So, it’s been a while. I know. Sorry. But I found a great reason to do another Wednesday giveaway. Her name is Tammy Gray, and she’s one of my writing heroes. I absolutely love her stories, and my favorite contemporary transformational fiction book came from her imagination. (It’s called Mercy’s Fight, and it’s sooooo good. Maybe you picked up that vibe already? 🙂 )
Yesterday Tammy celebrated her latest release, My Hope Next Door. I’m itching to dig into it! Here’s the scoop:
Can love grow in the shadow of a broken past?Former bad girl Katie Stone can feel the weight of her reputation settle over her as she drives home for the first time in years. Feeling deeply guilty about her past mistakes, Katie wants to do the right thing for once. But the small town where she grew up is not nearly as forgiving as she’d hoped. Despite it all, she’s determined to help her parents cope with her mother’s recent illness, and Katie finds a surprise ally in the man next door.Asher Powell never minded being the son of a small-town pastor until a recent breakup leaves him wounded by lifelong members of his church. He remembers his new neighbor as a mean-spirited high school troublemaker, but he senses that her newfound faith and desire for forgiveness are sincere.Through an unexpected friendship, two people from different worlds find peace, hope, and a second chance they never dreamed was possible.
My Hope Next Door is a story of second chances. It’s about letting go of past regrets, mistakes and the image we all carry. It’s about looking beyond stereotypes to the person God has created us to be. And it’s a beautiful love story between two very different people who share a similar pain. As an author, I always want my books to leave the readers changed in some way, or at least see the world through a different lens. I truly think this book will do both.
My favorite kind of read. 🙂 So, let’s talk shop… Writing can be an outlet, but also it can sometimes demand more than you think you have. Can you give us an example of both for you, and how do you handle this calling when it seems beyond you?
I am blessed to be surrounded by an amazing group of authors who are more than just critique partners, but also friends, encouragers and truth speakers. When I’m down and feeling inadequate, they pick me up and remind me why we do what we do. When I’m frustrated, they let me vent and redirect me to where I need to be. I think the worst thing an author can do to herself is to write in a vacuum. This job is already a little isolating, so it is imperative to have that trusted group of individuals around you.
There’s not a soul on the planet who doesn’t need both those encouragers and truth speakers. I’m so glad God has provided such a group for you! What is God teaching you right now?
I think the greatest lesson I learned this year is to not be distracted by all the less important aspects of my writing career. My calling is to write a book that glorifies Him, and to do it to the best of my ability. When those two things happen, then I feel truly satisfied in this journey.
Truly it is so easy to become entangled with distractions, isn’t it? I know you’re a mommy-writer, and your husband has a rather demanding job (pastor, right?). Talk to us about how that works, how you fit being an author into your life.
I see being an author as a calling, but also a business. So, I treat it like I would any job. My work hours are 8 am – 3pm M – F, and I try to keep my writing, social media, etc between those hours. There are times, of course, that timeline slips during deadlines and editing, but in general I really do try and keep it contained. By doing that, I’m able to spend my other time being a wife and a mother, and enjoy those hours without the stress filtering through.
So organized. I’m taking notes. 🙂
Do you have a verse that you carry in your heart as you live and work out the many jobs God has called you to?
Oh, there are many, and I try to write each book with a verse in mind. For My Hope Next Door, it was 1 Corinthians 13:4-5. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
Such a beautiful, challenging passage. I can’t wait to see it fleshed out in the book!
Thank you, Tammy, so much for taking the time to chat with me. I’m crazy honored, and although I’m not much of the fan-girl type, I promise I’m grinning ear-to-ear right now!
For today’s giveaway, I’ll be sending a reader a Kindle copy of Tammy’s new release, My Hope Next Door. Leave me a comment either here or on my FB page, and I’ll announce the winner on Friday. Be sure to check out Tammy’s other books (*clears throat* Mercy’s Fight especially)!
Tammy L. Gray lives in the Dallas area with her family, and they love all things Texas, even the erratic weather patterns. She writes modern Christian romance with true-to-life characters and culturally-relevant plot lines. She believes hope and healing can be found through high quality fiction that inspires and provokes change.