thank you for your kind comment, Lynn!

    That’s the best miracle of all, and it touches on the theme of Love’s Rescue–Even at the end of our lives, children of God never have to say goodbye.

    I love that. Thank you so much.

    =)

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