Tamara Grantham is the award-winning author of more than a dozen books and novellas, including the Olive Kennedy: Fairy World MD series and the Shine novellas. Dreamthief, the first book of her Fairy World MD series, won first place for fantasy in INDIEFAB’S Book of the Year Awards, a RONE award for best New Adult Romance of 2016, and is a #1 bestseller on Amazon in both the Mythology and Fairy Tales categories with over 200 reviews.
Tamara holds a Bachelor’s degree in English. She has been a featured speaker at the Rose State Writing Conference and has been a panelist at Comic Con Wizard World speaking on the topic of female leads. For her first published project, she collaborated with New York-Times bestselling author, William Bernhardt, in writing the Shine series.
Born and raised in Texas, Tamara now lives with her husband and five children in Wichita, Kansas. She rarely has any free time, but when the stars align and she gets a moment to relax, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, taking nature walks, which fuel her inspiration for creating fantastical worlds, and watching every Star Wars or Star Trek movie ever made.
Favorite Books: Childhood faves: The Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis and The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander. As I got older, I enjoyed books by Terry Brooks and Terry Goodkind (the first few.) I also fell in love with Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy. Today, some of my favorite reads are The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher and The Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews. Oh--and Harry Potter. But who doesn't love Harry Potter, right?
Favorite Movies: All the Star Wars movies, Star Trek everything, A&E's Pride and Prejudice, and the new Thor movies.
More About Me: The Long (And Probably More Info than you Ever Wanted to Know):
I was born in a small Texas town. Growing up in a place where there's not much to do, I spent a lot of time outdoors. Riding horses and helping my grandma in her garden were some of my favorite activities. I started coming up with stories at a very young age. Some I wrote down. Most I didn't. When I finally attempted to write a novel, I got a few chapters in and quit. The story never went how I'd imagined. I got frustrated, felt like I wasn't a very talented writer, or maybe writing just wasn't my "calling" and so I stopped. This happened for years. I wrote a few short stories, one that got praised by my uncle Larry, who was an author, and his advice stayed with me. He told me to write a novel. I thought he was crazy.
After graduating from high school, I went to college at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas where I studied English. It was also where I met my husband David. He was a fellow sci-fi/fantasy lover. He says that on our first date--when he realized I loved Star Wars as much as him--was the moment he knew he wanted to marry me. I, however, was super insecure, and didn't know if he'd ever ask me out for a second date. He'd told me he was moving to Reno to go to college with his sister. I thought he was cute and funny and pretty much perfect, but I didn't think we had a future together. The night before he left for Reno, he asked me to wait for him. I did.
Two months later, he came down to visit for the weekend. It was October, one of my favorite months. We'd just enjoyed a "romantic" date night at the local Haunted Hotel where we'd been chased by crazy men toting chainsaws. Afterwards, while we sat in my Dodge Neon parked in his driveway, he popped the question. He says he wishes he would have done something more creative, or at least have had a ring with him, but it didn't matter to me. From my perspective, it was the best proposal in the world.
We got married on March 16, 2002 in the Houston LDS Temple. He decided to do the med school thing. It started out okay while he studied for four years in Galveston, Texas, but when we moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma for his residency program, with his crazy long hours and me at home with three small kids, I sort of lost it. I needed some sort of outlet or I knew I wouldn't make it.
That's when my uncle Larry's words started nagging me again. Write a book. Finish a book. Another motivating factor happened when I read Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George. I loved the book and thought it was creative and entertaining, but at the end of the book, the author said she wrote the novel while raising two young kids. How? I couldn't even check my email with my kids around. How did she do it? And if she could, could I do it, too?
I'd had so many stories floating around in my head, one in particular I wanted to write, but before I even started, I knew I had to have a detailed outline. I couldn't do it the way I'd tried before. My story would never get where I wanted it to go; I would get frustrated and give up. On September 1, 2010, I wrote an 11 page outline for a story I called The Great American Fairytale. A month later, I finally fulfilled my promise to my now-deceased Uncle Larry. I finished a book.
The Great American Fairytale, later named Forbidden, never got published. Neither did its sequel, Forgotten, or even the third book in the trilogy, Forgiven. But those books taught me so much, way more than I could ever include here. My husband was also a huge supporter of my writing. Every Christmas, he bought me "How-to" books on writing. At first, I scoffed at the idea. I'd already written a book--why did I need a book on how to write one? But writing a novel goes way beyond grammar and typos--things like voice, point-of-view, adverbs and passive voice. Modifiers. Things that most readers don't think about, but every author should know.
In 2011, I started a book I'd been thinking about for a long time. I was still writing my Forbidden trilogy, but this new book just kept nagging me. And these lines..."I don't believe in karma..."
While visiting family in Tennessee, I sat down at my laptop and wrote those words. That book became Dreamthief. As I'm writing this today, Dreamthief has won several awards, including first place for fantasy in Foreword Review's INDIEFAB awards, and received a RONE award for best New Adult Romance.
My journey isn't over. What I didn't mention is that I've suffered with depression throughout my life. When I started writing, it gave me something to focus on. It helped me overcome what had become a dark place in my life. When people ask me, "How do you write while raising five kids?" My answer, "I don't know how I would raise five kids without writing."
I still have a long way to go. Some days I get frustrated because my books just aren't selling well enough, or I get a bad review, or I can't figure out this social media marketing thing, but I've already decided I will never give up. The moment I quit is the moment I fail. I also hope my story can help inspire others.
For more info on how I got published, you can read this blog post, My Road to Finding a Publisher.