Tammy L. Grace is a USA Today bestselling author of women's fictions, family sagas, mysteries, and Christmas stories. She's known for writing perfect escapes, unforgettable characters, and binge-worthy stories. Readers often say her characters feel like old friends and love the dogs she weaves into all her books. She brings readers entertaining stories that take them on an emotional journey, filled with complex relationships of friendship and family in her women's fiction novels. Mystery readers delight in her fast-paced whodunits and fans of Christmas love her small town holiday stories filled with family, friendship, and furry characters.
Tammy also writes under the pen name Casey Wilson and has released two emotional and heartwarming stories about the bond we have with our beloved canine companions.
When Tammy isn't working on ideas for a novel, she's spending time with family and friends or supporting her addiction to books, tea, and chocolate. She and her husband make their home in Nevada and have one grown son and a spoiled golden retriever.
Tammy, thank you for stopping by to join us for tea and conversation.
First, what is your favorite tea and/or other beverage?
I love tea and have a few favorites, but usually drink Earl Grey. I also love Chai and there is a Lemon Butter Cookie tea that is a special treat.
What time of day do you like to write? Do you have any rituals when you’re working on your story?
I generally write early in the morning. I’m a morning person and have the most energy early in the day. I drink a ton of tea while I’m writing and have tried to make a habit of taking a break each hour to walk and stretch. One thing I tend to do is always start by writing the story idea and outline by hand. There is something I love about a pen and paper.
What do you want to share with us about this story or series? What really stands out about it and made you want to write it?
SISTERS OF THE HEART is a new women’s fiction series I released in 2023. I worked hard to get all six books out in one year and these books are centered around five foster sisters who are now grown women and have never met. They’re all called back to Lavender Valley and the farm where they grew up and were fostered by the same foster mom. It’s a story of family and connections, and ultimately hope.
Do you write in more than one genre? What about this genre(s) appeals to you?
In addition to women’s fiction, I write a private detective murder mystery series and also some sweet Christmas romance (think Hallmark, but even better). I enjoy writing women’s fiction, especially with more mature characters, because they are stories we can all relate to—filled with both joys and challenges and the emotional journeys we all face.
What made you decide to become an author? Can you tell us a little about that journey?
I’ve always wanted to write books and growing up I dreamed of being an author, but never had the time to dedicate to it until I retired. I had a two hour commute each day and during the last months of working, I would use that time to plot out my first series, HOMETOWN HARBOR. As soon as I retired, I wrote the first two books and now have over thirty-five books published in just under ten years.
Where do you get ideas for your stories? Do they come to you over time, or do you suddenly think of an idea and realize it would make a great story?
I get ideas from everywhere. I could be watching someone and figuring out their story or read a headline in a newspaper and get an idea, or hear someone talk about something they experienced. I think most authors are nosy and use snippets of life experiences to weave a story. I also get lots of ideas when I travel. I keep a notebook filled with ideas, since I usually come up with a variety and want to make sure and remember them to incorporate into a future book.
Do you self-publish? If so, what is the most enjoyable part of the author/publishing business? What is the least enjoyable?
Before I published my first book, I attended a writer’s conference and learned about the various publishing paths. That’s when I first learned more about indie publishing and chose to take that path. I like the control and flexibility it gives me. I did write two books for a traditional publisher and had a good experience, but overall like being in charge of my own career. I love the freedom of choosing my own covers and titles and love to write. My least favorite part of publishing is the marketing aspect.
What is one thing you wish you’d known when you first started writing?
Wow, so many things, but I wish I had known more about marketing techniques in the beginning of my publishing career. I also wish I would have known about formatting my own books when I started.
Are you working on a new book? Can you share any details?
I am working on a new book! I plan to release another mystery in 2024 and I’m working on a secret project. For those who don’t know, I include dogs in all my books, and this project is a very dog-centric one. I can’t share much, other than it is a connected series I’m working on with some other very talented authors and we’ll be rolling out information about it in late 2024.
Do you have any advice you would like to offer future writers?
I always recommend new writers attend a writing conference before they publish anything or choose a publishing path. Find a conference that isn’t too huge and overwhelming, but provides the opportunity to network with other writers and published authors, has craft workshops and marketing workshops, and allows pitching to agents. Then, you’ll be more informed and can choose the path that works for you.
We'll be back soon with another wonderful author to share tea and conversation. Thank you for joining us!