Welcome back everyone! It’s Thursday and we’re going old school style with an author interview. Grab your drink of choice and some Oreos and settle in, as we follow Romantic Suspense wordsmith, Tierney James, into a maze of loyalty versus love and grill her under the searing light of Jami’s inquisition…
As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten. Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?
From a very early age I wanted to be a part of the space program at NASA. I was the only little girl sitting in the back of the room with the boys listening to John Glen orbit the earth. Later I was lucky enough to get his autograph as well as several other astronauts of that first seven. I even applied to the astronaut teacher program without success. I attended Space Camp for Educators and later became a Solar System Ambassador for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. Sometimes I still turn on the NASA channel just to hear the voices at Mission Control talk to the guys on the International Space Station while I’m doing other things. I find it comforting.
If your character(s) came with a warning label, what would it say?
“Dangerous when activated.” Even some of my female characters are lethal. Maybe their warning could be something like “Every day is the time of the month.”
Personally, I tend to be a bit on the introverted side so the thought of being in the actual presence of one of my favorite writers makes my heart race, my knees shake and tangles my tongue (yes classic fan girl behavior). Who could reduce you to such a level and how do you imagine your initial meeting?
I once met Steve Berry, thriller writer, at a writing conference. He was very friendly and approachable. Every time he walked by me and said “hello” I was afraid I’d slip in my drool. I think if I got to meet Brad Thor or James Rollins the reaction would be similar although I have practiced in front of the mirror of what I’d say. Both authors responded to a Facebook post once and I sat in a daze for an hour. I hope I would be dignified and charming at our first meeting. I could always collapse later into a blithering idiot.
–It’s so nice to know I’m not the only one who turns into a staring goober when faced with fantasticness…
What’s some of the funniest/sweetest/strangest things you’ve heard from your readers?
When Winds of Deception was released in June I had an online release party. Some of my guests had very clear ideas of what they wanted my characters to do in book 3 of the series. A few of them even argued about the best way to deal with an element of sexual tension brewing between several of the characters. For a while I wasn’t even part of the conversation. It was hilarious. I realized then that the characters I’d created were as real to them as they were to me.
–And that’s one of the best moments a writer can have, knowing our characters are just as real to our readers as they are to us!
What’s the one genre you won’t ever try and why?
I probably will never write Erotica. I’m not saying I haven’t read it. I know authors who are wonderful at creating this. The reason I won’t write it is because so much of what I’ve read or started to read is what I call abuse. I don’t understand the concept and don’t want to. My life is storybook not anything like what their characters demand.
What is some of the best advice you were ever given?
Join a writing group. Once I did that many people jumped on board to encourage and support me in my endeavors. They gave me the confidence to experiment, fail, succeed and shine. These are the groups or organizations in which I belong: Ozark Romance Authors, Sleuth’s Ink, Sisters In Crime, Thriller Writers of America.
–I’m with you on this. After spending seven years with a great critique group, I found I needed move into new group and joined Desert Rose RWA. There’s something about having that connection to others facing the same questions we face every day.
Share if you dare, one of your favorite research experiences. Did you join a ghost hunters group? Did you step outside your comfort zone and into the wild world of your characters?
One of my novels involved a Biblical Archeologist which I thought would play a major role in the story. He did not. However, I was already taking Hebrew lessons to get me in touch with my inner Indiana Jones. I also got my Conceal and Carry license so I would be familiar with guns. That was fun! Of course the instructor thought it ridiculous that I wore hot pink ear protectors and eye protection. My husband was embarrassed.
–*laughs* At least your gun wasn’t pink. I did threatened my Knight in Muddy Armor to go with purple for my chosen firearm. We’re still in discussions.
Now that the tough part is done, on to our bullet round. Three…two…go…
Blades, guns, fists or feet?
I will have to say guns and feet. Feet because I used to take karate.
Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?
My favorite fairy tale would be Cinderella. A tough chic makes it on top!
Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?
Code of Conduct – Brad Thor
The English Spy – Daniel Silva
Rise of ISIS – Jay Sekulow
Greatest one liner of all time?
“I’ll be back!” – The Terminator
Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?
There was a family in my parents’ hometown in Tennessee who piled everything in their yard and on their porch. So when things got messy around our house or in my room, my mother would say, “Looks like Jett’s back porch.”
Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?
Probably the strangest item would be a child’s rocking chair I keep filled with books to read.
Favorite supernatural creature?
A fire breathing dragon, of course!
Huge hugs and thank you to Tierney for coming over and visiting. You don’t want to miss out on her latest release: WINDS OF DECEPTION, so check it out…
Tessa Scott believes her encounter with Ex-Delta Force Captain Chase Hunter, a year earlier, can finally remain in the past. After she arrives in Washington DC, Enigma enlists her help when they uncover a plot to assassinate both President Austin and the Prime Minister of Israel. To complicate an already volatile situation a hurricane moves toward the nation’s capital creating the perfect opportunity to stage an attack.
Lines of loyalty begin to blur as Tessa confronts life and death events that could change the course of the United States. Complications arise when Tessa is faced with the knowledge her uncle plans to take revenge for Israel’s 1967 attack on the USS Liberty and its lost crew members. No one knows that a powerful member of the government is behind the conspiracy, and Tessa and Captain Hunter join forces to halt the violence against the most powerful men in the world. She must ultimately choose between her love of country or exposing the truth against Israel.
The growing attraction between Tessa and Captain Hunter creates an emotional storm, adding even more dangerous consequences to The Winds of Deception.
Tierney has been in education for over thirty years. She recently stopped teaching World Geography for a nearby college to pursue her writing career. Creating a workshop for beginning writers, speaking at schools and serving as an officer in the writing group Sleuths’ Ink, are some of the work she does when not writing. With the creation of Winds of Deception, Tierney is now working with one of the crew members of USS Liberty in hopes of obtaining the Medal of Honor for him.
Besides serving as a Solar System Ambassador for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and attending Space Camp for Educators, Tierney has traveled across the world. From the Great Wall of China to floating the Okavango Delta of Botswana, Africa, she ties her unique experiences into other writing projects such as the action thriller novel, An Unlikely Hero, the first in the Enigma Series. Winds of Deception is the second in that series. Living on a Native American reservation and in a mining town for many years fuels the kind of characters she never tires of creating.
Besides teaching and writing, Tierney enjoys family, gardening, reading and music. Other pursuits involve learning Hebrew in hopes of incorporating the knowledge in a future Engima Series. She likes to research and sometimes that has involved learning new skills, such as being certified with various weapons.
She has settled in the beautiful Ozarks, but there’s never a dull moment in Tierney’s life. And that is just the way she likes it.