I'm jumping the gun on this one since it's not quite August yet, but I just couldn't wait to share the next Author of the Month with you all! Tanya Gallagher appeared on the indie romance scene in March, and took it by storm with her debut novel, 'A Slippery Slope.' She's recently followed up with an entire new series of romantic comedies, all published within the span of a few short weeks! I knew I needed to catch up with this crazily prolific (and crazy talented!) writer to get all the inside scoop.
Read on to find out what got Tanya started in romance, who some of her indie author faves are, and what her ideal writing day looks like.
What was your gateway to the world of romance novels? Have you always read/written romance, or was there a specific book or event that got you into the genre?
I’m going to be super cliche and say that Fifty Shades of Grey was my gateway book. When even my mom was reading it, I knew I had to see what all the fuss was about. I’ve always been drawn to the romance elements in the books I’ve read, and while I have an eclectic reading taste, Fifty Shades of Grey was the first time I could pinpoint a genre that focused on all my favorite things. Since then, I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole! I love that there are so many kinds of stories all living in the romance category.
Your author bio states that your stories feature "smart, strong women" (which I totally agree with!) In your opinion, what is it that makes a woman strong? What does a "strong woman" look like to you?
For me, a strong woman is the one who isn’t going to wait around for anyone else to rescue her. I love women who believe in their own empowerment and who go after what they want—even when it’s a messy, complicated path to get there.
What's been the most exciting moment of your writing career so far?
There are so many beautiful parts of being a writer that it’s hard to pick a favorite moment. That being said, I think one of the best parts, for me, is hearing from my readers. There’s nothing better than someone someone getting so excited about a story that you poured a lot of love into. When I can help you laugh, cheer, and escape from the everyday, that’s a win in my book.
You've now got three books published with more on the way very soon! Do you have a favourite character of yours so far, or do you love them all equally?
Oh gosh, it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I have to say, I have a soft spot in my heart for Emma in His Invitation. Emma’s not afraid to speak her mind and stand up for herself, and she’s unapologetic about the things she loves—from yoga, to scented candles, to donuts. When it comes to the guys, I can’t pick! Can I say all of them?
What made you decide to pursue the indie route, rather than traditional publishing?
There are pros and cons to both types of publishing routes, but I made the decision to go indie because I love the idea of having a nimble business that lets me write the stories I want, as often as I want. There’s a lot of flexibility that comes when you choose the indie route, and as someone who’s an entrepreneur in other areas of my life, that definitely appealed to me. In the romance community, especially, going indie is attractive because it lets you adapt to a market with highly-engaged, eager readers. That being said, I’m definitely not opposed to becoming a hybrid author with the right project.
The indie author life is filled with ups and downs (and sometimes it feels like there are way more downs than ups.) How do you deal with the sense of discouragement that all indie authors face from time to time?
I keep writing! At the very heart of this journey is the fact that I love to tell stories, especially those with an optimistic outlook. I’m playing a long-term game when it comes to my writing career, and at the end of the day, getting back to work and focusing on the parts of this business that I love help me keep a good perspective.
Are there any other romance writers in particular that you admire? What about them and/or their work do you think makes them awesome?
I have to say, anyone who’s putting their work out there is inspiring to me, but there are a few writers out there who seem to be killing it. I’m thinking of L.J. Shen, whose books people are clamoring for, R.S. Grey, who’s nailed the romcom niche, and Rachel Van Dyken, whose stories have been made into movies. A huge part of being an indie author is the marketing aspect, and I really look up to people who’ve created a buzz and a loyal audience. Also, I love your work! The fact that you’re adding so much positivity to this community is tremendous, and I feel lucky to have met you.
What does your ideal 'day in the life of the author' look like? Where do you like to write/read? What places do you hit up to splurge on refreshments? What do you do to find inspiration, or chill out after a good writing sesh?
Basically, fill us in on what your ultimate 'taking myself on a writing date' day would be. Any day I can write is a good day for me, but in my ideal writing day would be one spent in a beautiful place with good snacks and minimal interruptions. Sometimes getting out of your comfort zone and having new things to look at makes a huge difference in your creativity, so I’d love a good writers retreat in a new-to-me place by the water. I’ve recently been experimenting with dictating my stories, and I’m finding that it’s a good way to get the words out quickly. So, I'd start my day with an early morning walk to get the ideas flowing, and dictate while I walk. I probably look silly walking around and talking to myself, but I love it! When I’m tired from that, I’d grab a Starbucks chai latte and sip it while I transferred the notes to my computer and cleaned up the many interesting typos that come along from voice to text. From there, I’d spend the rest of the day living with my characters until it was time to grab dinner with my friends and family.
Tanya will be back later in August to talk more about her first novel, 'A Slippery Slope.' If you haven't grabbed your copy yet, snag one here and get started, perhaps with a chai latte in hand?
You can find out more about Tanya on her website.