Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Featured Author: Tamara Lee Dorris

Tamara Lee Dorris was here in October to talk about Secrets of a Spiritual Guru, and CLP Blog Tours brings her back today to talk about her paranormal drama, Casey’s Quest. Don't miss the Rafflecopter giveaway after the interview for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

About the book:

At her father's death, Casey Anderson discovers she was adopted at age four. Not able to remember anything, she sets out on a quest to discover why her birth mother gave her up and, and why her adopted parent kept it such a secret. She embarks on a dangerous and spiritually enlightening journey that proves to her, nothing is what it seems.

Book Trailer

Interview with Tamara Lee Dorris

How long have you been writing, and how did you start?

Age 11 or so...I fell in love with the idea of being a writer from watching John Boy Walton.

What do you like best about writing?

My favorite part...hmmm...I like SO much about it that it’s hard to narrow down. I would say that sweet spot when I’m re-reading what I’ve written and I get that feeling that it’s really, really good. That’s the moment I know I picked the right career.

What’s your least favorite thing?

EDITING...ICK. I have paid top dollar for editors and yet, there are always errors, so I  now pay two different people and then do one additional read through after that.

How did you come up with the title of your book?

Since it’s going to be a series, I wanted a simple title that could be changed. This one is Casey’s Quest, while the next one will be Casey’s Karma.

Do you have another job outside of writing?

Yes, I have a couple. I teach a few college classes and sell a few houses. That frees me up for lots of writing and yoga.

How would you describe your book in a tweet? (140 characters or less.)

“Suspense, drama, paranormal? Will Casey find out why her mother gave her up for adoption before the military finds her first?”

How did you create the plot for Casey's Quest?

I wanted to make it suspenseful, so I just came up with the main plot and then because I have such a big background in real estate, I made the subplot revolve around that.

Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants, or let your characters tell you what to write?

I never start a novel without a poster board. I use sticky notes and make a big table with at least 30 notes (i.e. chapters), then I make sure something happens big in each chapter. Once I am sure of the plot, I start writing. I do a LOT of writing in my head before I hit the keyboard.

Did you have any say in your cover art?

Yes! This cover is near and dear to my heart. Since I wrote the book for my actress daughter to star in, it was only appropriate to use her on the cover. Then, my talented husband took a lovely photo of Mt. Lassen (where most of the story takes place) and overlaid my daughter over the mountain. Very pretty cover.

Do you have imaginary friends? When do they talk to you? Do they tell you what to write or do you poke them with a Q-tip?

Yes, I think I do. In fact, I’m currently writing a non-fiction memoir about one...that’s all I will say for now.

How do you get to know your characters?

Sleep with them. I mean that nicely. I lay in bed a lot in the mornings and think about who they are and what kinds of things they’ll say. They tend to speak for themselves once the story has gotten going.

Sophie’s choice: Do you have a favorite of your characters?

In this book it is definitely Thomas, the Maidu Indian who lives in Chester. He is too cool.

When you start a new book, do you know what the entire cast will be?

Usually I do. However, sometimes a minor character can assume a bigger role than I thought he would.

Which character did you most enjoy writing?

Andrew, because he has an Australian accent.

I’m constantly on the lookout for new names. How do you name your characters?

Good question. They just come to me. I try not to use names of people I know, but sometimes it just happens.

What would your main character say about you?

That I wear too much mascara.

Are any of your characters inspired by real people?

As I said, in this book, Casey is to be played by my daughter whenever it’s turned into a film so I made her very much like my daughter in some ways. In other ways, it will really stretch her acting skills.

Are you like any of your characters?

Not so much in this book.

I like writing characters who do and say things I never would, as well as characters who do and say things I wish I could. Do you have characters who fit into one of those categories? Who, and in what category do they fall?

Yes, Thomas, the Native American, has the ability to say very few words, and he meditates all the time. Two traits I try to claim but don’t always accomplish.

If you could be one of your characters, which one would you choose?

I would really like to have Casey’s life...she’s just discovered her remote viewing skills and gets to live in the mountains. Plus she likes Andrew, and I’m pretty sure he likes her too!

With which of your characters would you most like to be stuck on a deserted island?

Thomas. He lives off the land so I know we’d survive.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.

When Casey has her first remote viewing experience.

Who are your favorite authors?

Harper Lee, Stephen King, and Neville Goddard.

Which author would you most like to invite to dinner, and what would you fix him?

Mark Twain, frogs’ legs.

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

Reading The Green Ticket on my kindle, reading A Course in Miracles in hardcover.

How do you handle criticism of your work?

Not well. Why? Don’t you like my book?

LOL. No, that was not a hint! Do you have a routine for writing? Do you work better at night, in the afternoon, or in the morning?

I’m a mid-morning girl...house is empty, dogs sleeping, and I can get lost in the silence.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

Kitchen table...mornings are my fave.

Where’s home for you?

Carmichael, California

Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do when it happens?

Not really. I sometimes get tired or bored and unsure where I’m going, but it passes.

Is there anything in particular that you do to help the writing flow? Music? Acting out the scene? Long showers?

I hear the characters speaking in my head all the time. I take long baths or lay in bed in the mornings if I need help with a scene.

What’s one of your favorite quotes?

“To err is human, to forgive, divine.”

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Working or camping or drinking wine. Sometimes I do all three of those at the same time.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

The mountains.

If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I want to visit Italy. I hear they have vending machines with wine in them.

Get out! Really? Wow. What are you working on now?

A humorous self-help memoir and a novel about a young boy who talks to angels.

About the author:

Tamara Lee Dorris has been a life-long fan of personal and spiritual development, and has written several books that fall under the category of "self-help." Casey's Quest explores various aspects of spiritual development, brain science & the paranormal. Tamara is also an adjunct professor, radio host, and long time real estate professional.

Connect with Tamara!
Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

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