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blood sample that may or may not belong to the girl.  The book
takes place in 1990, when DNA technology was in its infancy, and
a substantial sample was needed for testing.  In this case, the
sample is so small that testing it would destroy it and leave them
with nothing. They need to wait until the technology advances.  But
the mother is at the end of her rope, and has reached a point
where she may be driven to make something happen.  It’s very
much a psychological thriller.
What is the best part of being a writer?
When the words are coming with such a fow that I feel
like I’m just a scribe for some incredible creative energy in the
universe.  That’s amazing.  I also like going to work in sweats
and not having to wear makeup.  And of course I love meeting
readers and knowing that what I do touches them and entertains
them.  That’s a great privilege for which I am enormously thankful.
What did if feel like the frst time one of your books
made it onto the
New York Times
bestselling list?
It’s always a thrill.  My frst was
Night Sins
. I think it was
1995.  I wouldn’t truly believe it until I had the list in my hands
and could read it with my own eyes.  I think I’ve now had fourteen
NYT Bestsellers. Every book I’ve had released since that one
has made it, both in hardcover and in paperback, which is
incredible.  But now it’s expected by my publisher, which brings a
lot of pressure on me for something I have absolutely no control
over.  Now when the news comes, it’s more of a relief frst, and
cause for celebration second.
Did you dream your writing career would turn out to be
so successful?
Yes, actually.  I’m a very goal-driven person.  I can never just
do something.  I have to do it in a big way.  I feel obligated to
succeed.  And my attitude going in before I was published was
this: If one in a million is going to make it, it might as well be me.
You just sold your house in California and are now
living in Wellington year-round; why the move?
I loved LA for myself.  The prevailing attitude there is “Why
not?”  It’s a town that
was truly founded on
dreams, and dreamers
are welcomed with open
arms.  That’s a very
freeing and stimulating
for an
artist.  But I found it very frustrating to have my horses there.  In
Wellington we are spoiled for excellent choices in facilities,
veterinarians, farriers, etc. Horses and the care of horses are
such a priority here.  Also, there is such a feeling of community for
horse people.  One never lacks for dinner companions willing to
talk about nothing but horses.  We’re like a big crazy family all in
one town.  In LA everyone is scattered around.  I had to drive 45
minutes one-way to get to the barn.  No one in my neighborhood
had horses or understood people who have horses -- nor did they
care to.  Then there’s the fact that no place in the United States
can compare to Wellington when it comes to horses shows --
especially for dressage.  And that is only going to become more so
in the future with our new and improved venues, the draw of riders
from Europe and the concentration of top-level competitions.
What are your goals in the writing world?
In the mundane sense, more #1 bestsellers, bigger sales
fgures, movie deals.  In the artistic sense, I want to continue to
grow in terms of the depth and complexity of my writing.   I really
enjoy what I do, writing thrillers.  I don’t have any plan to change
genres, but perhaps to explore writing about crime from different
angles.  I see that happening already with
Down The Darkest
Now it’s time to confess – how many horses do you
Ha! Well, I have three here in Wellington, one retired horse
in California and a young horse in training in California.  And of
course I’m always trying to fnd a way to get another!  I’m an
addict.  What can I say?  It beats smoking crack.  It’s probably not
cheaper, though.
Tami autographs one of
her books
Photo by Johnny Robb
Tami and Coco Chanel
Photo by Susan Stickle
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