Welcome to Untamed Publishing's Author Interviews! As a company that caters to the self-published author, we want to highlight and support indie authors. There is a vast array of talent amongst us, and here's the opportunity to connect the readers to their next favorite author! This year we have an all new round of writers from all genres so let's saddle in and get ready for an Untamable 2018!
This interview features, Author Tamara Wellons-Blanks. Let's dive into the poetic consolations of Tamara's words!
Hi Tamara! Welcome to the UP HOT SEAT! And congratulations on being the first author interview for our 2018 season! Before we begin, please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Tamara Wellons-Blanks “Dandii_Lion.” I am the mother of three beautiful daughters, twins (college freshman) and a high school sophomore. I am a graduate of Crisp County High School in Cordele, GA, where I presently reside. I am also an Electrocardiograph Technician. I have been a writer since I was 10 years old. I am also an experienced crafter. I have been crafting for 31 years and counting!
Crafter. Electrocardiograph Tech. Mom. Why did you make the decision to become a published author?
I made the decision to become a published author because writing is and has been my passion since I was in elementary school, fifth grade to be exact. The impact that is and can be made upon readers, of all ages, becomes more detrimental as time passes. Above everything else, for me, creative writing is a gift, a blessing; I am a firm believer in, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.” He did not bless me with such an amazing gift to waste it. Therefore, I must write. Words are powerful in multiple ways. If we think about how many books are utilized to assist students, teachers, clients, patients, readers and the list goes on; the need for passionate writers/authors is obvious.
Absolutely! You must use those God given talents! So as far as your writing talents, what genres do you write or wish to write?
Presently, I have a children’s book (Biblical ABC Learning) and two poetry compilations (Poetic Compilations of the Heart, Mind and Soul; Poetic Consolations) published. My primary genre is poetry. Although, I will be writing and publishing books in other genres, including more children’s books. I do not want to limit myself. One of the projects I am working on is an urban fiction series entitled, Single Mother Diaries (S.M.D.). The diaries will be novellas, as opposed to novels. My estimated release for the first diary is within the next 12-18 months, give or take.
You dived right into it, so let's jump in and discuss your work! Tell us about your current book project.
My latest release is, Poetic Consolations. I released Poetic Consolations June 13, 2017. This was a “spur of the moment” release. Promotions, marketing, etc. did not start until the actual publication. I learned with this specific publication sometimes you have to go with your heart and your gut. There was so much mourning week after week, I felt so strongly this release could not wait. People needed comfort, words to help heal and give strength. Do I regret this unplanned release? No, never. My heart is overjoyed knowing that Poetic Consolations has given some form of reassurance and/or consolation to those seeking. This poetry compilation is written to help through times of bereavement. Poetry, in my opinion, is a powerful form of writing. Readers will be able to find a prayer, uplifting, comfort and through the grace of God, even a little strength.
The arts are a part of our soul so as artists we have to move when the spirit moves us. Let's talk about what upcoming writings are in the works and when will it be released?
My upcoming project is entitled, “Lustful Pleasures.” Lustful Pleasures is my first erotic poetry compilation. This compilation is unfiltered, erotic and for adults only. At this present time, I do not have a specific release date.
Owww! Alright now Lustful Pleasures, get into that one! I see that you write in different genres, is that one of your aspirations for your writing career?
Yes, I want to write and publish books in multiple genres. I do not place limits on my creativity, nor the possibilities. Also, one of my aspirations for more writing career is to develop a program to get more kids involved in reading, and perhaps even writing for those that are interested. Children’s books are presently one of my genres of writing. Developing a specific form of literary program is a win-win. I would be able to help kids become more interested in reading, in turn, I would also find out more about kid’s interests in books. In order to keep children interested in reading, you have to know what kids are interested in.
Since your writing is...well UNTAMABLE, lol, tell us a unique writing habit that you have.
One of my habits is taking notes and finalizing character names...after writing. As I stated previously, poetry is my primary genre of writing. But, poetry is not the only genre. I am an “off the top” type of writer when it comes to short stories or novellas. Once I have a few chapters written and my thoughts are at a pause, I jot down notes, the actual character names, figure out what needs to remain in the story and what should be taken out. This is not my phase of edit nitpicking, this is simply how I write.
Speaking of how you write, let's also talk about when you write. When it comes to writing, are you a morning person or a night owl?
I am definitely a night owl. During the day is chaos, during the night is peaceful and I am able to focus, brainstorm and accomplish more. Late nights and early mornings can be a little bumpy. Lol. Nevertheless, the only option is to be thankful, get up, flip negatives into positives and make the day productive. Organization and prioritization are key elements to ensure days and nights are productive.
What makes your writing stand apart from other authors?
Every author has unique characteristics that make them stand apart from other authors. The characteristic that makes my writing stand apart from other authors is multiple genre publications. Yes, poetry is my primary genre, which I stated in a previous answer. However, my craft of writing goes beyond poetry. I am going to give readers and future readers everything I have offer. It may be a risk to publish in multiple genres, since I have only been publishing less than two years. However, I am willing to take that risk. I am not just a poet, I am a writer with a very vivid imagination that I am going to share with the world.
If you were to write a book about yourself what would you name it? Why?
I have never thought about this particular question. A book about myself would have to be entitled, “From Tammy to Tamara to Dandii_Lion.” This title would describe me and my life, past, present and the future. “Tammy” would be completely about the past, perhaps my school years. “Tamara” would be partially the past, morphing into the present. Finally, “Dandii_Lion,” from the present to the roaring future I see and continue to build.
Would you like to collaborate with other authors on a book project?
I would love the opportunity to collaborate with other authors! I feel collaborations give authors the opportunity to learn and expand their craft of writing. They also obtain the experience of working along with another author. Collaborations are not just the thoughts of one author, but two. However, they must be able to sync and work together as one. Even though I have not had the opportunity to collaborate with an author, I know that I will be able to conquer the tasks and together, we would produce an astounding book project.
Let's get to know some fun facts about you, Tamara! Your likes and maybe some first time tidbits about you. First, let's start with your fave in the indies. Please tell us your top 5 favorite books by indie authors. Why are they your faves?
When I decided to become a published author, it was then that I began learning about the infinitive number of indie authors. Each of the books listed I have read a minimum of five times since purchasing. (1) Getting Back 2 Me Cafe’ by Kisha Townsend - The author speaks of personal life experiences, while simultaneously giving tips/advice on dealing with certain aspects in life. (2) Dear Royals, Panhandlers and Hopeful Souls 42 Unpublished Letters by D.D. Wright - The writer triggers the depth of my mentality. The letters are heartfelt, unbiased and to an extent, the actual realities “we” live in. (3) Obedience Is Better Than Sacrifice by Schenida Waters - The author speaks on a spiritual/religious platform in reference to good reapings by submitting yourself to God and His Will. (4) Patricia’s Guardian Angel by Patrice Rivers - Children’s books, in my opinion, can be enlightening. The author takes you on a journey with a child diagnosed with sickle cell. I admire how the author utilizes a guardian angel as the child endures the ups and downs of her diagnosis. The book is informative, as well as enjoyable. (5) Until Tomorrow Comes by LaDonna Marie - There is encouragement, motivation and power within the poetic words. I will also add, enlightening and reassuring.
I couldn't agree more with those choices! I'm very familiar with a few of those authors, having been past guests and/or clients and of course dynamic supporters. Outside of writing, what are your favorite past times?
Well, God is always first, so I try to attend my church as much as possible. It is important to give God His time. One of my Dandii quotes of truth is, “We are because He Is.” One obvious answer is reading. I absolutely love reading. I was a reader, way before I was a writer. I am a music lover. Listening to a variety of music from classical to jazz to smooth R&B to country and more. This may be a little nerdy, but I like to google words lol. Learning new words, definitions, synonyms...I am just a “word nerd!” Spending time with my daughters and family is very important to me, although I don’t consider family time as a past time. Time with loved ones is more of a necessity to me versus being a past time. I know that this is weird, but I like photographing mushrooms. Finding random patches of mushrooms growing in the yard takes me back to my childhood. I always think of “The Smurfs,” a cartoon I grew up watching every Saturday morning. I also enjoy cooking, traveling when possible and a little “me time” in order to keep my sanity. Lol.
It's beautiful when the most simplistic of creations brings us a bit of nostalgia so weird is good! Now, please tell us one thing about you that is a little known fact.
This fact does not have anything to do with writing. I probably should keep this to myself, but here it goes. I am afraid of frogs. This is just an understatement of what I really want to say, keeping it professional. Lol. A prime example, I’m outside one night, minding my own business, enjoying the beautiful night. I felt something on my foot, looked down and went psychotic. I ran in the house and jumped in a shower of hot water. Why? Because a frog was touching my foot. I thought I was going to lose my mind, my heart was beating at least 500 times per minute. Did my daughter’s laugh? Yes, very hard. Did I care? No, not one bit and I will do it again. I would rather have surgery. Frogs freak me out in a major way. Don’t laugh, I know I’m not the only one. LOL.
Those are the best facts! No lily pads and pet frogs for you! Too funny. Now, we are going to get a little advice from you. I know that you are new to the publishing industry, but it's always encouraging to other writers to get a different perspective from those who've taken the plunge. What is one myth about being a published author that you learned and would like to share?
One myth that I have heard is self-publishing is the easy way out. I must disagree with this alleged myth. Self-publishing is not the easy way out. There is more to publishing than writing a book and printing the finished product. I received my crash course with my first publication. A few publishing companies made offers in the beginning, but the fine print was unacceptable. I made the decision to self-publish, enabling myself to have 100% control, as well as huge responsibilities. Just as an individual works diligently on a 9-5 to receive raises, bonuses and promotions; an author must work diligently to accomplish publishing a successful book. Becoming a published author is not easy, however nothing worth having ever is.
Lastly, what is one lesson you’ve learned since becoming a published author?
Becoming a published author is a little different from your regular 9-5 and management is there to train and oversee the employees. Speaking as a self-publishing author, get an early start networking with professionals of tenure and reliable knowledge. I conquered my first obstacle with Biblical ABC Learning with the advice and referrals from another professional. For two months, I hit dead ends in search of trustworthy and reliable artists. Finally, I made contact with someone for assistance and Biblical ABC Learning was given life! Beginning a professional relationship, or student-teacher relationship may be a better description, with someone knowledgeable and willing to help, was the best decision I ever made. I had to step out of my introvert ways and step into the world of creativity. Long story short, network, get to know other authors, artists, graphic designers, etc. The necessity of being surrounded by those in the same or similar mind set is very true. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Tamara, it was a pleasure to interview you. Thank you for allowing UP to be of service to you as a new author and we look forward to your future works! Please connect with the author and check out her book, "Poetic Consolations".
Social Media and Website Connections
Facebook: Author Dandii_Lion
Google+: T.W. Blanks (Author Dandii_Lion)
(online Dandii shop to purchase my publications, handmade crafts, signature candle and more)
Poetic Consolations Synopsis
Poetic Consolations is written to help bring comfort during times of mourning. Through poetic words, readers will find strength and reassurance that God remains in control, even through times of sorrow.
Poetic Consolations Snippet
I Will Always Remember You
I will always remember you,
Every moment and every day,
I will always remember you,
Your words of wisdom in every way,
I will always remember you,
I feel connected to your soul,
I will always remember you,
Your memories keep me whole...
www.createspace.com/6193677 Biblical ABC Learning purchase link
www.createspace.com/6731647 Poetic Compilations of the Heart, Mind and Soul purchase link
www.createspace.com/7248808 Poetic Consolations purchase link