Title: Differently Normal
Author: Tammy Robinson
Publisher: Hachette Australia/Hachette New Zealand
Release Date: 30 January 2018
Heartbreaking and heartwarming in equal measure, DIFFERENTLY NORMAL is about first love and the sacrifices you'll make for the ones you hold close. For fans of Nicholas Sparks and Jojo Moyes.
For Maddy, life is all about routine. It has to be, to keep her autistic sister happy and healthy. With just Maddy and her mother as Bee's full-time carers, there's no time in Maddy's life for complications like friends, let alone a boyfriend. So when Bee joins a new Riding for the Disabled stable and they meet Albert, the last thing on Maddy's mind is falling in love.
Some things, she's about to learn, are outside of our control. Albert has resigned himself to always being a disappointment to his strict father. When he meets Maddy, he gets a glimpse of what being part of a family can be like, and of the tremendous sacrifices that people will make for the ones that they love.
DIFFERENTLY NORMAL is a heart-wrenching tale of love and loss, because sometimes it takes letting someone else in to discover who you really are . . .
'A funny and poignant tale about first love. Tammy Robinson is a natural storyteller.' Nicky Pellegrino
GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37955669-differently-normal
Tammy Robinson is a contemporary women's fiction author from the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand. After years spent working her way round the world, Tammy settled back in New Zealand with her husband, their two girls and a newborn baby boy. She has published six novels through Amazon, and DIFFERENTLY NORMAL was her first novel with Hachette New Zealand. She is currently working on PHOTOS OF YOU, which Hachette will publish in 2019.
1. What a fantastic novel Differently Normal is. Where did the idea come from to write a story like this?
Oh that’s lovely to hear, thank you so much! I actually had the idea of the two main characters, Maddy and Albert first. Two people from two very different backgrounds, each with differing degrees of family dysfunction. There had to be a reason for Maddy to be so stuck in place, and a reason for Albert to earn so badly to get out. The rest of the story came from there.
2. I loved that you wrote a book about disabilities. Did you need to do much research for Differently Normal?
Yes I did. I have a friend with an autistic daughter, who Bee is based on. I had to learn a lot about the health difficulties Bee was facing, including watching some harrowing clips of people having Grand Mal seizures.
3. The ending of the book wasn't the way I thought it was going to end. Did you mean to break our hearts or did you also consider a alternative ending?
I know, and I’m very sorry for breaking hearts. But that’s just the ending that came to me. I certainly didn’t set out to end it the way it did, but my books basically write themselves as I write and that’s just how it wanted to end. Also, after some devastating personal losses, I do try and reflect reality in my writing. Life doesn’t always end up the way we want it to.
4. I love Albert, Maddy and Bee. Who was your favouritecharacter in Differently Normal?
Oooh that’s a hard one, like asking a parent to pick a favouritechild! I would have to say Maddy, because she has similarities to me. But I also love Wendy and her coping mechanism of moving into the laundry. That was fun to write. To see her come into her own at the end of the book was satisfying.
5. Lastly this is the first book I have read of yours. Can you tell us about some of your previous work and works to look out for in the future?
Sure. I have six other books that are all available on Amazon; Charlie and Pearl, When Stars Collide, The Peculiar Smell of Secrets, My Summer of You, Lessons from Ducks, and The Insignificance of You. They all have a love story at heart.
I have just finished writing my 9th book, Photos Of You, which will be published by Hachette and Piatkus in 2019. It’s about a young woman with terminal breast cancer, who decides to throw herself the wedding she’d always dreamt of. She’s not about to let the fact she doesn’t have a groom stop her. When she meets the photographer, Lucas, she realizes sometimes falling in love can have the lousiest timing.