Flurries Unlimited (FU) had the wonderful opportunity to chat with first-time self-help author, Tiffany Allen (TA), about her work, life and bullet-riddled roof. This is what we discussed:
FU: It's obvious from the description of Carry On and Ditch the Excess Baggage! what inspired you to write. Can you tell us a little bit about how you came to the decision to share your painful, personal journey with the world?
TA: Considering that I've always hated writing, it's a miracle that this story has made it this far. It all started when, as a self-proclaimed anti-blogger, I found myself keeping a blog during cancer treatment to keep friends & family informed. I received quite a bit of feedback from blog readers that I should write a book. The thought got lodged in my brain and wouldn't get out! I thought at first that writing the book would be a way to 1) rally people around Team Tiff and 2) somehow communicate what I'd wanted to with my ex over all the years since he stopped contact. Selfish reasons! But as I started writing, I realized that healing had started and that maybe I could actually give hope to others who might be in the black hole I had felt stuck in for so long. I've always been known for my tendency to overshare, so I suppose it was bound to happen on a much larger scale at some point.
FU: Your bio says that you spend your days as a "Decision Support Analyst". I've never heard of that before. What exactly is it? What does one do?
TA: My job at the hospital is to help with Business Development. As a Decision Support Analyst, I manage the cost accounting system, which breaks costs down to each item for which a patient gets charged. This helps to explain why ibuprofen at the hospital seems so expensive, because we can show all the labor costs that go into getting that ibuprofen to the patient's mouth (from receiving the order from the doc, to ordering from the pharmacy, to receiving the shipment, to stocking, to dispensing, to delivering, to recording). We also run analyses that help upper management make large strategic decisions. It is pretty much the antithesis of writing!
FU: The intro to your bio is quite vivid and engaging. You mention that you might become an author when you grow up. What kind of books or stories would you like to write?
TA: I've had several people tell me I should try my hand at fiction, but I really believe at this point that I better relate to readers by sharing parts of myself that they are probably feeling but not as comfortable talking about. I don't know that I could create a character that I could possibly know any better than myself. It might also be fun to help others write their stories.
FU: The bullet holes in your roof sound intriguing. Can you tell us a little more about them?
TA: I live in a beautiful part of the country, the Monterey Peninsula on the central coast of California. But the town I actually live in is what I call the "hood" of the peninsula. I had a roof leak several months ago and after the roofers made a couple of trips out and were unable to find the source, the owner of the company himself came out and found the problem. I had a hole in my roof from a 22-caliber gun. Given that on holidays, and sometimes just for no reason, people in my town think it's a good idea to shoot guns into the air, I can only imagine that I was just the recipient of one of them coming back down.
FU: So what is on the horizon? What are your new projects? When will there be a new release?
TA: My first order of business is to learn a bit more about how to market Carry On and Ditch the Excess Baggage!! I've learned pretty quickly that books get buried in the jungle that is Kindle. I'm about to finalize a voice to record the audiobook and am working on the formatting to do a print copy through Createspace. I think I'm just a little excited to have something tangible to hold in my hand. I also have an 84-year-old Grandma who refuses to get the internet or any electronic devices other than a TV/DVD player. She's holding out for a "real book" she can read. I'm also hoping to bring readers on a continued journey through my healing process through a blog at www.tiffany-allen.com. I'm hoping that through feedback there, I can work toward another release that will address what anyone who chooses to follow my journey would like to hear about.
FU: Thank you so much for chatting with us and best of luck with your work. :-)