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Friday, December 20, 2019

TAKE TEN with Award-winning Author T.M. Brown

by Cyrus Webb

It has been so much fun watching award-winning author T. M. Brown rise over the past few years. We have never met in person, however, I am glad to call her not just a colleague as well as a friend. 

She is ending 2019 as author who has introduced her books to the world and is not showing any signs of slowing down any time soon. In this Take Ten you'll get a feel of who she is, her work and what's to come. 

Tina, excited about the opportunity to share your story with our readers. First, what has it been like for you this year to see the way that readers have responded to your work?
It appears suddenly, readers are finding me like never before!  I credit a lot of this to the networking that I’ve been able to do over the years.  Folks like you Cyrus, Meredith Hammond, Cruz Sherman and many of my author friends have been providing unbelievable support to me and my books.

Have you always known that you were a storyteller?
Honestly, I did not.  As a kid, I truly thought that everyone had the ability to make up stories.  Story-telling came easy to me although I rarely shared my gift with anyone.  I was a shy kid and would have been just fine blending in with my peers.  I had enough stuff going on in my life at that time.  I did not want any attention drawn on me. 

When did it become clear that sharing stories was going to be part of your journey?  
For many years, I was happy just carrying my manuscript around with me and not sharing it with a soul.  There was comfort in doing the work that later became A Life Not My Own.  The competitive side of me started to blossom as I gained self-confidence.  I felt like my memoir was just as good as many others that I had read.  I also felt like my story would reach those who maybe didn’t have a voice or the ability to write.  I wanted people who had experiences similar struggles to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.  They are not alone.

Fear is one of the things that stop so many creatives from doing what they love. Have you ever had to deal with that as to whether you thought others would appreciate your gift? 
It still plagues me!  With every new book, I feel the pressure that comes from wanting it to be received as well as the previous. 

A LIFE NOT MY OWN is without a doubt a personal book for you. What is it like to reflect on the woman you were and who you are today? 
I feel like the woman that was in the past is totally different person from who I am today. I did a lot of work to get to where I am.  Life presented me with challenges, and I took them on, fighting my way through.  I’m also very proud to have survived it all.  I know I didn’t do it on my own.  I thank the Lord for all the folks that he placed in my path back then.  Some kept me safe when I didn’t even know I needed saving. 

The only time my previous self shows up is when I’m angry!  It’s the weirdest thing.  Those survival skills that I learned will kick and then, whew!  Look out!

History is also a part of your work. Is history something you have always been a fan of? 
For me, studying history is about studying people and the events that occurred.  Human behavior has always fascinated me.  It becomes even more interesting when people are faced with adversities. 
Some excel, while others seem to fall apart.  Even when I was in the Army, I found this to be true.

Strong women are also a big part of your fiction. How have you benefited from the examples of strong women? 
I was raised by my grandmother who is a very strong woman.  She’s in her 90’s and still lives on her own, only recently requiring a little help.  She raised my sister and I to be strong, independent women.  When I look back on my life, I know without a doubt that the lessons she taught me have served me well.

Social media has been a big way all of us have stayed connected. How has that helped you in sharing your stories with the world? 
Connecting with folks through social media is something that I’m still trying to master.  I feel like the game keeps changing as more sites become available and its users find different ways to connect.  My followers are awesome.  I don’t have to ask them to support me.  They just do!  It’s a good feeling to know that my words have touched people around the world.

Tina, I’ve noticed you have also been making yourself available for authors to reach out to for advice and direction. Why has that been important for you? 
It's important to me to help my literary colleagues whenever I can.  I gladly assumed the responsibility of sharing what I’ve learned along this walk.  I truly wish that someone would have taken me by the hand and provided me guidance when I first started this walk.  Maybe I would have gotten more sleep!  I didn’t sleep for days before my first book signing!

An obvious question would be what’s next for you? Got a new book you’re working on?
It feels like its time share what my Christian walk is like for me now.  I think some will be surprised.  I did not grow up in the church.  My relationship with the Lord is very personal and probably somewhat unconventional.  The words are pouring out of me!

Thanks again for your time, friend. How can our readers stay connected with you?
My website is www.authortmbrown.com.  Email authortmbrown@yahoo.com  I’m also on Facebook, Instagram. LinkedIn, Goodreads, etc.. :)

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