Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Serials and Scenarios - Tamara Leigh Splits Hairs and Splitting Harriet Reviewed

Harriet Bissett, spunky, buttoned up, way up former prodigal may come by her sassy personality naturally through the connection with her creator. Read Tamara Leigh's answers to the dregs questions. Keep reading for a review. Click on the book cover or here to learn more about this fun read.

Some out there in writing land have strange rituals. Share yours.

Hmm. Keeping in mind that what may look strange to others makes complete sense to the “strange” one, I would have to say that my laptop-toting trips to Starbucks have a bit of ritual attached to them. It goes something like this:
Ah, Decaf Venti Extra-Hot Caramel Macchiato. My favorite! Take a sip—ooh that’s hot—now set it BEHIND the laptop. That’s right, wide arc and set it BEHIND. Back to writing. Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap. Well-deserved break. Reach, wide arc back toward the mouth, sip, wide arc and set it BEHIND the laptop Behind!
I know it looks odd—people do stare—but if you’ve ever knocked a drink onto your laptop and even a slight amount of liquid has poured out through that little drink hole, you’ll understand. Sticky keys was not the worst of my disaster. The screen blotched from one corner and spread upwards. Not a pretty sight—nor the repair bill!

What period of history intrigues you the most?

I’m not much of a history buff, but there is one time period that captures my imagination —the medieval ages. My first seven published books were set between the eleventh and fifteenth centuries and I loved poking around and dabbling in the details and events that drove that period of time.

Favorite season and why?

That’s a toss up between spring and fall. After a cold winter, spring with its warming weather and new growth makes me feel alive. After a hot summer, fall with its cooling weather and beautiful colors makes me feel restful and content.

What would you do today if you had only a week to live?

Now that’s a familiar question. When our family seems to get in a rut, my husband often poses that question in an attempt to jumpstart us. My answer is always the same—spend every possible moment with my loved ones (no matter how crazy they make me).

What word annoys you more than any other?

Two words—“literally” and “honestly”. Is “literally” really necessary in exchanging everyday information? If you tell me that you “literally” went to bed early last night, you don’t really think I’m going to believe you’re exaggerating, do you? And unless you have a reputation for being a liar, I don’t need to be told that you “honestly” don’t like broccoli. But what annoys me the most is when I hear those words pop out of my own mouth—they’re catching, you know!

Fiction character that you would most like to be or most identify with and why?

The first that comes to mind is Elizabeth Bennett of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Why? For one, unlike Elizabeth, I’m only spunky and quick-witted on paper. For two—which should really be one—Mr. Darcy!

Favorite chore.

None of the above—though I do keep a neat (as opposed to deeply cleaned) house.

Pick one…pink iguana, purple cow, periwinkle giraffe. Which one and why? Can be positive or negative.

Pink iguana. Hmm. No, you can pretty them up with pink, but they’re still creepy creatures. Purple cow. Maybe. Does it give purple milk? Periwinkle giraffe (she consults dictionary). No, that would look exceedingly odd out on the savanna. So I guess purple cow it is. Uh, is this like an inkblot test? Roschardt?

If you could change something in a novel, what would you change about it and why?

The POISONWOOD BIBLE comes to mind, probably because I took it to the beach with me this summer (I know…not exactly “beach” reading). The story was powerful and life-impacting, the characters unique and almost real enough to touch. However, I thought there was enough story and emotion in the sisters’ childhood/adolescent years to bring the tale to an earlier end. Though their adult lives were interesting, I don’t believe they significantly added much to the story.

Book music, person, food you would take with you on a very long trip.

Let’s start with “person”. That would be my husband. He makes me laugh and makes me feel loved. Music? Probably Enya. Her music is so relaxing. Too, should I need some time alone while I’m on this very long trip, the strains of Enya have a strange effect on my husband that makes him seek peace and solitude elsewhere. Book? I’m a writer, so my “book” of choice would be a huge notebook. Food? I know Caramel Macchiatos aren’t considered food, but they have lots of milk in them. And milk equals protein…

My Review:

I've never had more fun with church politics and upheaval. Did I say fun? Yes. Anyone looking for an entertaining and possibly convicting story needs to look into Splitting Harriet. This read contains a quirky grouping of characters, play dates for cats, and internal angst centered around a church. Harriet, a one woman crusade, attempts to keep her church family intact while keeping her carefully controlled life under wraps.

A fair amount of romance, some inner generational girlfriend fun, and loads of twists and confusion make Splitting Harriet a quick and snappy read.

The twist on the usual chick-lit is realistic and the not so flattering revelation of the humanity that explodes in church inner workings and leadership is too.

I ended up enjoying my time with Harri, and was glad that things weren't so neatly sewn up that we don't have a reason to revisit her life down the road.

Chick-lit lovers, quirky character collectors and those who take church politics a little too seriously might want to look further into Harriet.

Thanks, Tamara. I loved meeting both you and Harri.