Exciting new mystery books still to come from this unstoppable author!
Reisterstown Author Shares her Passion for Stories Jaime Bloss, Carroll County Times Maryland (5/14/2002)Tammy Perkins of Reisterstown has loved to write all her life. Her passion began at age 14, when she started writing short stories as a student at Francis Scott Key High School.And now she wants to share that passion with others. Perkins, who uses the pseudonym TJ Perkins, writes stories for children ages 8 to 13. Her first published book, “Wound Too Tight,” debuted in July 2002. The story chronicles a group of boys in a Maine fishing village who discover an enchanted watch in an evil pirate’s treasure. As the boys begin to disappear, one of them must figure out how to stop the evil pirate’s curse. Children’s suspense is Perkins’ favorite type of book to write. She finds it a challenge to write books for 8- to 13-year olds because, she says, they’re old enough to understand the material, but still young enough to enjoy the fun she incorporates into her stories. Promoting positivity is one thing Perkins wants to make sure she does in her novels, which requires a lot of research. “[The characters] learn consequences through a course of action they take in the story,” she said. Characters may say something or do something that hurts their friends or family; then they have to rectify that in the story, she said. “It’s the stuff that every kid goes through,” she said. To connect with her readers, Perkins writes her novels in the first person. “I want to tell it on the kid’s level,” she said. Now she is working on a mystery crime series for children in this same age range. “I think kids will really eat it up. It’s a new type of ‘Nancy Drew’ but with upper middle-class black girls [as the characters],” she said. “I wanted to do something different.” Kim and Kelly, the heroines in the story, solve mysteries that they stumble upon. “It’s totally focused on kids, with very limited help from grown-ups,” Perkins said. Another of Perkins’ novels, “Mystery of the Attic,” will be available May 2003. The book will be published by Publish America. “It’s based on something very scary and very real that happened to me as a kid in a farmhouse in New Windsor,” she said. “My mom, to this day, does not believe me.” When Perkins was living in this farmhouse as a teen, she kept hearing noises that sounded like footsteps coming from the attic directly above her bedroom. She based “Mystery of the Attic” on that experience, with the characters trying to help a good ghost find peace and an evil ghost from coming in to the world, she said. “It’s reality mixed with fiction for what was going on in my life at the time,” Perkins said. The characters she creates do not live perfect lives, she said. Some of the children in her novels may have to deal with their parents fighting or bullies at school – things that many children face in their daily life. “They’re fictional stories in real-life situations,” Perkins said.