Today I am here to introduce you to one of my absolute favorite contemporary young adult/new adult authors, Tammara Webber.

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I first discovered Tammara Webber about a year ago when I was looking for something new to read on my Kindle and I needed something that was a little cheaper. Tammara’s book, Between the Lines, popped up and I was intrigued by it. It was only a couple dollars (and remains so, and the paperback is only 8.99) and so I decided to check it out.

I was sold SO fast. It tells the story of Emma Pierce, an aspiring actress, who lands a part in a major motion picture with the hot, and super famous, Reid Alexander. I am obsessed with that kind of pop culture, celebrity type of life (I even wrote a novel about it) and so it caught me SO fast. And Reid…Reid makes you fall in love with him so fast.

I consumed the next two novels, Where You Are and Good For You, in a matter of days. They are great books. Then when Tammara’s standalone novel, Easy, was released, I read that as well. Another seriously fantastic novel, Easy has been recognized all over the place for its merit.

Then I started to learn more about Tammara and I felt so inspired about the fact that she had self-published the Between the Lines series and that she had worked her butt off to get where she is now. For a struggling writer who often times doesn’t really see the white picket fence that is publishing a novel, she is a serious inspiration.

She is also what people have started to call “New Adult” literature, which is basically a way of saying, mature young adult lit. Young adult literature that may have more bad words, or (more likely) have more sex in them, and blatant sex, not just suggested sex. In my words, more realistic young adult fiction, because if you think teens aren’t cussing and having sex…well, you poor, naive thing.

Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. The point is, I read Between the Lines, and noticed the difference in maturity and I liked it because I tend to write like that. My young adult characters say bad words and they have sex, and I’ve noticed a lot of YA doesn’t do that, or if they do, its only hinted at. I was so impressed by Tammara‘s books because of this, and it was like a little lightbulb over my head, ” I CAN write like this for teenagers!”

She remains one of my absolute favorite authors, and when she announced that there would be a fourth and final Between the Lines book, titled Here Without You, I was beside myself with excitement. Its hitting the ebook world on August 6th and the paperback version will be out on August 27th.

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Now I’ve had the LUCKY opportunity to interview her and share this awesome interview with all of you :)

Enjoy!

Sara: What can you tell us about the next Between the Lines book? Is this story told from a new point of view, or are we going to be seeing Reid Alexander, Emma Pierce, or any of those characters again?

Tammara: Here Without You is in alternating POVs – Reid, Dori, Brooke and one additional (new) character.

Sara: Where did you get the idea for the Between the Lines series?

Tammara: My oldest son was attending NYU (Tisch School of the Arts), when the Twilight films were being made. Several of the stars were in his age range, and he’s wanted to be an actor since he was 10. I began to wonder how he would handle crazed fan involvement in his life and relationships, at an age when he was still defining himself. It made me feel sorry for those actors, and the story started coming to me after that.

Sara: Where do you get your inspiration for your novels?

Tammara: All over the place – usually taking real life events out of their original context (sometimes from my life, but more often from friends, acquaintances, or news reports), wondering about them, taking them a step further or in a different direction.

Sara: What do you think of the term “new adult”? Do you like or dislike it? Do you feel like it helps or hinders your books?

Tammara: I wasn’t fond of the term when I first heard it coined by St. Martin’s in 2009. Now it’s just a term, and I’m used to it. I think it’s too early to tell what NA will turn out to be, especially since it appears that it will continue to be filed under Adult Romance. I wrote the BTL series and Easy with Young Adult audiences in mind. It’s not so much that “NA” hinders my books as the fact that they aren’t quite cutting edge when filed under NA – because NA is adult literature, but I wrote these books as YA. I’m not incapable of adjusting, however – and if my books are going to be called NA and filed under Romance instead of YA, then I need to write to that market if I expect to make a living as a writer.

Sara: What advice to give to aspiring authors? You self-published the Between the Lines series, so what advice to you have for authors who are considering self-publishing their novels?

Tammara: I don’t recommend anyone choose one or the other path, especially since lately, the literary landscape is shifting like crazy. I honestly have little idea of the difficulties facing new self-pubbed authors at the moment, or whether it’s now easier or more difficult for them to thrive. My main advice is do your homework. Read blogs of successful authors – but please don’t write to them and say, “How’d you do it?” If they want to tell you, they’ll tell you (and the hundreds of others who write with the same questions) in posts or FAQs on their websites. Some are super informative and blatantly honest. Find those – that’s what I did. Pay attention to what appears to work and what doesn’t. Don’t assume that because something worked for someone a year ago, it will work now (or vice-versa!). There are many more players in the market now.

Sara: Is this the last book that we will see in the Between the Lines series? What other projects/books do you have planned for the future?

Tammara: Yes, this is the last official BTL novel. I’m working on edits for it now (it will be self-published in the US, but published by Penguin Razorbill in the UK), and also starting to write Lucas’s story. I promised before I even published Easy that it would be a stand-alone novel, and that’s not going to change. I wrote the book to bring awareness to the issue of acquaintance rape, and books with sequels are simply less accessible to readers. I want Easy to remain accessible, so no sequel.

That said, Lucas was one of the most difficult characters I’ve written, because he’s just so secretive and introspective – even with me – which is why Easy was written in Jacqueline’s POV only. I never heard his voice while writing it. I had a typical novelist’s omnipotence going on, of course, but sometimes he did or said things and I wasn’t sure why. Unlike Reid or even Graham in the BTL series, I saw Lucas almost entirely from the heroine’s point of view. It wasn’t until recently that he began talking to me, at which point I realized that he was ready to tell his story.

Sara: What are some of your favorite books/authors to read? What are some authors that inspire you when you are writing?

Tammara: I read a lot of YA. Oddly, I haven’t read a lot of NA yet – except the NA that is sitting on YA shelves – and there is some (ex: Gayle Forman). I love Jennifer Echols. I enjoy a lot of fantasy, paranormal and dystopian YA (Cassandra Clare, Ann Aguirre, Maggie Stiefvater, Melissa Marr), though I wouldn’t read any of those genres in adult literature. I have no idea why that is; possibly YA novels are generally more hopeful, at least at the end.

Sara: Did you always want to be a writer, or did you have other career aspirations? What are some of the jobs you’ve done in the past?

Tammara: I’ve always wanted to write and I’ve always written, though it took me a while to give in to the notion of actually completing a novel. I don’t know if I’d call anything else a “career aspiration” so much as “a way to pay the bills.” I’ve done everything – waitressing, retail, clerical work, working at a tan salon, taking calls in a night-time radiology call center. The closest I came to feeling like I had a career  was when I was an undergraduate academic advisor – which is what I was doing when I began writing Between the Lines.

Sara: What are some of your favorite things to do in your spare time, besides reading or writing?

Tammara: Spare time?  I watch very little television (Walking Dead, Vampire Diaries and New Girl are it over the past year or two. I like movies, but don’t get to go often enough. If I’m out with friends or my husband, I prefer dinner and conversation to entertainment. I LOVE to read, so when I have time off (or need time off) from writing, that’s usually what I’m doing. My husband loves to read, too, so we’re often sitting together reading (or he’s playing some disgusting video game and I’m reading and trying to ignore the death throes on the screen).

Sara: What is the hardest part of being a writer? What is the BEST part of being a writer?

Tammara: Starting a book is easy. Continuing is hard, especially when I get blocked, which usually occurs at forks in the road, especially if I’m dealing with multiple characters. There’s also a point somewhere in the middle of every book where I loathe everything I’ve written. I see no possible way to finish. I can’t imagine why I think I can write at all, and I want to smash my computer and run away from home. That’s the worst. (I’ve learned to anticipate this now, so I’m not destroyed by it – but it’s still disconcerting.) Next to that is the not-writing business part of writing – whether you’re indie or traditional (I’ve done both now so I know!) is so time-consuming and sometimes just mind-numbing. Sometimes I open a blog post, write gibberish, delete it and sign out. Emails and posts and tweets pile up quickly and become overwhelming. I’ve had times when I was sick, or one of my kids needed me – or just life happened – and when I get back to my computer, it takes me hours or days to catch up, when I really just want to write.

The best part is simple. I get to tell stories for a living. I have to pinch myself occasionally, because I just never thought this would be my life.

Sara: What is the strangest thing a fan has said to you, or given to you? Do you have any funny fan stories?

Tammara: I probably shouldn’t reveal these, lol; those people tend to stalk and read everything. (*nervously looking around*) I love and appreciate my readers, and all their quirks. I’m a quirky, introverted reader… and so are many of the people who read my books! Most of the time, we get each other.

Sara: I ask this question to every person that I interview: Who is your favorite fictional crush?

Tammara: My forever crush is Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. But my strongest current crush is Jace. So many reasons. I recently read the Mortal Instruments series, one after the other, and I am so ready for the next book, and the first film, which has to have the best casting on a YA film series since HP. SO pleased with their choices for everyone. (Please be good please be good please be good.) Here’s the weird part, though: While reading about Jace, I could not stop thinking about my BTL character Reid, because Reid’s an actor, they sound physically alike, and their demeanors are so similar. I kept thinking, Reid could play this guy. Which is CRAZY… because Reid is just as fictional, for pete’s sake. But those cocky, sarcastic, literary Bad Boys remind me of my RL crush – who is my husband. Luckily.

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Can I just that Tammara‘s love for The Mortal Instruments, and the fact that she thought of Reid Alexander as Jace Wayland is just the cherry on top of an already awesome sundae that is Tammara Webber? I TOTALLY thought of Reid too, despite the fact that he is completely fictional.

I love that he is her fictional crush too, because he is totally mine, and I totally like those cocky, sarcastic bad boys because that’s exactly my boyfriend.

And you guys all know how I am about The Mortal Instruments and Jace Wayland (see: TMI tattoo, fave fictional crush, how many times I’ve met Cassandra Clare…)

Anyway, I really hope you all enjoyed getting to know Tammara a little bit more today and I hope those of you who have NOT checked her out, will do so :) You will LOVE her books, I promise you that.

And much thanks to Tammara Webber for doing this awesome interview. You can visit her website here, and can purchase her books here.

Check out past interviews with authors like Cassandra Clare, Jessica Brody and Eoin Colfer here.

I’m going to start off by saying one thing…Peter Jackson is a god. In the words of our Tabitha, Peter Jackson doesn’t make movies…he makes films. These are so true. Now, I have a respect for Guillermo del Toro, though I’m not a big fan of his movies…but I’m so glad that Peter Jackson was the final director for The Hobbit.

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Now, I headed down to a supper with my darling LADA friends to enjoy some good food and drinks before we headed down to the Universal City Walk to see The Hobbit at midnight. I always have a good time with these guys and this time wasn’t any different. You should have SEEN the awesome cosplay outfits going on…I should’ve taken pictures but, you know, excitement overrode good decisions haha.

But moving on…

This movie was can be describe in one word (though I’ll use way more): EPIC. Epic. This movie will go down in history as a monumental movie. There is no way it won’t. I enjoyed it so thoroughly that not only did I see it Thursday night at midnight but I also saw it again on Saturday night. Its that good.

Now for those of you who are familiar with The Hobbit/Lord of the Rings, bear with me for a minute. For those of you who aren’t, or are familiar with LOTR but not the Hobbit, here’s what we have: The Hobbit is the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It tells the story of Bilbo Baggins and his own adventure. He lives his comfortable home in the Shire, enjoying his wealth and his food before being swept off on an adventure with Gandalf, Thorin Oakenshield (the Dwarf prince) and a band of dwarves.

The dwarves hail from Erebor, the Lonely Mountain, where one of the biggest and most thriving kingdoms have existed…that is until it is overtaken by Smaug the dragon. They are driven from their home, and their immense riches, and forced to find a place in their world.

Now it is their time to reclaim their home, and for Thorin to reclaim his place as King Under the Mountain, along with his band of dwarves: Balin, Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori, Dwalin, Fili, Kili, Gloin, Oin and Ori…along with Gandalf the Grey and Bilbo Baggins.

It’s an adventurous story, more meant for children than the Lord of the Rings series and it does show the moment and circumstances in which Bilbo finds the One Ring.

Now, The Hobbit is being made into three parts: An Unexpected Journey, The Desolation of Smaug and There and Back Again. Those who have read the book probably know that there isn’t quite that much to create three whole movies. However, there is so much more information from both the appendices and The Silmarillion to create a more full and exciting story.

The Good or the Bad:

I can’t think of anything bad about this movie. I’ve seen it twice already and I probably will see it again. It was an extremely epic movie and was completely in the style of Peter Jackson.

Now, I’ve read some of the reviews from some critics out there, and I’ve seen the 65% on Rotten Tomatoes and I’ll tell you something: They are all full of crap. Seriously. One of the biggest complaints from most of these ill reviews is the length of the movie and what they feel is the unneccessary additions to the story.

I strongly disagree. I loved the additions from the appendices and The Silmarillion. It created a full story and helped to bridge the gap between Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, and perhaps will show the connection between the two much better. I feel that critics aren’t out there enjoying the movies and stories the way the fans are. The fan reaction to the movie so far? All good, all great. The fans understand and the fans love it. The critics wouldn’t sit through a six hour Harry Potter movie, a seven hour Lord of the Rings movie.

We would. And nearly three hours of The Hobbit almost seemed like not enough…I can’t wait until next December to see the second part.

First off, they put together such a wonderful group of actors to portray these wonder characters. Ian McKellan returning as Gandalf and Hugo Weaving as Elrond, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Elijah Wood as Frodo, Ian Holm as older Bilbo, Andy Serkis as Gollum…all wonderful actors that I was so happy to see back in this movie.

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But I was so excited to see Martin Freeman as younger Bilbo. I adore Martin as John Watson in the BBC series Sherlock and he did an absolutely fantastic job as Bilbo. He captures Bilbo’s innocence and heart, and he brought a humor to him as well. Bravo for Martin Freeman.

I enjoyed Richard Armitage as Thorin…he portrayed the prideful, stubborn and vengeful dwarf prince very well.  Thorin is a complicated character, full of pride and determination in his vengeance. Plus, way to go in the effects: Armitage is a tall man and they did a great job making him into a short and stocky dwarf. Sylvestor McCoy was a nice little addition as Radagast the Brown, the wizard.

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Aidan Turner was FANTASTIC as the dwarf, Kili. I spent pretty much the entire movie admiring his acting…and his very good looking face. I mean, his seriously seriously good looking face. My god. I immediately went home and googled him and found out who played him and was pretty excited to find out that Turner will be playing Luke Garroway in the movie adaptation of City of Bones.

There was also a nice appearance by Lee Pace as the elf king of Mirkwood, Benedict Cumberbatch as the necromancer and the dragon, Smaug (the small glance we get of Smaug at the end of the movie looked SO awesome).

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Then there was all the cinematography. The quality of the movie was so clear and real, and it was filmed so well. The landscapes and sets were beautiful: The Shire, Erebor, Dale, Rivendell, the Mines of Moria, the goblin kingdom, and on and on. Every single place that was shown was so beautifully done. When Peter Jackson creates a world, he literally creates a world. Nothing about it felt fake or CGI, it felt so breath-takingly real.

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Then all the battle scenes! All the battle scenes were fabulous and fun to watch, especially the battle scene between the orcs and dwarves at the mines of Moria and the battle out of the goblin caves. They are on such a grand scale but again, done so well. I was on the edge of my seat, watching the dwarves battle their foes.

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The best part of the movie was the scene between Bilbo and Gollum…probably because that is my favorite part in the book. People often assume Gollum is a stupid character, because he is ugly and he’s consumed by the ring but he’s not. He was clever enough to come by the ring and he continues to be clever to survive. The game of riddles is the scene with the least amount of action but with the most tension, as they trade riddles back and forth. I thought they did it wonderful, Martin Freeman had wonderful timing in that scene and Andy Serkis is just brilliant as Gollum.

Lastly, I like where it ended…with the dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf looking out towards the Lonely Mountain, hopeful that they will make it and take back Erebor from Smaug the dragon. Its a hopeful ending, so that it ends on a fairly good note but it also ends with the desire to find out what happens next.

Now, maybe not everyone agrees with me. Maybe some people didn’t like the way the movie was shot, or the length with all the additions to the story or whatever. I , on the other hand, enjoyed it very, very much and most fans that I have talked to enjoyed it as well. I think that’s the most important part. The point of the movie is to tell a story and Peter Jackson did it in a wonderful, fantastic way. The point of adapting a book into a movie is to please the fans of the book…and I think that was accomplished.

I can’t wait til part 2: The Desolation of Smaug comes out.

It hits theaters worldwide December 13, 2013.

What did you think of The Hobbit? As always, share in the comments.

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