May 122016
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The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress is finally ALIVE! Yes, I feel like Doctor Frankenstein, more so than with the release of Ghostoria: Vintage Romantic Tales of Fright.  Doing a collection of short stories is tough enough, but the novel feels like an opus. And what was I thinking writing a parallel story for my first novel. Insanity!

   Buy HERE   

The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress Book CoverFrom Dance to Novel

It’s been a long, hard road and a giant learning curve. I started this journey years ago when Dave was still in the Navy and frequently out to sea–which accounts for the romance elements in the story. Don’t be afraid, it has enough romance to satisfy the genre–especially Violet’s story, but enough historical fiction, women’s fiction, and coming-of-age elements to satisfy those genre, too. Not to mention the great fashion, slang, dance, and music.

When I began the novel, I knew I wanted to write about dance, specifically swing dance and try to capture the unique essence of what it’s like to learn and to finally become proficient. This lead me down a path of discovery and research, as I wanted to connect the dance to the past and touch on the history.

WWI London BombsiteThe Learning Curve

I’m going to be honest here and admit it. I didn’t know what the hell I was doing when I started. I’ve always written, kept a journal, and had some nice success with poetry contests, small presses, and poetry slams (national twice). I had been blogging my dance adventures, and a few friends suggested I write a novel. Yeah, like it’s that easy. I was naive enough at the time, to think it was. Well, writing a bad novel is easy.

I had created cool characters, had goal, subplots, and nails in the road to keep my protagonists from their goals, but that’s just a tiny bit of it. I didn’t even know how to properly punctuate dialogue. And did I mention the first draft was 190K? Nope, not a typo. (for those of you who don’t know, that equates to about a 800-900 page book) And I queried. Oh, yeah, I queried the behemoth.

40s teens or college girls writingWhat I Learned From Rejection Letters

Needless to say, it was rejected. But…I did  get awesome feedback. The agents loved the concept and characters but wanted to know if I planned on dividing the tome into two novel. Oops. Too long. I pared it down to 150K, then 140K, then 125K and finally, 116k. In my defense, it is like two novels in one.

I queried again. This time, I got loads of requests for the manuscript. They LOVED Violet (my 1940s) gal, but wasn’t sold on June. I went back and edited, moved her story faster, gave her more subplots and obstacles. I queried again. Lots of requests, but this time, the agents said, it was too niche genre. Well, yeah, but even non-dancers, and non-vintage beta readers have fallen in love with it. Sorry, no zombies or vampires.

Going Indie

If you’re a regular Girl in the Jitterbug Dress blog reader, you know I made a detour and tried the Kindle Scout, which seemed like an intermediate step where I wasn’t totally one my own. Although I had great response with 2K views and over 75% in the Hot & Trending, KS didn’t feel it was a good fit for them. Thank you all loyal readers who went out, voted, and shared. I could see how many came right from this website. You guys rock!

Girl in the Jitterbug Dress gifProve ’em Wrong

So, here we go. I’m out to prove the agents wrong. I know this is the ideal book for anyone who loves WWII historical stuff, dance, vintage, passion, with a wonderful coming-of-age journey. Give it a whirl. The paperback will look beautiful on your coffee table and the ebook is the same price as a Starbucks Venti Coffee!

Girl in the Jitterbug Dress NOW!

Check it out in Kindle and Paperback!  And thanks in advance. I’m working on a fun give-away, so stay tuned, make sure you’re on my mailing list or follow the blog! We’re gonna swing it brother swing!


Did you buy it? Download it? Let me know what you think. Review it on Amazon! I’ve finished the second novel, The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress Hops the Atlantic. I’m working on the third, so let me know what you want more of!

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Know More: The Quirky Tam Francis Interview

 Posted by on Apr 19, 2016 at 6:13 AM
Apr 192016
Know More: The Quirky Tam Francis Interview

A fellow writer, Phil McBride, graciously conducted a Tam Francis interview on his blog to help promote my new book, The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress and encourage more folks to nominate it. (go HERE now to do so) This is a reblog with extended questions not used in the brevity of his blog format. Phil asked fun and […more…]

Mar 302016
5 Reasons You Should Vote for my Kindle Scout Book NOW!

What is Kindle Scout? What is Kindle Scout, why should you vote for my Kindle Scout book, and what does it have to do with The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress? No, it has nothing to do with the Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts. For many of you who’ve been following my blog, this book has […more…]

Fruit and Luggage Labels for Vintage Backyard Decor

 Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 at 8:15 AM
Mar 212016
Fruit and Luggage Labels for Vintage Backyard Decor

Fruit and Luggage Labels for Vintage Backyard Decor by Tam Francis I don’t know about your part of the world, but here in the southern U.S. the weather is turning warmer, and people are planting and sprucing up their backyards. I wanted to share one of my favorite projects. How to make a boring wood fence […more…]

Hemingway Book Club Cocktails with Vintage Flair

 Posted by on Mar 5, 2016 at 3:32 PM
Mar 052016
Hemingway Book Club Cocktails with Vintage Flair

Hemingway Book Club Cocktails and More with Vintage Flair by Tam Francis When I first moved to my small Texas town, everyone was plenty friendly in the way that Southerners are, but what I mistook for friendship was mere politeness, and it took me over a year to figure it out. I love to read […more…]

Feb 192016
Lose Weight with WWII Rations Recipes? Meet Guru Carolyn Ekins

The approach of spring brings thoughts of warmer weather, summer plans, and vows to get in shape when the weather breaks. With this on my mind, I thought it a swell time to introduce my blog readers to one of my favorite bloggers, Carolyn Ekins. When researching WWII rations for my vintage fiction The Girl in […more…]

Recreating Vintage Swing Dance Photography

 Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 at 4:40 PM
Feb 022016
Recreating Vintage Swing Dance Photography

Recreating Vintage Swing Dance Photography Here’s a little story about how we recreated vintage swing dance photography, what we learned, and how you can do your own photo shoot. The Impetus and Inspiration As I approached the publication of my vintage swing dance novel: The Girl in the Jitterbug Dress, I needed cover art for my talented […more…]

Swing Dancing and Drinking in Dublin

 Posted by on Jan 6, 2016 at 5:22 PM
Jan 062016
Swing Dancing and Drinking in Dublin

Swing Dancing and Drinking in Dublin by Tam Francis The Lesson The night was cool, but the bar was hot. The windows steamed . Droplet rivers created spidery patterns on our side of the windows. We’d abandoned the rental car in lieu of a taxi. Driving on the wrong side of the road and the […more…]