Interview with Tiffany Christina Lewis

Published 2014-04-24.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Oakland California. This influences my writing HIGHLY because I intend to locate every book I write in Oakland or the Bay Area. I've lived in Oakland, San Leandro and Hayward, all in the Bay Area so I know every nook and cranny of area. I know the transit system, where all types of restaurants are , what kind of people live where, and most importantly, where a crime could be committed, bodies dumped, etc. I've seen all the alleys and dark streets.

All the things I need to know to write about crime in the Bay Area is in my head. On top of that, anything I need to know that's not already in my head is in the head of someone I know from home. I always go for realism so that is the realist place I can portray.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Inside Out is the compelling story of a delusional killer, a determined, handsome, outstanding detective who is on the killers trail, and the sexy, strong and smart woman who brings him peace. All that culminating in a fast paced, slightly gruesome tale of attraction and dissection.

This story came to me from no where. I just woke up one morning and saw Michael Taylor and Vanessa. The next step was to keep thinking. I always imagine my books before I write them. It only took me 3 months to get this book on paper. That's why I always tell people that this book just dropped in my lap.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle, but I am not chained to it. I would like a Nook device because I want to support Barnes and Nobles. I think it's important to keep physical book stores alive and even with digital sales I can help Barnes and Nobles stay alive. Amazon is not a book store...
Who are your favorite authors?
I am a big fan of Stephen King. He taught me that a chapter is whatever you want it to be. When I read Carrie and there was a chapter as short as a paragraph I was blown away. I appreciate that insight and will remember that forever.

Tess Gerritsen taught me that woman should be regarded as powerful in my writing. That’s why Vanessa is kick ass, beautiful, smart and sexy in Inside Out.

Walter Mosley inspired me to try to write what I thought was impossible. I never thought I could write action. His books made it look easy.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley: Classic detective, crime fiction which I love. I like the main character, Easy Rawlins even though he did hae kind of a cowardly streak in the first book.

The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen: Loved the characters and how brave these Women were!

The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen: Same here! I thought this book also portrayed these women as brave and smart. Good role models. They have their weaknesses but they are human.

Carrie by Stephen King: CLASSIC KING! I loved this book. Erie and real even for a fiction. This book is still relevant to this day. Bullying and young people dealing with their differences is all to real.

Cruel Justice by MA Comley: I loved Lorne. Another strong woman investigator and more crime! I love both of those things.
What do you read for pleasure?
ALL CRIME! I love it. Sometimes I read other genres but its usually because a friend wrote it or someone else suggested to me. I don't mean to seem closed minded, because I'm not, I appreciate all forms of art, but I am usually looking for crime or detective books.
Describe your desk
A mess for a week, clean for 3 days. Sometimes I really care about keeping it clean, other times I could care less. I can always find what I need though!
How do you approach cover design?
This is my first book so I checked online, with my publisher and finally I went to Fiverr. Fiverr was VERY inexpensive and the person I worked with was excellent. Now, I did buy my own image for the cover from Dollar Photo Club because a) I don't want to get in any trouble with copyright because of someone else, and b) I kind of knew what I wanted.

I am big with my imagination so I could see my cover, at least a lot of ideas for it. When I went to Dollar Photo Club they had an image that worked for me. I gave that to the designer and she took it from there!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I once told my friend Mark Wagstaff that I would never publish my own work. He told me that he didn't see the problem with it because it reminded him of musicians. He said musician's release music on their own, do shows and what not until they are signed to a major deal. He said that self publishing and Indie authors are essentially doing the same thing. On top of that, as an Indie author, you have the ability to grow your brand to the point where you don't need a major publishing company to hold your contract. It gives you the ability to choose. Ultimately.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Reader approval. I love it when people like my work. I write for readers, trying to be meticulous and perfect for them so when they validate that I love it!
What are you working on next?
I am working on Michael Taylor 2, which is a working title. Michael Taylor 2 will be a novel. Also, there is another novella based on a short story I had published in a compilation 2012 in the works now. That was a special request. All my upcoming releases will be crime of course, but the project based on the compilation is nothing like Michael Taylor. I hear every bestselling author has another book coming soon so I’m living by that.
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