Author talks about childhood memories

Published 8:47 am Friday, March 16, 2018

When it comes to writing, an idea can come from anywhere. For local author Tammy McMurray Redmond, childhood memories and an innate talent for observing people gets the job done. Childhood and the bedrock of family are the themes explored in her memoir, “To Catch A Hummingbird” — which is a book about her childhood and growing up near the historic Cumberland Gap.

Born at Middlesboro ARH, she resided in Harrogate growing up.

Currently, she is a registered nurse and works in administration as a risk manager at a hospital in Morristown, Tennessee. She is also a legal nurse consultant.

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Growing up, Redmond carried with her an affinity for reading.

“A fondness for books started at a very, very early age…I love reading. I love expressing myself in words,” she said.

Having grown up underprivileged, Redmond stated that she had a period in her teens and into her early 20s during which she felt ashamed of her background.

“As I got older and broke through the glass ceiling, so to speak, and achieved all the goals I wanted to achieve and started to be successful financially, I realized that was not fulfilling me,” she said.

Redmond spoke of the anxiety and depression she struggled with. During this time she would start writing — which she realized made her feel better.

She expressed that she felt ashamed of her panic and anxiety, citing the social stigma around it.

“After I wrote the book, God spoke to my heart one day and said ‘that’s who you are’…it was just a beautiful story of Christian foundation, a simple life, family and pretty much nurturing us children and giving us a foundation and letting us grow deep, deep roots that would sustain anything we had to face in life. I really wanted it to honor my family because I thought, ‘I’m not ashamed of this anymore.’ I’m so proud of how I was raised. I’ve gotten everything I’ve ever wanted professionally and financially. But that doesn’t matter. What matters to me is how I was raised. It was very poor and meager but it was truly the happiest time of my life and I really needed to honor my family,” she said.

Redmond talked about getting lost in her writing and having memories flood back into her mind, needing to get out. She would keep a notebook with her and jot down memories and ideas as her day went on. She would rush home to write it out and before she knew it, hours had passed and it was nighttime.

“It’s overwhelming to think about writing a book. You just write your stories, what you remember. And it will take shape,” she said.

As for her next project, Redmond has written the first in a planned series of children’s books about a chubby little owl and his adventures through childhood, and how to overcome the common obstacles all children face while growing up.