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A Conversation with Ta’mara Hanscom, author of ‘The Truth: Salvatore’s Revenge’

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jimandtamaraHaving experienced the healing work of the Lord in their own marriage, Ta`Mara and her husband, Jim, are strong promoters of a healthy marriage through obedience to Christ. Ta`Mara shares a testimony of deliverance and healing for hurting marriages, as well as messages on other topics. References can be provided.
It is Ta`Mara’s prayer that, as the readers explore the truths in these volumes, they will come away with a new perspective on love, obedience, and God’s plan for marriage.

Ta`Mara Hanscom has worked on The Caselli Family Series since 1996. Within three weeks she had created a 900 page rough draft of what would become a five- novel series of the epic love story of Tillie Caselli and Noah Hansen.
Loving all things Italian, Ta`Mara created the Caselli family true to their ethnic name. Born and raised in South Dakota, she brings this traditional family alive on the Great Plains where she has spent the entirety of her life.

 

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The TruthQ: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Ta’Mara.  Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

Multi-published—The Caselli Family Series, 5 installments thus far with plans for 15 more books.

Q: When you were published for the first time, which route did you go – mainstream, small press, vanity published or self-published and why or how did you choose this route?

My husband (Jim) created a publishing company (Reata Publishing), owned by his established LLC. We went this route because I had been “looked at” by other major publishers, including Tyndale who had the series in committee for nearly a year. When they returned their third rejection, citing the reason that they were just too busy with Jerry Jenkins, Jim made the decision to start his own publishing company. I then submitted my work to him, and he signed me on.

Q: How long did it take you to get published once you signed the contract?

About a year from the time Jim decided to set up the company until the first finished novel was in our hands. We worked extensively with an outside editor, but we used family members to create the covers.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

Very exciting! We had a huge family Barbeque!

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

When you’re an independent publisher, you’re shut completely out of the mainstream. There were no venues that would accept us, saving those that charged exorbitant fees for participation. We contacted local churches and begged them to let me come and speak, and share my testimony. More than 99% of these churches never returned my calls, nor answered my emails. My own home church did allow me to speak to a ladies’ group event, but it was very much discouraged within the Body. As well, they wouldn’t allow me to sell my books at that event. We bought inexpensive booths at local Craft Shows, and had pretty good success in that venue. From that, I had several invites to come and speak to book clubs, and after I had shared my testimony at those book clubs, they referred me to other places, such as churches and ladies’ events. These events are extremely lucrative for us. Once my testimony is shared, the books literally fly out of our hands.
We were also led to check into Christian praise concerts, i.e., Hills Alive, NightVision, LifeLight, etc. We paid upwards of $500 for a booth, and in some cases had to pay 15-20% of our gross revenues. We rented the booths and set up shop in the outskirts of these praise concerts. The worst of these venues was a place called NightVision, located in Olathe, Colorado, and exactly 1000 miles away from our home. We loaded up our camper and headed west…and we sold only 8 books. BUT, there was a little, tiny church just south of there (Ridgeway, CO) that allowed me to come and speak to them—and we sold another 6 books. The best venue was LifeLight in southeastern South Dakota. They draw about 300,000 people to their event, and they like Christian fiction. We sold over 70 books both times we attended—and all we had to do was stand there! I’ve picked up lasting, faithful readers from all of these events. They order online now, and they must be telling their friends because I get a lot of orders from all the regions we’ve been.

Q: Since you’ve been published, how have you grown as a writer and now a published author?

? I’m more careful about what I say on FaceBook!

Q: What has surprised or amazed you about the publishing industry as a whole?

As regards the Christian publishing industry, which is the only one I’m very familiar with, I am amazed at the lack of message out there. We are called Christian because we follow Christ, and I’ve read a few books that don’t even use His name.

Q: What is the most rewarding thing about being a published author?

My project took 14 years, from beginning to published. The most rewarding thing for me is finally having the stories in a permanently bound format!

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 niv) It might take many, many years, and it might not look exactly like what you dreamed it would look like, but if you go to the Lord for guidance, it will be as He has planned.

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