Thursday, August 30, 2012
Author Spotlight: Tamela Buhrke
I escaped by childhood in the drab, frigid winters of Chicago by delving into the fiery worlds ofscience fiction and fantasy. Soon hobbits, fairies and elves became more real to me than snow and rain. As I got older, I stumbled upon Anita Blake and the urban fantasy genre. Having all my favorite fantasy creatures living in our world and being regulated by our laws tickled my imagination bone.
Before long, I was sucking down paranormal fiction like an alcoholic at a free wine tasting festival.
Soon I would absorb so much paranormal juiciness, that it would start oozing out my fingertips. They twitched to write my own urban fantasy. In the 1990s, I could be seen at local coffee houses in Tempe, Arizona, devouring books, mumbling over their plots and jotting down story notes. It's taken many (a lady never tells how many) years of shaky typing, but finally those words formed my first novel, Angel Unraveled and then the second novel, Angel Unprepared.
Currently, I watch the waves wash over the Mexican Baja coast while writing nove three and dreaming of mermaid novels yet to come.
Why did you decide to become an author?
I can't remeber a time when I didn't want to be an author. I wrote stories even as a young kid. Bad stories. But they were great to me.
Unfortunately, I grew up. And all those voices that tell us to be pragmatic and find a real career won out. Until one day, I realized I wasn't happy. Writing makes me happy. So I returned to telling stories and I haven't looked back.
What authors do you look to for inspiration?
The list would be so long. Hmm...
Jim Butcher for the way he mixes action and humor. He's also fantastically geeky and mixes geek culture references that I adore. Anne Bishop for the way she can twist darkness into light and fill you with hope. James Rollins for how he deftly mixes paranormal elements with thrilling adventure, yet makes them so damn believable. Janet Evanovich because she makes me laugh out loud, even in a crowded airport.
My biggest inspiration is writer, director, genius, Joss Whedon. Because he's Joss.
What are you aspirations as a writer?
I'm a member of a group that calls ourselves "Bestseller Bound." So that's my professional aspiration.
My personal aspiration as a writer is to tell a story that touches people. I want them to leave behind their troubles and turn pages 'til the wee hours of the morning. Cry. Laugh. Be surprised. And if they walk away learning something about themselves or life, that would be the whipped cream on my mocha latte.
What are the pros and cons of being an independent author?
Pro is that I have complete, total and utter control. Did I just drool a little bit?
Con is that I have complete and total responsibility. Heh. I hate how control and responsiblity come together that way. I have to do all the work. I'm not just the writer. I'm the marketing person, the public relations gal, the designer, the bookkeeper, etc. And if I don't do a good job, I don't sell books. Or worse, I piss off my fans. Thankfully, I have a background in marketing. But's not easy wearing all the hats.
How did you come up with the concept of Andi's World?
I'd been dreaming about angels. Very "Disney" of me, I know. But they weren't sweet cherubs. They were pretty fierce (hint: might be somthing we'll see in future books).
I'd also been reading a lot of urban fantasy and, although I love kick-butt female protagonists, I kept thinking that wasn't how I'd respond to the monsters. I'd do my best to save the world, but I'd need a bladder control product.
Then I met a homeless woman who was much like the character I write in chapter one of Angel Unraveled. She was having delusions and talking about inviting the vampires and witches to a meeting with the president. It was very sad, but she seemed so confident and sure of her reality, that made an impression on me.
Somehow, (I'm thinking pixy dust was involved) that pot of ingredients had cooked itself into world-building stew called Angel Unraveled.
How many books will be included in the Watcher Series? What is the next book in the series? When will it be released?
I'm envisioning at least seven books. I've got a lot of ground to cover. We find out more about Andi's past and her people in book two, Angel Unprepared. All is not as it would seem. Andi's people are not a happy people. We'll be uncovering a lot of that in the book three, which I want to have out during the Christmas season. I've tentatively named it Angel Unleashed.
Besides the Watcher Series, what are series are you planning?
I am in the planning stages of a paranormal thriller/action adventure. I can't say much about it, except that there will be mermaids...of a sort.
Is that vague enough?
What other supernatural creatures will Andi face in upcoming books?
In addition to the demons, vampires, saints and other creatures she tangles with in book one, book two features Andi tackling the fairy world. There are lot of different types of fairies. She may meet one that may or may not resemble a grinch. Most importantly, she'll battle wits with a succubus.
Thanks for having me on your blog!
Thanks Tamela! I can't wait for Angel Unleashed! Please check out Angel Unraveled and Angel Unprepared. They are really fun to read!!
Published in 2011
Psychic Andi Andreas is sick of seeing ghosts and reading futures. So when a sexy Tucker Calhoun falls, battered and bloodied, into her arms, Andi jumps at the chance to use her talents for more than just tarot cards. She and Tucker investigate a gang selling a new kind of drug. But her thrill turns to panic when they discover this drug temporarily turns users into vampires.
Worse, a sassy she-demon in strappy sandals is threatening to unleash the drug as a virus—contaminating the world and converting the human race into monsters. As Andi struggles to stop the demon, she unlocks a secret from her past and awakens new abilities. But will Andi's new powers be enough to save the world?
I loved this book! Here is my review.