BIO: Tianna Xander is an eclectic, multi-published, award-winning author of paranormal romance and erotica. Harassed by her muse daily, she rarely puts the pen down. However, she’s the first to admit that, when she does set the pen down, or her muse has momentarily deserted her, she spends too much time on the internet.
She lives in Michigan with her family, four cats, a German Shepherd Dog, and a raisin addict disguised as a Netherland Dwarf bunny named Babs.
Interview begins here:
GRACIE: I’m excited to have you here at The G-Spot, Tianna! Please tell us a little about yourself (or a lot J) and how and when you got into writing?
TIANNA: Thank you for having me, Gracie. I’m excited to be here!
I started telling romantic stories to my friends at a very young age. However, my first book wasn’t published until 2006 when Tina, the owner of Extasy Books, offered me my first contract. I have since been published by Siren, Cobblestone Press and the Extasy Books sister company, Devine Destinies.
I’m a bit outdoorsy. I love to camp, hike and ride my mountain bike anywhere it will take me. I love watching sci-fi shows and movies. Netflix is great and a sci-fi geek’s dream. My newest book, Woman Beware even has a few red shirt references. LOL
GRACIE: Is there any one thing or person in your life that inspired your writing? Any one thing or person that influenced the genre you write in?
TIANNA: My husband inspires my writing on almost a daily basis. He’s the type of man who still opens doors and walks between me and the street. After over thirty years, he still holds my hand. He’s a perfect romance hero come to life and I consider myself a lucky woman to have his love and companionship.
As far as who influenced the genre I write in, I would have to say Christine Feehan. I had never read paranormal before I read her Dark series. After that, I was hooked on all things paranormal. I would also say Sandra Hill played a roll in my writing time travels. I love her Viking series.
GRACIE: When did you get The Call and what was your first published book?
TIANNA: Virgin’s Blood was my first published book. I borrowed this from one of my son’s English papers—with his permission, of course. “Note to self: Never take 1000 dollars to a drug dealer. He will kill you for it.” When he read that sentence to me, something snapped and I suddenly had this picture of a man killing a woman amidst a mess of pizza boxes and spilled cocaine in my mind. I looked at my son and said, “Oh, my goodness! I just had a great idea for a book. Can I use that?” LOL
The first few lines of Virgin’s Blood were, “Never take 6000 dollars with you to a drug dealer. He will kill you for it.” After that, the rest came easily and The Chosen series became my first series of many and the only series I write in first person.
GRACIE: What do you know now about writing and the publishing industry that you wish you’d known before you started?
TIANNA: That it’s not as easy as everyone seems to think and you don’t get rich doing it. LOL Don’t get me wrong. I love writing and I do it because I love it, but those dreams of buying a new house and car were very nice, but still dreams, nonetheless. J
GRACIE: Please, give us a little story behind the story and what inspired your long-running Paradise series.
TIANNA: Actually, I started the Paradise saga writing a story for the Extasy Books Tarot series. I needed a book with characters that would fit the King of Wands card.
True to the character of my overachieving, sadist of a muse, I was forced—forced I tell you—to make the King of Wands book the first of a series with villains so nasty they would give most shape-shifting heroes the creeps. Thankfully, said muse allowed me to kill off most of the bad guys quickly and with extreme prejudice. Believe me, they deserved it.
GRACIE: What do you think are the drawbacks and perks of writing a series like Paradise?
TIANNA: The perks of writing a series are revisiting old friends, not having to dream up a new premise and stories almost guaranteed to be accepted by your publisher. LOL The drawbacks are few, but there.
After a while, you wonder why you’re still writing about a town or people who feel like relatives and start having a difficult time telling their stories because you feel like a voyeur. Isn’t that crazy? These people don’t even exist, but somehow, you feel as though you just might be invading their right to privacy.
GRACIE: In Woman Beware what do you think is Lena’s Achilles’ heel and how do you go about stomping it?
TIANNA: I’m not sure. She hasn’t shown a weakness yet. Well… other than Artu. Maybe a red shirt will be the death of her after all. LOL
GRACIE: In The Water Dragon Summer is an independent heroine who knows what she wants. Despite her being claimed by a chauvinist what do you believe makes Summer the perfect mate for Adrian and Adrian the perfect mate for Summer?
TIANNA: I think they will work well together. Water gives him strength and she can bring on the rain at a whim, now that she has his strength to anchor her.
GRACIE: Of all the stories you’ve written, which is your favorite and why?
TIANNA: Alicia: The Awakening is my favorite. There is a lot of history (sort of) in that story for me. If her emotions seem real, it’s because they are real. They are mine. Writing that book was a catharsis for me. It rid me of old fears, by making me see that I have become a strong woman just as Alicia became a strong woman after her ordeal. Letting go of all of that emotional baggage opened doors for me that had remained closed for years. It changed me and I’m better for it.
GRACIE: I know this is like asking a mother which is her favorite child, but which of your characters is your favorite and why?
TIANNA: Gabriel in Alicia: The Awakening. He was so patient and loving with Alicia, just as my husband has always been patient and loving with me. Well… he is when it really counts. LOL
GRACIE: What about your characters makes them unique?
TIANNA: They have their own unique code of honor. None of them are perfect, but they are always perfect for each other.
GRACIE: What is your favorite aspect of the writing process? Your least favorite?
GRACIE: Are you a pantser or do you outline?
TIANNA: I do a little bit of both. I’m a pantser when I’m especially excited about a storyline. I sometimes feel as though typing 100 words per minute isn’t fast enough. LOL
GRACIE: If you weren’t a writer, what other profession would you have chosen to pursue?
TIANNA: Actually, I would have been a quantum physicist—believe it or not. LOL
GRACIE: Who are some of your favorite authors and why? Name some of your favorite books and why they’re your favorites.
TIANNA: As I said, I love Christine Feehan’s Dark series. I love Sandra Hill’s Viking series and I adore the Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands.
I like Sandra Hill’s Viking series because I like the old-fashioned heroes who only want what’s best for their women. Guys like that are difficult to find these days. It isn’t impossible. I have one. He’s definitely a keeper.
I like Lynsay Sands and Christine Feehan’s vampire books because there is just something about a tall, dark and hungry vampire who can get rid of the bad guys with a flick of the wrist.
GRACIE: What are you working on now and what should readers be looking forward to from you in the future?
TIANNA: I’m working on book three of the Gate To Fate series, Reporting from Paradise, the next in the Dragon Bound series and I’m waiting for Viola to finish adding her part and ship the next DARE book back to me to write more in it.
GRACIE: Do you have a website and/or how can readers contact you?
TIANNA: Of course! My website is www.TiannaXander.com I’m on Facebook as Tianna Xander or readers can like my Tianna Xander Fans page. I’m also on Twitter @TiannaXander
GRACIE: Where and how can readers purchase and/or read samples of your work?
TIANNA: My website www.TiannaXander.com/books has blurbs and excerpts as well as my publisher’s websites. However, some excerpts are more explicit than others. There are also buy links for my books on my website.
GRACIE: What advice do you have for beginning writers?
TIANNA: To borrow a phrase from Galaxy Quest, “Never give up. Never surrender.”
Always keep learning about the craft. I’ve been published many times over and I’m still learning something new every day. Don’t let rejections get you down. EVERY published author has been rejected at least once. The secret is to keep on writing and keep on submitting your work. Sooner or later an editor will see the potential in your baby and tell you what you can do to convince them to make you an offer.
One more thing: You will never, and I mean never, please everyone. Don’t try. Don’t read reviews that have less than four stars if you must read reviews and never let a snarky or poor review stop you from writing book two or book two-hundred.
GRACIE: LOL, love the quote from one of my favoite movies! Anything else about yourself or your writing you’d like to share with your readers?
TIANNA: I love that my readers take the time from their busy lives to visit my worlds and fall in love with my characters. I thank them for their time and the effort it takes to leave reviews for their favorite titles.
GRACIE: Tianna, thanks so much for taking time from your busy schedule to share yourself and your work with us at The G-Spot and giving us a little insight into your prolific writing and the writing process! We’ll let you get back to writing those wonderful books you write! All the best!
TIANNA: Thank you for having me here at the G-Spot. It was a blast!