After years of dreaming about a book to write and have her stories on paper, she pushed published on December 3, 2014 for the first time!
An average everyday mother, wife and friend, Tiffanie resides in Orlando, Fl. with her family, her husband, two kids, three dogs, a few chickens, quail ,a turtle, snake and rescued racehorse. Always seeking out adventure and listening intently to others stories, her brain is constantly working on the “next” book.
New to the game, “published author, tear jerker, motivator, and inspirer,” are all titles she currently holds. Awards and acknowledgements will come, but for now, she takes pride in the reviews from friends, family and new fans she receives.
What inspires you to write?
Adding to my mother’s story and wanting to make sure I didn’t die with the words buried in my computer were a pure source of inspiration. Knowing that my mom had taken the time to journal her life made me realize that if she can do it, so can I. I had the stories in my head, I had lived most of them so they were easy to think about. Translating them on to paper and making sure they weren’t a terrible mess was the hard part.
After I completed Wisdom And Grace, a few more books popped in my mind. Now, I find myself walking around thinking about where I should fit this and that thought into my book.
It’s certainly been a journey, one that I’ve enjoyed and now I’m hooked.
My kids are ultimately my number one source of inspiration. If I can be an example by completing a goal or living a wonderful life, worthy enough of a best selling book, there’s nothing to complain about!
Tell us about your writing process.
Wisdom And Grace is a fictionalized version of my life so I had the timeline and characters already in my head. I simply wrote then added and edited as needed.
My second book, Mantodeo, is based on a chance meeting of my daughter and young, handsome, world class equestrian. From one photograph, I was able to come up with an entire story. That book takes place over the course of a year. I used the grid or graph like the one JK Rowling used for Harry Potter. I found it very helpful in organizing my ideas.
My most helpful piece if advice….I tried for years to find time here and there to complete Wisdom And Grace but it wasn’t until a friend suggested we meet one day per week and work for as many hours as we could. I’d drop my kids off at school, meet her at the local bakery and coffee shop and we’d sit and write all day until it was time to pick up my kids. That was hard for me. I literally put aside everything and focused 100% on my book during those hours. As a stay at home mom, there was guilt involved. I knew there were other things I “should” be doing but I needed to finish this. Thank GOD I put myself and my writing first. The feeling of finishing was comparable to when I ran a marathon. I cried. I couldn’t believe I had actually completed this! Our writing sessions lasted for almost a year. Find a writing partner to sit with. They keep you grounded in your seat. You’ll have someone to ask questions to and throw across ideas. If this doesn’t work for you, I suggest finding a similar situation but either way, take your time out to write, everyday.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I imagine them talking to each other and I listen and watch, almost as if I have a movie playing in my head. Then, I put myself in the scene and try to take in everything that’s around me. How does the sun feel on your face, the wind in your hair, the sound of the trees, the smell of the flowers, sunshine glistening on a lake, birds tip toeing in the water. You’ve got to place yourself in the setting and build on that.
I’ve never talked to my characters but I’ve caught myself dreaming for them. I’m a bit of a daydreamer and this comes in handy. In Mantodeo, it’s a type of Cinderella story, I have to put myself in the shoes of the character and figure out how she’d feel, excitement, sadness, and determination. You definitely need to have some kind of connection with your characters to find these feelings.
What advice would you give other writers?
Never give up. If writing a book is something you truly want to do, then do it. Get over the fear of what others will think. Get over the fear of it not being good enough.
I struggled with what others would think of me after they read my story. I’ve had people ask, “Who’s Jake?” Wondering what they thought of the scene when Jake and Julia swam in the waters of Salt Springs by moonlight, I had to get over it. I was worried about being judged. To my surprise, my readers love that scene and the questions about it are never judgmental, they are inquisitive.
I was really worried about critiques tearing apart my mothers journal. That’s her life on paper. I was clear to my readers about that and so far, it’s been nothing but joy. The one reason I wanted to get my mothers words in book form, was to give her credit for a damn good job she did as a single, young mother. I knew that if others read her story, she could change their heart. That’s exactly the feedback I’ve received from our readers.
My second piece of advice…as a mentioned about, make time to write and be consistent with it!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
In a perfect world, I would have finished the book and it would have been picked up by a traditional publisher right away. I would have signed a six figure deal, a book tour would be set, my marketing would be done for me and I’d be in negotiations for movie rights.
Part of the fear that I talked about earlier had to do with having an editor rip apart and insist of changing my mother’s journal. I know it’s not perfect in the literature world but it’s the best story ever in my opinion. I didn’t want that portion of the book changed. If you can imagine me stomping my foot down, this is where I’d do it. Absolutely, 100%, I wanted her portion to stay as authentic as possible. Mine part, no problem, I could have handled it.
Somewhere on my writing journey, several years ago, I stumbled upon Create Space by Amazon, the self-publishing website that makes it incredibly easy for authors to actually publish a book. (When I say “easy,” I’m referring to the publishing portion, not the actual writing of the book.) I created an account, uploaded my information and again, after I finally finished writing, I was able to press Publish! Almost immediately, my book was available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and few other great sites worldwide!
Because I choose this route, I am now in charge of marketing, promoting and advertising. I’m the one booking author signings, and figuring out the rules of the game. It’s NOT easy but rumor has it, it’s not easy with a traditional publisher either. I’m building my author platform (my fan base and social media presence) on my own. I’m networking, getting out there and meeting other authors. I’m making phone calls, sending emails, and doing author interviews.
I’d be flattered to one day be picked up by a traditional publishing company. It would be a great next chapter to my story. But for now, I’m really enjoying this learning experience called self publishing.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Even in this day and age, with the presence of digital everything, I’m certain there will always be a place for book publishing..
Some readers prefer digital downloads, others, like me, still enjoy the touch and feel of a book.
I wish that traditional publishers made it easier for new authors to be picked up yet I understand their reservations when it comes to signing too many of us. That being said, maybe I should face my fears and approach one. I’ve never had the pleasure of reading a rejection letter. Simply because I’ve never approached a publisher
What genres do you write?: YA Fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print