"All about perspective and capturing the light:" 3 Qs for novelist T. Greenwood


When doing the research for my own novel, I stumbled across the beautiful book Nearer Than The Sky and its author, T. Greenwood. Tammy was gracious enough to give me feedback on how to handle the very difficult topic of Munchausen Syndrome and to encourage me in delving into that fertile but terrifying territory. Since those first conversations, she's published two more novels, Two Rivers, a book "about a good man who has done a terrible thing," and The Hungry Season, which was just released in February. She's also a professional photographer, with images that, like those in her novels, will stay with you long after the initial experience. Once again, Tammy was gracious enough to give an interview to BtO, and I'm delighted to bring it--and her--to you. Be sure to check out her interview about Two Rivers over at The Book Studio, as well as her new blog "Into the Tulgey Wood: A Year of Living Playfully." You'll fall in love. I guarantee.

The Hungry Season is your fifth published book. How is it different seeing this one come out versus the others? Does anything compare to the rush of the first publication?

Nothing compares to the first time...except maybe the first time after almost a decade. (There was a seven year gap between my third and fourth novels.) I am excited and anxious every single time a novel comes out. It's always, always thrilling but simultaneously very scary. Publication means audience, and audiences can be both adoring and cruel. Sometimes both at the same time.

Something that is evident from reading your work and looking at your blogs and web pages is the absolute joy you have for your life. Your children, your writing, your teaching, your husband--you just seem to love it all. How do you keep it new, and what advice can you offer to those who might be just a little bit jaded?

Though I am a pretty driven person, I am also actually pretty easily satisfied. It doesn't take much to make me happy. I have also worked hard my whole life at keeping my priorities straight. It's easy to be happy when the things you care about actually do come first: family, a job you love, etc...

In addition to writing, you are also an accomplished photographer. How do you think your work as a visual artist affects your writing, and vice-versa? It's always struck me that your writing is indeed very visual. Is that how your ideas for your books start? From an image?

I am a very visual person. I think this manifests in both my writing and my photography. They're very similar creative endeavors actually...it's all about perspective and capturing the light. My novels always start with some sort of image I can't shake. Every single one. In the Hungry Season it was the image of a family at a lake, outside at dusk. Of a little girl on a tire swing, her hair dragging on the ground behind her. In Two Rivers, it was a young pregnant girl getting out of a wrecked train. I trust that if the image is strong enough, there will be a story behind it. Same thing with photography.

T. Greenwood | The Book Studio

Comments

Joni Rodgers said…
What a great interview. Thanks for stopping by, Tammy. And Dr. KatPat, you were right. Checked out "Into the Tulgey Wood" and it was love. It's been added to the Author section of our FeedMe bar. Looking forward to playing along.
The Ephemera Files (her photoblog) is AMAZING as well. In fact, a couple of those images inspired some scenes in my book! She's just so super talented and such a generous, big-spirited person.

Oh, and you'll have to go back into Tammy's archives for this, but there's a hilarious video of her kids where she asks them about playing. I may do another post on the "art of playing" and say more about that. That, and several little girls who have enlisted my help in writing a play. :)

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