Sunday, June 29, 2014

Interview With TANYA HANSON

                                                   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,


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.”



Sarah J. McNeal said...

It was such a pleasure having you here today, Tanya.
Your Hawaiian western sounds so unique. I could use a little Hawaii restoration right now. What a gorgeous setting.
A fool hearty man sounds so exciting, but taking chances with his life and leaving the earth too soon must have been devastating to your heroine. What a wonderful destiny she has ahead of her. I think it's going to be such a heartwarming story.
I am so happy you accepted my invitation to interview you, Tanya.

Unknown said...

Great interview and book cover Tanya. It was nice to find out interesting things about you. Good luck with sales.

Kaye Spencer said...


"back from Oahu"... I attended my youngest son's wedding in Hawaii a few years ago. It was certainly worth visiting.

It's interesting to me that you start at the beginning of your stories and write in linear order until the end. I can't even fathom how to do that. lolol I write in scenes the way movies are filmed, then I splice the scenes together to make the final product.

Anyway, it is so nice to know more about you. Thank your for giving us a glimpse into your world.

Kaye Spencer said...

Ooops. Instead of deleting my previous comment and beginning again, I'll apologize for writing "thank your" instead "thank you".


Cheryl Pierson said...

Tanya, so good to read about you and learn more about you--I always love that and Sarah is a wonderful interviewer!

I'm always interested to see what your ideas are--you are like me in that respect--one idea after another--so many it's hard to settle down to one and WRITE IT. LOL

I do have the utmost faith in you and your writing. I know that your story for My Dog Can Do Magic is going to be great. I can't wait to see that little anthology fly out into the world--and Livia did a great cover for it.

I need a little trip to Hawaii...I've never been there. My oldest sister went to college there her sr. year at the East West Center. Mom always wanted to go, and she did go with my sister later on in life. It was such a highlight for her!

Love to you, dear friend! Your new release looks great!

Tanya Hanson said...

Dear Sarah, I am the one honored and thrilled to be here.
And I'm glad you like the premise of the story. Originally I wanted a separated couple getting back together, but the editor wanted a widow. Sheesh, that was hard to write because my husband was very ill with cancer a few years ago, and being a widow was a real possibility. Thank god he is now considered cured.

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi JoAnne, I too like these interviews so I can get to know people better! I hope the book does we
P. It's always so scary. Thanks for the comment. I so appreciate it. Xo

Tanya Hanson said...

Oh, Kaye, that is very interesting about writing like movie scenes. I remember now weird I thought it,as a kid, learning movies aren't filmed in order. I think I visualize my stories like a completed show.

Wow, a hawaiian wedding! How gorgeous that must have been! we saw several weddings on the beach this last visit.

Thanks so much for the comment today.

Tanya Hanson said...

Aw, Cheryl, you above all know that you and PRP came into my life at the perfect time. Thank YOU! The story ism going to be pretty heart tugging, I hope with a touch if Chumash history. And of course, a horse rescue.

Love and thanks to all of you for commenting today. Sorry I got here late. Xoxox

Kristy McCaffrey said...

Lovely interview Tanya. I love Hawaii, what a magical place. And Dr. Quinn was one of my faves. Best of luck with the new release!

Tanya Hanson said...

Thanks, Kristy, for the good wishes, friendship, and support. I just reloaded I forgot to tell Sarah my favorite movie not a Western. It's Notting Hill! Definitely a romance,though...xo

Tanya Hanson said...

Duh, I'm on my iPad and autocorrect is king.. I meant I just REALIZED , not reloaded. Sheesh. Xo

Renaissance Women said...


I loved your interview. I also love Colorado and get to live here.

Best to you on the upcoming mid-grade book. I love when authors try new things, because I get to read some amazing things. Doris

Kirsten Lynn said...


I'm so sorry, I'm late commenting.

Your story set in Hawaii sounds like so much fun! I can't wait to read it!

This is so fun learning about everyone.