Monday, April 13, 2015

Tha.Speakeasy - Ten Question To Tamara

A few weeks back, the wonderful Starr invited me to join "Tha.Speakeasy" event to promote the book of a very wonderful writer, the lovely Tamara Woods. Raised in West Virginia, she started writing poetry at the age of only 12 years old and eventually published her first collection of poems, The Shaping of an "Angry" Black Woman, in 2014. She is currently living a hillbilly hermit life in Hawaii, writing on her first fiction novel, and half a world away, I get to bug this wonderful lady with a bunch of questions!!

Q: Why do you describe yourself as angry?
A: I don't describe myself as angry. I'm not angry at all.  That's the point of the book. I'm much than any one emotion. We all are.

Q: What do you see as the source of your anger?
A: I don't think I have one source of anger. There's times when things irritate me as things irritate most people.

Q: Would you consider yourself a pessimistic optimist? 

A: I think of myself as cautiously optimistic. I like to look for the good in people and their redemptive qualities, but I also realize that sometimes people do not act in an altruistic way.

Q: Are you afraid of losing your anger and with it your inspiration to write?

A: No, not at all.  Anger isn't the source of my ability to write. It's not like I'm Popeye and anger is my spinach. Emotions and observations are my inspirations for writing. As long as I can still observe the world around me and feel things,I'll be writing.

Q: How can you maintain your anger when confronted with a bunch of rainbows on a daily basis?
A: I don't maintain my anger. I don't try to be angry all of the time. I'm generally a happy person. However, the insistence that I'm angry regardless of my actual emotional state did bring about this collection of poetry.

Q: When you were a little girl, who did you envision yourself to be when you grew up?
A: I wanted to be a lawyer for a long time, but then I realized I didn't want to be on stage in a court of law. I also wanted to be a headlining singer with one name like Madonna or Cher. And when we would play pretend school, I was always teacher.

Q: Looking back, do you think Little You would like who you have become?
A: Yes. She probably would want me to be singing on stage somewhere.

Q: Which one is your favorite poem?
A: From my book? My favorite poem is probably, “The Child Who Never Was,” It hurt a lot to write it and it's painful to read.  It one of the most revealing poems I've ever written, but it was cathartic and needed to be written.
Note by me: I couldn't agree more! Listening to Tamara read this poem, you feel her emotions in every single word!

Q: What role does religion or spirituality play in your life?
A: Religion isn't something that I talk about. It's very personal to me. 

Q: What time of the day do you write best?
A: Either right after I wake up. Or a couple hours before I fall into an exhausted heap on my bed.

To stay up-to-date with Tamara, follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+, or visit her author page on Goodreads. To watch and listen to the wonderful Tamara reading her poetry herself, visit her YouTube channel and don't forget to be part of Tha Speakeasy event on Facebook!!


  1. Loved your interview with Tamara and I usually try to write first thing in the morning, too if possible, because I love the quiet time to reflect and get it all out ;)

    1. Hmm...maybe my answers reflect less inspiration and more quiet times of day...Much less construction and dogs barking in the dead of night.

    2. I usually write at night, when the kids are in bed and I have time to reflect. Mornings are just way too hectic. But at the moment, I'm just way to tapped out to even write at night.

  2. I love the term cautiously optimistic!!

    1. It really does describe me pretty well, lol.

    2. I agree, I liked that, too! I am calling myself a pessimistic optimist, meaning that I often hope for the best, expect the worse, and take whatever comes with a grain of salt, or at least try to do so :-)

  3. Thank you so much for having me Stephanie!

    1. Thank YOU so much for putting up with my questions, Tamara! Thinking about it, I wrote too many of the questions before watching some of your videos on YouTube and then did not revise them accordingly. But thank you so much for being a good sport!