Interview with Tammy Tocheniuk

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I remember my first attempt at a novel. I was in Grade 9 and I was determined to write a book. Incorporating some of my friends, I would change their names, but use some of their own characteristics to describe them. They would try to guess who was who. It was fun! If I was angry with them or any reason, I would write their character out of the book.
What is your writing process?
It seems to differ from project to project. Sentences or ideas will run through my mind and I'll write until my mind is clear. Until it starts to pull me in again. I once read an author's bio where she said she wrote one thousand words daily no matter what. I am going to try that for my next book.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I don't remember my very first book, but I do remember loving Charlotte's Web. My Grade 4 teacher would read a few pages out loud to my class everyday. That was something I looked forward to. A few years after that came Farley Mowat. My love of reading started early and continues to this day.
What do you read for pleasure?
I'll read most anything, but my favorite genre is mystery. I also love books with forensic pathologists as the lead character. I find the ability to detect clues from crime scenes or even from bodies themselves fascinating.
Describe your desk
I actually don't sit at a proper desk. For my book Confessions of a Medium A Pocket Guide to the Other Side, I sat mainly at the dining table. For my current fiction novel, I have been sitting on my couch in the den. I even wrote the first few pages while parked in my car on the side of the road. I do like the idea of having a designated writing spot, though.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in rural New Brunswick. We refer it it as the North Shore. I lived near the woods and spent many hours sitting among the trees, listening to the animals chattering away. Northern New Brunswick is quite dramatic with her deep forests and her rough waters. It would be quite difficult, I would think, to have all of that wildness right at your fingertips and not be inspired in some way.
When did you first start writing?
I always wrote in school for English assignments, but Grades 9 and 12 stand out for me. I also wrote speeches for oratorical competitions and dabbled a bit in poetry. My Grade 12 English teacher gave me extra credit for the short stories I wrote. One was about a woman running from her husband in the eighteenth century. She had to kill him to save herself. Quite the dramatic ending!
What's the story behind your latest book?
I've just started, but so far it's about a woman who gets involved in a murder case because she has seen vivid details about how the murderer goes about committing his crimes. Once before, her involvement caused a mental breakdown and so she is very much a reluctant psychic/medium when next we see her.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
That the ideas, sentences, characters swirling in my head come to life on paper. That I can share it with others. I feel a great sense of accomplishment.
What do your fans mean to you?
"Fans" may be stretching it a bit! But, for those who have read my "Confessions" book, I am extremely grateful that they took the time to sit and read my words. It certainly takes it to another level to know someone, somewhere has read my story. Thank You!!!
Who are your favorite authors?
Some of my favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Tammy Hoag, Greg Isles, Lisa Jackson. But, really I'll read most anything!
Published 2013-09-05.
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