Recently I had the opportunity of asking New Zealand author Tammy Robinson a few questions in the lead up to her latest release Differently Normal. Many thanks to Tammy for taking time out to answer my questions. A big thank you to Hachette Australia for sending me a review copy.
Differently Normal has just been released and there is a link to my review at the end of interview.
1. Firstly, the character names in this book are absolutely brilliant! Did you have a bit of fun coming up with them?
TR- Thank you! I really did have so much fun naming the characters. I came up with Bee’s name first, and then had to think of one for Maddy, along the same lines of a celebrity that her mother had been obsessed with. Originally, I was thinking Geri, as in Ginger Spice from the Spice Girls. But Maddy (Madonna) suited the character so much better. Albert is this amazingly gorgeous, young, full of life character, and I liked the idea of him having a more old-fashioned name. Having more ‘unusual’ names in common was of course a great conversation starter for them.
2. Bee is a beautiful character who happens to be autistic. What sort of research did you do into autism for her character?
TR- I have a friend whose daughter, Rachel, is autistic. She is the most divine, sweet, beautifully souled young woman, and her mother sends me videos and snippets of their life daily. With her permission, I based Bee on Rachel, so I had her wonderful help with making sure the character stayed authentic. With regards to Bee’s health issues, I did a lot of research, like watching Grand Mal fits on You Tube and describing what I saw.
3. I loved Maddie and I think that I won’t be alone when I ask if maybe you would consider revisiting her character in the future? I would love to see more of Maddie’s story.
TR- It actually never occurred to me to continue Maddy’s story in a separate book, until people (such as yourself!) started asking. With all of my books, once I’ve finished I have been so ready to move onto the next book which has already formed in my head that I’ve never felt the need to go back and revisit them. It’s definitely something I’ll think about, sure!
4. This book is a serious tear jerker. Did you ever consider changing the ending while you were writing it so it wasn’t so heartbreaking?
TR- Honestly? No. Sorry. It was the way it wrote itself in my head and so it was the way it stayed. Believe me, I was absolutely heartbroken too. I’ve suffered some serious losses in the last five years, of people close to me, and it taught me that life isn’t always fair. Not by a long shot. That realism has tended to come through in my writing.
5. Lastly, Differently Normal has been put in the class of Nicholas Sparks and Jojo Moyes. As an author how does it feel to be grouped with such esteemed company?
TR- BLOWN AWAY. Seriously. And so very honoured and proud. I hugely admire them both, so to have my writing compared to theirs is both crazy insane and amazing!
Where to buy a copy:
Head over here for my review and as always, happy reading x