My Interview with @tamoja

Tammy (@tamoja) is both a writer and active extremely active reader on Wattpad. I don’t recall if I first came across her after Juliet Lyons recommended Tammy’s “Blood Mother” or after she started leaving her comments on Devil’s Lake. All I know is that she’s difficult not to notice.  I decided to interview her first because I knew she’d give some fun answers and good advice.

Tammy, you have so many stories on Wattpad. Which did/do you have the most fun writing and why?

I do have a lot of works. It matches my short attention span. When I get tired of something I like to be able to float to something else for fun, and I’ve made it a goal to try every genre at least once.

A Wattpad Featured Story 28.5K reads 1.6K comments 1.5K votes (4/11/16)

I have to say I had the most fun writing Glitz Gurlz. It started with a few gals I love egging me on and leaving 100 comments on w chapter with 5 reads. It became a thing to laugh at, and I didn’t overthink any of it. I promised plot holes and dumb moments and it was the most pleasurable writing experience I’ve ever had. Those girls literally made me feel like I was sitting around the table telling a funny story.

100 comments on a book with five reads? That sounds fun and amazing. Can you tell us a little more about Glitz Girls? What it’s about? Who are the characters?

It was pretty amazing. And unexpected, but it sure drove the story.

Glitz Gurlz is a comedy scare where a cheerleading squad wins tickets to a cruise and end up trying to keep the spirit of cheer alive while a murderer picks them off one by one. It’s messy with plot holes and cliches and one liners galore. Totally predictable and so much fun.

The main character, Maddie, is snobby and narcissistic and filled with faults but I ended up loving that character despite her flaws. It got a bit of slack of course, the whole “cheerleaders are smart and athletic”. Which is true, but smart sweet cheerleaders who take the sport seriously isn’t ammunition for comedy. So I say, “let’s wave our own Pom-Poms for those who can laugh at the liberties taken for humor and entertainment”.

Tell us how you first discovered Wattpad.

My teen showed me the app one day out of the blue. I made her help me sign up on the spot. I was salivating over all the free books to read and when the first author (Mary L. Tabor) answered my comment I was hooked. It’s now my therapeutic obsession. I can’t imagine my life without It. The people on Wattpad are like family and not a day goes by where I don’t make connections with them.

The community aspect is nice. It’s definitely something reading a book on kindle doesn’t have. I notice in addition to writing you devour books on here quickly while still leaving plenty of comments. Who are your favorite authors and books on the site/app?

I am the man from that twilight zone episode who just wanted, above all, a quiet space and a book. I admire characters who jump off the print and make you believe their plight. If I named my favorite authors and books on the site your article would break the web!

Right now I’m devouring books about: a girl who is accidentally infected with vampire serum, a werewolf love story that has a moon goddess, a teen who has psychic abilities, a serial killer for hire, a flight attendant who married a mobster after her family sold her, a young chef working to support her family and falling in love, zombies and aliens fighting for world domination and rounding it out with a comedic teen in love trying to figure it all out.

And I make sure to keep up with my favorite communities and their new works, my camp NaNoWriMo cabin mates, and my contest buddies in the Smackdown. We’re battling it out romance/fairytale style!! You see what I mean? I could babble forever about what I’m reading and who.  (Lol)

One thing I’ve noticed is that authors whose books you read tend to remember who you are really well. You seem to form real friendships with the authors you read, and many have gone on to read your work. Do you have a secret?

Comments and votes are more important than people realize. Comments are a way to connect with the author, share your thoughts, feelings, and help the author figure out what works. Sometimes it’s just a thumbs up which really is like giving a kid a cookie.

And as far as votes go, you probably don’t want to get me started on that. I always vote. Always. Voting to me means I appreciate that you did this. You put yourself on the line, swallowed your fear and hit that publish button.

Some people take voting so seriously; as if it means ‘this book is now Pulitzer material’. But Wattpad is about community and supporting each other whether they write for fun, have dreams of publishing, or just want to tell a scary story the heard at camp. I support every form of sharing dreams.

So tell me about your current project. What are you doing for Camp NaNoWriMo?

For camp NaNo I’m writing a story that takes place at virtual Camp NaNo. All the campers there are sent by Wattpad to write for a week. Of course the campers are real Wattpadders and they will be killed off one by one unless someone figures out the who and why. It’s a mystery horror. And I’ve taken only volunteers from the real NaNo Campers to use as characters. I’m assigning them Personalities based on the genre they stick to, as I don’t know many of them personally. It’s a lighthearted, fun, community project.

You once told me you write all your stories on your phone. Is that still true?

It’s true. I still write exclusively on my phone. My thumbs could probably thumb wrestle for the Olympics. It’s just easy for me. Always portable, easy to get to, and as long as my bifocals stay intact, I’m not planning on switching it up. My brain has become like a Pavlov experiment. Thumbs in place, Orange Wattpad border, it starts firing! And I’ll be honest, it’s way less scary filling a tiny phone screen than a bigger than life computer one!

I used to handwrite all my stories for the same reason. Now it feels too slow to get out each word. I only write out notes though lately I’ve taken to emailing my kindle my doc files and then added notes to myself in the comments. I now like the speed of typing out the draft better though my overall process is slow. What would you say your writing process looks like?

I can’t imagine handwriting my stories. I imagine you would be more intimately connected but I would take out a small forest of trees crumbling up sheets and scribbling! Being able to hand write is an art form that must take dedication!

For me, I prefer the quick deletable applications. This is slightly embarrassing but true. I sit at my kitchen table, phone in hand, and pound out a chapter. I am far from a perfectionist and know if I start picking at my words I won’t have anything left. So I usually hit the publish button immediately after I type the last word. It makes my work imperfect and messy, like me.

Well, I want to thank you for your willingness to let me interview you. It’s been fun. Do you have any last words you’d like to leave us with before we go?

This year has been exciting. Many of my new friends have ventured out and are being published. I would like to congratulate them, of course, and let everyone else know that anything is possible. Being brave enough to reach for your dreams is a big win. One to be proud of.

And no matter whether you write for fun or dream of being published, it’s all about the lives you touch along the way. Be kind, be true to yourself, and laugh often.

Oh, And read Devil’s Lake by your blog host, it’s fantastic!!

🙂 Thanks, Tammy.

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14 thoughts on “My Interview with @tamoja

    • Ann you are the best!!! Thanks for reading this. Angela made it so easy, like a straight up chat! That book was the best experience ever because of you. You got me excited with your comedic comments and laughter. Now you’ve created a monster!!!!

  1. Your teen probably regrets showing you that app. Because now your annoying Wattpad friends take up all your time.
    Ann

  2. The incurable optimist speaketh. The world had better take note. I love you TAMMY OJAAAAAA!
    Your incurable fan, Ann.

    • Thanks. Sorry the setting was on moderated. It seems to be the default. I’ve changed it now. I’ll put it back on if it seems to be a problem in the future.

  3. Thank you so much Angela for the amazing opportunity to be on your site. You made it painless and it was as easy at chatting with a friend over coffee. And you made me sound coherent. Big win!! You are awesome!!

    • Thanks. 🙂 I think I just came up with a good system after being interviewed in varying ways that put a lot of work on me, and conducting interviews in ways that didn’t work for me either. When I worked for my college paper, I once called a guy on the phone and tried to take notes. What a nightmare!

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