When I started my own blogging, writing, indie publishing journey here on WordPress, I got to know a range of other bloggers and writers. A lot of whom were pursuing their own publishing dreams. One of my favorites over the years has been Tammy Robinson.
In 2013, she published her first book. Charlie and Pearl. It’s a tear-jerking story of love and loss. Once I read that story, I was absolutely hooked on what Tammy does even though, as I like to joke with Tammy, I am most certainly not the target audience for her stories. Cause you know, men aren’t supposed to like tear-jerkers. But the thing is, Tammy writes stories that create such a connection, such a feeling for the characters. Every story she has published is something that has left me both shaken and rejoicing by the end.
Over the years since Charlie and Pearl was released, Tammy independently published a few more books and eventually won herself a publishing contract with Hachette. The first book Hachette published was Differently Normal. The second was Photos of You, which was recently published in the United States.
Tammy lives in New Zealand, where the book was published first and it has ever so slowly moved across the globe, published in Australia, throughout Europe and, finally, landing on American shores earlier this month. It’s a book I’ve been waiting for, not so patiently, for more than a year.
I finished Photos of You last night and, once again, Tammy has done it. The book tells the story of Ava Green, a young woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer and beat it, only to be diagnosed with terminal cancer a few years later. She has barely begun to live her life before she receives this fatal diagnosis. Having spent her life imagining her wedding, she decides to have a wedding before she dies. Whether or not there is a groom involved. One thing leads to another and she meets the man of her dreams, and I’ll leave the story details right there. No spoilers here, but …
Here’s the thing. Once you’ve read a couple of Tammy’s books, you’ll know what’s coming. There aren’t necessarily any surprises. And on some level, that’s what makes her writing and her tales so incredible. Even though you know what’s coming, she draws characters and fills them with thoughts and feelings and experiences in a way that you can’t help but be sucked into their lives, and feel something for them while reading. When the inevitable ending comes, even though you knew what it was going to be, you can’t help but feel something deeply about the whole thing.
And this is what I feel when I read Tammy’s stories, including Photos of You. If you’re looking for the “happy ending,” you won’t find it with Photos of You, or just about anything else Tammy has put out there. What you will get though is real life, and characters who experience that life and still find something that we are all looking for before the end inevitably comes.
That is what I love about Tammy’s books and what brings me to tears whenever I have the good fortune to read her work. There is happiness in sadness and good things that happen even in the darkest of days.
Tammy — I hope you read this. You’ve once again written an incredible story that has left me in tears, but filled with hope. Don’t ever stop doing what you do.