Tyora “Ty” Moody is a Christ follower, an avid reader, an award-winning author and literary entrepreneur. She mainly writes in the following genres under Christian Fiction: Cozy Mystery, Women Sleuths, Police Procedurals, and Romantic Suspense. Believing a writer should always try to stretch her skills, she has been experimenting with Romance shorts and Mystery Chapter Books for Kids.
As a literary-focused entrepreneur, she has assisted countless authors with developing an online presence via her company, Tywebbin Creations LLC since 1999. Popular services include book covers, book formatting, and virtual assistance services.
In 2012, Tyora started Tymm Publishing LLC. Under her company, she has published several anthologies and authors.
Serving up a creative mix, flavored with FAITH, Tyora Moody writes soul-searching mysteries with a dash of romance. When Tyora isn’t working for a literary client, she enjoys reading, spending time with family, binge-watching crime shows, catching a movie on the big screen, and traveling. To check out her complete list of books or contact Tyora about book club discussions, visit her online at TyoraMoody.com.
1) When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most?
I have always loved to read, but it took me a while to realize I loved the art of writing a story. My first recollection of when I knew I loved to write came from an extra credit creative writing assignment I did during my sophomore year. I wrote a story and shared it with my classmates and they all really liked it. The teacher gave me wonderful feedback as well. Interestingly, I still wouldn’t think about pursuing writing until I was in my thirties. I’ve been writing and publishing books for almost a decade now and I love diving into a new story with familiar and new characters.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
Sure, my tagline is author of Soul Searching Mysteries with a Dash of Romance. My main genre is mysteries and they range from cozy mysteries, women sleuths, police procedurals to romantic suspense. At the core of each story there is usually a crime that takes place that needs to be solved. I love developing the character’s journey through solving the crime and also in many cases tackling their journey of faith. These crimes are traumatic and cause one to either struggle or cling to their faith. I add a dash of romance, because the romantic in me always wants to have a happy ending for a character which usually results in a love match or in the case of one of my books, a rekindled marriage.
3) What projects are you currently working on?
It’s been a long time coming, but I’m finally finishing up the books the Reed Family Series. This is a series of books that center around the siblings of a crime-fighting family. A few years ago I published the sisters’ books, Broken Heart (Jo’s story), Troubled Heart (Toni’s story) and Relentless Heart (Asia’s story). I kicked the series back off late last year with a holiday short featuring the mother of this crew, With All My Heart. Now I’m releasing the brother’s story, Faithful Heart will be released April 27, 2021 and Wounded Heart will be the final book in the series and releases May 25, 2021. Readers can find the full series at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0753GT4J5.
Next up on my list is book 5 of the Eugeena Patterson Mysteries. This cozy mystery series has become one of my top series. I’m so tickled everytime I get an email or message online about these books. I’m looking forward to visiting with Eugeena and the other members of the Sugar Creek neighborhood. Readers can find other books in the series at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07F7PBHYQ
4) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
I think my most significant achievement is just being able to still be writing. I have a day job and also two side businesses, so getting writing in is really a major deal for me. I really work hard to use my weekend wisely and any other time during the week I can find. In five years, I’m looking forward to really considering retirement from my day job and pursuing writing full-time.
5) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career?
For my first book, When Rain Falls, I had some rejection letters, but I also had one acceptance letter come in so I can say that rejection has been a big issue for me. I had two 2-book deals at a publishing house until the imprint was discontinued. Since then I established my own publishing company where I have published many of my books and also have published other authors.
6) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel?
The weekends are pretty valuable to me. I do outline my stories which is a huge help when I do sit down to write. I already have in mind what I need to write, though sometimes things may change or shift around on the outline. I write mainly novellas which aren’t usually more than 40,000 words. My cozy mysteries tend to be 50,000+ words. Since not being at a publisher where there was a required 85,000 words, I think the most I have written for a book is 65,000 words.
With all that said, I can usually write a book within 2-4 months depending on the length. Lately, with my goals for this year, I’ve been starting books at the same time and then concentrating on fully finishing one book to send to the editor.
7) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
No, I don’t think it’s never too late. I didn’t get my first book published until I was in my forties. Sometimes it helps to have an empty nest or be closer to the end of your career at a day job, so that you can really plan a writing career. These days it’s more than writing. You really have to immerse yourself into the marketing side too. If you want to write full-time, having money saved or budgeted really helps if you are considering being an independent author sometimes that gets easier when you’re older and more established.
8) What’s the first book you ever read that really touched you emotionally and moved you? Who is your favorite author? What book are you currently reading?
Wow, that’s a good question. I will say the first Christian Fiction book I read was Passing by Samaria by Sharon Ewell Foster. At the time I was still a new Christian myself and I didn’t often read historical books, but her book really touched me.
I can’t say I have a favorite author because I am an avid reader and I read across a lot of genres. For my commute to the day job, I consume about two audio books a week and I love reading graphic novels. So, my tastes range for reading can include Christian fiction, thrillers, romantic suspense, cozy mysteries and even urban fantasy books. For example, right now I’m reading, Children of Blood and Bone, which is a very different read for me because it’s a young adult fantasy, but I like it. So I have my favorites across a lot of genres.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work? Do you ever just sit down and curl up with your own book?
I don’t curl up with my own book, but I do invest in making sure my books are available in audio. So, I really love hearing the narrators read the story and I’m often touched by the talent of the narrator, and how their voices bring the characters that I’ve written to life. I encourage folks who like audio books to check out my growing list. https://www.audible.com/author/Tyora-Moody/B005966RJ8
I have learned from book club members that they really like having the audio book as an alternative for catching up on the selected book of the month.
10) What are your thoughts about how the publishing industry is drastically changing?
I think with any industry there are always changes. I think some of the changes happening now are putting more attention on the need for diversity since George Floyd’s murder for all the world to see last year. Probably for the first time in a long time, I’m considering pitching some of my book ideas to publishers to see what happens. I feel pretty established in my independent publishing career to keep going down that path, but I feel like it’s a challenge to see how far a story can go with another platform.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
Writing for me is definitely therapeutic. There is probably a little of me and my personal struggles in each one of my books. Since I write from a Christian point of view, there have been times when the character’s story has ministered to me. My prayer is that the encouragement and lessons I learned can minister to a reader. At the end of the day, stories are powerful forms of art and I’m inspired by the process from the blank page to the when it is time to type “The End.”
Thank you so much for the interview. I appreciate the opportunity!