I’d like to welcome my fellow crime fiction author, Tiffany Christina Lewis back to Creekside Café. Y’all may remember our previous interview. Tiffany is a publisher at Rebellion LIT, she works tirelessly to support other authors. I was lucky enough to have been interviewed on Rebellion LIT. Welcome Tiffany, it’s so good to have you back.
Tiffany: Thank you for speaking with me again Sherri! I will never forget our last interview because you helped me get over my hesitation to write Romance. Shortly after our interview, I was able to write two romance plots. A short story and a novella, so I am very grateful for our chats!
Sherri: You have a new book coming out. Is this part of your crime series?
Tiffany: No, this new book is a short story collection. Helpless is my opposition to the tropes of true crime. As much as I love true crime, women are often seen as victims in the shows and they are rarely shown as survivors. It’s just the formula the channels are using that has given them the best ratings. My book includes eight stories of women who rise above adversity, save themselves and those around them and take control of their lives. I feature Crime Fiction, Romance, Sci-Fi, Paranormal, and Adventure stories. I’m very proud of the stories I’ve offered!
Sherri: Tiffany is the author of six books and has been published in more than a dozen anthologies and magazines. I know this isn’t an easy answer, but what inspires your writing?
Tiffany: Everything inspires my writing, but I think my stories come from characters first. For instance, with my Michael Taylor series, I knew Michael first. He is based on one of my long-time celebrity crushes, and truly, the idea just came to me based on the idea of the character. The same thing happened with my new release. I knew all the women first, then their profile created the story I wanted to tell. More recently, I’ve been inspired by the books I read. I’ve been reading 3-5 books a month, depending on the length of course, but the Indie authors I read always inspire me and give me ideas by creating worlds I can get submerged in and for my imagination to chew on.
Sherri: What inspired this new book? The blurb from Janae Bunn called it a book dedicated to the craziness, determination, and spirit of grit that women possess. I’d like to know more about that.
Tiffany: The characters definitely inspired this book. It started with one story. I was waiting at a vanpool stop to pick up my boyfriend after work and it was in the Fall so it was pretty dark out. All of a sudden I had the wild thought of someone smashing my car window with a brick. lol. Crazy, I know, and I was in a completely safe environment. There were tons of people waiting with me there, but as I explored the idea more, I created the story of Rainey, which is a crime fiction story in the collection. Each story really started with the woman, her struggle, and a big moment. Some stories are gritty, some are a little crazy and all of the women are determined.
Sherri: As you know, I like kick-ass women characters. I believe that sometimes we have to be the heroes in our own stories and rescue ourselves.
Tiffany: Absolutely! I think Fiction does a great job of presenting women like that, especially now. As I say in the introduction to my book, women are not just a ball of emotions, they can fight and they can win!
Sherri: What are you planning to do next?
Tiffany: I’m actually in the process of editing Michael Taylor number four but after that, I think I’ll take a step back from my own books and really put my publisher hat on. I have a poetry book to release under Rebellion LIT and I’ve been pushing back the start of our first Anthology release. I wanted it to be coming this summer, but obviously not… I’ll need to take some time away from my books to get this done because my Rebellion “staff” consists of 3 people and I’m the only one who releases the books so it’s a lot of work. Doing the author and publisher thing at the same time is challenging and I want to give my all to the authors I’ll be serving.
Sherri: Tiffany resides in Sacramento, CA with her family and Miniature Pinscher. This has been a difficult year and a half especially for those of you who live in larger cities, how have you managed during the pandemic?
Tiffany: I have been very blessed. My job as well as my boyfriend’s offered us work alternatives, so I was able to work from home with full pay. As a preschool teacher, my duties were very limited initially but this school year things ramped up. It did give me a lot of time at home that I wouldn’t typically have. We couldn’t go anywhere, I eliminated my commute, so I was able to write and fully plan this book release. It’s really been excellent for my writing career but not as good for my classroom. I am concerned about how my students will do in Kindergarten and I hope our state has a plan for these children who have had so little socialization.
Sherri: While I’m sure everyone will agree there’s been a lot of awful following on the tails of Covid-19, there have also been some wonderful innovations, ideas, friendships, and blessings. Do you have a special something to lift our readers?
Tiffany: I have definitely had a chance to connect with a lot more authors, interact more, share ideas and grow as an author during this time, believe it or not! Being on social media more, which I think we all have been, has actually been good for me. It has been the only way I could meet like-minded people during this time. Zoom has even played a role in my social life, outside of work! I also think the deeper connections I made with family have been a mirrored experience of others. Just checking in with family more and wishing more people well has made me feel joyful.
Sherri: I know you like to help other writers, what advice would you give a new writer? What would you say to one publishing their first book? What advice do you wish you’d had before becoming a published author?
Tiffany: I actually had a TON of advice before publishing. My mentor was a five-time published author who then became my publisher and she told me what I tell people all the time now, the number one advice I would give a new writer is to write another book! I would follow that up with please get a professional editor and an amazing book cover. Releasing your best work and putting a great face on it is step one, but if you don’t have another book coming soon, it can be hard to keep the momentum of your career. Especially depending on the genre of the book. The literary industry is so complicated, but on a lower level, writing another book means you are writing and writing is the best way to get better at writing.
Sherri: Like the strong women you write about, you embody the spirit of your heroines. Tell us again how we can find your books and remind us of your latest.
Tiffany: My latest release is Helpless: A Short Story Collection, with 8 stories of women kicking butt and taking names! To see all my titles you can check my website here https://tiffanychristinalewis.com/books/, Find my Amazon Book Store here: http://author.to/TiffanyChristinaLewis
Content and Trigger Warnings for this title and all titles by Tiffany Christina Lewis are available at https://tiffanychristinalewis.com/books/
“Finally, a book dedicated to the craziness, determination, and spirit of grit that women possess.” — Janae Bunn
Women are powerful and can be rational thinkers under pressure. They can also be devious and vengeful. A woman is not just a ball of emotion. Women can fight, they can protect, and they can win.
These eight stories of women kicking ass, standing tall, and refusing to be victims are Tiffany’s opposition to the tropes of true crime. With stories from five genres including Paranormal, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Romance, and Crime Fiction, you are sure to find a story you love.
“Tiffany Christina Lewis branches out with new stories that will have you at the edge of your seat and wanting more! Her writing now explores the realms of paranormal, science fiction, and romance with short stories that will entrance her readers.” — Joseph S. Samaniego author of the Legends of the Carolyngian Age series
Here is a link to the book as well: https://getbook.at/HelplessShortStories
Sherri: Thank you for stopping by my virtual café, it was so good to have you back. I wish you much success on your latest book and hope we can get together again soon.
Thank you so much, Sherri! I appreciate your time. I included book links for Helpless below. Autographed: https://bit.ly/HelplessShortStories Bookstores: https://books2read.com/HelplessShortStories Amazon: https://getbook.at/HelplessShortStories Goodreads: https://buff.ly/32wHKVJ
Tiffany Christina Lewis
Novelist of Crime Fiction