It’s author interview time! Today we’re chatting to Tanya Russell, come and join us!

Hi Tanya, can you tell me a bit about you and your latest work

Thank you for having me Katie!

I’ve been writing for around four years and my fourth book, Shadows of Truth was published in January. It’s a romantic suspense with a strong capable heroine. Set in a small village, it combines the sumptuousness of an English summer with the tension of secrets, danger and a simmering romance.

Are you a panster or plotter?

Strangely, I’m smack in between the two. I started out as a panster and regularly ran out of steam so I gave plotting a go, but by the time I’d potted every detail of the book out I was bored! I’ve worked out that a bit of plotting gives me enough direction to then let myself meander through the story, and still really enjoy the process! 

What does success look like to you?

People enjoying my work. Whilst I’m sure it would be amazing to have regular bestseller success, I love nothing more than hearing from people who have read one of my books and enjoyed it enough to get in touch with me. As long as people keep enjoying what I write I’ll feel like I’m succeeding!

How do you choose your character names?

I find it really hard to pick character names, I often spend a few days ‘living’ with a name for a character, before deciding it doesn’t work and having to try again!

What do you do when you get stuck with your writing?

I’m pretty relaxed when I hit a barrier in my writing. When I get stuck I’ll scribble a few questions down as a way of getting them into my brain. Usually things like ‘How are the characters going to get from here to the next plot point?” or “Why would she react like that?”. Then I wander off and do something else while I let the questions percolate in my brain. It can sometimes take a few days to find the solution, but if I try and force it I stop enjoying the process, and I think that would show in my writing.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Because of my fairly relaxed approach it usually takes me about eight months to write a book, that does include all the revisions though.

What’s your main weakness as a writer eg.SPaG, continuity etc?

It’s definitely SPaG for me. I went to secondary school in the UK during the early 1990’s which was the time they had decided this wasn’t a fundamental part of the UK education. As such it continues to be a bit of a problem for me. I work hard at it and have the support of a great proof reader called Julia Gibbs who is brilliant so the finished work is of a high standard despite that!

What’s been your biggest learning curve?

Definitely the fact that you can’t just sit in front of a computer and bash out a story. Embarrassingly, this is how I thought it would work when I started. It turns out there is a lot more skill to crafting a full novel and I’m extremely grateful to all the people who have helped me on my way!

And now for some silly questions just for fun…

Tea or coffee?

Definitely tea, and it has to be weak with a splash of milk. I always think strong tea feels like its stripping the moisture from my mouth as I’m drinking it!

Beer or wine?

My taste buds say wine but my head prefers the kinder impact of beer the morning after!

Chips or curly fries?

Definitely chips, especially with battered fish and lots of salt and vinegar.

Puppies or kittens?

Kittens – puppies are equally adorable but I’m a little bit terrified of dogs!

Summer or winter?

This is part of why I love England – I love them both but am always ready for a change by the end of each season.

Shadows of Truth :Faced with a threat he can’t resolve, Sir Alistair has no choice but to bring his children home from their boarding school. Hiring a nanny is the only way he can deal with them while keeping his business of recruiting for the British security services going.

Stuck on administrative leave after saving her best friend’s life, Holly jumps at the chance of an off-books mission. Working as his children’s nanny is the perfect opportunity to investigate the allegations that Sir Alistair Kensington killed his wife, and more recently his girlfriend. The fact he’s in the village where her family still lives, well, that’s a complication she’ll deal with later.

Sir Alistair is certain there’s more to local girl Holly than meets the eye, but even with her secrets, he struggles to keep her at a distance he knows is necessary for her safety. As the threat closes in, will Holly and Alistair find a way to share more than just shadows of the truth?

Tanya writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She’s married to an amazing Neil Diamond Tribute artist, thanks to whom she has a house full of stage costumes & trophies. Something which is, of course, a source of much embarrassment to their two teenage children.

Thank you so much, Tanya! Doesn’t Tanya’s book sound great? I’m off to get my copy now and you can too!

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