Interview with Tanya Hanson!

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!

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61 thoughts on “Interview with Tanya Hanson!

  1. Hi Laurie, thanks so much for stopping by. I just loved Wedding Night with the Ranger. Aw, keep those Texans coming.

    And thanks to everyone for making my visit to RORR so much fun. Bye for now, but please keep in touch. I’ll announce my name-draw winner later today.

  2. There is nothing better than a good series, especially when it’s a Western. It’s wonderful to meet a family and be able to follow all the members in their lives. I’m excited!

    Good luck and happy writing!

  3. Congratulations on the six-book contract. Woot!

    And a great interview. Thanks for sharing. I still have my LMA books — I received one or two every Christmas for several years when I was in elementary school. Jo is one of my favorite characters.

  4. Hi, Tanya. I’m another Little Women fan, to the degree of comparing the various movie iterations to the book. And I adore Nicola Martinez–she has designed two covers for my short stories as well. Very talented. Congratulations on all your success!

  5. Tanya, interesting interview. Glad your husband is doing well now. Congratulations on the series contract and best of luck in the future.

  6. Hi Tanya,
    I fell in love with Little Women too, and the other books in the series. I am an Aussie but I love Western stories. Guess I watched too many cowboys movies on TV when I was younger. Good luck with all your ventures.

    Regards
    Margaret

    • Hi Margaret, so good to see you here. And Congrats on your recent honors for Frontier Wife! Well, the land of Oz had a pretty good frontier of its own. I loved the movie Quigley Down Under and a few years ago, we had a fun show on cable filled in Australia called Ponderosa, a pre-quel to Bonanza. But I grew up on Westerns and have never gotten over my love for them. Thanks for stopping by today.

  7. I didn’t realize how many Hearts Crossing Ranch stories there will be. Good for you for stepping out there and spreading your wings into another sub-genre. Exploring new eras is part of the fun of writing, for me, anyway.
    Best wishes with all your books, Tanya.

  8. Hi Tanya. Great interview! Congratulations on all your releases in the series. And I agree. No heroine should be a wimp, especially in the old west! How terrific that you can write full time. That would be a dream come true 🙂

  9. Hi Penny, same here. I remember getting The Wizard of Oz for Christmas when I was maybe nine. I harped until Mom found an old Easter basket for me so I could play Dorothy on the road. Oh, those simple pleasures. Thank you so much, my Cactus Rose sister and very talented author, for spending time here with me today. oxoxo

  10. Great interview. I think I was around 8 years old when I received Little Women for Christmas. (I used to beg for books for my birthday andChristmas.)

    Congrats on your new release, Tanya!

  11. Hi Tanya,
    Congratulations on such a successful career. I, too, won a contest which opened the door for me with Wild Rose. It’s a great group, eh!
    Oops, now you kow I;m Canadian.
    Your series sound like my kind of reading and the best thing is there’s so many coming.
    Good luck!!
    Mimi

    • HI Mimi, The Wild Rose is such a terrific place, isn’t it, with so many opportunities for romance. And White Rose of course is its adjunct spin-off for inspirationals. I am treated so well. I was fortunate to be able to attend The Wild Rose Retreat in Bandera Texas, last spring. Oh my. I still dream about it at night. A perfect four days. Thanks so much for posting today. Canada is totally on my Bucket List. I fell in love with it during the Olympics, and your National Anthem totally rocks.

    • HI Brindle, on, thank you. I make my hubby nuts. He is totally OCD. My “horizontal files” drive him to distraction. I love it when I have evidence to show him I am not alone! oxox Thanks for the encouraging words today.

  12. Tanya, I enjoyed this interview, and I’d love to read this story. Since my home is in Nebraska and I worked 15 years at UNL, I wonder if that’s where you went to school. Best wishes on your new release.

    • hi LoRee, cool, you Cornhusker. I have dear friends in Columbus which is why Marrying Minda and Marrying Mattie are set in my fictional version of Platte Center. But nope, small church college. My dad was uber-protective and was very resistant to me “leaving home” until i convinced him a church school was Perfectly Safe lol. But I visited UNL and UNO many times for art shows…I was an art major

      We went back to Platte Center for a weddings few years back and wow, the hobble down memory lane was so fun.

      Thanks so much for posting today.

  13. Hey my filly sister!

    Great interview. I loved learning more about you, Tanya. You are an awesome lady, and I’m so proud to call you my firend. Love your stories, and I’m so thrilled for all your successes!

    Hugs,
    Cheryl

    • Hi Charlene, and I have your three latest, too! Finding time to read is with luck and a prayer these days, things are so bus. But i always love reading your Desires. Your heroes are the best ever. I do hope to see another full length Western historical from you again, though.

      Thanks, my friend, for always being there for me! oxoxo

  14. I found your answers interesting and inspiring. I love reading historicals although I haven’t read many westerns. After reading your interview I think I’ll give them another go.

    • Hi Sue, take a gander at all the western authors at http://www.petticoatsandpistols.com and I think you’ll get inspired to read a western or two. They come in all heat levels, that’s for sure. But the cowboy is always a hottie. Marrying Mattie, my current release at the Wild Rose Press, is pretty spicy. Of course Redeeming Daisy is “sweet” as are all inspirationals.

      Thanks for posting today.

  15. Great interview, ladies.

    Congrats on the upcoming books, Tanya! How fun to write with a master plan and a definite destination for your stories.

    And I couldn’t agree more, LM Alcott and LM Montgomery started me writing at about the same age as you started.

    • HI Lainey, oh, I forgot LM Montgomery. PEi is one place I so want to visit, definitely a Bucket List. Hope there’s a golf course nearby for hubby. The Disney series was a good one also. My mom went and brought back a souvenir Anne of GG doll and I’ve got her set up in the guestroom with a copy of the book.

      Thanks so much for coming over today. It is quite fun to get to interrelate different works and let characters I love reappear.

  16. Very interesting. I can definitely see “you” in your writing as well as friends, relatives, familiar places, and your experiences. Keep the books coming!

    • Hi Nancy, oh thanks for being my second set of eyes during final edits. And I have indeed named a character after you LOL. Also just about every one of your relatives. Thanks for being friend AND fan.

  17. Great interview, Tanya. I learned so much about you as an author. I loved Little Women when I was younger I would read it over and over again. Haven’t read that book in years, may have to dust that one off. I checked out Petticoats and Pistols, love that blog now, will be following it. Thanks for the great interview and I wish you the best of luck on your new release!

    • Hi Tonya, almost the same name LOL. I re-read LW over and over as a girl, also, then started re-reading after my college days. It’s such a keeper. I can memorize whle passages. I also liked the Winona Ryder movie version.

      A couple of years ago, my hubby and I went on a leaf–peeper tour of New England with a top in Concord MA. I just tingled visiting Louisa May’s Orchard House and her grave in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Yowza.

      Thanks for visitng Petticoats and Pistols. I’ll be posting there next Wednesday. Hope to see you at Wildflower Junction!

  18. What a great interview, Tanya! I couldn’t agree more that women of the west were, and are, survivors, and made of very tough, yet loving stuff! Best of success with Redeeming Daisy and all your upcoming releases! Can’t wait to read them all!! Blessings, my friend!

    • Hello Marianne, my wonderful pal. Your support means the world. It’s fun and blessed that we’re in this great adventure together! Your trailer for Hearts Surrender totally rocks. I got way inspired myself.

      Thanks for posting today, oxoxo

  19. I envy you that you’re able to write full time, Tanya. It’s my dream to get there some day. Interesting that you’ve ‘scribbled’ all your life. I was that way, too and wonder just how many authors started out as scribblers and how many just up and decided to write something one day. I’ve only read a western here and there, but your books sound interesting. I look forward to picking up a copy of Hearts Crossing Ranch.

    • Hi Kathy, oh, you’ll love Westerns. I haven’t read a cowboy hero yet who wasn’t a hottie. Those boots, that drawl. Yum.

      I cleaned the attic recently and even found poems I’d written in high school and college. Oh my.

      Thanks for the good words today.

    • You are so right, Keena. I suspect a lot of my visitors are ultimately disappointed when they get to my site LOL. She at least spells is HansEn, but still. Grrrr.

      Thanks so much for stopping by today.

    • hi Syzanne, my steampunker! I can’t wait for your next release. Thanks so much for posting today. Oh, I loved Little Men, too. When Daisy’s dad John Brook died, I about broke my heart. And I totally love Jo’s little boys. oxo

    • Hi Maggie, thanks for taking the time today. I so appreciate it. And the six book deal was such wonderful news. I’m still in 7th heaven. White Rose Publishing is a terrific place for both writers and readers. In the book I’m writing now, the hero Hooper is a testicular cancer survivor…just like my hubby. I think there’s nothing so heroic as kicking cancer in the behind!

    • Hi Therese, thanks for the good wishes and the LMA bond! I read all her books as a child, and still re-read them, got her whole collection in my new Kindle. I love Little Men and Jo’s Boys almost as much, and Jack and Jill. Still get breathless when their friend Ed dies.

      Thanks so much for posting today.

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