Tam May started writing when she was fourteen, and writing became her voice. She loves history and wants readers to love it too, so she writes historical fiction that lives and breathes a world of the past. She fell in love with San Francisco and its rich history when she learned about its resilience and rebirth after the 1906 earthquake and fire during a walking tour. She grew up in the United States and earned a B.A. and M.A in English. She worked as an English college instructor (where she managed to interest a class full of wary freshmen in Henry James’ fiction) and EFL teacher (using literature to teach English to business professionals)before she became a full-time writer.
Her book Lessons From My Mother’s Life debuted at #1 on Amazon in the Historical Fiction Short Stories category. She is currently working on a Gilded Age family drama titled the Waxwood Series. The first book of the series, The Specter, came out in June 2019, and the second book, False Fathers, was released in December of that year. Book 3, Pathfinding Women is out now, and Book 4 will be released in December 2020.
Tam lives in Texas but calls San Francisco and the Bay Area “home”. When she’s not writing, she’s reading classic literature, watching classic films, cross-stitching, or cooking up yummy vegetarian dishes.
For more information on Tam May and her work, check out her website at www.tammayauthor.com. You can also sign up for her newsletter, which features lots of information on fascinating psychological and social history and subscriber-exclusive sneak peeks, giveaways, and polls. plus a free short story.
When I started publishing books in 2017, I had only a vague idea of what meant to write a series. My first book was a stand-alone short story collection (which I revised and re-released earlier this year as Lessons From My Mother’s Life, which you can find out more about here). After that book came out, I knew I wanted to write a Gilded Age family saga which became the Waxwood Series. I originally planned on writing a trilogy. However, the series morphed into four books after I realized a prequel short story I had written as an early free gift for my newsletter subscribers needed to be Book 1 of the series. It was the story of “how it all began,” that is, how the protagonist of the series, Vivian Alderdice, begins her journey to uncover the lies, half-truths, and secrets tainting the family through the generations.
Most writers have an “I wish I would have known that before I started” moment, and mine was when I realized a series is not just a collection of books that share similar characters or locations. A series has a beginning, middle, and it has to work like a story. It has to have a climax and resolution and a progression of growth and change in one or more of the characters to satisfy the reader. Even if the books do not tell one cohesive story, they must be linked, and that link has to have causality. Author and writing teacher John Gardener explained it as the difference between “The king died, and then the queen died” and “The king died, and then the queen died of grief.”
I made this discovery after I wrote the second book of the series, False Fathers. That book is about Vivian’s younger brother, Jake, and his coming of age. I originally intended Book 3 to follow the pattern of focusing on different characters who had a connection to the Alderdice family, the family of my series. But after Book 2, I realized the central theme of the series was the way the family members find authenticity and truth after the façade created by the lies and secrets is exposed. The family metaphorically sheds its old skin for a new one.
Given that, I knew Book 3 had to continue that story arc.Book 1 was about Penelope Alderdice, Vivian’s grandmother, “where it all began.” Book 2 was about Jake and his journey. Vivian’s journey kicked off in Book 1, and then stalled in Book 2. So it was a natural progression to bring her back and continue her journey in Book 3, Pathfinding Women.
Pathfinding Women is now available, and you can find out more about the book and get your copy here.
Pathfinding Women (Waxwood Series: Book 3)
Author – Tam May
Publisher – Dreambook Press
Pages – 376
Release Date – 13 September 2020
ISBN 13 – 978-0998338507
Formats – ebook, paperback
There are paths in life we have no choice but to follow.
At the close of the nineteenth century,Vivian Alderdice is twenty-six, unmarried, and has no prospective suitors. Now the heiress of the Alderdice fortune, she has yet to fulfill her duty to her family and to society: to marry well and produce heirs.
Her brother’s tragic plight the year before left her and her mother on shaky ground with the San Francisco bluebloods of Nob Hill, and the only way they can re-establish their social position is to win the heart of Monte Leblanc, a wealthy Canadian in search ofa wife and looking to become a member of the exclusive Washington Street society.
But a young man on the train tells Vivian things about her grandmother that shake her to the core. Even as she is pursued by the debonair Monte Leblanc, Vivian can’t avoid ghosts from the past who send her on a journey she is reluctant to take.
Is there always light at the end of a dark and hellish path?
Goodreads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16111197.Tam_May
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Tam-May/e/B01N7BQZ9Y/
BookBub Author Page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tam-may