Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Pleased to Meet You!

I so honored and delighted to be making my debut here among Writers Who Kill. In the spirit of getting to know each other, I decided to share some of the things that make me who I am (as if that photo of me with a plastic orange assault rifle doesn't tell you enough).

1. Before I became a full-time mystery writer, I worked as a high school English teacher, a newspaper editor back in my tiny Southern hometown, a freshman composition instructor, and a professional Girl Scout. So believe me when I say that I understand homicidal tendencies.

2. I am also a tarot reader, although no longer professionally. I still enjoy reading for friends and family, however, and also for myself. And my characters. Boy, do my characters need guidance.
Book Five! Coming in April!

3. I currently write the Tai Randolph/Trey Seaver mysteries with Poisoned Pen Press (that's the cover to the next book in the series over there to the right). Tai runs a Kennesaw, Georgia, gun shop that caters to Civil War reenactors. Trey is a former SWAT sniper recovering from a TBI (a Traumatic Brain Injury). They are partners in both crime solving and romance, and as such, definitely need those tarot readings.

Haunted Savannah Streetlight
4. I live near Savannah, Georgia, reported to be one of the most haunted cities in the country. And though I've toured every haunted inn and restaurant and brew pub and restroom and tree and cemetery in town, I have yet to see a ghost.

5. I have, however, seen a UFO.

Baboons! How sweet, you say. Ha.
6. Also, I am one of the small subset of Americans who have been attacked by baboons.

7. I am an advanced open water scuba diver (wreck diving being my favorite, although my favorite dive of all time was a shark dive in the Bahamas. The baboons were scarier than those sharks.)

8. My redneck credentials are firmly established. I can shoot a shotgun, bake hoecake, catch a catfish with my bare hands, and drive a stick shift. I own chickens and overalls and cast iron skillets, and the Southern storytelling gene runs strong through my DNA. Even the pots and pans in my house have stories.

George getting ready to meet me
9. My bucket list includes going on an Alaskan cruise, bicycling through wine country in France, and meeting George Hamilton.

10. I once almost ran over Clint Eastwood. True story. His bodyguard probably still talks about that crazy redneck lady.

And that's me in a nutshell. Very pleased to make your acquaintance. Why don't you share something about yourself in the comments so that I can get to know you better? And thanks for stopping by!


  1. Tina – I’m so delighted to have you join us on WWK. So many questions raised by your blog, so I’ll choose just one to ask about. What’s the scoop with trying to take out Clint?

    ~ Jim

  2. Welcome to WWK! You certainly have a varied background from which to draw your stories.

    The question I want to ask is about the baboons. I want the details! When I was in rural Africa (on an organized trip) they warned us to give baboons wide berth. One of the bandas in which we stayed had a fairly open roof--a thatched affair with gables open to the air--and a heavy chain link type covering to keep the baboons out. But they would perch on the covering and stare malevolently down at us.

    I look forward to reading your work and "seeing" you on the blog.

  3. Okay, I guess James and KM asked the easy questions. Hmmm. About the UFO then...

  4. Thank you all for having me here -- it is an honor to be included in such a talented line-up.

    I'll start with Clint Eastwood. He was in Savannah directing Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which entailed shutting down random parts of downtown for filming. The squares were overrun with camera crews, and trying to get from one side of the Historic District to the other was an exercise in surprise and frustration. I worked downtown then -- as a professional Girl Scout -- and was barreling down a tiny one-way street far from my usual route...and then bam, there he was standing in the middle of the road. Dirty Harry himself. He didn't look the least bit started, though, and was quickly surrounded by a plalanx of bodyguards and assistants. One of the crew marched over to my window, and I was expecting to get an earful. Instead, he took in the bright green uniform, smiled, made a little rectangle with his hands as if he were filming me, winked once, and waved me through. All I could see of Clint at this point was his hat.

  5. Tina, welcome to WWK, and yes, I want to hear about the baboons, too. What we share in common is that I was a teacher albeit a third grade teacher. Several of my professors thought I should change my major and teach at a college level or at least high school, but I knew where I would fit best and never regretted my decision. I was also a Girl Scout leader for ten years and only quit when my troop were all busy high school seniors and I was in college. The third thing we share is chickens. I've had chickens for forty years although I'm now down to four old hens and one old male guinea fowl. I look forward to your blogs and reading your books.

  6. Welcome to WWK, we could be sisters separated at birth! This is fun.

  7. welcome, Georgia girl. I lived in suburban Atlanta for 15 years before moving north to Cincinnati. I miss the intensity of the winter sunshine, mockingbirds and my sasanqua camellias. I don't miss the copperheads and press of humanity in greater Atlanta. Looking forward to reading more.

    PS: and what about those baboons?

  8. It is so exciting to meet people I have odd things in common with! Like I've finally found my people.


    We used to have one of those drive-through safari parks in south Georgia. Lions and rhinos and wolves and bears, the whole menagerie. One of the highlights of the park -- and the adventure my third-grade class was most looking forward to -- was a boat trip to Monkey Island. Not that the boat was supposed to actually visit the island. No, it was supposed to go around and around and then return to shore. Only our boat suffered engine failure and drifted close enough to Monkey Island for all the screeching primates to leap on board. It was like a cross between Gilligan's Island and Planet of the Apes for a while, if Planet of the Apes had been made by Alfred Hitchcock a la The Birds. I remember my teacher swinging madly at them with her giant pocketbook, and then my mother (who was chaperoning) threw me and several other kids to the floor and covered us with boat cushions. Several of us ended up at the ER with baboon bites (they were the most vicious of the beasts) but I managed to escape unscathed. Except for the nightmares. Oh, the nightmares.

  9. Hello, Tina! I learned a few new things about you. I hope to see you at Bouchercon!

  10. Impressive resume! The baboon story is impressive (bless your mom's motherly instincts) as is running into Mr. Eastwood, but what I want to know is what does a professional Girl Scout do?

  11. Welcome to our merry band, Tina!

  12. Former Girl Scout leader here, intrigued by the idea of being a pro Girl Scout! When I was a teen I was entranced by Tarot. Perhaps you can read for all your blog mates :)
    So glad you've arrived here at WWK relatively unscathed!

  13. Hey y'all, thanks for stopping by here!

    Though I no longer work for the Girl Scouts, I remember them fondly (and still but lots of cookies, of course). Savannah is important to Girl Scouts because it is the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Lowe, and her home is a part of the Historic District (and haunted, as is everything in Savannah -- though I have never see a supernatural presence in the Lowe house, many many many Girl Scouts and leaders have).

    My job was grant-based -- I designed and delivered Girl Scout programs in the inner city school system (during school hours) and also assisted with other special Girl Scout troop programs ( we had one troop made up of teenage mothers, another especially for students at a school for those with learning disabilities). In effect, I was a troop leader for, like, six troops, and a liaison with several other organizations sponsoring those troops. It was hard work, and I miss it. But I do NOT miss that green uniform. Ack.

  14. I fell in love with tarot in my thirties, and although I don't read "professionally" anymore (as in, for money from strangers) I still read for family and friends. And writers! I publish The Writerly Tarot every Monday (ish) on my tarot blog -- drop by at the beginning of the week if you'd like to see what the Universe has in store for us writerly types. You can find that at: http://tarotbytina.blogspot.com/.

  15. Hi Tina,
    Thanks for introducing me to Writers Who Kill. Is this going to be a permanent gig for you or are you making a guest appearance? I must say that I'm a little jealous of the Clint Eastwood encounter, though I'm happy to hear he survived. The baboon blitz is just frightening. I'm terrified of those damn things. Thankfully, your teacher's pocketbook was large enough to quell the attack. I do love an oversized handbag. Please don't judge me for my grammar mistakes. I swear I'm a good person. Great to see you here! ...Cora

  16. Hi Cora! Great to see you here! Yes, this is going to be a regular gig for me (as long as these fine people will have me). Look for me on every 4th Tuesday! And you've read my books -- you know I love interesting grammar, the kind that's like beach glass, maybe a little asymmetrical and tossed around but fascinating and unique.

  17. I am realizing that I haven't explained the UFO. That's because I can't. Hence the U in its FO. But I wasn't the only one who saw that white light streaking across the sky. The other person is an engineer who doesn't like to talk about it, thank you very much, but he saw it too. Really.

  18. On the road to Hatteras yesterday. Sorry I'm late!

    Welcome, Tina. I'm a former Brownie (I quit after that), having no idea thirty years later I would become a Girl Scout leader due to having a daughter in need of a leader, or more accurately, a Co-Leader. The Girl Scout administrators must all be lawyers. I've never been in a group so attuned to legalities, every "i" dotted and "t" crossed!

    Although I have no doubt about the UFO, I would like to hear about the discriminatory Baboon. I hope you will enthrall us with stories! That's why we're here--my favorite part.

  19. OMG, Tina--I just read your account about the Baboons! How horrible, and I certainly do understand about the nightmares. They are strong creatures, so it could have been worse. Thanks for the tale, but it was more horror than mystery.