University staff


Tami’s writing has international appeal

Working at the University’s Department for International Development provides Tami Egonu with a different chapter to life outside of work.

 Tami is the self-published author of four novels and is currently working hard on a fifth to be released later this year.

‘I’ve always been creative. My mother painted so I grew up in a very creative environment. Writing was always there but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I started transferring all these images in my head into stories on paper, since then I haven’t stopped.’

Bird is the first book in her Victorian trilogy; Bird, The Enchanted and A Blue Lark Sang. All three book covers feature the beautiful designs of William Morris, the famous Victorian artist, with permission granted from The William Morris Society.

Initially inspired by stories in the press about honour killings, Tami looked into British history and found similarities around the subjects of marriage, race and religion during Victorian England.

‘I decided to base Bird at a time when women were supressed and subject to many expectations, rules and laws. It was all very much before women’s liberation. My first book is set in 19th Century England and is about a girl called Emily, who is 17. She falls in love with a black man and ultimately has to decide whether to conform to the pressure and prejudice from her family and society or choose freedom and love,’ explains Tami.

Currently untitled, her new book will be available later this year and she has a surprise for fans.

‘This is definitely more of a horror book and different to what I usually write, although I’ve had a lot of fun with the supernatural element in all my novels. It may shock a few people but it’s good to do something different. My writing is intuitive and often I don’t know where it will go.

'Sometimes the characters will do and say things that I didn’t see coming. When I start writing, the stories are pretty much complete, I know the beginning, the middle and the end but it’s the filling in between that is exciting,’ said Tami.

As a Londoner, Tami grew up in Camden Town but moved to Middlesbrough to be with Paul, her partner of 16 years.
‘Middlesbrough is great. It’s not far from the coast or countryside, I just love it up here. It’s brilliant how I can get to Durham or York faster than it takes to get from one part of London to another,’ said Tami.

Tami’s books are available in paperback and digital download at Amazon and also from Barnes and Noble in the USA.

29 June 2015 | Grapevine 159