ONE THING with Tanya Michaels!

Posted by at Jun 2, 2010 6:00 am

As you all know, I missed Saturday’s post of our ONE THING feature because I was in New York for the Book Expo. (Okay, I didn’t actually say WHERE I was…but that’s where I was!) So I’m giving today over to the wonderful, Tanya Michaels, whose brand new Harlequin American Romance is out next week!

For those of you who don’t read our Saturday feature, ONE THING is where a successful published author answers the question: What is the one thing you know now that you wish you’d known back when you first started? It’s a great way to get advice from people who living the dream! Also, Tanya is giving away a backlist book (US shipping only) to someone who comments–writer or reader!

So without further ado…welcome to the jungle, Tanya! Tell us…what is the one thing you know now that you WISH you knew when you were an aspiring writer?

That it doesn’t get easier–wait, wait, that’s actually a positive and not the negative it sounds like! See, when I first sold, I had a naive belief that once your foot was in the door, that was it. You’d arrived. Oh, I didn’t expect that my editor would think every idea I turned in from then on was solid gold, but I figured if she didn’t like it, we’d discuss revisions, ways that I could make it work for her. I wasn’t expecting to hear a flat-out “NO.” So after I’d sold a couple of books, when that happened, I figured the first two had been flukes. That was it, the tide had turned. Apparently, I was over. I honestly didn’t realize that successful authors who’ve been doing this longer than I am still occasionally get told NO. And it happens for a variety of reasons–maybe the idea rocks out loud, it’s just slightly too similar to another they just bought. Maybe they’re trying to brand the line in a new direction and your idea would have been just perfect for the old direction. Conversely, maybe it’s ahead of its time and you’ll have more luck with it next year. Maybe someone on the decision-making team was just feeling cranky that day. The point is, when you get told NO, you brush yourself off and try again.

And while I can’t speak for anyone else, for me at least the actual writing part has become more difficult. I’ve now sold almost thirty books and I’ve learned a lot in the process, which means I’m a bit more critical while drafting. On the other hand, it also means–quite happily–that my last few books, while more grueling to write, had far, far fewer revisions and rewrites. Plus, having survived enough “difficult” manuscripts, I don’t tend to panic as often. Okay, that’s not true. I totally panic. But my husband points out that the same time last year, I was panicking in the exact same spot on the book that has now finaled for an award, or I’ll comb through emails declaring that I’ll never be able to finish the book until I find the email heralding “Yay, I’ve finished!” I guess the point is, I’ve stopped expecting it to get easier. Maybe it’s right that stories worth telling are difficult, forcing you to reach deep emotionally and mentally, because readers deserve your best effort. I’ve made my peace with that–but sometimes I wish it hadn’t taken me so many books to do so!

It’s possible that in another thirty books, I will have come full circle and it really WILL have gotten easier. But I doubt it :-)

Tanya’s new book, The Best Man in Texas, is in stores now!

Brooke Nichols spent her entire childhood bouncing through states, school districts and more than a few of her parents’ ill-conceived “adventures.” Now, she’s finally found some stability. Engaged to a gorgeous, gainfully employed businessman—who always calls when he says he will—Brooke is eager to settle down once and for all. No alarms, no surprises.

Certainly, she would never consider a relationship with someone like her fiancé’s best friend, firefighter Jake McBride. With his frequent footloose jaunts and a career that involves leaping into dangerous situations, Jake is everything Brooke’s fiancé is not: raw, spontaneous and passionate. But passion isn’t everything…is it?

As Jake keeps pushing Brooke’s boundaries, and her buttons, the girl who hates surprises might just end up surprising everyone, especially herself.

30 Comments

30 thoughts on “ONE THING with Tanya Michaels!

  1. 1
    Stacy ~ says:

    Hey Tanya (former Hellion) it’s great to have you here! I guess I would have thought the same thing about pitching an idea. I never knew that even now the word “NO” might be a deterrent for an established author. Seems you have a pretty healthy attitude about it.

    I love the premise for The Best Man In Texas & plan on looking for it in stores!

  2. 2
    Diana D says:

    “The point is, when you get told NO, you brush yourself off and try again.”

    Good advice for everyone, even those of us who aren’t writers! Thank you.

  3. 3
    Carly says:

    Hi, Tanya! No, it never gets easier to hear “No”. Boy have I learned that a lot lately! This isn’t a career for the thin skinned. Then again, life isn’t for the thin skinned! And writing each book does get harder!!! But it’s so rewarding when you finally hit “THE END”. I definitely related to your entire post! :applause:

  4. 4
    Laurie G says:

    My children always enjoyed the story of “The Little Engine That Could”. The theme is important through all of our lives. I’m so glad you pushed on …ups and downs. It’s wonderful to have a supportive husband or family to encourage you too.

    I didn’t realize that every book was a struggle. Authors “seem” to produce books fairly easily. It’s interesting to get an inside look at the birth and delivery of a book.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. 5
    ev says:

    Having it easy is never as appreciated as having worked your butt off for it- then you know you earned it. And boy, has that never been so true for me as the last few weeks. Actually, for most anything. So I can understand what you are saying. That “no” may suck then, but the next “yes” is so sweet to get. No?

  6. 6
    Paula R. says:

    Hello Tanya, welcome to the jungle. I love the message here: “when you get told NO, you brush yourself off and try again.” As most people already said, this is a very important LIFE lesson. We will hear the word no so many times in our lives that we should take it for what it is and move on. It can be quite a learning experience.

    Thank you for sharing with us today. Have a great rest of the day.

    Jules, how was BEA? I will swing by later.

    Peace and love,
    Paula R.

  7. 7
    katie says:

    Welcome to the jungle, Tanya.

    • 7.1
      katie says:

      Things like this remind me of when my oldest(with autism, you know I always have a story about him, LOL)….he wasn’t talking and the therapists didn’t know if he would and I was BOUND and DETERMINED to hear in my lifetime “I love you (and have him mean it)”. Short story short, we worked every day and a month later, I got it!

  8. 8
    Cher Gorman says:

    Welcome to the Jungle, Tanya :partygroup:

    “The point is, when you get told NO, you brush yourself off and try again. ”

    Great message today. Sometimes it’s easier said than done but if we want anything in this life we have to fight for it.

    Thanks for being here today,

    Cher

  9. 9

    Thanks so much guys for having me!

    Carly, you couldn’t be more right that isn’t for the thin-skinned (which makes it such an odd choice for me. I was always the most sensitive person in my family.)

    Laurie wrote “I didn’t realize that every book was a struggle”

    Actually Laurie, the analogy you used in your post: “birth and delivery” felt pretty accurate. It takes month, by the time I’m finished, I’m whining around the house about how I need to get this thing OUT (to my editor) and it usually feels pretty painful (but no anesthesiologist comes to my house LOL). Yet when I’m all done, I’m glad I did it and seem to mentally block out the worst of it before I have to do it again :D

    Ev, you’re right in that people appreciate what they work for hard and earn. But I admit to occasional fantasies about having it easy anyway, LOL.

  10. 10
    Regan says:

    Great observations, Tanya! As usual! I keep telling myself anything worth having takes effort and persistence. Your message is such a candid, positive reminder.

    Thanks!

    Regan

  11. 11

    >>Your message is such a candid, positive reminder.<<

    Thank you so much for saying "positive!" I like for writers to be forewarned about what they're getting into but I hate to think that I ever sound all doom and gloom about it. This writing gig is definitely tough, but it’s by no means impossible. :cheer:

  12. 12
    Colleen says:

    Positive, definitely try to stay that way for all things in life… keep on going and hope for the best… congrats on 30 books! :flowers4you:

  13. 13
    Donna M says:

    Hi Tanya, welcome to the jungle. Your message is positive, no is not the end of the world. No gives you a chance to improve and grow, but it isn’t always easy.

    Since reading blogs by the Plotmonkeys & other favorite authors I have learned what a difficult job writing is. I am grateful to all those that persevere and grow because I love to read. There is such a wealth of books to choose from that I often have trouble deciding! :applause: :dancingmonk:

  14. 14
    Sally says:

    What? It doesn’t get easier? I’m kidding because this is great advice to remember.

  15. 15
    Jane says:

    Congrats on the new release, Tanya. Congrats on all your success.

  16. 16

    Thanks, Jane! And thanks everyone for dropping by to chime in.

    >>>I am grateful to all those that persevere and grow because I love to read. There is such a wealth of books to choose from that I often have trouble deciding! <<<

    You and me both, Donna! Isn't that a great problem to have? :) I always, always have a list of books I'm looking forward to buying and a stack of books somewhere in the house I'm lokoing forward to reading and I wouldn't have it any other way!

  17. 17
    Ellen says:

    I love the “one thing” blogs. I learn something new about the authors everytime.
    Most often, the one thing relates to life in general, not just writing. Tanya, thanks for a thought provoking piece.
    :readbook2:

  18. 18
    pat says:

    Thanks for the insight.

  19. 19
    Linda says:

    I’d say your post applies to life in general not just writing. Of course, a few nos make the yeses that much sweeter.

    Congrats on the new release

    Linda

  20. 20
    Robin C. says:

    I think that is a good attitude…if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again!! It carries over into many aspects of life!!

  21. 21
    Linda Henderson says:

    Great bookcover, I can’t wait to read your latest book.

  22. 22

    Katie, what an amazing story about your son–thank you for sharing that!

    Linda, I have to say, I like the cover too! I was feeling REALLY greatful to the art dept. when I saw it, but then they outdid themselves with the cover for the Sept sequel (Texas Baby). Honestly I think I like that one even better.

    Thanks again everyone! The jungle I normally spend all my time with is a messy house populate with shrieking children and shedding cats–this was better :-)

  23. 23
    kh says:

    congrats on the book
    love your tempations books

  24. 24
    Andrea I says:

    That’s a great mesage for anyone. Sometimes you forget to brush yourself off and try again after NO. I can relate to shedding cats; never know how much hair I might find on my clothes when I get to work.

    ;)

  25. 25
    Rebecca Booth says:

    Hi Tanya, Great Review! Reading is the best medicine through all hardships.
    God Bless!

  26. 26
    Rebecca Booth says:

    Julie,
    I am reading a book written by my cousin, Lilly Gayle. This is her first book, OUT OF DARKNESS.
    These reviews are included in her book.
    Praise for Lilly Gayle
    “If you’re looking for an edge-of-your-seat paranormal, OUT OF DARKNESS is an enthralling story that combines the best of suspense with a sexy vampire romance. The unexpected plot turns will leave you breathless and aching with sympathy for Vincent’s tragic and utterly real desire to be human, made even more desperate by the unbidden love growing for Megan. OUT OF DARKNESS is a compelling and satisfying read in one of my favorite genres.”
    ~Amy Corwin, author of I Bid One American ans Outrageous Behavior
    ~”Lilly Gayle is an exciting new voice in the world of paranormal romance. ~Jenna Black
    I am so proud of my cousin. Her website is http://www.lillygayle.com

    Thanks!
    :reading:

  27. 27
    Patty L. says:

    Ok, so I missed yesterday post but I had to stop and comment because Tanya Michaels is an auto-buy for me. I love her books, the characters are sassy and alpha and wonderful. Ms. Michaels, please keep writing such great books and I promise to keep buying. :cooldance:

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