Author Bio: After growing up on the Oregon Cost, Tommie Vaughn attended Southern Oregon State and the University of Oregon for Journalism and Art. Her musical passion led her to Hollywood where she joined the ranks of Los Angeles’ raucous and underground music scene, with her alternative rock band Wall of Tom. Ten plus years, four albums, music videos and hundreds of shows later, Tommie Created This Rock In My Heart, the first in a three book series, based on the unforgettable experiences surrounding the chase of a musical dream. Tommie lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.
Who is Tommie Vaughn? A dreamer. A poet. A lover of song. A mother and wife. A writer of stories, filled with lots of words…And of course, not necessarily in that order, on any given occasion.
How long did it take you to write “This Rock In My Heart? About 9 months… I do compare it to birthing a child, because I was so inspired at that time. Creating a life, creating a story, at the same time just came naturally… it was really weird. I began writing the book in my 2nd trimester and I finished it when my son was 6 months old. I wrote at least a third of it with one hand, while I cradled my son in the other, all the while bouncing on an exercise ball. I’m not kidding.
What inspired the storyline? They say write what you know, and I sure as hell know what it is like to be a dreamer. I did in fact, work at Cherokee music studio, who’s walls whispered jaw-dropping stories daily. That alone, was enough to inspire the novel! But of course it has been my journey, within this Los Angeles music community, that inspired the characters. I love artists. So colorful and alive. If I can bring a small awareness to the unsung hero’s, who are just beneath the surface of mainstream music… Real artists, just doing their thing every day. This book is for them.
If this were turned into a movie, who would you want to play your characters? I see them everyday on the streets of Los Angeles. I will be at a stop light, on the corner of Hollywood and Vine, and glance over to see a group of gals, and I smile and think to myself “There the are…” and I pick out the ‘Frankie’ or the ‘Eva’. The characters are alive and well, all of them still in Hollywood, chasing their dreams. I don’t know who the actors would be by name, but I know they are out there.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? To never give up. It may take awhile, so stay true to yourself and you will enjoy the journey, no matter what.
This book is part of a trilogy! Is writing the next two difficult? God I hope not. I am trying to think of it as one giant book, cut into three parts. I see the entire story, somewhat hazy still in bits, but I think that is part of the excitement. It is still evolving. I guess the only part that I am finding difficult per se is, re-capping. I know I have to re-establish all the characters, but I just want to move on to the good stuff, not keep re-capping the past.
What is the writing/editing process like for you? Long. I never thought I would still be editing the book after it has already been printed. A couple times. I have a wonderful editor who has held my hand through this process, I’m a newbie when it comes to being an Author, it is a lot of work and a lot of re-writing.
Did you always know you would be a writer? In some form yes. I have always loved writing short stories, poetry and of course songs. I have notebook after notebook, filled with so much crap and sparks of brilliance, they fill up many boxes in my garage.
What books and/or other writers motivate you? I have always loved fiction; I love stories that you can escape into another reality. I am drawn to read trilogy’s, or series… I get so involved with the characters that I want them to be real; I don’t want it to end. I think a lot of people are like that. JK Rowling is one of the greatest storytellers in my mind, but I love Charlene Harris, Gregory Maguire, Anne Rice, Tama Janowitz, Oh… and Patty Smiths’ new novel ‘Just Kids’ is blowing my mind right now.
Do you listen to music as you write? If so, what kind? Sometimes, it really depends on my mood. I usually have my ITunes or Pandora going, on and off all day, with the Rolling Stones or the Pretenders blaring. PJ Harvey is really magical to me too- Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea, I can write to that happily anytime. But if the music is too good, I find it can get distracting… because I can get caught up in someone else’s story. I listened to a loft of classical and blues when I wrote this book. It gave me a renewed respect for the true classics.
What made you want to write in the Chick Lit genre, and what do you like/love about it? I think it was just natural for me. My life is Chick Lit. Ha! No, really, I read a lot of it, and it just fits with the way I write, my writer’s voice. I love fiction, and I love romance. I’m a female songwriter that has written from the heart for years, Chic Lit is just the natural choice for me.
What would your perfect day consist of? I get to be me, all day long… and get paid for it.
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**Click HERE to read my review of “This Rock In My Heart!”