Picking Their Brains – Tameri Etherton

Interested in being featured on Picking Their Brains? I’m looking for guests on topics ranging from everything to writing to publishing to urban farming or crafting! Just send me a message if you’ve got a topic in mind!

I am beyond excited for my guest for Picking Their Brains this time around!

I met Tameri through the Writer’s Platform Building Campaign three… maybe four? years ago.

I was intrigued from the moment I first read a blog post of hers – and her tagline ‘A Cup of Tea & Sorcery‘ was pretty much perfect – and for some reason she thought I was pretty awesome too, and so we just kind of hit it off!

Lissa and I soon dubbed her our ‘writer momma’, and things just stuck, and I’m so proud to know Tameri, and to finally see the beginning of her dreams come true!

So, let’s get on with the good part!

Tameri: Hey Rebekah! Thank you so much for having me and my sweet dragon, Lady Dazzleton on your blog today. We had so much fun answering all of your questions!

Rebekah: No problem! It was a delight to figure out exactly how I wanted to ‘pick your brains’! And holy cow, your book is out! Tell us about it!

Tameri: Ohmygosh! Just reading that gave me a little thrill. It’s surreal right now. Like, I know it’s out, but I still can’t believe it’s FINALLY out! Feels like I’ve been working on it forever. Oh, wait. I have.

The Stones of Kaldaar is the first book in my Song of the Swords series. There will be five all together and each will follow Taryn’s journey. Book one tells how, after being raised on Earth, Taryn returns to her home world to discover she isn’t who she thought she was at all. Within moments of her arriving, her mentor is murdered and that sets Taryn on a quest to avenge his death. Along the way, she’s confronted with situations she’s never had to deal with ~ scheming family members, assassins, and a boyfriend. It’s the last one she finds the most vexing, but then, don’t we all? 🙂

Rebekah: Romantic interests definitely find ways to torment us that no one else can! Hopefully, Taryn figures out how to deal with it in a way that brings them closer together!

Moving on, which character is the most like you, and which is the least like you?

Tameri: Oooh, good question. Taryn is very much like me. She’s fearless, loves much too hard, and makes bad decisions when she thinks she’s helping others. I kind of wish I had her mad martial arts and sword skills.

Least like me? That would be Zakael. He’s evil. He’s selfish, sadistic, and gets off on other people’s pain. Writing him is sometimes a challenge, but it can also be so much fun!

Rebekah: Villains are a lot of fun to write! Er… maybe I shouldn’t have admitted that?

What was your first inspiration for this series, if you remember it?

Tameri: About ten years ago I started hearing Taryn’s voice in my head. She wanted her story told and I knew how it needed to go, but had a hard time getting it just right. She’s a very demanding presence. My first draft was crap. Utter shite. Thankfully, I’ve had awesome beta readers and editors to help make it fabulous.

Lady DazLady Dazzleton here. I’m Tameri’s dragon companion. I’d like to point out that, as a lady, I do not condone the use of vulgar language. If Tameri’s crass language offends you, know that you are not alone. Oh, and I should also warn you that there are many, many curse words in this book, along with some very naughty sex scenes. I blushed while reading them.

Rebekah: Er, well, thank you for that, Lady Dazzleton! My blog readers are well-informed now and can decide if this book is what they want to read.

She’s been a bit sheltered, eh, Tameri? 😉

So, I’ve… ahem… stalked your Pinterest boards pertaining to this series (and possibly stolen more than a few of your pins over time for my own inspiration). What was your favorite ‘pin’, and were you able to incorporate it into your writing?

Tameri: I think my favorite pins were the forest pictures. There are two called simply, Tree House, that I love. I have a vast forest in the book, and the Eleri build their homes in the trees. I imagine it looks like a graceful city that stretches from the ground to the tops of the trees. You’ve just reminded me I need to add more pins!

Rebekah: Makes me think of Lothlorien!

How did you come to the decision to self-publish, and what have your most rewarding and most frustrating experiences been with it so far?

Tameri: The decision to self-publish came about organically. I have some amazing friends who have been self-pubbing for years and are super successful at it. I watched them, listened to what they had to say, and one day, I realized I could do it, too. That’s when I started asking questions and seriously thinking about how to go about it. The final decision came when Bella Andre spoke at my San Diego chapter meeting for Romance Writers of America (RWA SD). She came out in February and laid everything on the table for us. How many hours a day she writes, markets, plans, etc. Then she gave us numbers for self-pubbing and traditional publishing. At the end of the day, everyone in that room felt like they could do it. They could succeed at self-publishing.

That night I sent a note to a friend asking if his cover artist would like to work with me. The rest is history.

Most rewarding experience? Seeing my book on Amazon. Most frustrating? Those tiny little hiccups you don’t expect and are a pain to fix. Formatting, cover design, taxes, they all have hidden trap doors just waiting to catch you unawares!

Rebekah: Trap doors is a wonderful way to think of it! Well, not wonderful wonderful, but we’re both writers, you know what I mean, right?

What was your favorite scene to write?

Tameri: I love the scene with Taryn’s coronation (it’s the cover shot) because Taryn finally knows she has a place in her new world. But my favorite scene to write was told from one of my villains’ POV ~ Taryn’s sister Marissa. It’s a mild BDSM scene with Marissa naked, tied to the wall, watching her lover with another man. The sex is always fun to write, but what I love most about that scene is Marissa finally gets that she has spent most of her life loving Zakael, and he might love her in return, but if he needs to, he’ll kill her without a second thought. It sets up her motivation for book two.

Rebekah: That’s a really tough spot to be in, poor Marissa. Zakael definitely sounds like a messed up guy!

And, to wrap things up, autumn is almost here! What’s your favorite thing about autumn?

Tameri: Pumpkin everything!

Rebekah: YES. Pumpkin is wonderful. I wish I’d been able to grow some this year, oh well!

Thank you all for stopping by today! If you have any questions for Tameri, please leave a comment below! If you’d like to know more about Tameri and her book, keep scrolling!

Tameri Etherton, author, Song of the Swords
Tameri “Writer Momma” Etherton

Rocker of sparkly tiaras, friend of dragons, and lover of all things sexy, Tameri Etherton leaves a trail of glitter in her wake as she creates and conquers new worlds and the villains who inhabit them. When not masquerading as a mom and writer, rumor has it she travels to far off places, drinking tea and finding inspiration for her kickass heroines—and the rogues who steal their hearts—with her own Prince Charming by her side.

You can find Tameri via:

EmailHer WebsiteTwitterFacebook

The Stones of Kaldaar (Song of the Swords, Book One) is available now on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, and iTunes. Click here to buy on Amazon.
The Stones of Kaldaar (Song of the Swords, Book One) is available now on Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, and iTunes.
Click here to buy on Amazon.

Some say she’s the one of prophecy,
that she’ll bring balance to the world.
Others say she’s the destroyer,
meant to bring an end to Aelinae.
They’re both right.

Everything Taryn knew was a lie. Her life on Earth, the man she thought was her grandfather, even her age, were all fabrications meant to protect her, to keep her hidden until she could return to her home world. Once on Aelinae, Taryn realizes she has more to fear than the creeping darkness that threatens to suffocate her.

Unwilling to become a pawn in the machinations of her scheming family and the world she now calls home, Taryn sets out to learn about her mysterious powers. Reluctantly, she accepts the help of Rhoane, a man who promises to protect her, but whom she’s not sure she can trust.

As tensions mount and her loved ones are threatened, Taryn must confront an ancient enemy and stop a sinister plan to bring back a banished god.

On Aelinae they say there can be no Light without Dark and no darkness without light. If Taryn fails, there will be only Blackness. Absolute. Binding. Without end.

Failure is simply not an option.


Photo courtesy of Ars Electronica.
Photo courtesy of Ars Electronica.

Recent Comments

  • Tameri Etherton
    September 9, 2014 - 2:16 pm · Reply

    Thank you again for having Lady Dazzleton and me on your blog. Lady D now thinks she’s an international superstar and I, well, I don’t have the heart to tell her it isn’t true. So, we’ve been serving her tea and answering her every beck and call today. I keep trying to tell her I have work to do, but she’s a bossy dragon!

    This interview was so much fun. I look forward to having you over at A Cup of Tea and Sorcery when YOUR book comes out!

    And just so you know, I love, absolutely love, being yours and Lissa’s Writer Mamma!

    • Tameri Etherton
      September 10, 2014 - 11:52 am · Reply

      Thank you, Patricia! That’s actually the *old* cover. 🙂 I realized while making some bookmarks, that you couldn’t read the title at all, so I had the cover artist play around with the typeface a bit. It’s still gorgeous, though. But now you can read the title!

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. If you’d like to receive one of those nifty bookmarks, send me your address at tamerietherton at gmail dot com. I promise, I’ll only send you swag, and not sign you up for anything nefarious.

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About Rebekah

Rebekah Loper writes character-driven epic fantasy featuring resilient women in trying and impossible circumstances who just want to save themselves but usually end up saving the world, often while falling in love.
She lives in Tulsa, OK with her husband, dog, two formerly feral cats, a small flock of feathered dragons (...chickens. They're chickens), and an extensive tea collection. When she's not writing, she battles the Oklahoma elements in an effort to create a productive, permaculture urban homestead.