Sunday, June 22, 2014

Big Easy Doesn't Mean Easy




VJ Schultz invited me to participate in a continuing blog tour. Thanks, VJ! Her latest book is a collection of romance short stories, UNDERCOVER LOVE & OTHER TALES. A member of Sisters in Crime, VJ is also a founding member of Sleuths' Ink, a mystery and suspense writing group. Find her http://verasversion.blogspot.com for more interesting tidbits.
A Little Bit Different Interview!
     When Tierney’s daughter headed out the door for college she made her mother promise that she’d finally put her exaggerated stories to pen. With a tear and a wave goodbye, Tierney decided to do just that. Granted it took a few years to convince herself she was up for the job.  All the while she filled notebooks with story lines, plots, descriptions and “what ifs” to get her on the writer’s path.

What gave you the courage to finally jump in and do this novel?

I met another writer several years ago that had already published a couple of books.  She suggested we get together each month and share our work.  Needless to say I was terrified.  The only people who had ever read my work were teachers grading the assignment I gave them.  They weren’t always encouraging in high school and college. Just because you have an over active imagination doesn’t mean you have talent.  Susie said the magic words, “My goodness you’re a writer!” That’s really all I needed in order to take the next step.  I started reading articles on how to be a better writer, going to conferences and attending writing groups that nurtured me along.

Was there something that inspired you to choose these characters or setting in An Unlikely Hero?

I lived in Northern California for a while. I was constantly being mistaken for a woman named Melanie. Even when I applied for a driver’s license I got questioned about who I really was and where I’d been living.  So I became Melanie in my head and created a life for her that took on a whole new dimension.  In the book when her name comes up you’ll know she comes from a real life experience.  As my main character gets snared into a secret world she takes on the name of Melanie.  

Can you tell me how you write? Is there something that gets the imagination in overdrive or inspires you to buckle down at your computer?

I play music from movie soundtracks.  I find other music that is packed with emotion and intrigue then make sure it is playing constantly when I write.  In my head the words become a movie.  I even had a contest judge once tell me after reading An Unlikely Hero that it read like a movie of the week.  The first time my editor went through it she said something similar. Even when I read I envision  a movie, so that is the way I write.    

I understand you were once a Solar System Ambassador for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. Have you always been interested in space science?

The teacher who got me interested in writing also turned me on to the space programs at NASA.  She’d bring in a radio (no television or Smart Boards in the classroom back then) so we could listen to news reports about a space launch.  I was the only little girl that went to that learning center.  When Sally Ride went into space I could hardly contain myself.  As a teacher I promised myself when Christa McAuliffe died on the Challenger I’d not let her dream die.  When the Columbia went down I was preparing to go to Space Camp for Educators.  The experience made me feel so honored to have the opportunity to bring new insight and leaning to my classroom.  Applications opened up for a Solar System Ambassador. My administrators supported me in my endeavors and I was able to serve for nearly three years. And yes, I also applied to become a teacher astronaut.
One of my characters in An Unlikely Hero is a former astronaut. I just had to get NASA in there somewhere.

What advice would you give to writers who feel they have a story to tell but not sure how to get started? 

Get involved in writing and critique groups. Their advice and encouragement is the best thing you can do for yourself.  Go to writing conferences and meet other writers.  I’ve found them to be terrific new friends.  The most important thing is to write something every day.
Follow me at
http://www.facebook.com/TierneyJamesAction 
Author of: An Unlikely Hero
                    Zombie Meatloaf
                    There’s a Superhero in the Library
Now meet some terrific authors at Black Opal Books. Be sure to follow them on their blog June 30th.
Christine Wall  http://christinewall.blogspot.ca/   or    Twitter @chrstnwll.
Growing up, watching Saturday matinees filled with science fiction, adventure and fantasy led Christine to invent sweeping universes full romance, mystery and the paranormal.  Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Christine is an author, screenwriter and actress in her current hometown of Toronto, Canada. Her love of storytelling has led her to Hollywood with her success in screenplay contests and a decent ranking in the Nicholl Fellowships(Oscars) 2011.

Tim Desmond was raised in Madera, California. He attended, on scholarship, California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA. Later, after graduating from California State University Fresno with a BA degree in Zoology, he earned his Teaching Credential. While writing since the college years, he taught biology, chemistry and physics for thirty-six years before retiring. He has written two novels, one in 2005 is a World War II flashback For Thou Art With Me and in 2010 the conspiracy thriller ebook version The Doc.

17 comments:

  1. Sharing our work is terrifying the first few times! So glad you stuck with it.

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    1. Thanks! It really does get easier but is still frightening at times.

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  2. What experiences you've had. Just fantastic. You must have dozens of plot and character options swimming around in your head!! Interesting about your 'doppleganger.' LOL. That must have set you aback. Barb Bettis

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  3. It is so wonderful that you pursued your dreams. Life has many amazing turns and your background is so rich to mine for your stories. How exciting to be a part of NASA! Delightful!

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    1. Some little girls want to grow up & be super models or movie stars. I wanted to be an astronaut.

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  4. You are a fascinating woman to read about. I'm glad you're daughter made you promise to put your stories to paper.

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. I'm glad she believed in me.

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  5. Wow Tierney! I think I know the Melanie you're talking about! Her last name begins with a G. Very cool! Great to have an alter ego! Great blog

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    1. Thanks for stopping by and yes it's great to have an alter ego.

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  6. I love finding out new things about my writing friends. NASA? Really? WOW! T, you never cease to amaze me. Such a lovely, talented lady. Blessings ~Angela

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    1. You are so sweet. Nice to have a cheerleader.

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  7. Hi Tierney. Consider me a fan. I loved An Unlikely Hero. Can't wait for the next installment. I've made the best friends ever from writing groups.

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  8. Nice to meet you, Tierney. Good Luck and much success to you. I've seen every single movie that you mentioned on the side of your blog. We must have similar tastes in movies, now I'm off to check out your book.

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    1. I do love an action packed movie, probably more than my husband. I used to come home from my job after working with troubled teens & watch Lethal Weapon to relax.

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  9. I tried to comment twice yesterday and it didn't go through. I'm totally amazed by your NASA experience and your world travels. You will have a wealth of info for novels forever! I enjoy our friendship.

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    1. Thanks so much. Finishing up a novel now that takes place in Afghanistan.

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