Bookworm’s Nook: ” … every story makes me work at the world in a new way.”

Bookworm’s Nook:

a reader’s perspective

Would you like to share a bit about yourself?

My name is Tammy Dewhirst and I am the primary reviewer at Rabidreaders.com and Rabidreaderstoo.com

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So, Tammy, when did you fall in love with reading?

I have always loved to read. Family history says that my grandmother, a retired teacher, taught me to read at age 4 and from then on I was hooked. I don’t actually remember learning to read but I do remember reading my Grandma’s books aloud to her. My Grandma believed that children understand what you tell them so early on I was exposed to whatever interested her. Irish mythology is a topic I remember well from those days.

Do you remember your favorite places to read throughout the years?

I love reading outside on sunny, cool days. Leaning back in a chair and absorbing the topic of the day. I still enjoy going to the park with a book and sitting by the water, cool breezes brushing by as I read.

Do you remember your first favorite paperback book? Do you remember
the first e-book you purchased?

Oh wow, I don’t remember my first favorite paperback. I’ve never been a person who reads novels over and over again but two books that I would check out of the library frequently were “Pilgrims Progress” and “Moll Flanders.” The first ebook that I purchased was “Shock Wave,” a Virgil Flowers novel by John Sandford.

What book has most inspired you, brought you to tears, or changed your perspective?

The books that most changed me have done so unintentionally. For most of my formative years we lived in a trailer park in Michigan. Folks reading may realize the stigma living in a trailer has even in an area where there are a neighbor of these unique neighborhoods. I had good parents who valued education to the point where we went without for my brother and me to attend private school. In those years I was drawn to biographies especially those of people who rose from challenging circumstances to prominence. I felt as a teen pushed to success by the struggle of those people .

Perhaps it’s a delusion but I’d like to think every story makes me work at the world in a new way. Stories like Julie Frayn’s and R.H. Ramsey’s which tell of abuse or control shape the way I see the world. As a younger person I had a disapproval bordering on contempt for someone who would stay in a situation that is against their interest but there’s a new appreciation reading these works and those like them for how impossible and inescapable each must seem.

Thank you so much, Tammy. And I am so very inspired by what you just said. Amazing — your story and outlook are amazing.

Have you ever found a book so disturbing, that you couldn’t finish it, or had to leave it and come back?

“Bad Blood” by John Sandford had Virgil Flowers investigating a cult in which children were sexually abused. The abuse wasn’t graphic but there were moments in the novel where I just had to put it down and those moments stuck with me. In one scene the grandfather follows two little girls up the stairs of their home and his thoughts as he followed them … I am having a hard time emotionally remembering the scene now. It was not exploitive of the children but so raw and awful and well written so that the horror of the situation was conveyed perfectly. We were driving home from a long trip when I read the book and I just had to set it aside.

When reading, what types of characters do you find yourself relating to more than
others?

I find myself relating most to characters that are fixed in common sense worlds. The characters in stories that are anecdotal and circumstantial rather than invested in drama and big moves. I read recently a book in which the main character said that he identified with every role Eve Arden ever played and I understand that. She played characters that were no nonsense and a little brash and while she has a very clear idea of the world and how it works and wasn’t afraid to make statements about that world.

Who are some of your favorite supporting characters? Antagonists?

I have a weakness for what is known in the mystery genre as the psycho sidekick. I like Joe Pike from the Elvis Cole series and Win from the Myron Bolitar series. The characters that will go that extra mile to do what their lead character won’t for the good of that character and the storyline.

Are there books that you find yourself revisiting?

I read a lot. When I say a lot, I mean A LOT. Despite the number of books read I do think about books read frequently and situationally. When I think of a great funny book I think of Joan Hess’ Maggody series which I first started reading in the early 90’s. Sometimes I’ll read the news and think of “Creator Class” by K.M. Breakey, a story in which an organized massacre to solve overpopulation leads to a working class and an elite class that is unknown to that secondary class. Sometimes when I hear a story of a child on the street I’ll think of Julie Frayn’s “Suicide City.” I could go on and on but I do frequently think of books read in the past and revisiting them mentally.

If you could introduce two characters from two different books you
have read, who would they be and why?

That’s a tough one. I think I’d introduce Joe Pike from Robert Crais’ Elvis Cole series and Barry Eisler’s John Rain. Together they could make some really interesting stories and a great team.

 What book would you love to see made into a television series?

Another tough question! In a lot of ways I have found television to ruin a series but wouldn’t mind seeing The Puzzle Lady books by Parnell Hall translated. The books have that right mix of humor and drama for a cross between Murder She Wrote and the Rockford Files.

What is your least favorite book to movie adaptation?

My least favorite adaptation would actually be book to small screen and that is the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. I felt, when reading Harris’ novels, that she always had a purpose and direction while the episodes of the show that I saw seemed to be largely about nudity. The show also strayed wildly from the novels and, in turn, seemed to ruin Ms. Harris’ continued progression with the series as she seemed to be writing for the show rather than vice versa. I watched the first few episodes and never turned it on again.

What are ten words that describe the way reading makes you feel – where reading takes you, as you drift away with the characters and
their stories?

Reading makes me feel transported and entertained by the roller coaster of life they bring. (not cheating if you count the words after “Reading makes me feel…”

Haha! Not cheating at all! Really, really enjoyed you; thank you for stopping by.

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7 comments
  1. Marc said:

    Great to learn more about Tammy. She’s been so helpful and supportive with my novels, and many indie author’s. Interesting interview, Rhonda

    • I loved learning more about Tammy, too. She’s a jewel.

      Thanks, Marc!

  2. This sounds like something I’d love to do, since I read a lot, too. I like how Tammy internalizes the books she reads, and lets them speak to her.

  3. Great interview. I guess I have to look forward to the same reaction as Tammy’s (to Bad Blood) when I release my cult serial later this year.

    • And wouldn’t you know that that’s the first thing I thought to myself when I read that answer!

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