Tag Archives: YA

10 QUESTIONS FOR…Fleur Bradley, YA thriller writer

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Author interview with Fleur Bradley

Dozens of Fleur Bradley’s mystery short stories have appeared online and in print, including the Deadly Dames anthology. She’s written a YA thriller her agent is now finding a home for in New York. It’s cold over there in winter, so let’s hope this happens soon.

Fleur also writes freelance, and lives in Colorado with her husband, two daughters and way too many pets.

1. Tell us about your latest book.

The Ground Crew, my YA thriller, is about David, who’s that guy with the bulls-eye on his back. The bully target. He just got grounded for Spring Break (for speeding in his cool new car), and has to sit out his punishment in the basement of a neighbor, since his dad has to work.

He gets to know his fellow groundees—The Ground Crew—and just as he’s making friends, someone is targeting The Ground Crew, making them pay for their sins. David has to figure out who’s out to get them, before it’s his turn.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

I loved to read, and one day I thought: I can do this. So I wrote a novel, which really stunk. I mean, really, really bad.

But I caught the writing bug, and I read somewhere that short stories were a good practice. So for the next six years or so, I learned to write. I got some stories published, and eventually sunk my teeth back into novel writing. After a few more stinky novels, I wrote The Ground Crew.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

I start with some coffee and email answering. Then from 9 until noon, I write on whatever work is in progress. The afternoon is for freelance work, teaching, blogging, etc. How boring, huh?

Unfortunately, boring is how the work gets done. Those hours when I work on a novel are fun, though. I get to travel in time, hunt for a bad guy, drive a car way too fast, and fall in love—all from my trusty computer chair and with a cat on my lap. Being a writer is such a sweet gig.

4. Describe your workspace.

I have a desk, bookcases full of papers and folders, a futon where my dog naps, and a window overlooking my yard. My desk is usually covered in papers, notes, and candy wrappers—I have a bit of a sweet tooth. Actually, make that a huge sweet tooth.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

I love Jordan Sonnenblick’s Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie because of its awesome YA voice. Tedd Arnold’s Rat Life, Graham McNamee’s Acceleration, and Markus Zusak’s I Am The Messenger are perfect YA mysteries.

For those of you unfamiliar with YA, I recommend you read all of those—you’ll never want to leave the YA section of your bookstore again.

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

1. I was born in Holland and grew up there. When I’m really mad, I curse in Dutch.

2. My favorite food is French fries with mayonnaise, curry sauce and onions. It’s a Dutch thing.

3. I’ve been known to eat all of the leftover desserts at convention banquets, and not even be one bit embarrassed about it.

7. Favorite quote

Don’t really have one, because I’m not a fan of quotes. If you think hard enough, you can find profundity in a stop sign, fortune cookie fortunes, and Miley Cyrus lyrics (“It’s the climb,” anyone?).

If I live by anything though, it would be to roll with the punches. Live in the moment, and take whatever comes your way. It’s a good attitude to have, for writers especially, I think.

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

Best part: getting lost in your imagination, hands down.

Worst part: the rejection. But I’ve learned to focus on the best part when the worst part is threatening to take me down.

9. Advice for other writers

Just write. It’s easy to get caught in the business, other people opinions, the self-doubt. In the end, even Stephen King writes his novels one word at a time.

Surround yourself with other writers, encouraging friends who will bring cookies when the rejections get to be too much. I am fortunate enough to have a crew of writer friends, and they’re priceless.

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience.

After polishing it to a shine, I sent one of my first short stories to a mystery magazine that was being published at the time called Hardboiled. My story was rejected, but the editor, Gary Lovisi, wrote a nice note on the rejection letter.

About seven years later, a writer friend referred me to an invitation-only anthology that was coming out. My story was accepted, and the editor? Gary Lovisi.

Publishing is a small world, and you should never give up.

Where can people buy your book and learn more about you?

The Ground Crew is still trying to find a publisher, but you can find lots of links to my short stories on my website: www.fleurbradley.com

Also, come check out my blog YA Sleuth: http://yasleuth.blogspot.com/ I keep you posted on all things YA, including news, book reviews, and sometimes a picture of a polar bear and a pumpkin, just because. It’s fun, so come join me!

St. Martin’s Press seeking “New Adult” (a bit older than YA) books

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Do you have a manuscript that’s appropriate for a just-older-than-YA reader? St. Martin’s Press is seeking “New Adult” manuscripts. Nov. 20 deadline; Info and entry here:

http://georgiamcbridebooks.wordpress.com/2009/11/09/st-martins-press-new-adult-submissions-contest-sponsored-by-yalitchat/

10 QUESTIONS FOR…Leah Beth Evans, author & high school freshman!

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Author Interview Leah Beth Evanscoverleahbeth

My name is Leah Beth Evans and I’m a freshman at Valley View High School. I live in the town of Peckville located in the state of PA.I enjoy composing songs and literature.I have one published book,a childrens book, called “A Different Kind of Hero”.

1. Tell us about your latest book.

My latest published book,“A Different Kind of Hero”, is a fictional children’s book about a Monkey who seeks out his special talent or prowess.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

Ever since I was young,I would write short story’s or poems. In fourth grade though, I was “influenced” by a nonfictional story I had read in class all about the rainforest.Soon after,I wrote “A Different Kind of Hero”.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

My typical day consists of attending school,studying,writing,practicing the piano,and occasionally socializing with friends.

4. Describe your workspace.

I have a variety of workplaces.My computer desk,my kitchen table,and my bedroom.

5. Favorite books 

My favorite books consist of “The Twilight Series”,”the Diary of Ann Frank”,”Flowers for Algernon,and “Little Women.”

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

I am capable of writing with both hands, sometimes I sleep on the opposite end of my bed (helps me sleep better),I not only have a love for writing but also music/theatre.

7. Favorite quote

I find all quotes to be special and creative and generally do not favor one over the other.

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

The best part of being a writer is getting to fill just a simple sheet of paper with your own thoughts and feelings.The worst part of being a writer is being given a limit to writing. As a writer, I do not enjoy writing essays that have a limit of “At least 5 paragraphs” or “No more than 3 pages”. As a writer, I believe that one should have the freedom of writing as much or as little as wanted. I believe a story should be written until the author feels it is complete,not when you are at your limit (3 pages or 5 paragraphs).

9. Advice for other writers

Write what you feel and love creating. Writing is beautiful and should be enjoyed and appreciated.

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

When I started seventh grade my parents got my book published. It was an unforgetable day. One of my goals had been “achieved” and one of my dreams “come true”.

Where can people buy your book?

My book can be published at Amazon.com, Borders(online store),Barnes n’ Noble(online store),and Target.com. Also, fans can follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/theatregirl2

Thank you for this oppertunity,

                                        Leah Beth Evans

FREE! Big contest for first Young Adult (YA) novel

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Submit between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31; $1,500 cash prize + $7,500 advance; 100-244 pages

(BE SURE TO SCROLL DOWN to the YA novel section. The middle grade novel deadline has already passed.)

http://www.randomhouse.com/kids/writingcontests/#youngadult

Interview with Bram Stoker winner – Steve Burt, “The Sinister Minister” (YA horror)

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Yep, this is my dad. And I’ve decided to keep his post up for one week because I’m teaching at the Pikes Peak Writer’s Conference next week and won’t have time to post a new author every day. I’ll still try to post some new contests during the week, so check back or follow me on Twitter.com/WendyBurt so you’ll know when the contests go up.

Author interview with “The Sinister Minister”thesinisterministersteve

 Rev. Dr. Steve Burt, a.k.a. The Sinister Minister, has won the Bram Stoker, Ray Bradbury, and Benjamin Franklin Awards. In addition to horror and mystery/suspense, he writes church leadership books, inspirational books, devotional material, and has published hundreds of pieces in such venues as Reader’s Digest, Writer’s Digest, Yankee, Family Circle, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. He’s the father of writing authority Wendy Burt-Thomas (Writer’s Digest Guide to Writing Query Letters) and grandfather to Ben and Gracie. In February 2009 he was profiled in Connecticut Magazine (“The Sinister Minister”). His book Even Odder was a runner-up to Harry Potter for the 2003 Bram Stoker Award, and his Oddest Yet won it in 2004 (Young Reader category), the first self-published book to do so.

 

 

 

1.  The major TV stations and Connecticut Magazine recently profiled you as “The Sinister Minister” for being the clergyman who won the world’s top horror award, the Bram Stoker. That’s a joke, isn’t it?

No, it’s the ironic truth. After 30 high-profile years in my primary vocation as a pastor, national lecturer, and writer of church leadership books, articles, and inspirational pieces (like for Chicken Soup for the Soul), the spotlight was suddenly shined on my low-profile avocation as a closet writer of horror and dark fiction when Oddest Yet won the Bram Stoker Award. Funny thing is I was nearly outed the year before when Even Odder was runner-up to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter in the young readers category. So now people come up to me when I’m autographing books at arts & crafts shows and exclaim, “I know you. You’re The Sinister Minister.” The accidental branding was serendipitous for me.

 

2.  Your output is impressive–a thousand shorter pieces in print, over a dozen books, not to mention cranking out a sermon the length of a mid-length short story or article each week—all while working as a pastor and national lecturer on small church issues. And you say you manage to read a book or two a week. When do you ever find time to write?oddlotlb

When do doctors and lawyers find time to play golf? How do other people carve out time for bowling leagues? We find time for what we’re passionate about. I’m passionate about writing. I only watch three TV shows a week—LOST, Desperate Housewives, and Two and a Half Men (oh, and the UConn women’s basketball team), while most people spend hours either watching TV or simply channel checking. I don’t channel check, and that alone must save me twenty hours a week. If I can get three hours a day in for five or six days or nights a week–at only 3-6 manuscript pages per sitting—that’s a minimum of 15 pages a week, and a maximum of 36. Do the math. Pages pile up.

 

3.  How did you get started as a writer? What were your influences? evenodderlb

My fifth-grade teacher Mrs. Youngs kept me after school for being a chatterbox; and instead of making me clean the erasers or write “I will not talk in class” until my hand fell off, she had me write stories, and then she’d critique them. I also read voraciously—comics, weird magazines, mysteries, whatever I could get my hands on from the school and public libraries: The Mushroom Planet, William O. Steele’s frontier adventures like Buffalo Knife with their young protagonists, stories of the Norse, Roman, and Greek gods, Sir Walter Scott Ivanhoe, Daniel DeFoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Stephen Crane, everything in the Weekly Reader and Scholastic books-to-buy programs (my classmates and I traded). Before I hit my teens I had read The Odyssey, The Iliad, The Aeneid, Poe, O Henry, Twain, DeMaupassant, Saki, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley. The last thirty years I’ve really enjoyed work by old seminary neighbor Stephen King, Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas series, James Lee Burke’s Dave Robicheaux series, Robert B. Parker’s Spenser books, Tony Hillerman, John Sandford, Sue Grafton, and Thomas Perry. That’s the tip of my reading iceberg. And I read a lot of theology, too.

 

4. Your stories sometimes fall under horror, but they’re not gory. How would you describe them?oddestyetlb

Horror Lite, some supernatural adventure, a few paranormal mysteries like my Devaney and Hoag stories. Right now I’m writing a young adult novel that falls under “realistic fantasy.” While my work appeals to young readers and adults alike, just as Harry Potter does, I lay off the gore, preferring Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock off-camera approaches. And I like character-driven stories rather than plot-driven ones, so mine have far less dependence on shock or special effects. Myself, I’m sorry horror literature took the turn toward splatterpunk and gore in the early seventies with movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, and Nightmare on Elm Street, because they de-emphasized good writing. That may be why I read a lot of what my Brit colleagues call “weird fiction,” the high quality stuff you get from Ash Tree Press and The Ghost Story Society.

 

5.  Have you always self-published? If not, what made you decide to do it? 

No, I wrote church leadership books for traditional publishers like Judson Press and Alban Institute. But making 3% to 6% on a $10-$13 book that has a first run of 2,000-3,000 books isn’t very rewarding monetarily. They changed my titles, insisted on covers I didn’t like, and—in one case—had a 3 year delay before the book came out. And I had to do all the p.r. myself anyway. I’d rather run 2000 of my own books (from final manuscript to published product in 3 months) for $2-$5 cost apiece, and sell them at fairs and public readings for $15 a book. Other than Amazon.com I don’t even bother with bookstores or distributors. When I did have a distributor, I sold fewer than 1% of my books through bookstores, and the store and distributor made all the money. I mean, by producing books myself, meeting my audience face-to-face (young readers), and selling direct to my market (teens, parents, grandparents, teachers and librarians), how many copies do I have to sell per year to beat the money offered by those “real” publishers? I owe this realistic approach to self-publishing guru Dan Poynter, author of The Self Publishing Manual, whose weekend course I took.wickedoddlb

 

6. Any advice for those considering the self-publishing route?

         Yes. If you can’t devise a concrete, workable, realistic plan for getting your book in front of (#1) your audience, which in my case is mostly teens, and (#2) your market/buyers, which in my case is parents, grandparents, and teachers–don’t write it. Or at least, don’t pay the money to self-publish it. Once you’ve given the first 10-50 copies of your press run to family and friends, who will purchase those books (cases of them!) stored in the attic? And don’t think you’ll get them sold through bookstores or online, because you still have to do the PR and marketing to drive customers there to ask for them (if you can even get those bookstores to stock them).

 

7. Do you have to deal with writer’s block?coverlb

Hah! Every week I first have to deal with sermon-writer’s block. So I just sit down and start. My congregation wouldn’t like it if I stood up on Sunday morning and said, “Sorry, no word from God this week.” That pressure, and the discipline I’ve developed by producing an 8-10 page, double-spaced manuscript each week, has helped me write fiction. I usually just sit down and apply myself. (And I have a large sign above my monitor that says “Writers write. I am a writer.”

A side story about writing process. After Odd Lot won a Ben Franklin silver medal for Best Mystery/Suspense Book in 2001, I felt the pressure to beat that with my next collection. So I wrote and rewrote the first lines, first paragraphs, and first pages of the opening story for Even Odder. Damn! Writer’s block! Dead end! A month of it! Finally my writing-authority/editor/daughter Wendy Burt-Thomas (Writer’s Digest Guide to Writing Query Letters) advised me to free myself up by shifting from the write/edit side of the brain to the storytelling side. I got a mini-cassette tape recorder with headset mouthpiece and from scratch orally created a story every day while on an hour’s walk with my dog. At the end of 43 days I had 43 stories, some very bad. But I transcribed the best 15 to MS Word, edited on-screen, and published Even Odder (not a great book, but runner-up to J.K. Rowling for the Stoker). I didn’t write the book, I told it. We may not all be good at writing stories, but everyone tells them.

 

8. Do you have any funny stories? unkslb

Yes. Oddest Yet, won the 2004 Bram Stoker by outpolling Dean Koontz and Jeff Marriotte, and tying Clive Barker’s Abarat (a terrific book). After getting drubbed in New York by Rowling the year before, I figured an unknown minister with an unknown self-published story collection had no chance against the biggies, so I opted to skip the black-tie ceremony in Burbank, California. But my L.A. agent, always looking for photo ops with the biggies, attended, and at 2 a.m. my time phoned. “Guess what?” she teased. “You won the Stoker.” I was still pretty much asleep and had to preach the next morning, so I muttered “Shit” and went back to bed. The Stoker arrived via UPS that week (a haunted mansion modeled after Poe’s House of Usher), and I placed on the altar above my fireplace. After two weeks of kissing it goodnight at bedtime, I eventually noticed the little door in its front and opened it. It had Clive Barker’s name inscribed there for Abarat! He’d walked off the Burbank Hilton stage with my Stoker! After a mediated hostage exchange, Clive graciously and apologetically surrendered my trophy and I returned his. (Apparently he hadn’t thought to open his little door, either). Afterwards, when I told my author/daughter/capitalist Wendy, she emailed, “Are you nuts, Dad? Clive’s is worth a lot more than yours on eBay.” Kids are here to keep us humble, right?

Dad with the Bram Stoker Award

Dad with the Bram Stoker Award



9. What advice do you have for new writers?

Read, read, read—for enjoyment and to learn. Write, write, write anything you can–sermons, newsletter articles, jokes, anecdotes, devotional material, poems, cartoon captions, recipes, anything—but especially stories short and long. Write what you like. Submit stuff. Publish even if sometimes there’s no money but only a contributor’s copy. My first horror stories went for no-pay and low-pay, but I gave away only one-time rights, then later collected them into Odd Lot (almost all reprints from those low-pay and no-pay small magazines and zines); it then went on to win awards and made me some money. That’s contrary to what you hear from most writing-advice columnists who are selling nonfiction and advise you not to ever let it go unless you get paid for it. Learn from writing-related magazines and books. Learn from rejections (I had a thousand before an acceptance), then submit again and again. Publish your own stuff if you have to, but make sure you know your audience (for me it’s teens), your market (for me it’s their parents and grandparents and teachers), and how you can get it to the buyers. As my old neighbor Stephen King said: writers write, wannabes wannabe.

 

10. What books do you recommend fiction writers read?

Everything in their favorite fields or genres, then beyond that. I gobbled up hundreds of romances for awhile to see if I wanted to write them (which I didn’t). But even though I chose not to write them, I learned a lot about character development, plotting, and how to begin and end a chapter. Oh, and there are two absolutely essential primers every fiction writer should read: Gary Provost’s Make Your Words Work and Dwight Swain’s Techniques of the Selling Writer. Most of us try to write instinctively, but Swain shows us things like Motivation/Reaction Units, so we see how and why our best writing works, so we can learn to do it again and again.

 Where can people buy your books?

At public readings, school visits, writers’ conferences, arts & crafts shows around New England. Use your Visa or Mastercard on my in-home answering machine (860 885-1865) or hit the website www.burtcreations.com. I only sell autographed copies, and it’s only through me that you can get the 4-pack special deal of $10 off for the series. Request a brochure (29 Arnold Place, Norwich, CT 06360. As a last resort, get an autographed copy from www.amazon.com

10 QUESTIONS FOR…Justin Sachs, author & radio host!

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Author interview with Justin Sachs, author of “Your Mailbox is Full”securedownloadsecuredownload-1

1. Tell us about your latest book.

Your Mailbox Is Full is a book written for teengers that gives them the tools they need to become successful in high school and throughout their lives. Things like goal setting, time management, living a healthy lifestyles, and modeling and attracting success. Written in a fun and quick read, teenagers love the graphics and the simple action items at the end of each chapter.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

After working for Mark Victor Hansen, Co-Founder of Chicken Soup for the Soul Series, it only made sense. He was such an inspiration. I had always wanted to write a book, but it wasn’t until I met him, and attended his events that I learned how easy it could be to write and publish a book!

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

Wake up, spend an hour or so writing, begin working on Marketing and PR for my book, do a few interviews for my new radio show, Motivational Minds Radio (www.motivationalmindsradio.com)  do some school work, go to the gym. Eat a few times somewhere in there.

4. Describe your desk/workspace.

Cluttered. We’ve found that the most creative people in the world have the most cluttered workspace because of all the projects they are working on! 

5. Favorite books (especially for writers) 

So You Want to Write by Ann McIndoo, If You Could See What I Hear by Kathy Buckley

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

I walked on fire with Tony Robbins at the age of 14,

 

7. Favorite quote

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

Best part: having a finished product you can be proud of! Worst part: The writing is just the beginning. Once you’ve finished writing, there’s marketing and pr, distribution, retail sales, etc.

9. Advice for other writers

Set aside a specific amount of time every day that you will devote to writing no matter what! Settle for nothing less than writing for that amout of time EVERYDAY! You’ll be amazed how quickly you can write a book when you focus on it EVERY day!

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience

Never be afraid to ask for help. I was once at a Mark Victor Hansen seminar where Lisa Nichols was speaking. I wanted to ask her for help, b/c she worked with teens just like I do. I finally got up the courage to approach her and ask her for help, and it turns out she invited me to her event the next weekend and we had a great conversation about her work with teens and how we could partner in the future.

 Where can people buy your book and learn more?

My book is available on my website: www.YourMailboxIsFullBook.com Also check out my new radio show at www.MotivationalMindsRadio.com we are always looking for motivating and inspiring guests!!

 I recently appeared on TV too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-oTBxEpO18&feature=channel_page

10 QUESTIONS FOR…YA fiction author Tanya Attebery

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Author interview with Tanya Atteberyfat_haters_club_coverdsc01508

Tanya Attebery is a high school counselor by day and with one sweep of her pen she is a Las Vegas reviewer by night. She lives with her husband, Robert, and son, Dylan who keep her on her toes. She self-published both her books: What If and Fat-Haters’ Club. As a result, she is re-releasing Fat-Haters’ Club through Tate publisher. Robert and Tanya have created a website called dreamsdontfade where she has asked readers to “join the club” in their forum. She is also in the process of writing a series with her husband that will bring teenage mystery and drama to Las Vegas.

1. Tell us about your latest book.

Fat-Haters’ Club

What is a fat girl to do? Bubbly Cindy has no choice but to betray one of her best friends. Head-strong Rosemary will do anything to be beautiful, but whose lies prove to be heart breaking. Heather’s secretive destructive addiction spirals into a bitterness that spills over on anyone in her way. All the While, Lisa’s internal struggles overtake her common sense with very final results.

Four friends take part in Fat-Haters’ Club to shed pounds, but when the reality of losing weight is not the fantasy each had wished for they have very dramatic and drastic responses. Is their friendship strong enough to pull them back together while learning how to accept others and themselves? Will the club ever be the same?

2. How did you get started as a writer?

I had a professor in college tell me that I was too uneducated to write the essay I had written interpreting Beowulf. I had wanted to be a writer, but that experience set me back many years. I had manuscripts hidden away and was so afraid of what people would think of my writing. I had a neighbor who begged to read my manuscript and she loved it. I self-published my first book What If? and have been writing ever since. Now I have been picked up by a publisher and am re-releasing Fat-Haters’ Club, so I really didn’t think of myself as a writer until I hit 30. Now seven years later, I know that I want to be a writer and am ready for the challenges. 

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

I have my son Dylan dropped off at elementary school promptly at 8:30 a.m. so he can play before school starts. I am in the office by 9:00 a.m. where I spend my days working with 11th and 12th graders who I might add are very stubborn people. I have meetings, phone calls, state tests to prepare, constant changes of schedules, and then there is the drama of just listening to young people. I then leave work at 3:30 p.m. to make it home in time to help prepare dinner, assist with homework, and have some snuggle time with my husband, Robert. If I am not too exhausted I write a bit, watch some television, go to bed, and then start the day all over again Monday-Friday. I mostly write on the weekends which is fun because my hubby is working on our website or myspace so we are spending time with each other while getting valuable work done.

4. Describe your desk/workspace.

I am a high school counselor, so my office is typical. Inspirational posters on the walls, comfortable chairs, and dual screens for ease of changing schedules. As for my writing office, that sits on my lap as I sit on the couch. I like the latter because I am home I am closer to the refrigerator (I am a snackoholic).

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

I love adolescent fiction: I work with teens and want to read what they are reading so:

1. Anything by Louis Lowry, especially The Giver or Anastasia Series

2. Every mystery written by Joan Lowery Nixon who is recipient of 4 Edgar Allen Poe Awards.

3. R.L. Stine is also brilliant with Goosebumps and now my son watches the shows where I read the books. He is only seven so later he can read the books.

4. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumos.

5. Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins

 

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

-Every class I have taken as a writer I have been told to never start a story from the beginning and piece it together later, but I just can’t. I have to write from beginning to end. I can also write while watching television.

-I competed in Latin and Hip-hop line dancing. I want to be on Dancing with the Stars (or authors) someday.

-I am terrified of being in the ocean. I was born and still am in Las Vegas, Nevada (I am a desert rat), but on my honeymoon we went snorkeling. They had to hang a rope behind the boat for me. Kids were swimming all around and I was white knuckling a rope behind the boat hyperventilating. I just knew I was going to be eaten by a shark. Good news, I made it home shark bite free.

7. Favorite quote

I have learned this at least by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined; he will meet with success unexpected in common hours. –Henry David Thoreau

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

Best: I love to become my characters. I can almost talk to them as if they were real. I love the creativity and passion I can put into the mouths’ of my characters. I just love the feel of typing on the keyboard. Sometimes, I will write and then read it later and I don’t remember certain parts of what I wrote.

Worst: I don’t have enough time to put into my writing. I am a new author and I am not as famous as I hope to be someday, so I wake every morning with some thought or idea and I have to put it on the backburner for later. My dream is to have my books turned into television dramas. I guess the worst part is the anticipation of what will come. 

9. Advice for other writers

Don’t give up and look at how to get yourself out there from different perspectives. It took me seven years to finally get picked up by a publisher. I went to so many seminars. I self-published, but lacked the marketing skills. I just kept reading and listening to successful stories. I took bits and pieces from each. I even took a script writing course. Just absorb all you can and believe in yourself. Eventually, the right person, moment, or timing will happen for you. 

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

It was my first time writing a review for an online magazine called Jetsettersmagazine.com and I had front row tickets to see Wayne Brady before his hit show “Don’t Forget the Lyrics.” By the way, he is still “Making it Up” at the Venetian Hotel here in Las Vegas. It was opening night, so I was able to go to the after party where I was supposed to walk up and ask for some quote.

I was so nervous about it. I had never been expected to walk up to a famous person and introduce myself and expect he would want to sit and talk with me about his life and career. To make things worse, there were so many younger women there and they were all over him. Now, here I am walking over to Wayne Brady surrounded by women younger than thirty. Here is how the conversation started.

“Hi Mr. Brady my name is Tanya and I work for Jet Setters Magazine.”

“Nice to meet you Tanya,” he says politely as he shakes my hand.

My response was, “Wow this is my first time. I am like a virgin,” with that he burst out laughing. ( I am not sure if I meant the handshake or review-glad he laughed.)

He was so nice. He came over to our table and sat with us for a bit. I brought my best friend and this is why I love her. We are making small talk and she put her hand on his shoulder and I quote, “I love you because I like my men like I like my coffee, black and hot.”

I thought he would think I was so unprofessional, but we had to submit our reviews and he sent a note with it that he approved the article and that he really enjoyed our conversation, so I guess the moral of the story is just be yourself when interviewing anyone. It is much more fun that way.

 

Where can people buy your books?

 You can find both books: What If and Fat-Haters’ club on Tanya’s website at www.dreamsdontfade.com

You will also find Tanya’s reviews, forum, and sometimes ranting blogs on her site www.dreamsdontfade.com or on the www.myspace.com/dreamsdontfade