Would time be on their side? A mother’s wish. A daughter’s determination. Which one, if any, would be fulfilled first?
Q & A with Tina ~
Tell us a little about yourself and how you started writing.
I am originally from England and moved to the States in the late 70s. After living all over California I now reside in a small mountain community at 5000 ft elevation where we get plenty of snow most years.
I’ve always loved to write. Many years ago I used to keep journals. I think that is where my joy for writing began. My father was also a huge influence who was a successful science fiction author. When I had a message for other women my writing hobby took a turn and I began to treat it more like a career.
What are some things you enjoy when not writing?
I am a tomboy at heart and love the outdoors. When I’m not writing I’m outside reading on the grass or hiking with my two dogs, a Britney named Tess and Miss Elie our Jack Rusell with an Attitude. I also enjoy kayaking at the nearby lake or discovering the many trails that we are surrounded by on my quad. Other interests include, fishing, growing my own vegetables, and camping when time allows.
Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?
I spend most of my time writing and marketing my books which is a full-time job in itself lol. I also do professional organizing and help my husband with his falconry business. No I don’t fly the six falcons that we have - I help with their care and the care of the hundred plus pigeons we have.
Where do you get your ideas?
My debut novel, Reckless Beginnings was supposed to be just the one book and is based on my life. It is now a three book series titled The Tammy Mellows Series. Each book holds a strong message for women from lessons I have learned from some poor decisions I have made on this journey we call life.
Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write?
I love anything Jodi Picoult has written. I love her style of writing and how raw she writes. She writes about delicate social issues from both sides and touches every emotion. It’s how I wrote Reckless Beginnings. Raw, emotional, honest with no fluff.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
Oh my where do I begin. The easiest part was writing the book but that took twenty-five years, but when I finally sat down to write the story it just flowed. I am now a self-published author but my first book was published through a publisher and took over a year to bring it to life on the book shelves. I was mortified when I discovered I had no control over the book and any slight changes took up to six weeks. I knew my next book would be published by me and the last 4 have been.
If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you’d change?
Yes I would not have gone through a publisher and I would have begun promoting it much sooner than I did. I think I began talking about it just a few months before it was published.
How do you market your work?
Anyway I can LOL - Facebook is great for marketing, I have a great reader’s group with over 1700 members and they are fantastic people. I do takeovers in other groups,
Facebook and Amazon ads, Newsletter swaps , live book signings and group book promotions with other authors. But they say the best way to promote a book is with a new book so I keep writing.
Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences?
All three books in The Tammy Mellows Series are based on my life. Names and places have changed.
Do you have a favorite chapter or scene?
Each book has scenes that I really enjoyed writing and then there are some that were hard to write because they were of times when I was struggling in my life. I think one of my favorite scenes is in the second book Better Endings which is the challenges I faced when I became a commercial fisherwoman. One chapter describes an ocean crossing back to the mainland and we sudden;y find ourselves in a terrifying storm that puts our lives at risk.
Do you have a favorite character?
In Better Endings, Dwayne is based on my husband. It was fun to put my thoughts on paper and have him read how I saw him and describe his moods, personality and habits. Things he wasn’t aware about. He read the book and approved everything I wrote.
What would your job of choice be if you didn’t write books?
Commercial fishing was my dream job before I began to write. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. It was exhilarating, adventurous and no two days were ever alike.
What was the most unique research you had to do for a book?
I wrote about what I had experienced and knew so not much research was needed except to pull out all those memories buried in my head, whether they were good or bad.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
I always tell aspiring writers to read, read and read some more and write every day. Learn from the best. Don’t just read a story, read it like you wrote it. Stop and reread paragraphs that you enjoyed. Ask yourself why you liked it. Study the story, did it pull you in right away. Did it keep you fully engaged? How did the author accomplish that? Write everyday and never give up. Make your next work better than the last.
What are the downfalls of your writing career? The best parts?
Writing will constantly have it’s ups and downs. Words may not flow, books may not sell or a poor review will question your ability to write. What matters is that you push through these downfalls and keep writing. Believe in yourself and own your work. My downfall was My dad passing a year before Reckless Beginnings was published and my mom sick with dementia so neither got to see my first book published. The best part was seeing my name on the book of a cover and readers telling me how much they loved it. Priceless.
Favorite band or music? Favorite book and/or movie?
I’m a country girl who loves country music, Luke Bryan and Chris Young are at the top of my list. Favorite movie and I don’t know why is Escape from Alcatraz with Clint Eastwood. We went to Alacatraz last year. Such a fascinating place.
Place you’d like to travel?
My favorite TV show is deadliest Catch - and I would love to see the boats from the show and visit Dutch Harbor where they are docked.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?
It is the readers and their kind words about my books that keep me writing. I appreciate every single one of them and without them I would not have gone on and written four more books after Reckless Beginnings. So thank you .
To connect with Tina:
To connect with Tina:
(links listed in this website):
(links listed in this website):https://linktr.ee/tinahogangrant