There are fans and then there are Fans, with a capital F.

Tammy Barker most certainly belongs in the latter category. Along with her own writing, Tammy is a devoted reader, loyal to the authors she loves, always willing to go above and beyond to make someone’s day feel special. Tammy regularly attends Malice Domestic and seeing her there every year puts a smile on everyone’s face.

When I re-launched the composite sketch feature, I knew immediately that Tammy would get an invite. This beloved feature has always been designed to highlight every corner of our crime fiction community and readers–which is what we all are, even when we write as well–are a vital component in the publishing machine.

Let’s find out a bit more about Tammy and then the next time you see her in the halls at Malice Domestic, be sure to stop and say hello. You are guaranteed to leave with a new friend and with a smile on your face.

Name: Tammy Barker
Location: Northern Virginia

This person from my personal life is such an inspiration:

Dr. Kenneth Cooper, my finance teacher in college. I am sitting there on the first day of class and Dr. Cooper walks in. One of the students immediately got up and left. “Did you see that?” he asked. “That’s normal. There were 46 of you in this class, now there are 45. By the time you take the final, there will be 13. Pay attention, work hard, believe in yourself, and you will succeed. You can get all the multiple choice answers right, but if you don’t earn enough points on the essay question, you will automatically flunk that test or homework assignment, and you won’t pass.” He was right. There were 13 left come the final. Dr. Cooper’s words of encouragement have been in my head since 1988, and they have never steered me wrong.

One of the people I admire most in the crime fiction community is:

Just one? I will play your game. Hank Phillipi Ryan has to be my choice. I was at my first Malice, didn’t know a single soul, and too scared to talk to anyone. This gorgeous woman walks up, sits down, and starts talking. Not about her, but about me! She was interested in who I was, what I do, why I was there, and since I’d just made the decision to see if I could write, she encouraged me to share my thoughts with her. I had no clue who Hank was at the time. But to have someone with her credentials (like at last count 50 news and 10 writing awards), talk to me like an equal, was amazing. It shows how much she cares about the crime fiction community.

STALKER ALERT! If this fictional character were real, they would likely need to get a restraining order against me:

Jack Shepard of Cleo Coyle fame is the cat’s meow for me. Although I have trouble picturing a ghost dropping a dime on me. He’s behind the eight-ball. He can’t jaw to the coppers because he was rubbed out. He can’t spill to Saint Peter because he’s on earth playing gumshoe. So who’d he call? Ghostbusters? Imagine finding out about jams because this cat invades your slumber (but no pitching woo!). I am dizzy with a bird who wears a fedora.

People are always surprised that I am a fan of this individual (singer, actor, or artist):

Most people aren’t surprised, but more shocked that I am a fan of David Soul (aka David Solberg). Not really because of his acting in Starsky and Hutch (he finally “had it” with the business of Hollywood), but because of his singing career. Elvis (my fav) sang about falling in love. Barry Manilow sang about after love is over or begging for love. But David sang about fighting to stay in love. I think that’s the most important thing. If you are in love, what can you do to stay in love?

My personal catch phrase is (or should be):

My catch phrase is an encouragement to others, because I’m all about making people happy. Whenever I leave a room, even at a public place, I always shout out “Have a wonderful day, you beautiful people!” I get lots of responses, smiles, giggles, etc. If I can make someone’s day by making a fool of myself, my job is done.