Friday, April 30, 2010

Author Spotlight - Tammy Doherty

This Author Spotlight is on Tammy Doherty.

Tammy Doherty is the author of three historical Christian romance novels. She lives on a small farm in central New England with her husband and two children, where they grow and sell perennials and also raise chickens. Her daughter currently has thirteen Bantam chickens – all pets. When not writing, taking care of the plants or chasing after her youngest child, Tammy enjoys reading, connecting with friends on Facebook, and watching Dr. Who. Visit Tammy at her website or at her blog, Faith, Fiction & Friends.

1) How long have you been writing?
I learned to write at a young age and started writing stories soon after. But I didn’t get serious until 2000, when we bought our first computer. By then, I had matured and so had the stories in my imagination. Even so, it took a year and an epiphany of sorts to figure out exactly what I wanted to write.

2) If you could give new writers one piece of advice, what would you say?
Get involved in a critique group and listen to your critique partners. Don’t dismiss criticism – if you don’t learn and change, you won’t grow and your writing will always be half-rate at best.

3) What was your best decision as a writer?
Joining American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) has definitely been the best decision I’ve made as a writer. The fellowship alone is worth the membership fee, but there are so many more benefits. I participated in a few on-line courses (free to members!) which helped hone my skills. This year I joined the critique loop and through that I’ve hooked up with 5 fantastic critique partners. One of my CP’s, Nike Chillemi, and I have started a blog with fellow ACFW member David Arp. I can’t stress enough how wonderful this membership has been for me. I recommend it to all who write Christian fiction, or Christian writing of any kind.

4) I understand you have a book coming out, tell me about the book.
This spring I am officially launching my third novel, Celtic Knot. This novel was published in 2005 but released at the same time as my son was born. It never received any promotion or marketing, since my time was taken up with the baby.

Celtic Knot is the 3rd in a related series. The story takes place in 1890 Colorado. Secret service agent Kyle Lachapelle is working undercover on the Big L-O ranch, looking for a counterfeit ring. He’s immediately attracted to Abby Finnegan when they meet, yet he’ll be moving on when this case closes. It wouldn’t be fair to toy with her affections, especially since her heart has already been broken by the death of her beloved husband. Abby is also attracted to the handsome, rugged, gentlemanly newcomer. But he works for her family. Her father has ruled this town with an iron fist for decades and her older brother is following in his footsteps. How can she trust a man who works for the Bigelows? When Kyle learns of Abby’s connection to his counterfeiting case he’s not sure she can be trusted. Then Abby’s daughter, Milly, disappears and Abby’s best friend is murdered. Kyle and Abby must overcome their distrust to save Milly and solve the case. But can love conquer their fears?

5) What do you hope the reader takes away from your book?
In this novel, I tried to show God’s love vs. earthly love. Abby grew up in a loveless family. Only when she met her husband did she learn about God. After he died, she questions why the Lord allows bad things to happen if He loves us. As she struggles with faith, her best friend believes she is in love with Abby’s brother, and that he loves her in return. But things go horribly wrong with their relationship.

I hope readers will see the purity of God’s love and the need to have a relationship with Him first and foremost. If a reader is not yet a believer, I hope this story will either answer some questions or encourage the reader to seek answers to new questions.

Above all else, my goal is to write an enjoyable story. I hope readers will be left wanting to read more!

6) What challenges have you had in getting your book published?
When I started writing, I knew nothing about getting published. I used Sally Stuart’s Christian Writer’s Market Guide. Everywhere I read, attending conferences was strongly suggested. Yet there weren’t any near me. I got lucky when a NH writers’ group hosted a one-day workshop/seminar with Steve Laube as keynote speaker. At that time, Steve was with Bethany House. His advice sticks with me to this day.

Because I felt there was little chance of attending a conference to pitch my work to an agent or editor, I chose to self-publish my books (POD). The first book was so well received it encouraged me to continue writing. I published the two follow-up novels in the same manner.

()Many people pooh-pooh self-published books. The company I chose, Xulon Press, designed beautiful covers for all three of my books. The books each have IBSN numbers. Xulon Press helped with getting them listed with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and hundreds of other on-line booksellers. The drawback to self-publishing is that the author is responsible for all editing. I worked extremely hard on the copy edits and even made sure to get permission to use KJV Bible quotes. Despite all that work, there are typos, just like all books by any well-known author from the “big” traditional publishers.

For my next novel, a contemporary romantic suspense, I am going to go the traditional publisher route. Because the other drawback to self-publishing, even POD, is the expense. I don’t have the money to publish this one myself. But I do have a fan base eager for my next book. I hope that, along with a well-written story of course, will convince a publisher to take a chance on me. You can purchase Celtic Knot below:


  1. Tammy,

    It's so nice to finally "see" you :) What a very nice, interesting interview about you.

    Elaine Stock

  2. Thanks for stopping by to read the interview, Elaine. And a big thanks to Eddie for having me on his blog.

  3. Hi Tammy,

    You're right about your book cover -- it's beautiful! We're really into Celtic culture around our house.