Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Interview: Tanya Stowe, Author of Tender Touch

Joining us today is Tanya Stowe, author of Tender Touch. Tanya has had an eclectic career in market research, arts education and event coordination. She has written for the real estate industry, television, publicity firms and national publications. Her first novel, Time’s Embrace, a time-travel adventure, was released in the United States in 1993 and internationally released in 1995. Most recently Tanya contributed to a collection of women’s survival stories titled, "Triumph! The Beautiful Face of Courage" and collaborated on her first full-length play, a Christmas musical titled "The Night Before Christmas."

Tanya has been a member of Romance Writers of America since 1992. She’s taught at writing conferences and numerous workshops as well as seminars and conferences throughout California. On her blog, Creative Writing Forces, she blogs about all things writing. Follow the workshops, classes and ups and downs of writing at www.creativewritingforces.blogspot.com.
Tanya has been married to her high school sweetheart for thirty-seven years. They have four children and seventeen grandchildren.

Welcome to my blog, Tanya. It's wonderful to have you here. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My husband was an Air Force brat. He lived all over the world, including Japan and Germany. I was born in Colorado and lived there until I was 11 years old.

We figured out that we were in Colorado about one hundred miles apart for about a year before he went to live in Germany. Then we both ended up in California and became high school sweethearts. Thirty plus years later, we’re going to travel again but this time together!

When did you begin writing?

I started writing in junior high because I didn’t like how my favorite television stories ended so I rewrote them in my head to my satisfaction. Finally I decided I could start the stories too, so I wrote my first book. I only stopped writing long enough to have my babies. When the fourth child was about three, I started writing again and never stopped.

What is the inspiration behind Tender Touch?

The inspiration for Tender Touch came shortly after I started writing again. My husband needed to go back to school. He worked and went to school full time so I was basically a single parent with four rambunctious children. My sister decided to help me out and planned a trip in her motor home through the California gold country. I loved the quaint towns we saw and I wondered how they survived after the gold ran out. It took me a long time to figure out why Lacy, my heroine, was living as a recluse on a mountain above a gold mining town.

What is one of the challenges you deal with as a writer?

I have a hard time with my characters. No matter how many character charts or interviews I do, I can’t get a handle on my characters until I write their story. I have to sit down and start writing. I have to let the characters play before I get a feel for them. And sometimes when I come to a dead stop, I know it’s because I’m making the character do something that isn’t right for them. When that happens, I know I finally have a realistic character. I couldn’t find the real Lacy for a long time. I had her as an early environmentalist, abused, multiple back stories and none worked until I finally realized she needed to be a healer.

What is Lacy's story?

She’s graced with the gift of healing. She can save strangers…even those undeserving…yet fails to save her mother. Rejecting her gift, God, and society, she's content to live alone high above the mining town of Harperville. But her solitude is shattered when Royce Darnell builds a water flume through the middle of her mountain. To protect her sanctuary, Lacy sabotages his efforts. Little does she expect Royce to track her through a blizzard and end up half frozen to death on her doorstep. She can heal him, but why should she when he threatens to steal her peace...and her heart? With the livelihood of the miners and their families depending on his project, Royce refuses to stop building, no matter how good the reason or how lovely the masked saboteur turns out to be. Besides, he's convinced God wants Lacy to use her gift for good and not to hole up in her cabin like a reticent recluse afraid of human contact. But first, she must learn to trust, and Lacy doesn't trust anyone, not Royce and especially not God. Soon Royce finds himself in a battle to save the two things he loves the most…Harperville and Lacy. Is his faith strong enough to save them both?

Where can readers purchase a copy of Tender Touch?

Readers can purchase Tender Touch online through my publisher, White Rose Publishing, http://www.whiterosepublishing.com/. The website also has other fabulous stories to download and a great reader’s loop!

Is there anything you would like to add?

I’m running a contest on my website, http://www.tanyastowe.com/, titled God’s Healing Touch. I love stories about God working in our lives so I’m looking for short, 2 paragraph submissions about His healing, mental or physical, in your life. The winner will receive a lovely handmade necklace and I’m going to post the story on my blog, http://www.creativewritingforces.blogpsot.com/ in February. In between all the interviews, signings and contests for Tender Touch, I’m working on the story of two secondary characters. Alex and Penny have a heart wrenching story of their own to tell. I hope to finish Tender Trust sometime in the spring … before I head over for our big adventure in the Middle East!

Thanks for spending time with us today, Tanya. We wish you continued success and safe journeys.

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