Author Spotlight: Tamara Woods

  • cozy-mystery and women’s literature author, content creator, and writing community organizer

Readers! Let’s give a good, hearty welcome to Tamara Woods!

Tamara Woods doesn’t spend her time sipping on Mai Tais on the beach. In fact, by living in Hawaii, she’s found that she’s more of a mountain person than a beachy one. Must be her West Virginia roots.

Maybe that’s why there’s such a strong call to small towns and country living in her books whether they’re women’s literature or cozy mysteries. She likes to talk about writing and books on her YouTube channel.

She hosts a weekly Twitter called #writestuff where writers talk about writing. She is the author of the poetry collection, “The Shaping of an ‘Angry’ Black Woman.” And she is consistently working on the next novel. She’s a hillbilly hermit in Honolulu living with her Mathmagician.

Tamara, thanks for agreeing to be here today. Most interviews start off with bios and such, and while I’ll get to that as always, let’s start with the important stuff!

If you could have any pet (real/fantasy/no-allergies/no worries about feeding it) what would it be?

I’m so basic, if I could have a pet, I would have a puppy and a kitty. In our current apartment, we’re not allowed any pets. :insert sad trombone sound:

No pets at all? That’s so sad. I hope your next place lets you get them.

What do you write?

I started writing when I was a single-digit Tamara. Once I figured out it was people like me telling these stories that I loved so much, I was hooked. I initially wrote a lot of horror and women’s fiction. Stephen King and Edgar Allan Poe were my writing touchstones.

As I’ve grown older and the world around me grew a bit darker, I realized I wanted to tell stories of tight-knit communities where women who looked like me solved the problem. And the bad guy always got theirs. Plus, I loved watching Murder She Wrote with my family growing up. Cozy mystery was the obvious choice.

It’s always great when you find your passion at a young age. Cozy mysteries seems like just the right fit for grown-up Tamara — at least for now.

What do you like to read?

I am a “whale reader.” Some people binge Netflix, I binge read. I tend to these days read a lot of cozies and romantic suspense. I also get down with a ton of other genres as well but mostly fantasy, mystery, and romance.

I’m definitely a binge-reader, too! I used to be just sf and fantasy, and then I got hooked on paranormal romances. But, those cat-themed cozy mysteries got my tip-toeing into the mystery genre.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that doesn’t work for you.


I don’t think that outlining is for everyone. My math guy thinks I’m ridiculous because I like to plan my life, but my writing life, I hiss at planning. I told him it doesn’t have to make sense. It just needs to work for me.

Oh, wow! I’ve always shied away from mystery and suspense sort of books because I thought they needed more planning than my very-high-level notional stuff. It’s great to know that genre doesn’t matter when it comes to being a plotter or not.

Name one commonly accepted piece of writing advice that they can pry out of your cold, dead hands.

Write what you know

But I like to add the caveat of research the rest.

Well, I write some out-of-this-world stuff, but definitely. Do your research and base your people, their hopes, their fears on the way people actually work.

Shameless Self-Promotion time!

Currently I’ve been working on my Beach Bound Cozy Mystery series, so that’s what I’ll talk to y’all about. 

My latest book, Bailed Out, is currently on preorder, launching November 3rd

After an unexpected call from Queen’s Medical Center, Fraya learns her ex-husband, Jackson, has been hospitalized in paradise. Confused that she’s listed as his emergency contact, she puts the pedal to the metal and flies down the highway, only to find he’d checked out the hospital under mysterious circumstances.

Having no other option, she tries concentrating on her day-to-day routine, hanging out with her writing group and the guy she’s sorta seeing. When her life is threatened during date night, Fraya is left with more questions than answers.

Why is Jackson really on the island? And did he bring the danger with him or has some unknown person been plotting against her?

But you can meet Fraya and catch up on the whole series!

We start with Fraya and her two cousin Isa and Neilina during a pivotal summer while they’re tweens. The summer changes them in ways that they’re not even fully aware of. That story is called Midnight Murder (and it’s available for free as a newsletter sign-in)

Mystery Follows Her: A cozy mystery multi-author collection by [Dianne Ascroft, Ellen Jacobson, Tamara Woods, Sarah Biglow, Aubrey Elle, Beate Boeker, Adriana Licio, Vikki Walton, Angela K. Ryan]

Next comes the story of how Fraya moves from Whisper Valley, West Virginia to Kailua, Hawaii and the trouble she runs into when she lands in the tropics.

That story is available in the Mystery Follows Her cozy mystery boxset. Myself and eight other cozy authors from around the world contributed to this wonderful work.

And Book 1 of the Beach Bound series is called Wiped Out: Murder is a Beach.

Fraya Taylor is done with the drama of life on the mainland. She’s carved out a new magical black girl life for herself in Kailua, Hawaii, writing novels, talking story with her bestie, and soaking up the sun.

But sometimes life has other plans.

Check Tamara Woods out across the web!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Youtube | Patreon

1 Comment

  1. Love the interview, Ladies! Tamara, “outline” is the best answer ever for that question. Totally agree. Looking forward to Bailed Out!
    Morgan, your Resources page is gold! Looking forward to checking that out.

    Liked by 2 people

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