Author Interview with Tammy Cortez
I’m interviewing Tammy Cortez today, author of children’s book “AbbeyLoo and Gus the Talking Toad”. Please welcome Tammy to my blog!
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Honestly I didn’t know until I wrote this book. I was around 37 or so when I wrote it during down time on my iPad. I had sat on it for a few years before moving forward with it. It was originally meant to be a gift for my daughter Abbey who was in love with the toads in our yard. I am a very creative person and while writing the book I thoroughly enjoyed it and the ideas just started to flood my mind. I always enjoyed the writing assignments we would get in high school, but never really thought about it much as a career.
What inspired you to write AbbeyLoo and Gus the Talking Toad?
My youngest daughter Abbey (nickname AbbeyLoo) spent hours in our yard catching and playing with the hundreds of baby toads. We had so many toads that in the morning it looked like the ground was moving as they moved around the yard. You had to pay attention to where you walked or you would step on them. Abbey had a bug catching kit and it had a plastic box with it. She would put dirt, leaves, grass and a small lid with water in the bottom and then put them in there and look at them, talk to them, pet them and then let them go. She would even use her bug catching net to try and catch flies for them.
I am also a huge nature person and I like that I was able to include a message in the story that all creatures big and small should be able to live together. I hope that it leaves children a little more aware of the creatures around them.
What is your editing process like?
I read it more times than I can count and had others read it. This was my very first book so I had no idea what I was doing. Knowing what I know now, the process will be much more organized and planned out.
Who is your favorite character from your book?
Well obviously I am a BIG fan of AbbeyLoo and I think Gus is awesome. But I have to admit that I really love Buster the beetle. A beetle as a pet is a fun thought and he is super cute!
Do you have any more books planned in this series?
I have a couple more in the works, though I am not sure exactly when we will be moving forward with them. I am working with Abbey (who is now 13) to flush them out. She is the inspiration and I want to make sure they continue to reflect her.
Are you working on something right now? If so, can you tell us a little about it?
I have a couple of young adult books in the works. Now that my youngest is older I wanted to write something she could enjoy.
One is about a young girl who saves two small herds of wild horses by convincing her grandparents and parents to allow them to live on the family land in Wyoming. It is a lesson about following your beliefs and fighting for them and those who can’t fight for themselves.
The second book is about a young girl who loses her Naval Officer father in a plane crash. It follows her and her mother as they recover from this devastating loss and how they use their challenges and blessings to help others like them. This story will have heartbreak, love, young romance and a lesson in giving back.
About the Book
Title: AbbeyLoo and Gus The Talking Toad
Author: Tammy Cortez
Genre: Children’s Books
AbbeyLoo is a curious little girl with a BIG imagination. This imagination takes AbbeyLoo to some very exciting and often unexpected places.
AbbeyLoo loves exploring her backyard. There is always something new to see. Her favorite find is the many toads that roam her backyard. AbbeyLoo loves to carefully catch the toads and pet them and talk to them. Normally they don’t talk back, but today is totally different. Follow along with AbbeyLoo on her latest adventure as she meets Gus, the talking toad.
Tammy Cortez is a Fremont, California native now living in Georgetown, Texas. She grew up living in suburbia but spent every weekend at their horse ranch 30 minutes away in the country. Tammy competed in team penning events, winning many of them, including 1st place in a larger event resulting in her first silver belt buckle, still one of her prized possessions.
She has been married for 25 years to a guy she met in the 7th grade and remained friends with through middle and high school. They have two daughters, 24 & 12.Tammy spent the first two years of her marriage as a Navy wife having lived at the well known and much loved NAS Miramar (now MCAS Miramar) and then NAS Lemore, both in California.
Outside of enjoying time with her family, Tammy loves repurposing old furniture and other fun finds as well as painting. Not painting on canvas, though she would love to give that a whirl, but home interior painting. “It’s the one thing everyone dreads, but I find almost therapeutic,” she says.
She found, or re-found, her passion for writing when she decided to write a story intended as a gift for her youngest daughter. After discussing it with a couple of friends that had written books, she was convinced she should publish it. “When I started writing I found something I realize now, I had lost. Back in high school I had an English teacher, I wish I could remember her name, but she had us do this great writing exercise. We would close our eyes and lay our heads down on our desks. She would then read a few sentences that were descriptive of a location and situation, and then ask us to raise our heads and write what we saw. We would go through this process a few times and the end result was a story. When many of my classmates had 2 – 3 pages I had 6+ pages. I could write and write and write. Then I stopped. I guess it was so non-traditional I just never even considered it as a career. I write very much in the same manner now. Very off the cuff.”
The move to Texas took Tammy away from her Business Analyst job in Information Technology at an energy laboratory in California. This move opened up a door that never would have been considered before. Tammy found Waldorf Publishing through a friend and is working on a series of children’s books as well as some middle grade books. She is now dedicated to writing when she isn’t volunteering at her daughter’s school or spending time with family and friends.
Buy the book on Amazon
I like the idea of writing books that have a positive message. There are so many opportunities for our kids to be subjected to negative ideas. If I can provide a book with a positive message and they take something away from that, then I feel like I have made a difference in some way, shape or form.