Featured Interview With Tyler Wittkofsky
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
My name is Tyler Wittkofsky. I was born and raised in Leland, North Carolina, mere minutes from historic downtown Wilmington and Southport. I currently live in Leland with my wife Gracie and our two German Shepherd mixes, Belle and Dutch.
I built my website www.TeaButWithCoffee.com in 2021. On this site, I started my mental health blogging journey. I began writing book reviews, interviewing indie authors, and writing on mental health. This passion sparked a new desire to connect with more people. I am currently in the beginning stages of two podcasts that I hope to be live by the end of 2021.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
My grandmother, MaMa, was a high school English teacher, high school assistant principal and principal, and later my elementary school teacher. I spent a lot of time around books growing up and have been reading and writing ever since I can remember.
I started writing poetry in 2012 to cope with my mental health struggles with anxiety, bipolar, and depression. Using poetry as an escape, I developed a unique style of poetry that has left readers saying, “Tyler’s voice is compassionate, even while suffering, and I felt the despair and loneliness seeping out through his words.” My first poetry collection, Coffee, Alcohol, and Heartbreak, composed of poems I wrote from 2012 to 2016, was published in March 2020.
I began my first novel in 2019. The novel, (Not) Alone, was a story based on true events surrounding the struggles of living with mental illness. Described by readers as “An Intimate Closure with Mental Illness,” this began my revitalized passion for mental health. I decided that my writing would have a focus on mental health.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
Some of my favorite authors to read are Stephen King, Raymond Carver, and indie authors. I read more indie books than anything now because I love supporting smaller authors. Honestly, their stories can be just as good as, if not better than, the other mainstream authors. I have a love for all genres and my favorite depends on my mood, but lately, I have been really into self-help books and ways to improve myself.
MaMa is my biggest inspiration. Ever since I was writing stories on blank pieces of computer paper, she would be the one to read them and critique them. She was the one that would help me understand how and what to write. She was the one who pushed me to do better and to keep writing. Outside of her, Gracie is my next biggest source of inspiration. She encourages me and pushes me every day to continue to improve. She is one of my biggest fans, and I will always appreciate her.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
The story readers are calling “hard-hitting and meaningful” and "touching and realistic", The Seeds of Love: Sunflower Kisses Book 1 is the story of two lost souls who find each other at the right time in life.
Clay Dabrowski is a recent college graduate who has his life planned out. He knows what he wants to do in life and embarks on those goals with the support of his family and friends. But when he meets the fiery red-haired Bailey Childe, she suddenly shifts all of his priorities. She gives him the strength and courage to do and be more. While he battles his insecurities and mental illness, Clay and Bailey forge a path through life’s ebbs and flows as a new, young couple.
I wrote this book during National Novel Writing Month in 2020. I finished the first draft during that month and spent the next seven months editing, refining, and tweaking the book. I published it on June 1st of 2021, which is when my wife and I first met. I figured it was fitting to release my first romance novel on the day I first met my wife.
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