Good morning, friends!
I hope your September has been a lovely one so far and filled with happy new beginnings this month! <3
One of those who is experiencing a new beginning is Jeremy from Tammy Lash’s Descendants of White Wolf: Eagle Eyes, and I just so happen to be chatting with Tammy today! 😀
Tune in for our lovely chat below about Lake Superior, research about Native American culture, and what’s in store for readers!
About Eagle Eyes
Sixteen-year-old Munising native, Jeremy Gudwyne is losing his vision. Can he learn to choose joy in all circumstances? Even in his blindness?
– Welcome Tammy! I am SO excited to be chatting with you today! It’s been a while since we had you on Unicorn Quester! I know you recently moved up by one of the Great Lakes in Michigan and regularly share gorgeous photos on your social media. (Truly, they are stunning!) Have you ever considered going into photography or selling your photos? Or is it more of a hobby? (Your photos have made my kiddo want to go move up there! LOL!)
Awwww! Thanks, Laura! Ummm, no. There are too many super great photographers up here! Major superstars of photography are living all around the U.P. and lower Michigan. Me? I just love sharing what I see with my friends and family who live far away.
– I didn’t realize that! Though thank you for sharing your wonderful photos with us! <3 I love it! Speaking of Michigan, I LOVED the setting in your latest release, Eagle Eyes: Descendants of White Wolf! What’s one of your favorite experiences at the Great Lakes? Or would do you enjoy best about visiting them?
All Michigan’s Great Lakes are majestic but in my opinion none of them compare to Lake Superior. Many call her “Mother” Superior. Maybe because she is the queen of all the lakes. To quote Jonathan from my newest release coming this fall, Letters from the Dragon’s Son: “The Gitchi-Gami is a huge, inland lake—it’s as big as an ocean. It’s a greedy body of water. It will keep anyone it chooses for as long as it wishes. It’s moody, too, like a dessert-deprived child. It can be smooth as glass one day and bubbled and churned the next. It’s beautiful, it’s wicked—and it makes sense why many of Izzy’s people insist on worshipping it. The Gitchi-Gami’s currents and teeth-chattering temperatures demand respect.”
Teeth-chattering temps. is right. My daughter doesn’t mind. She swims while I do my favorite thing to do on the beach… take a nap! I love just sitting there, too, watching and listening to the waves crash over themselves. Loons are my favorite to see paddling about in the water. It’s fun watching them take turns disappearing under the surface to fish and look for their black heads to pop up.
– I love that description! And that sounds so relaxing to nap on the beach like that and know Lake Superior plays a really major role in your story. However, reading Eagles Eyes was a deeply moving experience. Lots of heart string pulling and wiping of the eyes. Since it was so deep of a reading experience, would you be able to share how moving the writing experience was for you?
I wrote Eagle Eyes to “take a break” from the heaviness of Letters from the Dragon’s Son. Or so I thought! Writing about Jeremy’s vision was a release for me. I was able to express how I was feeling about my own eyes that I began to have difficulty with shortly after Letters began. After I got this story out, I felt ready to tackle Letters again. It was physically painful for me with my double vision and wacked-out eye muscles, but I did it! I got a short story done and a full-length novel written—both with vision issues. The Lord LEGIT gave me the strength and drive to get these stories written. I was also extremely blessed to have an army praying for me and checking in with me often.
– God is so incredibly awesome!!! One of the things I absolutely LOVEEEEE about your stories is how Native American culture is a huge and essential part it! I am unsure of how much interaction or conversation you have had with Native American tribes, but I am curious to hear how you do your research outside of that amazing experience. I have a huge heart to do the same in my stories, but with Japanese culture. As someone who can’t go to Japan right now (but would love to LOL), what advice, tips, and/or suggestions would you give to other writers in experiencing a culture that is different from their own?
Research, research, research! I became a sponge for anything Native related. I visited every museum I could find in the U.P, observed Pow Wows, and even reached out to a successful Ojibwe artist from Canada that I saw on Instagram. She answered some pretty tough questions and was extremely open and honest. She was a valuable resource and has become someone I am proud to call friend.
– Wow! That’s so awesome! I’m so happy that you were able to connect with her! I’ve heard on numerous occasions that most authors can’t choose a favorite, BUT I wonder who you would want to hang out with for a day. Who’s the lucky character to hang out with? What would you guys do?
Oooooooo, this is sooooo hard! Avery is hands down my FAV. but I would reallllly like to sit down with three of my characters. Jonathan, Mikonan, and Avery from Letters would be so fun to watch in person. Jonathan and his Native brother, Mikonan, have a neat bond between them. The years have molded them into beloved brothers from opposite sides of the ocean. Avery is colorful and blunt with his honest way of speaking. He is rough on the outside but doughy on the inside. Jonathan and Avery may be a little leery of each other, though. Their relationship is a fragile one. I think I can help a bit and keep things light between them. We’ll hang out on the beach and talk about Native legends, trapping, and dog sledding.
– Aw! I love everything about this! And dog sledding would be EPIC! For my last question, what can us readers expect next from you? 😀
Letters from the Dragon’s Son, the LONG-awaited sequel to White Wolf and the Ash Princess, is set to be released this fall. I am so, so, so, SO excited about this story. It’s the story of family, the separation of a father and son, and what it takes win the war against generational “curses” or sins. It’s a heavy story that deals with some gritty topics. I held nothing back with this story and I tried to be as transparent as I could possibly be for my readers. When you read Jonathan and Avery’s thoughts, you know who’s heart and head they came out of. The Lord and I….we wrote a story and I can’t wait to share it with all of you in the coming months!
A little Easter egg for you…Jeremy in Eagle Eyes is Jonathan’s great, great, great, great…..*breath*….grandson.
– AHHHHH!!! I can’t wait!!!! MUCH excitement! And OOOOOOOOO!! What a fun Easter egg!! Thanks so much for chatting with me, Tammy!
Thank you so much, Laura! Thank you for being one of my biggest encouragers! You have been such an inspiration and a help to me in my writing life and as a dear, cherished friend. Love you, girl!
– *cries* HUGS, sweet friend! I am so very thankful for you and thank you for sharing your stories with us! <3
About the Author
Tammy Lash lives in Lower Michigan with her husband and her three children. Izzy’s home in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Munising) is where she and her family enjoy exploring. Tammy enjoys hiking, kayaking, beach wandering, “hunting” for birch bark and hopes to someday find a porcupine quill. White Wolf and the Ash Princess is her first novel. She is published in Keys for Kids and has been in children’s ministry for over twenty years.