Interview with Tami Parrington

Tami Parrington

Interview Date: 5/21/2012


I was an only child. Coupled with the fact that I was raised by depression era grandparents, and the generation gap was extreme I was alone a lot as a child.
That sounds pretty maudlin, and my grandparents loved me, and I them. I had a good life, but the situation was what it was, and I spent a lot of my time in my own head. What that did for me was show me that–it wasn’t such a bad place to be.
I could create my own world. The one I really wanted to live in, or sometimes, the ones I didn’t want to live in. I could explore my own reality and many other realities. I could tear about society’s ideals, my own ideals and create better ideals–or sometimes just find out what happened when you really did follow the rabbit down the rabbit hole.
Those early days set up a love for both creating my own worlds and stories, and getting lost deep in other people’s worlds. I was an avid reader from a very early age. The love for words was born and while it may have lingered unattended once in awhile, it never really goes away. All my life I’ve been a writer and explorer of the human condition, the world and visions of what life could be.

When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?

I have always invented stories in my mind. I wrote a lot in high-school as well, but when I got married and started a family, a lot of it got put on the backburner. It wasn’t until my kids were well into their teens that I decided momma needed a life, and that life was writing. So, during the late 90s I began to write a lot of stories; mostly fan fiction. I actually developed quite a following for those stories, and even today stay in contact with one of my original fans. We’ve been friends a long time because of those stories. A comment from someone close to me jarred me into realizing that I really needed to focus more on making a real career out of writing and it took off from there. In early 2000 I had completed my first “official” novel.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? (Assuming said power would be reasonably "powerful.")

I guess the ability to clean the house without leaving the computer wouldn’t exactly be a superpower. It would be a great thing though. As far as real superpowers go, I’d love to be able to fly. There’s something so liberating about the thought of being free of gravity’s restrictions. Like my character Alexander from Hell’s Own says: To fly was freedom in its purest form.

Do you have a favorite superhero from novels, comics, or movies?

I’d have to say Batman. I liked him most because he wasn’t “supernatural.” He was a very intelligent, very powerful regular guy. Of course, having billions of dollars to create cool toys is a bonus.

Kev's response: The dedicated R&D department helps as well, I'd imagine. At least as portrayed in the newer movies.

Where do you get your inspiration for writing? What motivates you?

It really doesn’t take much. Someone can say something, just an innocent comment and the plot bunnies will start jumping. It happened the other day on Twitter. A friend/follower said something about the title of one of my non-fiction books would make a good story, and viola, I was off and running with it. Kind of pissed Alexander (character) off though. I was working on his sequel at the time. He really hates being put on a shelf, and let me tell you, you don’t want a demon pissed off at you.

Kev's response: Unless he's in a jar. (A hardened jar.) Then you can shake the jar any time he gets grumpy!

Do you pre-plan your stories, or are you a by-the-seat-of-the-pants style writer?

I’ve tried over and over to be a planner. I really envy those who do that. I do start out with a very basic outline, but I have to tell you, my characters are really not good at following directions. They take the reins and run and all I can do is follow along for the ride. So, pantser--yep.

Do you write only when inspired, or do you have a set schedule where you sit down to write?

Well, technically I write all the time. I am also a freelance writer providing content for marketers. It’s my “day job” if you will. I can do that, inspired or not, but even that’s better when inspired. When it comes to fiction, I have to be inspired. I can proclaim that it’s “time to write” all I want, but if the muse has taken a coffee break, I’m out of luck until she gets her butt back in my head.

Kev's response: I hate when the muse takes a coffee break. I'm thinking about getting a ball & chain for mine. No coffee!

Do you have a favorite genre to write in? To read?

No. My reading is as eclectic as my writing. I have no favorites at all. The only thing I look for is good writing.

What do you enjoy the most about writing?

Getting lost in the stories. I need to feel them. I laugh with my characters, cry with them and hurt right along with them. Some even shock the heck out of me sometimes. (Thanks a lot Alexander.)

Is there any part of writing that you don't enjoy?

Not really. In the early days I used to say that the part I hated most changed from one moment to the next, depending on what part was giving me headaches at the time. Now, however, I’ve come to realize that the entire process is a journey to be relished and savored. When headaches arise, they’re part of it too.

Can you tell me something odd about yourself?

Not really odd. Unless you count the fact that I have so many characters living in my head, that’s not really all that odd for a writer though. I can tell you that my name Tami doesn’t come from any traditional source, and is not the short form of Tamara like most. I was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida while my mother was on vacation. Surprise, mom. She was a bit shell-shocked I guess, and back then they didn’t have the ‘know the sex’ thing ahead of time. So when I came out she didn’t have a name prepared or thought of. So she looked out the window and named me after the street in front of the hospital (great originality, mom). It is kind of nice that it was the famous Tamiami Trail and not something like Maple Street, or something like that.

Kev's response: From now on, I'm going to think of you as Ms. Maple. Just saying.

Do you write one story at a time, or do you have several novels in the works at one time?

It depends, but usually I have several brewing at once.

In my evil plot to take over the world, what one animal type do you advise I use and why?

Oh, you can’t beat dragons. They may be mythical, but they have such power and grace. Plus they’re just cool looking. If you can’t find a dragon, get a horse. At least you won’t have to walk.

Kev's response: I love dragons! Plus, I'm a hoarder, they're into hoarding. They have huge fangs and claw, I have, hmm, well ... whatever. Lot in common. Yep!

Where do you see the future as far as paper books versus digital e-books?

I was in on the e-book revolution from the start, and while I grew up holding books in my hands, and loving the smell of fresh ink on the pages of a new book, I am now totally hooked to my Kindle. I think the e-book is here to stay and will be the way it’s done from now on. It’s cheaper in the long run, it’s powerful--you can carry dozens of books (hundreds really) at all times, and in this tech age, it just makes the most sense to younger readers too.

What are your current projects?

As I said above, I’m working on a sequel to Hell’s Own that will be called “Damned if You Do.” I also have the new plot for a murder mystery, and I have a novella half done.

Do you have any advice for others about self-publishing?

Go for it! In the early years it was very expensive, and you had to be very careful to avoid vanity publishers that were the norm rather than the exception to the rule. Now, though, there are so many great ways to get your books out. Be aware that there’s a lot more to being published than just making those books available though. Have a good cover, make sure the editing and formatting is right, and know that you will have to market. Books do not sell themselves. It would be great if they did, but there’s far too many out there to just hope yours gets spotted.

Do you have any online sites where readers can find out more about you (and your books)?

Absolutely. Readers can visit my website/blog at or look for me on Amazon at or (erotica). They can also connect with me on Facebook at: or on Twitter at @TParrington I look forward to seeing them there.

Kev's response: Well, Maple (err, Tami), I appreciate the time, and wish you the best on your series as you cavort with demons! (I advise getting a jar ... just saying.)

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