Oh, my, can it be that Madam Winter heard me grumbling last week, and decided I needed a serious lesson in the real ups and downs of the season? Well she certainly lost no time in tossing her cold white cloak over the Salem landscape and sealing it with a cold, cold kiss! She held us all in her mesmerizing grip as the calendar marched closer and closer to Spring, and didn’t I hear her taunting laugh…brrrr! ***
But we have somewhat warmer temperatures this afternoon, and the snow is melting away at last…just in time to welcome author Tammy Frost. I’m sure she will brighten my wintry world.
Me: Tammy, welcome, I’m so delighted to meet you. Oh, come in, won’t you? May I get you a hot cup of tea or coffee to warm you up a bit?
Tammy: I would love a cup of tea!
Me: And I have a few tidbits to nibble. How about a cookie or maybe a piece of fruit?
Tammy: I have to admit my weakness for sweets. A cookie would be wonderful. Thank you.
Me: And where would you feel most comfortable: here at my kitchen table? Or would you like a comfy chair in the livingroom?
Tammy: I would enjoy a relaxing rocking chair if you have one. Me: Perfect. Our matching blue chairs just happen to rock and swivel, too. See? And right here in front of the fireplace…ah, nice and cozy for us. Now, tell me a little about yourself, Tammy, and about your writing.
Tammy: Well, I was born in June, 1965, in Peoria, Illinois. My interest in writing began in my teen years. However, I did not publish my first book until 2018. I am a lifelong Christian and my poems, stories and now books reflect my faith. I was born blind and became severely hearing impaired in my late twenties. My faith has sustained me throughout the many storms in my life, and I was encouraged by my devoted parents, Allen and Mary Lovell, who taught me that I could do anything a sighted person
could do if I tried and wanted to do it badly enough. I attended public school for all of my education. I attended Hope
College, where I studied history and special education. Fay and the Rainy Day is my first published work. In addition to writing, I enjoy reading, listening to many types of music, knitting and other crafts, gardening and cooking. I live with my husband, Clarence Jr., three cats and one large golden retriever puppy. I am the founder of Faith Foundations Publications.
Me: Well, you certainly have a rich and fulfilling life, Tammy. What part of the country do you live in?
Tammy: I live in rural Minnesota, in Mora, which is about halfway between the twin cities metro and Duluth.
-Have you been there long?
Me: What do you like best and least about living there?
Tammy:The thing I like best is the spirit of community we have there. Everyone is caring and shows respect for everyone else. In addition, I love my home and yard full of flowers. I love the weather, as well. The thing I like least is being far away from my parents and sister.
Me: Can you describe your writing process for me?
Tammy:I really write whenever the inspiration hits. I don’t have a specific time or place. However, having said that, I often write in the middle of the night. I will just wake up and feel ready to write, and listen for what God wants me to say.
Me: What got you started writing?
Tammy: I started writing poems in my teens, poems for special friends and occasions mostly. God gave me a few poems along the way too. My book writing really came about from the prompting of my younger sister. In August of 2017 I heard about an essay contest sponsored by Onkyo Corporation. The topics interested me so I decided to write an essay/poem. The title of that poem was Life with Braille. It discussed how Braille had impacted my life from childhood to the present. I won second prize in the contest. I shared the essay/poem with my family. When my sister read it, she said, “You should write children’s books.” I kind of laughed at the time. But, when I thought about it, I decided to work on it. I began writing my story and had it mostly done in just a few days.
Me: And what keeps you writing?
Tammy: I write as God inspires me. I listen for what He wants me to say.
Me: And now a few more “creative” questions, if you don’t mind, so I can get a better glimpse of you as a person. If you could be any other living thing, what would you be?
Tammy: If I could be any other living thing, I would be a cat. Cats are wonderfully independent with definite personalities. They know what they want and how to get it. But, at the same time, they bring such comfort and joy into the lives of those around them.
Me: -What do you like to do on a rainy day?
Tammy: -Funny you ask that question as my book is all about what to do on a rainy day. I love to cook/bake something that smells delicious. I also love curling up with a good book and a soft kitten.
Me: What’s your favorite part of going grocery shopping? What do you think that says about you?
Tammy My favorite part of going grocery shopping is coming home. While I love to buy nourishing foods for my family. I enjoy being at home most of all. I am comfortable there with my husband and my pets. I think that means I definitely have a warm spot for home and hearth. I love being with family and friends and enjoying things we do together. I especially love the holidays.
Me: Would you rather vacation at the beach or in the mountains? Why?
Tammy: I would much rather be in the mountains. I love the feel of the cool air, maybe snow, and the general feeling of being close to God. I enjoy being in a place of peace and joy. I love the smell of the woods and the sounds of a waterfall. I would pray for a cool mountain stream with croaking frogs and chirping birds.
Me: What is your favorite punctuation mark?
Tammy: My favorite punctuation is the comma. It is not the end of something, but rather a break. It gives you time to stop and think. It gives you time to stop and listen. It gives you time to be still and know that He is God.
Me: What role have children played in your life? How about in your writing?
Tammy: I have worked with teens in a career counseling capacity. I have two step children. I have taught Sunday School for years. My book was written for younger children, so they are very important to my work.
Me: Do you have a favorite fairy tale/children’s story? Why?
Tammy: I have always been drawn mostly topoetry. My favorites were always Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes and Dr. Seuss. I love “Goodnight Moon”.
Me: Oh, I know you need to get back to your busy life, but before you leave, tell me a little more about your writing, won’t you? And where I might read your work?
Tammy: I would love to share my book. It is about a calico kitten who is sad because it is raining outside. Mama explains why God sends the rain. She also tells Fay why she should not be afraid of the storms when God is near. They then find some fun things to do in the house. They bake, cook, and have other fun. My book and information links are:
The link to ppurchase my book:
You can Contact me at:
My facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/Faith-foundations-publications…/postsFaith foundations publications.
I hug my guest, and we stand together in the open doorway, the late afternoon air fresh and much friendlier upon our faces.
Me: Thank you so much for coming today, Tammy. It looks like you’ve broken Madam Winter’s spell upon us.
Tammy: Thank you so much for inviting me, Joan. I appreciate the tea and cookies, as well as the opportunity to share my work with you.
The door closes gently behind her, and I reach for my trusty candlelighter. The candles stand at the ready, and the flame ignites once, twice, then fades away. I breathe in the glow, close my eyes and circle my hands to embrace my family in the light, my friends, the world, and in my intentions. And I sigh:
Blessed are You, Beloved One, Source of Light, of Life, of All, Who enables me to share in Your gifts, to be sustained by them, and to share them with others that Your Light may be magnified.
And let us say: