Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hi there! My name is Kamaya Tarpley and I’m 28 years old
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m originally from Brooklyn, New York, but I’ve been a Las Vegas resident for twenty years now.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I went to the Philadelphia and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for Business. I have a really small family, but luckily, my mother and brother live literally down the street from
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Just a couple days ago, March 30th to be exact, I released my ninth novel, Maxwell. I’m extremely excited about it.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a child, but I didn’t start taking it seriously until three years ago. I was a little on the lost side of what I wanted to do with my life and what would give me meaning. I had to think, what am I good at? Turns out, all those songs, poems, and screenplays I wrote for fun were just practice for the real thing.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I considered myself a writer when I had a boyfriend break up with me because I picked up the pace on my first novel and started taking it seriously. It showed me this could be a career and that I believed in myself more than I needed a relationship that required me to be static.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?#
My first book is Alicia Vale: I Salute You. It was inspired by a relationship I was involved in at the time. I wrote it from the point of the military spouse, Alicia, as they dealt with the aftermath of her husband Kyle’s career in the Marines. Very similar to real life.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?#
To be quite honest, the name, I have no idea. It just came to me, but the “I Salute You” portion came from me generating military terms that could be a play on the plot.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I definitely have a distinct style in the sense that I like to get my stories going. Of course I use descriptors, however, dialog is extremely important to me. It can be challenging because I can sometimes move into writing how I speak, which is very fast and loose, but that’s what editing is for!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The first two books, Alicia Vale: I Salute You and Alicia Vale: As You Were are very realistic as they related to myself. I would like to think my thriller, Sugar Coated Savages and Maxwell aren’t realistic, thanks to the gore. My fantasy novels, Evolve, Mother Maiken and the War of the Realms, Succubus, Lavender, and Beguilement of the Vanquished are purely fiction. I will say that I do incorporate elements of mine and my loved ones lives into each book.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I never need to travel for my work, even though I love to fly.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I actually designed every single cover from start to finish. If I use models, I even take the photos and edit them myself. This is a one-woman machine here.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
All of my novels have different messages. The deepest ones I believe come two of my novels. Sugar Coated Savages teach us the importance of parenting and being there for your children because your absence can have a toxic effect on their adult personalities. Mother Maiken and the War of the Realms also teaches us to find the strength and power within yourself as well as remembering to respect those who nuture you.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I don’t have any new authors in mind at the moment, however, I do have a favorite writer. Colin Falconer is my absolute favoritebecause of the way he describes his characters and the time period in which he writes in. I’m able to smell everything, taste everything, see everything. He’s excellent.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
To be technical, my friends aren’t blood related, so I can say they definitely supported me. In my heart though, I see those incredible human beings as my family. They encouraged me to keep going when I became overwhelmed and to this day, continue to support me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I plan to retire off my books, so yes, this is definitely a career. Writing is an absolute hustle when you’re independent, but if you want it, you will find success.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I wouldn’t change anything in Maxwell. I think everything came out just as I wanted and I think the readers will be quite pleased as well.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
When I was writing Maxwell, a thriller based in 2007, I learned that I am way too obsessed with the early 2000’s.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
This is actually a really good question. My ideal actress for this role would be Zoe Kravitz. My book would definitely have more of an indie vibe and Zoe is definitely an indie queen.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
The best advice I could ever give would be to write what makes YOU happy. Even in a perfect world, you will never please everyone. Readers will know if you’re unhappy with your work. Even if the appeal is to a smaller crowd, you and that small crowd can be happy together.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I would like to tell my readers that my books do have unique twists to them. I try my hardest to think outside the box and apply parallels others may not think of. You may not be used to the unconventional stories, but you will love them!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Right now I’m reading “The Ice Cream Queen on of Orchard Street” by Sarah Jane Gilman. I love stories with strong female leads and this book has that very element. It’s long, but worth the read.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I want to say the first book that I have a vivid memory of reading was a book where a child and her aunt travel. I truly can’t remember the title and Google is letting me down, but I do remember the illustrator true some DELICIOUS eggs.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Awkward moments typically make me laugh a lot. You can’t put a price on a spontaneous act of ridiculousness. Sad stories about kids or animals make me cry. Always.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
The one person I would love to meet is Oprah. Not just because she became a millionaire, but the strength she had to overcome her situation is so motivational. Lifting yourself from the very bottom, stepping on every “no” you get, takes a lot of courage.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
As for hobbies, I love television and movies. They make me a better writer believe it or not. They help me set the scene.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Reality shows are my absolute favorite as from a few shows like True Blood, Game of Thrones, and You. I know most people pretend to hate them, but there’s a reason we have so many! As for movies, horror is at the tip top for me. I love a movie that will terrify me.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Favorite food is and will always be lasagne. Color would be blue and music would be pop. I really love all music, but pop and rock are my top faves.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
There is no future where I do not write, but for the sake of the hypothetical….. I would probably take up party planning or something else that requires creativity.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I would spend that time with my family eating my mom’s lasagne and banana pudding and talking to my brother about school. I cherish those moments very much.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I’ve never thought about it, but maybe something like. “She was the Rhoda” Something funny, but obscure. I want to continue making people laugh or confused even after I’m gone. This will please my ghost.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Readers can follow me on various platforms.
Instagram and Twitter: @Kamayatarpley
Facebook: Kamaya Tarpley Author’s Page
Kamayatarpley.com << My books are EXCLUSIVELY sold here