Last week, I got together with author Tanya Bird and asked her some pretty probing questions about her life and writing. If you love fantasy romance, historical romance and series, I’m sure you’d love her books. I strongly recommend giving them a try.
Read on for the full interview…
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself! eg family, hobbies, bucket list.
I was raised in the green hills of South Gippsland, so I’m a country gal at heart. When I finished school, I sold my horse, bought a very unsafe car, and moved to Melbourne to study. After changing degrees multiple times, I moved to the other side of the country where I worked a lot of random, badly paid jobs. Eventually I found my way back to Melbourne and met Mr B. After a six year stint in media/advertising, I decided I’d had enough of sleeping for more than two-hours at a time, and had three children.
In my free time (I struggle to say that with a straight face), I do yoga, contemporary dance, make a lot of broth, adopt sad dogs, and plan holidays we can’t afford.
My bucket list? Holy tacos, it’s enormous. It includes a lot of travel as well as experiences like sword fighting on horseback, a shipwreck dive, and meeting a shoebill stork.
What got you started in writing?
I wrote a lot of stories when I was a younger and had a pretty wild imagination. I went on to study professional writing and was told by a teacher at the end of the course that there is no money in creative writing and I would need to do something else. So I went and studied PR and headed down a different path. While at home having babies, I returned to University and took a couple of writing units. I fell completely in love with it all over again.
After graduating, I started freelance copywriting, taking $5 jobs on Upwork just to get my foot in the door. During quiet periods, I wrote a book that turned out to be a romance. When I learned about self-publishing, I thought why not? No one’s going to read it anyway. But people did read it. So I wrote another one. Then another one. Then eight more. And I’m still going.
What do you like to read?
I read widely within the Romance genre. Everything from fantasy to mafia to rom-coms. I also read a lot of historical non-fiction, literary, and women’s fiction.
Tell us about your favourite work. How did it get started?
Favourite work? That’s like picking a favourite child… it changes daily. I’m kidding. There is one book in particular that has a special place in my heart. A few years back, I was reading about Severus’s last campaign in Scotland and wondered if I could turn one of the darkest points in military history into a romance. I did. I jokingly refer to A Legate’s Pledge as genocide romance, but it’s really an enemies to lovers story packed with history and action. It has the most fierce heroine I’ve written to date. It’s also my worst selling book despite great reviews. Who knew genocide romance wouldn’t take off?
How do you create your characters?
I’m often inspired by characters in movies and TV shows. I figure out why I’m drawn or repelled by certain people, take those traits, and build from there. I need to know my characters prior to writing them, so I spend a lot of time in my own head before I start a project.
Where do you write? Do you plot extensively or are you a pantser?
I can write anywhere. Desk, outside, in the car, in a messy room with kids screaming around me. Unless I’m stuck on a plot point. Then suddenly I’m demanding silence and practising feng shui.
And I’m a plantser, a weird cross between the two. I spend a few weeks outlining a book and then often write a completely different story. My best ideas come while I’m creating, so I’ve learned to just go with it.
What are you working on as we speak?
I’m writing the first draft of Defender of Hearts, book two in my Kingdom of Walls series.
What would your advice be for aspiring authors?
Write. You can’t get better without practise. And read—lots, taking note of the parts you love and the bits you skim over. Write the book you want to read. Then write another one that’s even better. Repeat.
How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
Website & newsletter sign up: tanyabird.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Tanya-Bird/e/B06XTDVK4G
Newest or upcoming release:
Defender of Walls releases February 22, 2021. This is book one in the medieval dystopian romance series Kingdom of Walls. More details at https://tanyabird.com/books/defender-of-walls/
Keen to dip your toe into Tanya’s worlds? She has book 1 in her Companion Series (The Royal Companion) permafree on all platforms, find it HERE
I hope you enjoyed this insight into Tanya’s writing world. Stay tuned for more author interviews in the coming months…