Death has been a part of my life since I can remember but I didn’t realize it until two people I loved died within weeks of each other from completely different causes. To that point in my life, I’d lost countless relatives, a boyfriend, my mom, grandmother, grandfather, and father-in-law. Yet, the two losses I experienced in 2017 forced me to examine why I had been surrounded by death. Ultimately, the book is a series of love letters to people who have come in and out of my life, sharing the lessons I’ve learned and how death, love and soulmates are all connected.
How did you come up with the title?
Originally, the book was going to be called Love, Me since that’s how I sign most of my letters but after sharing the original cover on my Facebook page, a friend suggested I drop the Me and simply call it Love. I initially shrugged off the suggestion until I played around with it and decided that I loved the title so I went with it.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Death isn’t an easy topic to discuss and it’s definitely not an easy experience to go through. The book touches on the spiritual connection before and after death, and how you grief is experienced through the loss of love even if the relationship doesn’t end because of death. Basically, the book is about healing.
How much of the book is realistic?
All of it.
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Everything in the book is non-fiction, the people I write about have lived, and the letters are written by people who knew me at certain points in my life.
Where can readers find you on social media and do you have a blog?
Do you have plans or ideas for your next book? Is it a sequel or a stand alone?
My next book is connected to the teachings of Mother Teresa of all people. Anyone who knows me will find this completely baffling considering I am nothing like her but there’s a story connected to why I’m writing it *shrugs* I think it will be pretty good. Totally a stand alone book.
Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?
I’ve focused on non-fiction because I believe sharing your experiences can help others who might feel alone and if I can help one person get through whatever it is they’re going through, I know I’ve succeeded in my life purpose.
Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?
I channel write so basically when I’m writing, I sit down and let the words flow.
What is your best marketing tip?
Don’t pay for advertising. Building an authentic brand is more important than hitting a million followers with white noise social media ads.
Do you find social media a great tool or a hindrance?
I love social media however I filter through the negativity including anything political or the drama of the day. There’s enough toxic bullshit in the world, I don’t need it permeating my online life.
Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?
My teenage son, Oscar, is the one person who reads everything I write and is proud of everything I’ve accomplished. We share a special bond and I love knowing that I can bounce ideas off of him or count on him to be the first person cheering me onto the finish line.
Where is your favorite writing space?
The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. I can sit in the Emerald Lounge all day and write.
If you could meet one favorite author, who would it be and why?
S.E. Hinton. She wrote the most iconic YA book of all time and I devoured The Outsiders when I was in Grade 7. I tweeted with her once while I was watching the movie. It was a surreal experience.
Tamara Plant is the author of Forgiveness and Other Stupid Things and Love (because death doesn’t fuck around). Her story has been shared in the #1 International best selling book, Modern Heroine Soul Stories, and a wide variety of online summits, blog posts and video conferences. October 27, 2014 was proclaimed Tamara Plant Day by the City of Edmonton for her work celebrating 212 men and women across Alberta who made a difference through her annual event, the FIERCE awards. She offers workshops on how to understand grief, forgiveness, and soul connections, and can often be found on social media sharing posts about Eminem, angel messages, and wine. Oh, and once she tweeted with S.E. Hinton while watching The Outsiders. It was as amazing as it sounds.
This week’s discussion is a writer fantasy: If you were given the opportunity to form a book club with your favorite authors of all time, which legends or contemporary writers would you want to become a part of the club?
For my fantasy book club, I would choose Stephen King, Kate Morton, James Long, Felix de Palma, and J.K. Rowling. It is an eclectic group for sure but that’s how I read!
Let’s see who chooses who! Post your selection in the comments.
Last week’s question. Is today’s generation more aware of the literary art or less?How do you think concepts such as Kindle, and e-books have changed the present or future of reading? Feel free to comment on last weeks question on that post.
I am a “real book” (paper) only reader. As I don’t have an e-reader, I can’t judge the experience; I’m just not interested right now in giving up paper books. There’s something quite personal about lying in bed with a “real” book, not an electronic device. I guess I’m showing my age. Ecco la vita!
Today the question is: Is today’s generation more aware of the literary art or less?How do you think concepts such as Kindle, and e-books have changed the present or future of reading?
Books versus ebooks
Last week’s discussion: What is your view on co-authoring books; have you done any?
The meetings about how to set up the book and what to include in it were really interesting as three of us discussed our ideas. As we did this the original idea was reworked into what seemed a cohesive plan. We each took on several aspects and then edited each others work until the book became cohesive and workable. All three of us were open to the others ideas and no one forced their ideas as better than any others. Choosing the people with whom to collaborate would be the most important aspect of starting to do a book together as it takes listening, rethinking, planning to do it well. and scheduling things into our busy lives made it a challenge. We’ve had only good feedback about the book.
Writing usually energizes me. There’s nothing better than getting some ideas that have been running around in my head down on paper.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
My kryptonite would have to be grammar and sometimes, punctuation. I get confused by all the rules. I’d rather just write.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
No. I always pictured my name on the books I wrote.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Eva Blaskovic, Mandy-Eve Barnett, Konn Lavery. These guys have been huge inspirations and very supportive. Plus, they write awesome content.
Do you want each book to stand alone, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
For the most part, I’m writing stand alones. I might have a signature that shows up in all my writing but all my works are going to be different genres and different characters
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
So far, just getting my book published. Spending money on that is creating a dream that I’ve had since I was a young girl.
What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
I don’t remember anything specific but jokes and puns were one way I learned about the power of language.
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
That’s a hard one to answer but probably Shade’s Children.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
An anchor. It symbolizes my interest in pirates as well as helps me stay grounded. I’ve always been very attracted to anchors, whether in print, jewelry or real life.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
Two on paper and one in my head.
What does literary success look like to you?
Walking past a bookshop and seeing your book there, and having people talk about it, either in person or on social media.
What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
Most of my writing has to do in the sci-fi and/or fantasy genre. I researched a lot of myths, history, and science fiction that other authors or TV producers have put out. I don’t know the hours that I put in before writing. Usually, I get an idea, start writing and then research as I go along.
How many hours a day/week do you write?
Depends on where in the book I am. Could be anywhere from 4-20/week
How do you select the names of your characters?
I generally want the names of my characters to reflect something of their personality so I’ll research some names and then pick the ones I like best. If I can’t find anything, I’ll just look up some names until something feels right. If that fails, I’ll find a random name generator and pick some from that.
What was your hardest scene to write?
There’s a scene where one of my characters (who’s been having nightmares that no one else can understand) has a fight with her boyfriend about them. It was the point where she’s starting to lose her cool, from being scared all the time, confused and hurt as well as exhausted. It was hard to write her in a way that wasn’t to be confused with her throwing a fit. I had to choose my wording and emotional descriptions carefully.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre? If you write more than one, how do you balance them?
I grew up watching and reading a lot of science fiction and fantasy. That genre really excites me and just seems to be a part of who I am. It makes sense for me when I’m writing in that genre.
How long have you been writing?
Actually writing, probably since I was 6 but my mom told me I used to make up stories right from the time I was 3 or 4.
What inspires you?
I pretty much get inspiration from everywhere. Music, dreams, reading other books or watching something on T.V., nature walks. I have a pretty vivid imagination and will usually get a scene playing out in my mind daily.
How do you find or make time to write?
It’s hard with kids and a business, but it’s something I can’t not do, so that means, sometimes staying up into the wee hours of the morning, or escaping to a coffee shop on a weekend.
What projects are you working on at the present?
I have a spin-off to the book I’m launching this year, and am currently splitting my time between a detective story set in a parallel 1920’s with some science fiction and steampunk elements. And, a science fiction book set in the future that has some inspiration from evolution and biology (that one will need lots of research).
What do your plans for future projects include?
Hopefully publishing them and getting more well known in the author world.
I am a Wellness Coach but my book will be available through my site after September 29, 2018.
Leslie Hodgins has been writing for years. Her areas of interest are science fiction and fantasy. She is a wife, a mom of two busy boys, a nature lover and a coffee addict. Music is a major inspiration, and when she’s writing, it’s always on.
When she’s not writing, she’s helping people through wellness coaching and helping them manage stress.
Leslie currently lives in Edmonton, AB with her husband, sons and her dog, Oscar.