Introducing talented writer and author, Tamara Woods! This lovely lady takes the reward for Artist of the Month for March. She has a lot in store and is sharing with us her upcoming projects, as well as her driving passion for literature.
1. Who is Tamara Woods?
I’m a woman in my mid-30s who has finally decided to pursue my dreams to be a full-time writer and published author. I was born and raised in West Virginia and I’m currently living as a hillbilly hermit in Honolulu. I’m an introvert, who pretends to be an extrovert. I perform spoken word, because I think it sounds best that way, but getting on-stage sends me into an anxious tailspin. I believe that regrets only hold you back. I’d rather try and fail than to wonder, “What if?”
2. How did you get started with poetry and writing?
The first time I clearly remember writing a poem was for an African-American summer program at Fairmont State College before I entered 6th grade. I wrote an “I Am” poem. I’d written short stories before that. It felt like putting on a well-worn pair of jeans-a perfect fit.
3. Visiting your blog PenPaperPad.com, I have notice that you have a strong passion for poetry. What are some themes that you cover in your poetry?
I try to write about different aspects of the human experience. Some of the major themes I come back to are: the African-American experience, being a woman, nature, drug/alcohol use.
4. When writing poetry, do you use a certain style or do you free verse?
I write in free verse mainly. I do experiment with different styles every once in a while, like my attempt at the cinquain. Free verse has always spoken to me. It works best for spoken word, which comes up often in my poetry.
5. As a fiction writer, where do the idea of many of your stories come from?
My observations of the world fuel my stories. The world at large has so many interesting things happening that a definitely “strange than fiction.” Also oddly enough my dreams play a role. I plan to create a collection of short stories based on my dreams within the next year. They often have a dystopian ring to them.
6. Maintaining the role as a full-time freelance writer, blogger, and poet, how do you balance out your work and personal life?
I’m constantly seeking balance. Currently, I find myself devoting a lot of time to promoting my new book, networking and writing new material right now. Fortunately, my boyfriend understands and supports me. We’ll be vising our family and friends in May, so hopefully by then the brunt of the first big push will be finished.
7. What is Tamara doing when she isn’t writing?
I’m an avid reader and YouTube watcher. I connect with family and friends via Skype often. Our date nights consist of Netflix, popcorn and an easy dinner. Relaxing on the beach and camping are my two favorite outdoor activities.
8. Tell us a little about your upcoming book, “The Shaping of an “Angry” Black Woman,” and the inspiration behind it.
This book was 15 years in the making. I wrote poems, keeping them in spiral notebooks and pads, hoping one day I’d have a home for them. I realized a couple years ago after having a near fatal medical issue, that “one day” better become “today.”
The title started with my best friend Melissa. We would talk a lot on the subject of black women and how we’re perceived in society. The negative views people project onto us. And I started thinking about how we are portrayed in media/books/etc. I observed three general roles: The Slut, The Nanny, The Bitch (aka Angry Black Woman). I don’t have the body type for the first, I’m not nurturing enough for the second, so I would be assigned into the third role. I wanted to contribute to this conversation-and let people know that I’m more than just a one-dimensional character. We all are.
9. What advice do you have for writers who are interested in or are taking on writing their own book?
Do it. Just do it. Write it out. Don’t self-edit it, don’t criticize it. You’re very first step is to write out that first draft. Then you go back and start your editing process. Don’t compare your first draft to the books on your shelf. They were all edited (many times) before they were printed.
Where you can keep up with Tamara and her work…
Facebook | TamaraWoodstheWriter
Twitter | PenPaperPad
Tumblr | PenPaperPad78
YouTube | pimptwoo
Blog | PenPaperPad.com
As Tamara wears many crowns, she never loses sight of her goals. She continues to work hard in her passions , as she prepares to launch her book, “The Shaping of an ‘Angry’ Black Woman.” Tamara finds inspiration in life and everything around her. Never think that you can only grasp inspiration from one thing. Inspiration is everywhere; in all aspects of life. Just open your mind and get ready to receive. Dedicate yourself to your art, and never lose sight!