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  By: Richard C. Ross

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When searching for a great piece of fiction, many readers allow bestseller lists to dictate their purchases. Some of the greatest books however, are written by virtual unknowns. Of particular interest in that category is Tamara Lyon. Born and raised in Sugar Grove, Illinois and now residing near Madison, Wisconsin, the 34-year-old Lyon � a relative newcomer � is definitely worth taking a chance on.

An award-winning, women�s fiction author with talent and tenacity, Lyon already has three novels under her belt; Fixing Forever Broken, Falling to Him, and her most recent work, The Ugly Tree. All can be purchased on Amazon, in bookstores, or from her website at www.tamaralyon.com.

Her first novel, Falling to Him, a coming-of-age romance, garnered a star rating from Midwest Book Review. This past spring
Fixing Forever Broken, a suspense-romance, won a Bronze IPPY (Independent Publisher�s) Award in New York City. Her latest book, The Ugly Tree, just released this August, is touted as the quintessential first-love story. Lyon believes that it could be her breakout novel.

And critics seem to agree. Independent book reviewer Angela Radtke praised Lyon�s latest release: The Ugly Tree is one of those books that takes you back to your own first summer romance and forces you to recall the painful, joyful essence of being a teenager. While the main character�s precocious nature and youthful optimism will surely endear her to readers of her own age group (�15 going on 16�), her vulnerability and will to overcome and survive has universal appeal. The Ugly Tree is a well thought-out story, and the characters are intricately intertwined in a way that will make it difficult to put the book down.�

Although Ms. Lyon has been writing for nearly a decade, she hasn�t had much time to promote her work. For the past eight years, she has been supporting her husband through medical school and residency at The University of Wisconsin in Madison. To make ends meet, she�s been running her own cleaning business.

�It�s been a long road for our family, and now that Chris (her husband), is nearing the end of his residency, it�s time to transition from my cleaning business to full-time author. I�ve written six manuscripts, had three published, and now I need to promote my current novels and continue working on my fourth. And while I love being an artist and writing stories, I have to be a business woman as well. I�m responsible for my own success.�

Because Lyon�s publisher, Comfort Publishing, a small press based in North Carolina, doesn�t provide their authors with extensive marketing, the responsibility of promoting her books falls directly on her.

Although Lyon is actively pursuing more traditional marketing outlets such as book clubs, book signings, speaking engagements, radio appearances, and newspaper articles, this is sometimes a struggle since many people are hesitant to promote an unknown. To help offset this, Lyon is currently generating interest using an innovative concept she created. Based on the home-party model, her approach is called �Meet the Author Night�.

Friends and fans host informal gatherings where she speaks about her journey as a writer, shares humorous anecdotes about her cleaning business, and promotes and signs her novels. The host receives gratis copies of Lyon�s novels, and in return Lyon gets a platform to speak about her books and network.

�By doing these small parties I obviously hope to gain a fan base and sell books, but it also gives me a great opportunity to meet people in book clubs, professional organizations, and libraries. These parties are a stepping stone to something bigger,� states Lyon.

Determined to make it to the top of those bestseller lists, it is clear that Lyon has the drive and the ambition to blaze her own trail. �I�m in this for the long haul. I�m willing to work as long and as hard as I have to. But, really, the key is that I love what I do, and I can�t ask for anything more than that. �

Visit Tamara Lyon�s website: www.tamaralyon.com and join her fan page on Facebook at Tamara Lyon.







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