Home > Columns > Advice to Myself as a Newbie Author by Shauna Roberts > Advice to Myself as a Newbie Author

by Shauna Roberts
http://www.ShaunaRoberts.com
http://ShaunaRoberts.blogspot.com

Today’s Guest: Tanya Hanson

Tanya Hanson enjoys life near the beach with her firefighter husband. They’re busy getting ready for their daughter’s wedding this summer, and their son and daughter-in-law have given them a totally adorable two-year-old grandson—the ring bearer. Her newest book is Marrying Minda (Wild Rose Press), a Western tale of a mail-order bride and the wrong groom.

If you could travel back in time to before you were first published, what advice would you give yourself?

If I could go back in time to before I was first published . . . I’d definitely not wait until my kids went off to college to write and submit. Saying I was “too busy” was just an excuse and, I suppose, a fear of failure.

Some other things I learned:

1. Check your pen name early on. I didn’t and now share cyberspace with a porn star of the same name.

2. Remember that nobody dies from rejection. Gnash your teeth for a day, then move on.

3. Write what you love, not what’s trendy at the moment. If you don’t, writing’s a chore and what’s the point?

4. Enter contests. It’s such a feel-good thing when you do well, and the comments are helpful if you don’t. It might open some doors. And practically speaking, having to follow directions and prepare a perfect manuscript is great training. My current release, Marrying Minda, placed first in two RWA chapter fiction contests, and Outlaw Bride is a finalist in the Romance through the Ages Contest sponsored by the RWA online chapter Hearts Through History.

5. Ease up on e-loops, mySpace, Facebook, and twitter. All that can really get in the way of writing time. My editor encourages two full hours of writing before going online, although I must confess I’m not there yet.

6. Read! I got a recumbent bike both for exercise and for a dedicated time for reading. Reading good literature helps with such things as varying sentence beginnings and structures, increasing vocabulary, and improving your own grammar skills when you see our language done well. Can you tell I taught high school English forever?

7. Take advantage of workshops and online classes. The book I’m finishing now took an unexpected turn thanks to a plotting class I recently took.

8. And last but not least, forget about your mom and Great Aunt Edna reading your books when you write love scenes.

✥✥✥✥✥

To learn more about Tanya Hanson, please visit her Web page at http://www.TanyaHanson.com or read her blog posts at http://www.petticoatsandpistols.com. You can order Marrying Minda online at Amazon.com and the Wild Rose Press.

Author Details
Author Details
A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.

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    A Slice of Orange started in 2004 as a group of authors from Orange County, California. We have expanded to include authors from around the globe–from the UK, all across the US to New Zealand. Our authors include the multi-published and writers at the beginning of their publishing career. In addition to authors, we feature blog posts from editors, PR professionals, and cover designers. The bright segments of the writing and reading community that make up one perfect entity—A Slice of Orange.
  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks to Shauna and OCC for giving me some space today to spout off LOL.

    And thanks, Kathy and Helen, for stopping by.

    Of course a major impetus was joining RWA and OCC..but I figure most people reading this blog would know that's the place to start.

  • Anonymous says:

    Great tips – nice to have my inner voice validated. LOL! Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi Tanya! I love hearing what authors have learned along they way. I've picked up a lot of those same things! (Except the star name, LOL.)

    Helen

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