|Tonya Lampley, Fiction Author|
At first glance, Tonya Lampley had it all, she was living the American dream with a corporate job and a steady paycheck. What her friends and family didn’t see, though, was the internal struggle she was battling every day. Something was missing and the monotony of the job only made the feeling grow stronger. “Eventually, I started to feel a call; like there was something more,” Lampley recalls.
An overwhelming pull to do something bigger and better began to consumer her. But the more Lampley thought about following her creativity into a new career, the more she struggled with thoughts of financial stability. “I contemplated changing careers but wasn’t sure how to go about it, the bills still had to be paid, so I ignored the call,” she says.
As the years passed, Lampley continued to work her corporate job and masked her true aspirations. “I kept working my corporate gig, bouncing between feeling safe in my comfort zone and the gnawing desire of wanting to be free,” she says. But the more she bottled her feelings and tried to store them away, the more it began to take a toll on her health.
Coincidentally, Lampley came across a magazine article referencing creative writing as an outlet to relieve stress. “At the time, I was under an incredible amount of stress so I sat down at the computer one day and started writing,” says Lampley. Ideas began to flow and in a short period of time the beginning of a storyline began developing. Although the process felt organic Lampley quickly reverted back to the work grind. “I saved what I had written on a disk and didn’t think too much else about it.”
However, after years of being unhappy in her career field, feeling drained, and suffering from chronic stress, it took a final toll. “One day,” Lampley says, “I woke up not feeling well and thus began the downward spiral of my health.”
What Lampley refers to as the “un-name-able abyss,” began to control her life. Multiple visits to the doctor uncovered very little and soon Lampley found herself spending countless days in bed. “It was during that time, when I had lost all sense of a normal life that I remembered the story. I went back to it and in a few months’ time, not only had I completed the manuscript, I had found something I loved to do!” With life hitting rock bottom, Lampley uncovered her strength and began rebuilding herself. “My heart came alive when I was writing; I didn’t even think about being sick,” she says.
Seven years later, Lampley is giving the gift of adversity back to those who need it most by sharing her love of writing and storytelling. “After the manuscript was completed, I started letting people read it and the feedback was good. I loved the feeling of knowing that stories could affect people; that words on a page collectively became this larger experience for the reader,” Lampley explains. She released her first book titled A Taste of Love in 2010, which touched on the subject of shattered dreams and finding peace in surrender.
The success of the release earned Lampley a position as a finalist for the National Indie Excellence Awards. Her second book which was released in 2013 is titled Indiscretion and is available at Amazon and other retailers.
Currently, Lampley is busy preparing for the release of her new book, which will be available early 2015 and working on the sequel to her first book, A Taste of Love. While she stays very busy, Lampley never forgets the difficult times and uses it as inspiration to help countless others find their inner strength. “I’m a student of life and I’m inspired to tell stories that reflect the truth of who we really are and that reflect the beautiful tapestry of the human experience.”