Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR ARTISTIC PROCESS?
Tanya Ross: Most difficult is doing the plotting, and staying true to the characters.
Romelia: DOES YOUR FAMILY SUPPORT YOUR CAREER AS A WRITER?
Tanya Ross: Yes! In fact, my husband and daughter help me when I get stuck with plot or dialogue. They are my biggest cheerleaders.
Romelia: IF YOU HAD TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENTLY AS A CHILD OR TEENAGER TO BECOME A BETTER WRITER AS AN ADULT, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
Tanya Ross: I would write lots of stories.
Romelia: HOW LONG ON AVERAGE DOES IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE A BOOK?
Tanya Ross: My first book took three years; the second has taken me 15 months. At this rate, I should be able to write the next one in 8 months…
Romelia: DO YOU BELIEVE IN WRITER’S BLOCK?
Tanya Ross: I can say I authentically get it, so yes. There are days when the writing doesn’t flow, or I can’t come up with ideas.
Romelia: AT WHAT POINT DO YOU THINK SOMEONE SHOULD CALL THEMSELVES A WRITER?
Tanya Ross: Anyone who writes for pleasure is a writer.
Romelia: WHAT DIFFERENCE DO YOU SEE BETWEEN A WRITER AND AN AUTHOR?
Tanya Ross: I would say that a published novel or short-story writer is an author.
Romelia: HOW DO YOU PROCESS AND DEAL WITH NEGATIVE BOOK REVIEWS?
Tanya Ross: I’ve only received two. The first one hit me hard, but it made me go back and revise my novel. My book became better. The second one I shrugged off.
Romelia: WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF YOUR WRITING PROCESS?
Tanya Ross: Most difficult part? Diffusing the inner critic and not obsessing on word choice.
Romelia: HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WRITING OR WHEN DID YOU START?
Tanya Ross: I started about five years ago.
Romelia: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A WRITER WORKING ON THEIR FIRST BOOK?
Tanya Ross: Don’t worry about whether you’re writing something excellent. Write your heart.
Romelia: WHAT, TO YOU, ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF GOOD WRITING?
Tanya Ross: Character, character, character!! If your characters are believable, relatable, and desirable, you’ll have a great story.
Romelia: WHAT COMES FIRST FOR YOU – THE PLOT OR THE CHARACTERS – AND WHY?
Tanya Ross: With my first book, it was the plot. I wanted to write about a society that monitored people’s emotions, so I had to make that believable. My second book, it was all about the characters and how they achieved their goals.
Romelia: HOW DO YOU DEVELOP YOUR PLOT AND CHARACTERS?
Tanya Ross: So far, I’ve been a “pantser” – someone who doesn’t plot ahead of time but lets the characters dictate the story. I let the characters make the decisions about what they’re going to do. I follow along, LOL.
Romelia: WHEN DID YOU FIRST CALL YOURSELF A WRITER?
Tanya Ross: I joined a writers’ critique group in my city.
Romelia: HOW DO YOU USE SOCIAL MEDIA AS AN AUTHOR?
Tanya Ross: Mainly I use it to learn from other people who have been doing this work longer than I have. I also post ads, quotes, and personal updates.
Romelia: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE AND LEAST FAVORITE PART OF PUBLISHING?
Tanya Ross: One of my favorite things is talking to groups of people about my books. My least favorite thing is marketing to the universe. It’s hard.
Romelia: WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO AN AUTHOR WHO WANTED TO DESIGN THEIR OWN COVER?
Tanya Ross: Be careful. A cover can make or break your sales. If you’re going to do it, be educated about it.
Romelia: HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN AND WHICH IS YOUR FAVORITE?
Tanya Ross: I’ve only written two. The second one is my best. It’s killer.
Romelia: WHAT PART OF THE BOOK DID YOU HAVE THE HARDEST TIME WRITING?
Tanya Ross: In my first book, Rising Up, it was describing the MC’s feelings about her mother dying. Since I’ve been through that, it was hard. In my second book, the most difficult parts were the love scenes and the fight scene.
Romelia: Which character do you relate to the most?
Tanya Ross: My MC, Ember, is the character most like me. In fact, I based most of her personality on myself as a sixteen-year-old. She is not my favorite character, however.
Romelia: IF YOU’RE PLANNING A SEQUEL. CAN YOU SHARE A TINY BIT ABOUT YOUR PLANS FOR IT?
Tanya Ross: My first sequel (Book 2 in the Tranquility Series, Facing Off) will be coming out late April/early May. I am ready to start writing book 3. It will have continued tension between the two guys competing for the girl and an exponential growth of supernatural powers for the MC, Ember.
Romelia: TELL US SOMETHING FUNNY ABOUT YOUR ADULT LIFE.
Tanya Ross: The only time I’ll drink beer is with pizza.
Romelia: describe yourself in a few sentences. Tell us something we do not know about you and something you hate about the world.
Tanya Ross: I’m a retired educator. Even after thirty years in the classroom, I still have a passion for middle school kids. I am addicted to frozen yogurt. What I hate most about the world is how politicians are so corrupt.