Sunday, June 29, 2014
Interview With TANYA HANSON
After a career as a high school English teacher, Tanya Hanson writes both inspirational and secular Western romances. A native Californian, she thanks God daily for the blessings of good health, a happy home, and exciting travels. Two little grandsons, the movie Frozen, and volunteering at the local horse rescue are her most favorite things!
Tanya Hanson Author, http://tinyurl.com/ak5xqb5
What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
Riding on a giant snow coach across the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper, Albert. Breathtaking! And it was my birthday to boot.
What adventure would you like to have that you haven’t done yet if money and skill were no problem?
A “gentleman’s” safari to see the animals in Africa.
Who are some of your favorite authors? What commonality do you see in them?
Nathanial Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, Henry David Thoreau. Well, Concord Writers. I fell in love with Alcott as a child and the others during my career teaching American Literature.
I believe color says something about a person’s personality. What’s your favorite color? Although I wear a lot of gray and black (yea, I know, very funereal)...I like yellow and coral and did brighten up my spring-summer wardrobe. In the house, we go for fall colors in our decor.
If you could have a do-over life, what one thing would you do differently? What would you do again?
I might have gone to a different college, maybe one that excelled in writing programs like the University of Iowa. Otherwise, I’m pretty content.
What is your writing process from conception to finished MS?
I start at the beginning and write in order. I don’t write scenes willy nilly. Things just seem to come together. I think teaching literature for so long helped me with organization, maybe subconsciously.
Are you a planner, panster or both?
I am both, but there’s got to be a master plan or you’re wasting your time. I have a good idea where the story will go, but I don’t use a formal outline or “storyboard” or anything. With every book, there are changes along the way that I didn’t foresee--sudden inspirations or characters “talking” to me about taking a different direction.
How did you research for your book?
My upcoming Christmas novella for The Wild Rose Press is set in Oahu, Hawaii. Yes, The Christmas Room is a historical Western! There is quite the cowboy (paniolo) culture in Hawaii...and I have visited the islands a lot. I used official internet sources as well as a great book on Hawaii’s past that I found in the airport on a recent trip.
What is your all-time favorite movie? TV show?
Oh, no question. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. I’ve visited Paramount Ranch where it was filmed and still “feel” it.
How important do feel writing workshops are to any writer?
I learned everything I know about romance from RWA workshops. They are essential.
If you could learn one new skill, fear and money no deterrent, what would it be?
I’d like to be bilingual, really expert in another language. Maybe Russian or Farsi.
If you had a million dollars to donate to any one charity, what would it be?
The horse rescue where I volunteer.
What advice would you like to give to an aspiring writer?
Don’t ever give up, and cry only one day after a rejection. But... be a realist, too. Most of us will never win RITA’s or tear up the best-seller charts, or get on Oprah. Write because it’s part of you. Because you can’t stop.
Did anyone mentor you or help you along the way? Please tell us about your mentor and what you feel they contributed to your writing career.
Charlene Sands, renowned Western, best-selling romance author, is my guru. We met at an RWA chapter meeting, and she has always set me straight as a critique partner and friend.
What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Charlene told me to start my first-ever manuscript in a different place. I did so, entered a contest, and got a publishing contract.
If you could live anywhere in the world you wanted to, where would it be? (Language is no barrier)
Where do you write?
I have my own writing room. It was my son’s bedroom before he went off to college. Now he’s got his own home and little boy.
How much time do you devote to writing each week? Do you have a day every week that you take off?
My husband is retired from the fire department, so I have got to be flexible. He let me “retire” from teaching long before retirement-age so I could try to be a writer, and I owe him LOL. Right now, we are home after a trip to Oahu, so I am way behind with everything from gardening and laundry to writing and blogging. Next up is a middle-grade story, for kids ages 9-12. I think I’m attracted to that age level at present because my grandson is going on eight.
What is a genre that you have not attempted that you would like to try?
The middle grade, see above. My editor has great faith in me and loves the premise of the story. “My dog does magic....”
Is there anything you would like readers to know about you?
Nah, I’m pretty boring LOL. Thanks, Sarah, for letting me spend time with you and your readers!
A beautiful attorney widowed by a foolhardy man...a successful builder vanquishing guilt over his wife's death. Can they rebuild faith and find love enough to give each other and their kids a happy home together?
Sixteen months since the foolish death of her husband, attorney Rachel Martin aches to move on as much as she fears the future. Cutting back on her practice and moving back to her childhood ranch means her three-year old son has all the attention he needs. Finding love again is the last thing on her mind...until she meets Brayton Metcalf.
After ten year’s of self-blame for his wife's death in a plane crash, successful businessman Brayton Metcalf is instantly drawn to Rachel when he brings his his daughter to Hearts Crossing Ranch for therapy riding lessons. But Rachel backs off at his impetuous personality. He whittles away at her doubts...until he jumps head-fist into a business decision that will affect her family. Rachel, her trust in Brayton endangered, turns to trusting in God. Can the couple’s shared grief and guilt permit them to see daylight once again?
In a flash, Addie took off to the corral, crooning to Peachy and holding out a flat palm studded with carrots. Rachel couldn’t help noticing that Addie’s posture appeared perfect, her gait secure, her back strong. Her feet sure as she scrambled away from her dad.
“Sorry about that.” Brayton’s color had returned to normal, but his jaw tensed. “She and I don’t get along very well. And it’s been worse lately. We moved here last summer, and she wasn’t crazy about leaving California.”
“It’s OK.” Rachel laid a hand on his arm. “My ma raised three girls and five boys. Says if you don’t get a girl at some point, you really haven’t experienced parenthood.”
Brayton barked out a short laugh.
“And pre-teenage angst can be pretty bad. I dished out plenty in my day. Just ask Ma.” Rachel wanted to ease Brayton’s embarrassment, but he raised bleak eyes to her. The toes of his boots rustled up some dust as his feet moved restlessly.
He sighed, deep. “It’s not just that. She misses having a mother. She blames me for her mom’s death.” He rustled his boots. “And she’s right.”