Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?
Pretty much from real life. Most people who know me well can see “me” in the stuff I write. Not that I live an exciting life LOL. My historicals are set in 1880’s Nebraska, a state I fell in love with during my college days there. My contemporary inspirational Hearts Crossing Ranch, kind of fulfilled a decision that came on me during my husband’s ordeal with cancer—he’s back to full health, Thank God, that maybe I should read and write inspirational romance. I entered a contest at White Rose Publishing last summer, and my submission was a finalist and White Rose offered a contract. And just last week, my editor contracted six more novellas in the series about the siblings of Hearts Crossing Ranch.
Some authors are a fly by the seat of their pants authors, some like to use storyboards and plot boards so they know where they are going. What type of author are you or are you a combination of the two?
I confess to being terribly right-brained and disorganized. So I do need a generic sort of road plan. But too strict doesn’t work for me…I change stuff as I go. So I’m sort of a panster but not totally.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
The first time I read Little Women when I was eight years old.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I write very quickly when I have to LOL. Right now I have two novellas in the Hearts Crossing Ranch series to do before October 30.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Fortunately I am able to write full-time, so I usually write in the mornings, definitely while hubby’s golfing, and often way late into the night. I am definitely an “owl.” My “mornings” never start very early.
When did you write your first book?
I’ve scribbled at them my whole life but the first one I wrote and finished to romance “standards” finaled in a contest and was published in 2002. I admit to a long sophomore slump after that. Which is why my busy days right now are such a blessing.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Read my Kindle, tend my rose bushes, travel with my hubby, and hang out with our three-year old grandson.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That I could actually finish one and get it published!
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have published four full-length books, two novellas, a Christmas anthology with three other authors will be out this holiday season, and I just signed contracts for six more novellas. I can’t say I have a favorite as each new story is its own adventure and lets me get to know a new bunch of people that I hate to say good-bye to.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I blog twice a month at the wonderful all-Western romance site, Petticoats and Pistols, and get a lot of good feed-back from our regular commenters. I hope you visit us there sometime http://www.petticoatsandpistols.com
What do you think makes a good story?
A heroine who isn’t a wimp. Especially in the Old West. These women were tough survivors.
Who is your favorite author and why?
Overall, Louisa May Alcott. She wrote terrific stories, and her personal life was so independent and unusual for her time.
How did you come up with the title?
In the Paradise Brides series from The Wild Rose Press, Marrying Minda (2009) and Marrying Mattie, just released, kinda speak for themselves. Marrying Minda just sounded good, and the second book went along with the M theme. There is a third in the works, Marrying Molly, and likely Marrying Marguerite. Right now , however, I am concentrating on the inspirational “Hearts Crossing Ranch” novella series for White Rose Publishing. The title for Redeeming Daisy was suggested by my editor, the amazing Nicola Martinez. She is also the designer for all my covers.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Join your local RWA if you haven’t. Meeting actual authors is awesome. Google your pen name before you use it. I did not and ended up sharing cyberspace with a porn star. It was my eleven-year old neighbor boy who discovered my evil twin LOL.
Can you tell us a little about your latest release or upcoming books?
Well, it was kind of a dream come true to have three releases out this summer! Marrying Mattie, a Western historical, was released about two weeks ago. Hearts Crossing Ranch came out in June from White Rose Publishing, which releases Redeeming Daisy this very day. Hearts Crossing Ranch and Redeeming Daisy are contemporary Western inspirational.
Redeeming Daisy is the second in the Hearts Crossing Ranch series, which will eventually feature eight brothers and sisters, each with their own novella. I entered a contest at White Rose last summer and followed a template for entrants; The title of the novella had to be Hearts Crossing. The hero had to have eight siblings.
Well, I thought Hearts Crossing was a delicious name for a ranch. I’m a California beach girl, but cowboys and the whole Western thing just make my day. Hero Kenn is a wrangler/high school English teacher who leads city-slicker wagon-train rides. His brother Pike, large animal vet and wrangler, is the hero of Redeeming Daisy, when he falls for Kenn’s troublesome but emotionally-wounded ex.
After White Rose Publishing bought my entry to the Hearts Crossing contest, the editors figured the name of the ranch was too Integral to the whole story so it became “Hearts Crossing Ranch.” Since the winner of the contest was titled “Hearts Crossing,” I was a little intimidated because I didn’t want author Marianna Evans to think I was stealing thunder or stepping on toes. But she’s my #1 fan and a terrific supporter. Her “Hearts Crossing” has become a series, too, with a new follow-up, Hearts Surrender..
For my series, those eight siblings also have a story each. Yee-haw. I love the reality of putting some faith and a bit of Scripture into the stories. I’m not preachy or judgmental and have heard from readers they like that sort of touch.
I’ll be giving away a pdf.copy of Redeeming Daisy to one commenter today. For another chance, leave a comment at my blogspot, http://heartscrossingranch.blogspot.com
And I’m also drawing one name from my guestbook at http://www.tanyahanson.com for an autographed copy of Marrying Mattie.
Thanks so much for inviting me here today!