Monday, January 9, 2017

Interview with romance author Tani Hanes

Today’s special guest is new adult romance author Tani Hanes. We’re chatting a little bit about her new novel, Living in the Shallows.

During her virtual book tour, Tani will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Also: Living in the Shallows is $0.99 during Tani’s book tour.

Welcome, Tani. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Tani Hanes, and I am a 51-year-old substitute teacher. I’m from central California and am a recent transplant to New York City. The most important things to know about me are that I'm punctual, I love grammar and sushi, and I'm very intolerant of intolerance. The least important things to know about me are that I like to knit and I couldn't spell "acoustic" for 40 years. I've wanted to write since I was ten, and I finally did it. If you want to write, don't wait as long as I did, it's pointless, and very frustrating!

Please share a little bit about your current release.
It’s called Living in the Shallows, and it’s about a young girl who’s spent most of her life in a kind of self-imposed seclusion, due to her family situation and upbringing. She was raised by a single mother expatriate from Japan, and just studied music and swam. Then her mother died, and she was really alone, which only isolated her more.

She needs money, and her professor, knowing she’s bilingual, gets her a job as an interpreter in Japan, and she meets the boys in the band, who are like no people she’s ever met before. And that’s where the book begins, where things start to happen.

What inspired you to write this book?
I’m a substitute teacher, in a very small district, so I got to know my students very well, and vice versa; I was able to watch them grow, year after year, which is something most regular teachers don’t get to do, so we were really close.

And they talked to me a lot about a certain boyband what was going on hiatus, and how sad they were about it. I happened to be a fan of this band also (I’m old, not dead!), and I thought maybe I could write something that would make us all feel better, tide us over, maybe, until they were together again. And some of the cracks between these boys were beginning to show, so in my books (this is the first of SEVEN, all completed, though the last four are in word vomit form still), I erased those cracks, made the stories about boys who really loved each other. And of course, loved the heroine, very much.

Excerpt from Living in the Shallows:
"No, don't do that, little one, not yet."

"I fell, right?" I asked. "Teddy came in, he was drunk, he said—he said some things, you got mad at him—" I looked up at Gethin, "Matty hit him, then I ran over to them and tripped and hit my head on the edge of the table."

"What?" Matty exploded. "Tinker Bell, Theo hit you! He was aiming for me, I mean, I assume he was aiming for me—" this with another glare at Teddy, "but he took a swing as he was going down and he hit you in the face, bloodied your fucking nose!"

"Dammit, Matthew, of course I was aiming for you!" Teddy shouted. "Why would I want to hit her? You'd just clocked me in the face! She just got in between us at the wrong moment, and I was going down at the time, that's why I swung so low! Don't you think I'd cut my own arm off before I'd hit her?"

"Actually, I think he hit me in the jaw," I said, again reaching for my face. "Could you take a look?" Geth leaned in, turning my head gently so he could see.

"Jesus Christ, she has a cut, just under her ear, along her jawline, a pretty deep one, too," he said, horrified. "Guess we didn't notice it with all the blood from her nose, but this looks awful." He turned and looked at Teddy, and his silence was worse than any words he could have spoken.

"What's wrong with you?" asked Ronan tearfully to Teddy.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Well, as I said, I wrote seven of these guys, this UK Crush series, so I’m still neck-deep in rewriting and editing them! I haven’t thought much about what will come after, to be honest. Although I did have an amazing grandma. She was born in the early 1900s in Japan, and her life was like a movie. I heard so much about how she grew up that, even though she’s gone, I could write something. I have a few blurbs sitting around about her, and that would be a wonderful next project. My heroine (in Living in the Shallows) Birdie’s love of flowers comes straight from my grandma. I consider myself bilingual as far as Japanese, but my horticultural vocabulary is pretty extensive, and it’s all from my obachan, my mother’s mother.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Wow, I don’t know that I would, even now. It’s a powerful word, a loaded word, a word I associate with publishers and fame and all that. I’d say that I first started trying to become a writer last year, how’s that? And I’m still trying, because I’ve wanted to for so long. If anyone who’s reading this wants to write, just do it. Now. If you can only do it at night, after work, after your kids are sleeping, after you’ve finished your long-haul truck driving job, whatever, make time and get to it.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I’m so, so lucky, because I’m married to one of the smartest people in the universe, and he earns enough money for me to write full-time. We recently moved to New York City so he could start an amazing new job, and I’ve left substitute teaching behind for now, to do this.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I can solve the Rubik’s Cube, that’s pretty quirky. And I learned how with a notebook and a pencil, before the internet, so that kind of borders on crazy, I think.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Haha, many things! But I remember wanting to be a nun! I wasn’t and am not Catholic; my knowledge of what nuns did came from The Sound of Music. I thought I’d get to live in the Alps, polish beautiful wooden furniture, and sing, all day long. I had no idea what nuns really did, or, um, *didn’t* do lol.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Writing this book, these books, has been the best, most fun thing I’ve done in a long time. I love these boys and this girl with all my heart. It’s obviously not Nabokov (the pinnacle of great writing, as far as I’m concerned), but I hope you can get to know them and love them, that’s the only reason they exist!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon (Living in the Shallows is $0.99 during Tani’s book tour)

Thank you for being a guest on my blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Unknown said...

Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

Melinda Campbell said...

You can solve a Rubik's cube? How long does it take you? Super impressive, a friend of mine could solve one. It would take him about 15 minutes each go. I was always in awe. Anyway, congrats on the new release, looking forward to checking it out!

Tani Hanes said...

The Rubik's cube takes me a few minutes, depending on how it's messed up. I'm not one of those speed people, and apparently my technique's old-school: I use my whole hand and turn the cube this way and that. The modern solvers do this cool thing with their fingers, it's pretty amazing! I used to carry one, thinking my younger students would get a kick out of watching me solve it, but it turned out that the older kids loved it too lol!

Tani Hanes said...

Thank you for having me on your blog today!!! Hope to talk to you again soon.

Bernie Wallace said...

What books are you looking forward to reading this year? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

Victoria Alexander said...

This sounds like a great book, thanks for sharing!

Mai T. said...

What are your favourite snacks/drinks while writing and reading?

Teresa said...

Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?

Ally Swanson said...

Excellent interview! Looking forward to checking out this book!

Ally Swanson said...

I really enjoyed reading the excerpt. Can't wait to check this book out!

Edye Nicole said...

Thanks for the giveaway.


Ally Swanson said...

Where is your favorite spot to read?

Ally Swanson said...

Hope you are having a fabulous weekend! Looking forward to checking out this book!

Marcy Meyer said...

Enjoyed the interview and excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway chance!

Ally Swanson said...

What books might we find on your bedside table?

Ally Swanson said...

What is the name of your favorite restaurant?

Ally Swanson said...

What is your favorite pleasure food?

Andra Lyn said...

Thanks for sharing your work with us! What was your favorite part of thw wariting experience?

Nikolina said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!