Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Tam Ames tells all: from her secret royal babies to the size of Justin Bieber's widgie to how she single-handedly swung the U.S. presidential election!

Yeah, okay, I might be stretching the truth just a tad. But the scintillating Tam Ames is indeed here, and she does have, as usual, some interesting things to say. Oh, and she's offering a giveaway, too. So start shakin', Tambourine!


Hey everyone. I’m completely honored, thrilled and freaked right out that KZ asked me to come by the blog. Eeek. Does this mean I’m a “real” author now? I have to do authorly things like hang out at Starbucks with my laptop, wear black and sigh dramatically at regular intervals? Hmm. I may suck at this then.

So given my intense dislike of Starbucks coffee (not the company, they seem pretty okay) and sighing dramatically, I decided to do a post about what I love about writing and being an “author” and what I don’t love.

For those of you who don’t know me, I started writing m/m as a bit of a dare. I’d never shown any interest in writing fiction of any kind, and then someone said “Well, you can’t have a romance with X in it.” Uh oh. My inner obstinate child came out and said “Oh yeah? Watch me.” And that was it. It was just for fun, to amuse my friends, who continued to push me to write more and to submit, which I finally bit the bullet and did with Winterlude (my first published short story through Torquere Press).

So why do I do it, on top of my full-time job and my reviewing work and being a single mom? Hmm. Good question.

What I like about writing #1:

THE POWER!!!! Okay. Well sort of. You can make your characters do and say whatever you want. You want him to be in a good mood, voila. Bad mood, here you go, he’s snarly. I know some people say their characters determine the direction, but let’s be honest, it’s our own subconscious. I see that my mood rules my characters. When I’m feeling down, my characters are sad and have sad stories to tell. When I’m in a good mood, my characters tend to be light and funny. I’m in control, I can write the story I want to read with the guys I want to know more about.

What I dislike about writing #1:

EDITING: Anyone who tells you they like editing is a liar. (IMHO) I can really see the appeal of a short story. My editing for shorts is so fast and easy. There is only so much you can change in 9,000 words. But for my longer story Summer School I was so damn sick of reading it over and over and over by the end.  You also get paranoid that you’ll miss something major because your brain is now seeing what it thinks should be there rather than what is really there. Maybe when I’m ├╝ber-rich and famous I can hire one to do my dirty work and correct all my grammar. Preferably someone kind of young and twinky who I can force to work mostly-nekked. J

What I like about writing #2:

THE FAME: *rolls on floor laughing* Okay. Really, that is so untrue. BUT there is no human on this earth that does not crave positive feedback for their efforts. Whether that be doing a great job at the office, cooking a nice meal for your family, or receiving a slow clap from your child when you tell her you signed another contract. (Really, it was a slow clap.) We all want validation. And it’s kind of cool to go into Borders and set all of the sample Nooks to show your book. Okay, it was ONE sample Nook, but it was still way cool, and I’m sure JK Rowling does the same thing. It’s also a thrill to be part of the “club”, the one made up of authors you admire, even if you’re a junior member.

What I dislike about writing #2:

NAMES: I swear, this should be the fun part. It’s like being on 19 Kids and Counting. You get to choose all your kids names, without all the poopy diapers. BUT… it’s so hard. I seem to gravitate towards certain letter of the alphabet and I have to be careful, or everyone has a J or K name. Then there are certain names I can’t use because they are the names of friends, and in my mind I can’t separate the name from the person, and that’s just creepy.  It seems like it should be easier. It’s not. I also don’t want to get too weird, unless that’s the point. Made up names with random letters and no vowels are just annoying. Then you have to watch ethnicities.  A guy with British parents is unlikely to be named Pedro. See how hard it is? Who’d have guessed? I need a spreadsheet because I’m terrified I’ll use the same name twice.

What I like about writing #3:

STORIES: I’ve never been one of those people who could just lie down and – poof – fall asleep. My way of coping was to make up movies in my head. Now I find most of my before sleep movies involve on-page stories. I’m thinking up ideas, and working out scenes in my head. I said to my daughter I wished there was some kind of program that could take the thoughts from your head and just write them down. When I’m driving I have a ton of stories, I rework scenes in my head, and if only I could get it on paper. But it’s fun to have ideas and stories and see them gel, not just be amorphous things that float through your head before sleep never to return.

I’ll end on a positive note. There really are many more good things than bad. I love the community of authors and readers. Sure there are moments of brow wrinkling as I wonder if someone has spiked our punch, but that is such a small part of it all. Seeing a story come together, trying new things (even if you think others will hate it), are all fun and rewarding.

So thanks, KZ, for having me by. It was fun and maybe someone can throw out some names for me to use. LOL Or names you hate. That’s always more fun. Elmer? Um. No. “That wasacally wabbit.” Tell me your LEAST favourite name for a romance hero (and why, if you can) and you could win a copy of my just-released short, The Bigger They Are, the Harder They Fall. 

Spence may be a big guy at six foot four, but he’s mortified when he faints at the sight of blood in front of sexy client Vander at the local tattoo parlor. But it’s not often Vander finds attractive men his own height, and he’s not going to let a little thing like fainting ruin his chances for a date.


Tam is a single mom to a teenage daughter who lives in Ontario, Canada. It was the encouragement and dares of some friends that inspired her to start writing m/m romance. Traveling as much as possible with her daughter, reading, writing, and playing around on-line keep her busy, in addition to her day job. You can find Tam at her regular haunts: her blog and the excellent review site she runs with Jenre, Brief Encounters.


Tam said...

Thanks so much for having me KZ. #3, happened last night BUT, I had this brilliant idea for a scene in the prequel I've been piddling with for my Christmas short for last year, it was going to be funny even and ... I remember the gist of it, but I can't remember how it started. Sigh. Hopefully tonight it will come back. :-)

and I totally did control the election. Psychic vibes, you'd be amazed how many people realized after that they voted for Obama and meant to pick Romney. HAHAHAHAHA

K. Z. Snow said...

Welcome, Tam! I'm thrilled to the teeth to have such a powerful mover-and-shaker visit my humble blog. :)

Clare London said...

Oh, but you've summarised all the things I feel too - and ESPECIALLY the names thing :). There never seems to be a shortage of girl names. But I just can't bear to mangle some of our boy-names just for the sake of novelty. You know, Steavenn, Baryry, Dayveade...heh.

I keep a spreadsheet and I STILL repeat myself. We Brits seem very unimaginative. I'll just keep trawling biblical favourites until I can write a story about Nebuchadnezzar. Or however you spell it :)

Great post and lovely to hear from you both! :)

Tam said...


I suppose you could have a bunch of Welsh characters. They have rather... unique, names.

Anonymous said...

One of the worst names I have ever seen was a supposed bad ass intergalactic espionage agent named Lark! lol Cracks me up to this day as I believe there was no irony intended.

And wooohoooo we have Marriage Equality here in Maryland and President Obama won.

Anonymous said...

One of the worst names I have ever seen was a supposed bad ass intergalactic espionage agent named Lark! lol Cracks me up to this day as I believe there was no irony intended.

And wooohoooo we have Marriage Equality here in Maryland and President Obama won.

Tam said...


Yeah, I read a book with a Lark, but he was twinky. Yay for marriage equality! All four ballots concerning marriage passed yesterday. A sign of the times I hope.

K. Z. Snow said...

I hate random apostrophes in character names. That's about the sum of my aversion. Old-fashioned names and trendy names, ethnic names and made-up names -- they're all fine with me. Just don't litter the damned things with punctuation!

Well, I do agree with Clare about misspellings for the sake of novelty. That drives me nuts too.

Tam said...

I could change my name to L-a. It's pronounced Le-dash-a. Or Abcde pronounced Ab-su-dee.

Apparently those are real names. Urban legend? Sadly I think not.

Teresa said...

Least favourite name I could think of would be Cletus. There is nothing romantic or sexy about that name!

Tam said...


There are some southern names and nicknames I don't care for. One I thought of the other day had the guy named Booger. How on earth can I think sexy thoughts with a guy named after snot? Eeek.

Cole said...

I hate names too. I went to school with a bunch of posers who were alway changing their "identities", Alex became Al-x (pronounced differently!) and I knew one guy named Da3id.... legally, seriously.

I was like, so how do you pronounce that? And he said, like it looks... David *giving me a shifty-eyed glare*.

I mean, come on!

Can't wait to read your new story babe!

Urb said...

L-dash-a! ROFLMAO! I really don't like names like Kane, Shane, Blaine. Dane. I also don't like hardware names like Brad, Chad, Chip, Rod, Chet, Brock, Todd, and Dick. People don't use those much, thank goodness.

I like the name Aloyicius, but its too hard to spell.

Tam said...

@Cole Ax-L needs to marry L-a. I can only imagine their poor children.

@Urb I never thought about those names as hardware names. I always think of Chip and Chet and Brock as upper-crust 80's names. Guys with popped collars who date Bunny and Missy and go to the country club on the weekends with Mummy and Daddy.

Loveless3173 said...

Fun post! xD
heh... yeah, seems like Editing is something almost all authors dislike. But I love the end results! lol...


Loveless3173 said...

oh, as for a name I dislike.... I don't really hate any... I just go with it. lol... though, common names like John or William or Jason and Frank and George are like... oh... another... LOL

Mandy said...

Please count me in!
There are no names I 'hate' really, but it's hard to read about guys or girls doing things with the same names as my kids! Lol

Or names I'm not sure how to pronounce and each time I read over it I have to stops and think, or names that remind me of other things, I read a story where one MC was named Anal, but with an extra letter somewhere in there, but all I could see each time was Anal..and that's all I remember of that story! Lol


Clare London said...

Hardware names!! What a brilliant description :)

Cletus rang a bell with me - there's a list of saints in the middle of our school mass that went Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus. And we had a big battle with Son#2 about NOT choosing Ecclesiasticus as his extra confirmation name...

(don't enter me in the draw, I have my copy *g*)

Tam said...

@Judi Sometimes there seems to be a real rush of books with the same names or common names, but then I guess they are common for a reason. :-) I remember when my daughter was young there were three Caitlyn's in her class.

@Many Wow, that would be distracting. I know I had a big debate with some friends about how to pronounce Kein. I was pronouncing it KEEN simply because there was single ref when he was referred to as Kee, but they all read it as KINE using the more German pronunciation. But it does throw you off when every time it causes you to pause.

Tam said...

@Clare. Hmmm. I was just reading those books with the character named Six and I wondered if it was just a nickname or a real name. Maybe his real name was Sixtus. He was no Saint. LOL

ellasmommy06 said...

Hi! I think the worst names I've come across so far are the Black Dagger Brotherhood names, Wrath, Thorment, Zsadist, Vischous, etc... I love the books, but seriously?!?!

Tracy said...

You crack me up. :) I love all your Love/Hates.

I have to say my least favorite name...recently...was Rupert. I don't know, it just isn't easy to read. Doesn't roll off the tongue. It kind of reminded me of that scene in when Harry Met Sally when Crystal's saying:'Do it to me Sheldon, you're an animal Sheldon, ride me big Shel-don.' Doesn't work.

Hmm...Ride me big Rupert. Nope, doesn't work. lol

Tam said...

@ellasmommy Yeah, she certainly has become renowned for some wacky names. I'm sure it seemed like a great idea at the time, now she has to keep it up. She can't suddenly start calling new characters Stanley and Jimmy.

@Tracy I read a story with Rupert, he referred to himself as Rupe which kind of threw me off as well. It's a very old-fashioned name, although I worked for about 3 weeks with a young guy in his 20's named Rupert. Unusual.

K. Z. Snow said...

Oh, hey, I just thought of a story a barkeeper from Chicago once told me. A woman had a baby, saw "female" on the birth certificate, and decided to use that as a name for her girl -- except she pronounced it with three syllables: feh-ma-lee. :-D

Could just be another urban legend, but I'd like to think it's true.

K. Z. Snow said...

Final thought: steer clear of Horace and Horatio, 'cause you don't want a hero with the nickname "Hor" (well, unless you're writing a rent-boy story ;)).

Thanks for a great post, Tam!

Yvette said...

The two names that stand out to me are Dick and Rupert....I don't know if I could go there with names like that.

Tam said...

@Yvette Dick is hard (hahahaha) because yes, we all have the mind of a 12 year old. :-)

Anonymous said...

Heroes who share my male relatives' names evoke images I'd rather not think about (and since one is John, it happens quite a bit). Barring that, there's always the '70s porn movie syndrome: Brock, Buck, and so forth....


Anonymous said...

Common names like Chris, Jacob, Mark, Ryan...kind of get to me I guess. I don't like it when I finish one book and go onto another only to have another character with the same name in the new book I'm reading. It kind of messes with my memory of which character had what traits later on.

Tam said...

@ ad0ffae6-78f6-11e1-8cde-000bcdcb5194

Yes, it's interesting how names can get connected forever in our brains to certain people, and you just don't want to think about your dad or your brother, or kids sometimes, when reading a romance. :-)


I've had that happen when you run into the same name in three consecutive books purely by coincidence. It's kind of weird.