Posts Tagged ‘Misc’

Appearances and more housekeeping

It’s been a quiet month here at, so here’s a quick update on all that’s been going on:

Tammy’s Schedule

Tammy’s back from YALLWEST, but she’ll be returning to California at the end of the month for BayCon and more. And, before her cross-country trip, she’ll be at the Greater Rochester Teen Book Fest on May 19th. Aside from her travels, she’s been hard at work with the next book in the Numair Chronicles!

Website & Fan Questions

Here on the website, we’ve revamped and relaunched the FAQ pages. They’re organized, updated, and now contain new questions and answers. If you have a question for Tammy, check the FAQs first—they might have the answers you’re looking for!

(The new Circle FAQ, in particular, answers the two most frequently asked questions: why the Circle audios are incomplete, and what happened to the book about Tris at Lightsbridge.)

Of course, you’re always welcome to send questions to Tammy via the fanmail account. Though responses are slow, your emails are appreciated, and Tammy does get to as many as she can, as quickly as she can with her busy schedule. Thanks for your patience!

Upcoming Announcements

We’ve got some exciting news coming this summer! If you’re feeling particularly curious and/or impatient, you might find a hint about it in one of the new FAQ pages…

Thank you!

Thank you all for spreading the word on STAR (Syrian Team for Animal Rescue) and the fundraiser to help Syria’s stray and injured animals!

Together, Tammy’s amazing fans gave donations totaling $140. With her $200 match, we were able to raise a total of $340 for the animals! Not bad, especially for such a quick event!

A very special thanks goes out to Carolyn, Katie, Madeline, Mary, Sarah, Laura, and Brett, for your generosity. And even if you couldn’t donate, your shares, retweets, and reblogs made a difference—and will continue to make an impact as the fundraiser goes on. As always, Tammy’s fans prove to be a kind, compassionate group.

(And if you’d still like to support STAR, but missed the match event, it’s okay! The fundraiser’s ongoing.)

Help the Syrian Team for Animal Rescue!

If you have a little bit to spare, STAR (The Syrian Team for Animal Rescue) needs help!

Based in Damascus, STAR rescues, rehabilitates, and provides ongoing care and shelter to stray and injured animals in Syria. This shelter depends on individual donations for its survival, and as of this post, STAR is still a ways from their $20,000 goal.

Help STAR look after injured animals in Syria

This is a cause Tammy strongly believes in. To make donations go that extra mile, she will be matching fans’ donations, up to a total of $1,000, from now until March 28th. Just send an email to with the subject line “STAR Fundraiser” and some confirmation of the donation and amount.

I believe in these people and their mission with all my heart.  They’ve been struggling for years to save as many pets (of those who couldn’t take their animals as they fled) and abandoned animals as possible.  They are heroes to me, and since I can’t support them all on my own, I’m hoping my friends and fans will feel the same way. Here’s to the animals cast aside and the hardworking people who rescue them!


Please, donate if you can, and share. Together, we can raise $2,000 for STAR!

Some housekeeping…

While Tammy’s still on the Tempests and Slaughter tour, here’s a quick update on what’s going on around the website, and what’s on the horizon!

Book Pages Updates

When we launched the new website, the books’ pages only included links to retail giants like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. But Tammy’s a big supporter of indie bookstores, and it didn’t sit well with any of her team to just leave the options at that. So, to make it easier to support independent bookstores and small businesses, we’ve made some changes.

Every book’s page now includes new retail options. In addition to big names like iTunes and Google Play, you can now find links to Tammy’s books (when available) on IndieBound, Powell’s,, and– of course– Full Cast Audio!

Head to any book’s page and see the new options.

Fan Mail & Fan Appreciation Project

Between the release of Tortall: A Spy’s Guide and Tempests and Slaughter, the word ‘hectic’ doesn’t even begin to describe Tammy’s schedule. But we just wanted to assure you that your fan mail isn’t floating in a void. The Fan Appreciation Project is chugging along, slowly and steadily. Once things settle down, we’re doubling down on efforts to make sure each and every message gets a response. Yes, even the really old ones!

Just a quick reminder, though:

Upcoming Changes

Keep checking back for more updates to the site! We’ll be adding new sections to the FAQ, posting recommended reading orders (a question Tammy gets a lot!), and restoring the long-lost book excerpts. We’re also brainstorming with Tammy to come up with some fun, new features for the site.

That’s all for now!

Resources for Writers

[Note: Originally posted on Tammy’s tumblr, a few years ago.]

You need a good thesaurus and a good dictionary.  You can’t always rely on your computer’s thesaurus and dictionary, any more than you can rely on its spell check function.  A computer thesaurus will cough up a hairball over an alternate for “peripheral,” and spell check won’t catch homonym errors.


Author biographies: Read as many as you can manage.  The only way to understand that everyone must work out how to write for themselves is to read how other writers did it, and try it out.  I particularly recommend biographies written for kids.  They concentrate more on how the person actually writes, and less on drama.

Advice to Writers: A Compendium of Quotes, Anecdotes, and Writerly Wisdom from a Dazzling Array of Literary Lights, compiled and edited by Jon Winokur

Author Talk, compiled and edited by Leonard S. Marcus
A kids’ book, it’s great for any writer. Marcus has the writers he interviews describe his/her work style, idea sources, work space, and how they came to what they do. He includes a manuscript page that each author has rewritten, so the reader sees the kind of work individual writers put into getting it right. It shows what I keep saying: There’s no right or wrong way to write, there’s only what works for you.

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
People I respect say this is the best book on the subject they have ever read.  I respect them, so I pass their advice on to you.

Danse Macabre by Stephen King
Written in the 1980s, this is a specialized book about horror: how it works, when it fails, who the good horror writers and filmmakers are, by the guy who is arguably the best.  It’s not up-to-date, but he has a good academic background in both horror and writing, and he’s happy to share.  It’s amazing how many tricks that work for horror also work elsewhere.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss
A humorous approach to fiddly grammar bits.

The Elements of Style by Strunk and White
More help with those nasty fiddly grammar bits.  A volume every writer should have.

Fairy Tales for Writers by Lawrence Schimel
Cautionary tales and very good advice wittily disguised as fairytales in poetry form.  Fun!

How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy by Orson Scott Card
He’s controversial for his views on things that aren’t part of his writing, but he has a clear understanding of what it takes to get a good story on paper, which is one reason why he is so popular with teenagers.  He is a great storyteller, which means he speaks intelligently and clearly about the key to writing for a wide audience.  Easy to find.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King
Oh, he’s nasty and he swears, does Steve, but he has a lot to say about how a person can make himself into a writer and just what it takes to stay a writer.  Part of this is autobiography, about his childhood and about his recovery from an auto accident that nearly killed him.  He’ll also tell you that his way to do it is the only way.  He’s wrong about that, but he still knows a great deal about writing, and he’s worth listening to.

The Portable Dorothy Parker, introduction by Brendan Gill
From Part Two: Later Stories, play reviews from Vanity Fair and The New Yorker, and book reviews.  Parker turns a critic’s relentless eye on what is overdone, what looks good and turns out badly, and what falls on its nose in writing, and she writes it all down with a razor dipped in ink.  You’ll laugh; you’ll cry; you’ll cringe.  Learn what not to do.

Telling Lies for Fun and Profit: A Manual for Fiction Writers by Lawrence Block
One of the best books about writing straightforward fiction, telling it right and telling it directly, without any weird chants or ceremonies.

The Tough Guide to Fantasyland: The Essential Guide to Fantasy Travel by Diana Wynne Jones
Though written as a travel guide, this is a very wicked, very POINTED guide to all the over-used and illogical tropes of high fantasy (and too many other kinds of fantasy as well).  Save yourself grief and rejections if you want to write fantasy, and find this book.

The Wand in the Word: Conversations with Writers of Fantasy, compiled and edited by Leonard S. Marcus
Interviews with writers like Lloyd Alexander, Susan Cooper, Brian Jacques, Garth Nix, Terry Pratchett, and other superstars of the kids’ fantasy universe, along with sample manuscript pages, suggestions for getting unstuck—this book is a treasure trove.

The Writer’s Quotation Book, edited by John Charlton
Sometimes the only thing that will convince you that you’re not the biggest screw-up in the history of creativity is to read the words of someone else who’s in the same mess. That’s what this book is for: to show you that Winston Churchill, Margaret Drabble, Somerset Maugham and Fran Lebowitz have all been there before you.

Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury
A series of essays by a master of literary science fiction, his reflections on the genre, descriptions of his own process for generating ideas, and thoughts on the nature of writing and writers in general.

Online Resources:

Little Details
You can ask other detail experts for help and help other writers with your own areas of expertise.

Society for Creative Anachronism
If you are into the medieval period or the Renaissance, these are the nutter butters for you.

Pictoral Glossary of Armor Terms
Not as thorough as Stone’s Glossary of Arms and Armor, but cheaper.

When is–?
Holiday dates around the world.

Writer’s Market
The Writer’s Market online site, with agent and publisher listings.

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
For picture books through teen, for writers just starting out to long-term pros, good for assisting first-time writers with connections with editors and agents and questions about the field.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America
More friendly to adult writers than writers of kidlit; covers sci-fi, fantasy, and horror.

Horror Writers Association
More genre-intensive than SFWA.

Romance Writers of America
Don’t sneer, there’s a lot of crossover with sf/f/horror being written these days, and some of our brightest lights are writing it!

An Interview with SPY’S GUIDE Co-Author Julie Holderman

Congrats to Julie Holderman, Tammy’s longtime assistant and co-author of Tortall: A Spy’s Guide, for her win in the 2017 Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest! In her recent interview with Script Magazine, Julie discusses the writing process, her winning screenplay, and her beginnings as a student (and, later, a teacher) at the Alpha Workshop. About her script:

It follows two young female science students in 1890s Chicago, after the murder of their teacher. In trying to find out who killed her, they discover her shady dealings with one of Chicago’s foremost businessmen. They have to choose whether or not to bring him to justice for her murder, exposing their teacher and ruining their own future careers, or staying silent. He’s very invested in making sure they can’t say a word.

Click here to read the interview in full: Meet Julie Holderman, Winner of Industry Insider Screenwriting Contest

Fan Appreciation Project

As you can imagine, the past few years have been eventful for Tammy and her helpers. Between writing new books, making appearances at schools and conventions across the country (and even overseas!), and a few special somethings on the horizon (you’ll have to wait for the announcements…), there’s always something going on.

This is thanks to Tammy’s fans— new and old. You keep Tortall and the Circle going! Because of you, more and more people are joining Alanna, and Kel, and Daja, and Briar, and Daine, and (soon) Numair on their journeys. This newfound popularity has been a wonderful surprise— and a major adjustment. In recent years, it’s been difficult to keep up with fanmail. To be honest, we’ve fallen woefully behind.

But now we’re undergoing a big project: we’re making a concerted effort to send a response to every single fan letter that’s been sent to Tamora since 2010. That’s right: all of them!

(Though regretfully, some letters may have been lost to spam filters, so if you still don’t have a response to your letter by the time this fan appreciation project is complete, that’s the most likely culprit.)

Be sure to check this space for updates. In the meantime, thanks, all of you, for your continued support of Tammy!

Favorite Books of 2017 (January – May)

Mainstream (Young Adult)

Sci-Fi & Fantasy (Young Adult)

Mainstream (Adult)