Easy by Tammara Webber
Publication date: November 6, 2012
Rating: I liked it!
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Tammara was kind enough to answer a few questions.
If you could take over the life of any literary character and live in that book, who would you select and why?
See, here’s where you almost trick me into saying, “Elizabeth Bennet! Elizabeth Beeeennnnnnetttt!!!” But then I remember how extremely nearsighted I am. Ohthankgod I wasn’t born in the early nineteenth century, as much as I might lust for Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy. He would have to stand very, very close for me to see him clearly at all. (On second thought…) The thing is, books are based on conflict. If I were to choose a character to hijack—like Elizabeth Bennet—I’d want to step into her shoes at the end of the book, when she became Mrs. Darcy and moved to Pemberly. (Is it hot in here?? Somebody pass me a fan.)
What is the best experience you have had since becoming a writer?
The emails from readers telling me that what I wrote touched them. I’ve cried over so many emails since Easy. It was such a difficult book to write, but the responses I’ve gotten from girls and women who’ve gone through the hell of sexual assault and emerged as survivors on the other side made it so worth it. I love the “OMG (Lucas, Graham or Reid) is so hot!” emails and posts, too, of course. I write romantic stories, and it’s so fantastic to have people connect with my characters like that. But there’s something just…humbling and overwhelming about having written something that helped someone along the path to healing, or let her know that what happened to her wasn’t her fault.
What books have most influenced your work and your life?
I was a little oddball in high school. Nearly everyone in my freshman class bemoaned the tediousness of having to read Great Expectations (Charles Dickens), complete with lots of pretend snoring from the football players sitting in back. I mumbled the expected heh-heh, but I couldn’t have disagreed more. Mrs. Powell’s assigned schedule for reading the book over the six weeks was impossible for me. I finished in days, and then went back and read along with the class. I took that as confirmation that literature meant something to me that it didn’t mean to other people, and also, that I was weird.
I fell in love with classics again after reading Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) in my later twenties. I think every romance novel written since has been influenced by it, whether the author is aware of that or not. The book that made me begin writing again was You Can’t Go Home Again (Thomas Wolfe). For me, it was one of those books you read and feel as though it was written for you. The Truth About Forever (Sarah Dessen) is a seamless love story, and is the book that made me want to write Young Adult romance. Leaving Paradise (Simone Elkeles) is my most-read book. The storyline is perfect YA, unputdownable, and every time I’ve read it, I’ve found something new.
How much does research play a role in your writing process?
It depends. I did less research for Easy than I have before, but I was on familiar ground with this one, in too many ways. I worked on a university campus from nineteen to twenty-three, and went back to college part-time in my later twenties and again in my thirties to complete a degree in English. I began working at the university shortly thereafter, and worked as an academic advisor until earlier this year. There’s research in everything fictional, of course, but it’s easier to miss minor details when you don’t write what/where you know.
What is your next project?
I’m working on a fourth installment to my Between the Lines series, which will be published by Razorbill in the UK/Commonwealth, and indie-published in the US/Canada.