Interview with Tianna XanderMar 30, 2008
Hi Tianna and welcome to Manic Readers. We are delighted to chat with such a prolific author and thank you for taking the time from your obviously busy schedule to do that.
Reading the list of titles you have published is exhausting, I can’t imagine what writing that many books must be like.
Let’s get right to those questions that are burning in my mind, and I’m sure are shared by other authors and readers.
Of course my first question would have to be: How long does it take you to write a book? You must keep a pretty rigid schedule. Do you stick to a page or word quota?
I write what I can when I can. Usually, I write between three and ten-thousand words per day. It’s not unusual for me to pound out ten-thousand words when I have a day off from my day job. I don’t usually try to force it unless I’m nearing a deadline and the words just don’t want to come.
Did you have any formal training in writing – school, college, workshops etc? How did you get your start?
Actually, I took college writing courses in high school. I started reading when I was three and had my first library card when I was four. I’ve loved books since I was a toddler. I started writing stories first for my kids. I wrote a story about toys that come alive in their rooms while they were away a long time before the famous version was ever written.
I started writing romance around 1999 and published my first novel, Virgin’s Blood in July of 2006 with Extasy Books.
“The Children of the Triad” (spun off from the Triad series just completed) The Chosen series and now the Narian Series. That’s three series you’ll have going all at once. Incredible energy, it boggles my mind. What is it like trying to balance writing several series at once? How do you keep them all straight?
Very carefully. LOL I sometimes have to reference back to the book or books before the one I’m working on. I’m starting a new short series within two series with Extasy. My new Rune and Tarot stories are all going to be in the same world.
Focusing on the series, do you know the number of books before you begin or is that dependent on the story itself and something you will figure out eventually as the story unfolds?
We had twenty four titles for the Triad series but pared it down to six. Then we realized we had more story to tell and decided on another six. I have several ideas for the chosen series and I think Bonnie and I are shooting for five to six in the Narian Rebirth series. I’m not saying there won’t be more, but that’s how many short outlines we had for it.
Do you work primarily one book to its completion and then start to work on a book for a different series or are you able to juggle the stories all at once?
Oh, I juggle. A LOT! I sometimes work on three or four projects at a time and that doesn’t include the critique and edits I do for friends. I may write up to 10k a day but it’s not always on the same project.
How much attention do you pay to criticism? Do comments form your readers affect the way you write the next book in a series?
Yes. I like to hear what they liked or didn’t like. I want to know what they want in a perfect character and how to write a book that will keep them entertained until the end.
How do you handle Character aging in your series? I see that the Triad has evolved to The Children of the Triad as another series—will the Triad need to continue? You say you’ve written the sixth and final book in that series, but have you?
We’ve talked about what if we wanted to continue and right now, as it stands, we feel as though it’s done. We wouldn’t ignore a character if one or two popped up and demanded to be written though. I think if another book needed written it would eventually make it to the publisher. I’ve learned to never say never.
What made you choose paranormal, time-travel and Science Fiction to write about? Which is your favorite and why?
I love time travel. There’s just something about an old fashioned alpha male coming forward in time and treating his love like a real lady. Maybe I’m really just old fashioned myself. You wouldn’t know it to read some of the stuff I write though.
World building, to me, would be extremely hard. How do you go about creating the worlds for your books?
Actually, most of it comes as I write. I’m more of a punster than a planner and things just seem to fall into place while I write. I seem to do my best and fastest writing while under a pressing deadline. Stress seems to bring out the best in me.
Also, in your Time travel novels you need to be tremendously cautious of what could occur in a given period, but also attuned to the language that would be used in the various time frames. Do you have a mentor, reader, editor friend, who checks all this to keep you on track and aware of any potential conflicts in the story?
Yes. I have a friend who loves history and research and a wonderful beta reader who catches most, if not all, of the inconsistencies.
What do you develop first (in your mind or on paper/computer) plot or character?
The general gist of the plot comes first. After that I dream up my main point of view character and start writing. Usually, the characters tell me where to go after that.
You also say you read a lot. Isaac Asimov, Stephen King and many other popular authors say that if you don’t’ wave time to read you can’t write. What are your feelings on this? Do you agree? Do you have a set reading schedule – what about research, how much of that goes into your writing and how do you do it?
I read a lot. I read a lot of history books and study research driven websites and I set enough time aside every week to read at least one fiction book to remind myself why I love to create my own worlds. I want to give my readers what my favorite authors give to me. I want to know that I was able to take them away from their everyday lives for a while and help them dream.
Finally I see you have a family and a plethora of pets, how do you schedule your time to include all the duties of family and home life and your writing life?
I married really young. It worked too, which seemed to surprise everyone. LOL My children are already grown (though I don’t feel old enough to have grown children) and they still live at home. They help around the house, do their own laundry and otherwise help keep my responsibilities at a manageable level.
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions. Is there anything else you would like to tell our readers? How can they get in touch with you and where can they find your books to buy or read more about?
Thank you for having me. Anyone interested in knowing more about my work can visit my website at http://www.tiannaxander.com or visit my myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/tianna_xander . They can also write me at email@example.com or sign up for my monthly newsletter at TiannaX@aol.com . My books can be found at http://www.extasybooks.com and http://www.cobblestone-press.com I have two new releases in March and two in April. After that I intend to slow down a bit and take the time to relax and smell the roses.
Anyone wishing to contact me for a guest blog, interview or chat, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the word “Appearance” in the subject line.
Interviewed by: Manic Readers.
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