Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Straight Chatting from the Library: Vera Tarman

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


If you could apologize to someone in your past, who would it be?

At this point, because I have made apologies to most people in my past who are still alive, I would try to find a way to apologize to some of the people who have already died. I had a grade 12 teacher who was very instrumental in my life. She gave me the encouragement and support I needed to get into University. I had always aspired to go but was too afraid to suppose I could be successful. I owe my academic success to her. But I was a teenager then and did not give her the appreciation she deserved. We drifted away, lost touch and I was never able to truly express my gratitude the way I feel it now.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?

I would like a parrot that could be trained as well as I can train my dog. I love the idea that these are creatures that live a long time and clever enough to talk. But they are noisy, obtrusive and disobedient. Another pet would be a dog that could live out my life span. Dogs only live 10 to 15 years, but what about a dog that could live 40 years in good health? So we could live and die together?

How do you keep your writing different from all the others that write in this particular genre?

Although I depend upon research to inform me, I am very practical, pragmatic and clinical. Most of the literature in my area is either too research- based – thus to tedious for the lay public, or too simplistic, thus not rigorous enough for the discerning mind. The area of food, obesity and what to do about it is rife with books that fall into both categories. Or are gimmicks to make money.

Often books in my genre are written with the aim to sell a product (surgical procedures, drugs) or behavior (diet, personal trainer). My writing is instead a bridge, a synthesis of the research and clinical wisdom with the intent to help the struggling over-eater. I am also not selling anything. I am teaching a concept, food addiction that will help the person to make the right choices and understand why that is so difficult to do!

What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?

The best advice I have received is to write as much as I can, even if not inspired. Keep up the skill of writing / observing and make it a practice that I do regularly.

The worst advice is to listen to my own inner editor! I believe that editorial skills are essential. When writing, I often feel I do not need an editor, that everything I write is complete. When I get the editorial suggestions back however and after the sting of criticism has subsided, I am always amazed at the value of the advice that has come from an objective reader.

I can always tell a self- published book. Because of expense, often an editor has not worked through the document. My advice? Get an editor! The expense is worth it. I rarely finish unedited books, even while knowing there may be good information lost in the jumble of text.

Are the experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

This book has many examples of true-to-life experiences. All of my clinical scenarios are about real people. This book is also partly memoir. My own experiences have fueled the passion for me to write about food addiction, which has resulted in this book. The experiences of real people make the book real and vibrant to me.


Is it possible to be addicted to food? When does indulging in 'comfort' food become substance abuse? Is it possible that there is more than a lack of will power at work when someone can't stop eating? In Food Junkies, Vera Tarman and Phil Werdell explain what is - and isn't - food addiction, tackling this complex and poorly understood problem through the stories of many survivors and from the perspectives of medical researchers/practitioners. They break down the science behind the research so that anyone can understand it, and take a fresh look at obesity, overeating, binge eating, anorexia and bulimia. For people struggling with these issues — and their families — recognizing the condition is the first step to gaining the kind of support and advice they need.

Food Junkies (finalist in the 2016 Voice Arts Awards) offers hope and guidance. Read by Lisa Bunting, according to one audible customer review, her "calming voice assists with decreasing the shame so often found with addiction and can open the listener up to actually hearing," while another noted the audiobook version "brought the science to life in a different way than the book. It made it even more real as one can't 'skim' or 'rush' through the life-changing content."


Audio excerpt from Food Junkies.


Vera Tarman is a medical practitioner who focuses on addictions. She is the medical director of Renascent, an addictions treatment centre. Dr. Tarman conducts workshops and speaking engagements on the science of food addiction and "comfort food" abuse. She has reached audiences across the world. She lives in Toronto.


Phil Werdell is a recovering food addict, a social work clinician, and an educator. He is the primary organizer of the Food Addiction Institute and the International Society of Food Addiction Professionals, and is Director of ACORN’s Professional Training Program. Phil currently teaches Addictions Studies at Springfield College, School of Human Services, Tampa. He lives in Florida.



Lisa Bunting is a stage, screen and voice actor, drama instructor, audition coach, and professional skills development simulator. For Post Hypnotic Press, she has narrated the non-fiction self-help titles The Woman Who Changed Her Brain, The Remarriage Blueprint, Voice Arts Awards-nominated Food Junkies and the forthcoming i-Minds. She was named Best Supporting Actress at LA’s Focus International Film Festival, Winter 2015. She is a member of Canadian Actors’ Equity and ACTRA.




Buy the book at Dundurn Publisher, Amazon, or Barnes and Noble.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. Very engaging interview!


  3. Thanks for sharing the great post and for the awesome giveaway :)

  4. Congrats on the book. What is the best book that you have read recently? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  5. Thanks for participating in the audiobook tour of FOOD JUNKIES. You can buy the audiobook at these locations:


    POST HYPNOTIC PRESS (downloads & cds):


  6. Thanks for participating in the audiobook tour of FOOD JUNKIES. You can buy the audiobook at these locations:


    POST HYPNOTIC PRESS (downloads & cds):


  7. Congrats on the book! Thank you for the chance to win!