IndieView with Tamara Mallimo, author of Magnolia Landing

I knew that I wanted to write historical fiction. How long did it take you to write it? Letting the characters drive the story and modelling them after parts of my own life made the writing much easier than it might have been, if the storyline had felt unnatural or unfamiliar to me. People had better learn to have friendships across racial lines and learn to embrace integration in all areas of life, because that’s the way we’d all be living in heaven. Do you listen to music while you write? Author House designed the cover from a photo that my daughter, Trina, had taken. They become dependent on their ability to raise crops and livestock in order to provide food. Then she’d continue to pray while taking the different route. I’m not certain how each has influenced me because I’ve honestly never really thought about it. Occasionally, yes, but it’s not so much that it gets my fingers tapping as it is that it blocks out the distractions of the children and dogs. We live in Salisbury, NC; located in the same county I was raised in. At the same time, I wanted to leave readers wanting more … with a desire to know what has happened and what will happen. Malayna is what my Mama raised me to be – strong and resilient. Do you have a target reader? Get your copy of   Magnolia Landing from Amazon US or Amazon UK. I began to look at publishers and publishing options without ever saying anything to my family. Mama, like Mama in Magnolia Landing, was a prayer warrior who would pray her way through any situation until she was forced to take a different route.  
Tamara Mallimo – 26 October 2019
The Back Flap
The Georgia plantation known as Magnolia Landing has been an ideal place to grow up for Malayna and Hattie, two girls of different races born just hours apart. For example, there are four Wellington girls in the story. Life has a way of throwing us curveballs through unexpected events though and it had to be shelved until late summer this year, 2019. This sometimes involves posting a sign on the door that says “Writing in Progress” to attempt to keep the children out at least for a bit. What would you like readers to know about you? Work hard and never give up. I’m also a homeschool mom. I grew up in the rural South where people still struggled (and some still do) with the races mixing. Their idyllic youth is shattered by a Civil War that takes their fathers away from home, leaving the girls to survive on their own as they learn to navigate their new reality; working to keep their families both well-fed and safe. When did you start writing the book? I particularly struggled with the ending because I wanted to conclude a segment of the story. This is basically the way I grew up until we moved off the farm when I was 16. Mama, like Grandmama in Magnolia Landing, taught us that all people are people regardless of the color of their skin. I plan to start outlining more in the future to see if it’ll foster a smoother process. Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors? After losing both of my parents, I was haunted by not having tried hard enough while they were still with me. Magnolia Landing is a tale of interracial friendship, family, and love set on a Georgia plantation against the backdrop of the Civil War. We have four daughters. I tend to simply shut myself in a room and start writing. I had the idea for years but started writing the book in early 2015. I’m an avid reader and find there is nothing better than curling up with a good book. What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? I say we because my husband and I are both working on marketing the book. I had four little girls at home to continue raising so I simply did what needed to be done just as Mama taught me. My parents always told to dream big and I could achieve anything if I’d work hard enough. We all know how important it is for writers to read. Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself? I’m sure you’ve heard of one stoplight towns. Just be positive, patient, and persistent. I’ll typically play either Contemporary Christian or Country. While the characters are fictitious, I have borrowed characteristics from real world people. About You
Where did you grow up? No, I did not.   It was from Author House and that’s when I first told my husband. Was it a particular event or a gradual process? The plantation becomes not much more than a working farm. We were having lunch at a small amusement park in FL with my husband’s parents and our daughters when I got an email alert on my phone. I answered and things just started falling into place from there. About Writing
Do you have a writing process? Some of my favorite authors are Margaret Mitchell, John Jakes, Pat Conroy, Debbie Macomber, and Nicholas Sparks… I could go on and on with this list, but I’ll stop there. We are learning as we go. Book Two in the Magnolia Series, Malayna’s story isn’t over yet. If yes, what gets the fingers tapping. What came easily? She is a professional photographer, just starting her business, 1,000 Words Imagery, and I prefer utilizing her work. The desire to combine all these goals in my writing led to the creation of Magnolia Landing. Where did you get the idea from? No, my husband and I were both English majors at Pfeiffer College where we met, so we did the editing ourselves. It simply means I’m forgiven. End of Interview:
For more from Tamra check out her website and like her Facebook page. About the book
What is the book about? I decided to go Indie because it is easier to initially get published, although the marketing is admittedly a bigger challenge. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) I have four daughters and they, not my writing, will be my greatest legacy. That is until the war and Northern soldiers come to Magnolia Landing. I had pretty much completed the book by mid-fall 2015. Malayna is what my Mama raised me to be – strong and resilient. Many times, when my husband would be deployed overseas, I would hear “oh you’re so strong” or “I don’t know how you do it.” The truth is no one knows what they are truly capable of until being strong is the only choice they have. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you? Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?   I’m a follower of Jesus, but that doesn’t mean I’m perfect. If it can happen for a poor farm girl from Gold Hill, NC then it can happen for anyone. That was a very difficult balance for me. We all bleed the same color was a phrase she liked to use, especially when she would try to explain to some less enlightened people of my youth that heaven would not be segregated. I’m an Army wife, who supported her soldier through three deployments to Kuwait and Iraq with the NC Army National Guard. I said, “honey I did this thing with my writing and you’re not going to believe this, but I just got an email back from a publisher.”   He said, “well email them back,” once he realized what I was saying. We are wanting to focus on Indie bookstores as much as possible and we are also utilizing social media. It takes on racial prejudice and encourages people to look at their own misconceptions about those who aren’t just like them. Other than glaring, obvious mistakes and typos, I do not edit as I go. I did and literally a few minutes later an Author House representative was on the phone. Did you hire a professional editor? We, however, are a multi-racial family and I wanted to challenge readers to examine the possibilities of interracial relationships, friendships, and families. Many times, when my husband would be deployed overseas, I would hear “oh you’re so strong” or “I don’t know how you do it.”   The truth is no one knows what they are truly capable of until being strong is the only choice they have. About Publishing
Did you submit your work to Agents? I have always been fascinated by the American Civil War era. No, I don’t typically outline, but I do use thinking maps to get myself started then springboard from there with various ideas. Mama and Grandmama are, therefore, each a reflection of my Mama in their own ways. I’m just an ordinary person like anyone else. I sent out several emails and inquiries with samples of my writing just to see what would happen. Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it? Obviously, the whole family found out at that point. I grew up in the middle of nowhere, on a farm in Gold Hill, NC. I suppose we are winging it. Once I am finished, I go back through multiple times to do the editing. They have been best friends from their first breathes due to the unusual and unpopular beliefs of Malayna’s father that all men are created equal regardless of skin color. This is their story of love, friendship, and survival… against all odds. What are you working on now? Were there any parts of the book where you struggled? Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know? I suppose they would then become my target readers if I had to pick. Not really, although I fully expect to have a more female audience who will most likely be mid-20s and older. I also knew that I wanted to show that not all Southern plantation owners were inherently evil slave holders. If so can you please describe it? As a little girl, I would tell my Mama that I was going to be a teacher or a writer so the desire to write, as well as the dream to be published, was always within me. Well, I grew up in a town so small we didn’t even have that. If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences? Where do you live now? It was a gradual process, years in the making. I vividly recall her having this argument quite frequently with one of my aunts. Do you outline?