Thursday, November 15, 2018

Character Interview with Tammy from Head Over Feet in Love

Today we welcome Tammy, best friend to the main character of Patti F. Smith's debut novel with Soul Mate Publishing, Head Over Feet in Love. Tammy's interview actually takes place three months prior to the story so no spoilers!

CJ: Thanks for talking with us Tammy. Rumor has it you got cut from the actual book.

TM: Let’s don’t go there.

CJ: Agreed! So, where are you from?

TM: Detroit. Not the suburbs—the city. I hate when people from Troy or Dearborn or Wayne or something say they’re from Detroit. They’re not. I grew up on the northwest side and went to Cass Tech.

CJ: And you met Becca at University of Michigan?
TM (rolls eyes): Omigod, this was the best. I’m in line for registration—you know, the days before computers, kids! And this little white girl is there clutching—and I mean clutching—this bright purple backpack. She hung onto it like it was a security blanket. She looked kinda pitiful.

CJ: She was probably scared.
TM: Oh sure, I was too. I mean, I’d never really been out of Detroit and definitely never to Ann Arbor except for when I went on a campus tour. Anyway so I go up to her and ask her name and she says—no lie—“I’m Becca from Ann Arbor.” Well, yeah, everyone’s from Ann Arbor now, right? She says something like “it’s the best city on earth.” I didn’t mean to but I started to laugh. I just couldn’t help it. I mean, seriously? Has she not heard of Paris, Cairo, London, Sydney….? Then I saw the look she gave me and I laughed even more. I felt horrible but I couldn’t stop. I knew I had to say something so I said we should be roommates. That girl lit up like a Christmas tree. I’ve loved her ever since.

CJ: Tell me about college.
TM: I had a full ride so I had to study but it was easy. Becca and I were both pre-law so we had most of our classes together. It turns out that she liked to join different campus activities—I think ‘cuz she’s kind of shy and it gave her a way to meet people. I went with her to a few. Then I joined the Black Student Union and wouldn’t you know, she came right with me. She said her high school—she went to Allen…there’s two, Allen High and Rumsey High after the founders—was really segregated and she had never really known a black person before. I had never known a Jewish person before so we were even.

CJ: So Becca got woke, as they say now?
TM (laughs): Oh yeah. She was right out there marching and screaming with us. Then we rushed a sorority our sophomore year just to see if they’d take us—and they did! A bunch of rich white girls and us. She tried to get her best friend Ricky to join but that didn’t quite pan out.

CJ: What about after college?
TM: We went to UM law school and lived together for part of the time, before I moved in with my one boyfriend. Huge mistake on my part but Becca and Ricky were right there for me after I kicked his ass to the curb.

CJ: And you’ve been a lawyer ever since?
TM: I have. Let me tell you—and don’t tell Becca I said this—but her flunking the Bar Exam was one of the worst things for both of us. I don’t mean to make it about me, because it isn’t, but I was so worried about her. Me and Ricky both. We took turns being with her to make sure she didn’t…that nothing happened.

CJ: Did it?
TM: (takes a deep breath): Bec wasn’t really medicated back then. People…didn’t understand as much and she thought she was just crazy and—let me back up. I said Bec was the first Jewish person I met, right? Well, she was the first person with bipolar that I met. I didn’t even really know what it was except when that song Lithium came out and people said it was a drug for this manic-depression thing. During our junior year of college…Becca just left one day. She had an issue in the sorority—this girl blackballed her and kept her from being an officer—and she just took off. I had no idea where she was, Ricky couldn’t find her, her parents didn’t know…Bec was just gone for like a week. This was before cell phones, remember. I mean, some of the rich girls had them but I sure didn’t. Then Becca just waltzed back into our Political Classics class on Monday morning like nothing had happened. Girl, I about wore her out. (Long pause). Then her mom called me and told me that Becca has done this before. When things get to be too much she just sort of takes off and tries to run away but this is her home and she always comes back. (Long pause). I really worry that one day something will happen that will make her leave for good.

Meet Becca, Tammy, Rick and more here!  

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Carly Jordynn in an author of young adult, adult, and middle grade fiction. You can find Carly on social media at:

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