Author Tammy Pugh.
It’s a title she doesn’t quite feel comfortable wearing yet, much like a new pair of shoes. But it’s one she’s determined to break in over the coming months, starting at her first book signing at the Lyons Public Library on Monday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. Her debut novel, Long Reign Elizabeth, is about a young woman seeking true and lasting companionship despite the vampires in her family closet. After 14 years in the making, Pugh is excited to finally introduce Elizabeth to the public.
“Why bother to shout and curse? Why bother to care? Humans will think what they want.
All the men in her history were the same. The myths and legends that surrounded her world were such jokes.
Vampires! Oh God, I hate that label!”
“Time for me was short, very short,” Pugh said. “Being a mom, taking care of a household, fulfilling the role of housewife, working 40 plus hours a week, cooking, cleaning, scheduling appointments and everyday life cut into the writing for many years.”
Despite the ups and downs that caused her to set her writing aside, including a divorce and the subsequent adjustments to family life, the character and the story she began simmered quietly on the back burner until finally, she could turn her attention to it again.
“As the chaos around me finally started to settle, I took her off the shelf and dusted her off,” she said. “I sat at the keyboard and it was as if I never left. Everything fell into line.”
Once she was finished, it was time to celebrate. Pugh now sports an appropriate tattoo in honor of her character.
It was also time to find a publisher. But the moment had passed for the time being for contemporary vampire stories, thanks to the popularity of the Twilight series and others like it. Still, Pugh didn’t let that discourage her, and eventually, found a publishing house that accepted her manuscript.
Publish America is a publish on demand company. In recent years, it has been the subject of a publicized lawsuits by authors, including one by J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter series) that objected to some of the promises the company made to fledgling authors to seek feedback on their work by the popular children’s writer.
It does, however, pay advances and royalties, and provides minimal assistance with marketing of short runs. But the majority of the marketing is up to the author. This hasn’t discouraged Pugh, or her sister, one bit. In fact, her sister has been busy lining up opportunities for Pugh and Elizabeth, her character, to get the word out. Other friends and family have also helped by spreading the word, and even creating a website, TammyPughpublishing.com .
Pugh, however, is already cooking up another adventure for Elizabeth. This time, however, she’s hoping time will be on her side.
For more information about Monday night’s book signing, contact Becky McBeth, Library Director at the Lyons Public Library, (620) 247-2961.