Guest Post with Tamara Palmer

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Hi Everyone!

I am excited to be here today to bring you a guest post from author, Tamara Palmer!

Please help me by giving her a warm welcome!

So, What Inspired You to Write This
Writing Missing Tyler was a 20 year journey, so my inspiration for the work feels more like recalling a dream, or a family story passed down through the generations and slightly altered over time, then a succinct and clear explanation.

So why did I write my novel, Missing Tyler? Well, here goes.

The Story I Never Should Have Heard
When I was around nine years old, I attended a family gathering. It may have been someone’s birthday or it may have been a Shiva (the Jewish practice of collective mourning). I was hanging out with a group of relatives, when one began recalling the story of how a neighbor boy had been riding his bike and was hit by a car. What I heard, and shouldn’t have heard, was graphic details of the boy’s death. He told of misplaced body parts. I have harbored that horror ever since.

The Funeral that Never Should Have Happened
Flash forward fifteen plus years from then, and I was living in Colorado and part of a creative writing group. The teenaged daughter of one of the writers committed suicide. Attending the funeral, I was struck by the creepy scene of a church full of crying teenagers. It was a surreal and unnatural scenario.

These two stories started playing out their own drama in my head, and formed the seed for Missing Tyler, the story of a teenage girl adjusting to life after losing her twin brother in a bike accident.

And Then There’s Judy
My favorite young adult novel is Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume. That novel was a huge influence for how I structured Missing Tyler, providing the outline of a summer transformation. Like my protagonist, Kit, Davey faces a sudden family loss that sends her nuclear family into crisis. New love helps her heal. Blume’s novel Forever was the most spectacular exploration of young love that I read as a tween. I recall being frustrated that there weren’t more books like it during my youth. Adding to the available love stories for tween/teen readers brings me a huge sense of satisfaction.

Religion vs. Spirituality
Like Kit, I’m a non-practicing Jew. When I was ten my family moved from South Jersey to an intentional community in the cornfields of Illinois. There I was taught spiritual beliefs such as reincarnation and karma, very much in-line with what Grandma Carlin teaches Kit in the novel. I’m struck by the lack of discussion of these concepts in contemporary society. We’re still very Judeo/Christian based. Death often launches a spiritual quest to arrive at a truth that feels right. I wanted to offer new concepts to readers in a non-proselytizing, casually curious way.

And Why Twins
Twins tie into the fascination around soul connection. I love hearing stories of how one twin will know when something happens to another. I wanted a space to explore this dynamic through my own creative lens.

I Didn’t Intend to Have a Message
But that happened anyway, as I suppose it often does. Missing Tyler explores a lot of tough topics including death, where do we go after we die, how do we find happiness again (is alcohol the answer) while also navigating the rough waters of young love. The reality that a crush can quickly lead to forced sex (especially when alcohol is in play), is unfortunately quite real. It’s my hope that someone experiences things safely on the page, before, or instead of, having to face it directly in real life.
Bringing Missing Tyler into the world has been my most fascinating, rewarding, outstanding creative experience. May it inspire others in pursuit of creativity, launch spiritual quests or just simply provide a good read.


Thanks Tamara for coming by the blog today!! 


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Happy Reading!

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