Author of Memoir. Writer of Creative Non-fiction and Fiction.
Member of the Florida Writers Association.
Board Member for Florida Writers Foundation, INC.
Chair of the FWF 2019 Silent Auction fundraiser.
Judge for Women's Fiction Writers Association Rising Star Award 2019.
Judge for FWA RPLA Contest 2019.
Hi, welcome. I'm Tami.
I wrote a memoir with the characteristics of fiction: present tense, first person, because 1992 was forever-ago to young people now.
I wrote it because I wanted to connect with and become a better version of myself. I also hoped to connect with those who have had similar experiences and also inform those who have not, to increase understanding and love in the world.
Sharing our stories with each other helps us to feel like we are not alone--and everyone can relate to having those thoughts.
I enjoy sifting
wonderful and repulsive
elements of humanity
into messy, meaningful stories.
In August 2018, I released Making Space for Me, my Mormon adoption story. Full disclosure, I updated the manuscript in January, 2019 to correct some typos and modify my chapter one, as well as the blurb on the back: "A twenty-one year-old telemarketer, Tammy Schend has barely managed her life after aging out of the foster care system in Kenosha, Wisconsin. After an impulsive phone call, she quits her job, moves out of her apartment, and drives to Michigan to help take care of her paralyzed gramma. During her three month visit, she's told her mom’s buried secrets and makes a decision that destroys a family and shakes the community. Returning to Kenosha, a beautiful life of faith erupts, until she is arrested and extradited back to Michigan to pay for her criminality. Waiting to be sentenced, Tammy stays with members of her church--a family with five children and two parents who don't hit each other or yell or hit their kids. She is amazed and in love and uncomfortable. Can she trust them?"
A work in progress is the memoir's sequel, titled Another Way.
Another Way is intended to be helpful to the many people who have left their religions in the last decade, but also dives deeper into my life and relationships--especially the one with myself.
Over one million members have left the LDS church since 2009 (Fred Karger, 2015.) Many Catholics have found it challenging to stay in their religion due to their church's reaction to the sexual abuse of children. In Utah, 60% of young people raised in a church have stopped going (Heidi Hatch, 2017.) I summarized my own experience of leaving the Mormon church in Making Space. Another Way will explain that individual spirituality cannot be controlled or tainted by those seeking power. It is mine. I am in control of my own belief. It's okay to have beliefs after leaving. In fact, it is lovely.
Vibes is a science fiction WIP that I'm thoroughly enjoying and crying over: The lives of an ex-Mormon family in Utah explode with a genetic conspiracy, as a professor from the University of Utah and some leaders of the Mormon Church desire to build a Utopian Denisovan society in Canada. I easily link recent, factual discoveries of Denisovan DNA with the primary characteristics of Autism in this fictional novel. To be released Summer 2020.
Got Time? is the working title of a memoir chapbook. I previously planned to compile these individually as my Water Books Series, with all proceeds going to charitywater.org.