The Writing Life of: Tianna Holley
This week on ‘The Writing Life of:‘ I am thrilled to be interviewing author Tianna Holley. Tianna will be sharing with us detail of her writing life, telling us all about her latest book ‘Unexpected Peril‘, which was released on 26th May 2015 and answering a few fun questions too.
Tianna Holley lives outside of Atlanta with her husband and children and has always been an avid reader of fantasy novels. She began writing poetry and short stories in her youth but did not pursue her passion for writing until later in life.
Although her books tend to contain violence and romance, she considers herself a PG-13 author. Her novels do not contain curse words, and her sexual content is limited to heated kissing.
She enjoys talking to her readers and offers free Skype chats to book clubs that have read her writing.
1) Do you remember the moment you decided that you would like to become a writer? 2) How did you go about following your dream?
My writing career actually wasn’t planned. I wrote poetry as a way to express my emotions during my dark teenage years, and I even remember typing out the beginning of a few books but never finished anything during that time. I then became a paralegal but eventually left my career to stay home with the children.
If you had told me I was to become a writer a week before I started typing Unexpected Metamorphosis, I would have laughed. I was a homeschooling mother, and life was hectic enough.
However, Alissia Roswell’s story came to me, and within a week, I had to start writing it for my own sanity. It pretty much consumed me. In fact, I started typing the story at a weekend retreat for homeschooling mothers. We were in the mountains to socialize and relax; yet all I could do was think about Alissia. I was not happy about it, either.
Even when I began to write her story, I didn’t plan to have it published. Halfway into it, however, my best friend and I realized it was a great read.
Now I can’t imagine life without writing. I no longer homeschool, and I spend most of my time in a fantasy world.
I will add that I was going through a very dark time in my life when Alissia’s story came to me. After talking to other authors, I’ve learned strong, painful emotions bring out the writer/artist in many people.
3) Is there a particular author that inspires you?
I love how J.K. Rowling created a world filled with magic and wonder, and she wrote with enough imagery to make her readers feel as though they’re actually there. I want my readers to be able to clearly visualize the fantasy worlds I create. I try to describe them to the fullest, and it makes me very happy when they let me know how much they appreciate the detailed imagery.
While editing my first novel, it took an entire week just to add the extra descriptions on a ballroom scene. I took the time to research the clothing and jewelry that would flatter each woman’s frame, skin tone, and hair color. It was tedious, but I wanted it to be perfect—in case a fashion expert read the book.
4) What is your average writing day like? Do you have any strange writing habits?
A normal day consists of me staring at my laptop with a cup of hot tea nearby. (I go through a lot of tea.) I love when the weather allows me to sit outside. If I get a workout in, don’t indulge in too much dark chocolate, and get to sit outside, my day is perfect. However, perfect is rare.
As for strange writing habits, I sometimes go on writing binges that last for days. Football season is a big thing for most southerners in America (not for me). My dear husband buys season tickets to his favorite team, and he and the children travel to my in-laws for long weekends during the fall.
During that time, I don’t leave the house, get dressed, cook, or pretty much do anything but stare at my computer screen. By the time my family returns, I’ve usually pushed myself to the limit and need to step away from the computer. Although I love writing binges, I feel completely drained at the end of them.
5) Do you write Longhand, Type writer, Computer?
6) From all your books, do you have a favourite character?
Alissia Roswell will probably always be my favourite. Not only is she my first, she’s also the one most like me. Our personalities are almost identical.
7) Do you plot your books completely before hand or do you let your imagination flow whilst in the writing process?
I’m a panster all the way and cringe at outlines. In fact, I unexpectedly decided to throw in a side character halfway into my first novel, and within two pages, he became one of the main characters. His interactions with Alissia took on a life of their own and completely changed the story. It was highly surprising!
Concerning your latest book:
Author – Tianna Holley
Publisher – Canton Walk Publishing
Pages – 296
Release Date – 26th May 2015
Format – ebook, paperback
Savage beasts kidnap Alissia Roswell as she is traveling to meet a separate group of Lamians than the ones that saved her life and physically changed her in the process—gifting her with many special abilities.
Just when she was beginning to get accustomed to the bond she and Luke Harrison share, she awakes alone and trapped deep within an eerie bog to find she can no longer feel his presence or reach out to him with her mind.
Unexpected Peril, the third book in the Alissia Roswell Series, will take you to magical lands filled with strange and mysterious creatures. Will Alissia have a chance to adapt to her new life in this alternate reality, or will everything and everyone she has come to love be destroyed by an intense hatred for humanity?
8) How long did it take to get from the ideas stage, to the date of publication?
Most of the ideas were in my head for about a year before I had the chance to type them out. My head is full of stories, and I can’t type fast enough to keep up with them. It usually takes about ten months to type and edit one book. The editing stage takes the longest amount of time. It’s a slow and tedious process.
9) Did you suffer from writer’s block at any stage? How did you overcome it?
I did suffer from a block when it was time to begin writing Unexpected Peril. Although the story and many of the scenes had been in my head for over a year, I had trouble with my new creatures. In fantasy writing, you have to think about everything when creating a new world or creature. I knew what the creatures were going to do in the story, but I had a hard time deciding what they would look like and what their environs would be like. It was a bit frustrating.
One night I took a hot bath with my iPad and browsed art on Pinterest, and within thirty minutes, my writer’s block was gone. Pinterest inspired the horrifying creatures in Unexpected Peril.
10) How did you come up with the name(s)for your lead character(s)?
I have a thick book on baby names.
11) If your book was made in to a film, who would you love to play the lead character(s)?
I had to do a quick search on Google for this one, as I’ve never really thought about it. Vanessa Hudgens has the same dark complexion and petite size as Alissia. I really don’t know about the two male leads. I had to give up my Google search on that. My eyes were in overload on tall, dark, and handsome men!
12) Did you get anyone in particular to read your work before sending it to the publisher i.e family member, friend etc?
In the beginning, I only trusted my best friend for advice on the story. I drove her crazy while writing my first novel, as I’d send her clips almost every day, and I’d expect her input by the end of the day.
She loves the fantasy genre, and I highly respect her opinions. I even dedicated Unexpected Metamorphosis to her. Things have changed since then, and I’ve recruited more beta readers and am looking to add to the list.