I’m Tam. I was born in Montreal, Quebec way too many years ago. I’ve been living in the suburbs of Toronto since the early ’80s, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I am a classically trained musician and English Lit enthusiast.
Spanning over the past two decades, I have been teaching English lit to high school seniors. Psychological deconstruction of lit, grammar, poetry, fairy tales . . . I love teaching it all. I also consider myself a lifelong learner, so generally you will find me with a book or computer in front of my face as I research and read voraciously.
After having a few non-fiction works published nationally in various media, I finally realized my true goal was in writing fiction. Between Cindy and me, I would consider myself predominantly as the technical person in our partnership, focusing on structure, semantics, and style. But I draw on many years of experience to be able to write effectively and honestly about the human condition and the myriad flaws inherent to it.
Since being diagnosed with mental illness many years ago, I now find a much more pure and open line of understanding with my own psyche. Writing is an incredible outlet for speaking honestly to one’s self and realizing — but still accepting — just how screwed up we all really are.
I’m obsessed with the theories of Northrop Frye, Joseph Campbell, and other mythopoeic scholars who postulate that all literature the world over shares connections through their cyclical stories of heroes and archetypes. I will never get tired of seeing the similarities in the stories of Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter, ‘Neo’ Anderson, and even The Lion King. Yes, it’s true. Avatar really is a retelling of Dances With Wolves. Or is it the story of Pocahontas? Ah well. Same thing.
But it’s to Shakespeare’s Hamlet and BBC’s Sherlock from which I draw the most inspiration. I find undeniable connections between myself with both of these flawed, magnanimous, and tortured characters. To be honest, I think that Hamlet and Holmes are two of the most spectacular characters ever written; they are so deeply aligned with their own psyches, much to the exclusion of the people and their societies around them, that they demonstrate perhaps the greatest understanding of mental acuity of all of humanity. I am humbled before them.
My greatest wish is to one day be as aware of the intricacies of the connections that surround us as humans as were some of the greatest writers to ever live. I also hope the same for my children, Max and Jack, that they are as sensitive to, and aware of, the difficulties and joys of being human in our world.
So, yes, I’m married, have two teenaged sons, three cats, and two dogs. Essentially, I live in a zoo. And I’m okay with that.
I was born several decades ago, and take full enjoyment in the fact that I look way younger than I actually am. I grew up in the suburbs of Toronto with my single mom and brothers. I wouldn’t say my childhood was an easy one, but then again, our experiences, both the good and the bad, make us who we are.
I proudly admit to being a lover of fiction, experiencing my first real relationship with a book when introduced to Judy Blume’s iconic novel Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, when I was eleven years old. My passion for reading grew as I did, and I have spent much of the last thirty-something years indulging my appetite for fiction. My taste in genres may have changed drastically over the years….erotic romance is certainly a far cry from Judy Blume’s stories of preteen self discovery and angst…but my passion for a strong story and dynamic characters has never waned.
I have always had an intense and vivid imagination, writing my own stories, scripts, songs, and poetry from the time I was six years old. I have won poetry contests, had my work turned into song and performed at Young People’s Theatre in Toronto, and I’ve published in various anthologies.
My passion for literature and my intrinsic need to understand my own psyche and its various imbalances, structured my university experience. Graduating with degrees in psychology and education prepared me for the future I thought I was destined for. However, the world we live in can be quite unpredictable, and so instead of teaching high school English and social studies, I began my career in special education, and upon beginning my family just four years later, I decided to become a substitute teacher. And that is what I have been doing for the last sixteen years.
Coming together with Tam to write our book was both simple and natural. Our different skill sets complement each other perfectly. I focus on the creative aspects of writing, excelling in plot and character development, emotional drive, and the characteristic elements of the erotic romance genre.
It’s said to write what you know, so I do. After decades of embarrassment, and in turn, hiding the fact that I suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, I decided it was time to finally acknowledge my issue, to own it, and to share it. Giving Lily (in Never Before) BDD was not only a means of catharsis, but also an attempt to shine a light on a crippling disorder that countless women suffer from. My hope is that Lily Stone and Never Before raise the much needed awareness and empathetic understanding of Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and the women who struggle with it every day.