31 Days of Author Madness: Tammy Oja

The Fiver:

1. What is your writing process?

Literally throwing thoughts directly on the screen and then sorting it out later. Sometimes the magic is in the slush and trying to filter ahead of time just stops the whole deal for me. I love excavating through it like panning for flecks of gold.

2. What inspires you to write?

I have two answers for this! One – The characters. I have the ability to get so deep I lose myself in their stories and their secrets and they make me feel like I get to take a vacation from real life – like a virtual safe vacation. Two- The writing community. Its unreal how supportive they are and how much they mean to me. You know how the Olympics have those moments where everyone is rooting for the hometown hero? That’s the warmth I get from this community every single day. I could never imagine not having them in my life.

3. Writing is considered a dream job by many, but what if you were granted the opportunity for a true, magical ‘dream job’. What would it be and why?

Geesh. That’s a tough question. Maybe professional reader. Or professional idea woman! I’d love to sell book ideas or characters. Ohhhh! That’s what I’d do! I have stacks of ideas that I’d love to see birthed. That’s the one!

4. You are standing on a stage, addressing a high school auditorium of teenage creative writers. What advice would you impart to them about the craft and the career path of being a writer?

Surround yourself in the community. You think it’s a desk a pen and you- but no one can make it like that in the business. It’s hard. And it’s painful. And the road is long and bumpy and filled with traps but every time you have that moment – the one where everything fits and the character tells you their deep painful secret or shares a joy- it’s so worth it. A community lifts and supports and totally gets it like no one else can. They’re the secret ingredient to success.

5. You’re stranded in a snowed in cabin, well stocked up on food, but no internet. What is on your emergency book shelf?

Anything I haven’t read. Preferably something dark and scary with a complex twist I didn’t see coming and complex characters that make me see them in the corners. And, of course, an empty notebook and a sharp pencil – eraser optional!

Where to find her:

Any other news or updates you would like to share?

Thanks so much for the opportunity to share a little about myself!


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