Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am originally from England and moved to the United States in 1979. When I met my husband in the 90’s I became a commercial fisherwoman and fished off the southern coast of California for ten years. They were the most brilliant times of my life, thus far. I am the youngest daughter of science fiction author, James P. Hogan and I owe my passion for reading and writing to him. My other passions include, hiking, fishing, camping, kayaking, and riding ATV’s RECKLESS BEGINNINGS is my first novel and I’m currently working on a sequel titled BETTER ENDINGS and also a prequel, THE JOURNALS OF TAMMY MELLOWS
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
Reckless Beginnings is women’s fiction based on True events that have happened in my life. Tammy Mellows, (the main character) is me. I wanted it to read like a story and not a memoir, (personal choice,) therefore, names, places and some facts about certain events have been altered.
I developed a passion for writing at the early age of fourteen. I think having an author for a father had something to do with it. It was around this time, one of my older sisters ran away and couldn’t be found. Unable to search for her, I became frustrated and began writing in a journal to gather my thoughts. My book begins with the disappearance of my sibling.
A few years later and with my sister still missing, chaos began to erupt in my own life. I was on a path of making hideous choices and in denial because I wanted the white picket fence and the perfect American family life and ignored any signs that may disrupt that dream.
I allowed my life to be dictated by a heroin addict, the father of my child. Believing that his needs were more important than mine, I got swallowed up in his lifestyle, losing my sense of direction, courage, and identity. Throughout the chaos, I continued to write in my journals.
During that time, I searched for books written by other women that found themselves in the same predicament as myself but came up short. I only discovered “How to” books, but they were not the voices I wanted to hear. I needed to know how they coped. What did they do? I wondered what their everyday lives were like; I yearned for some sort of connection with someone. I had so many unanswered questions.
That was when the seed was planted for my debut novel, Reckless Beginnings. But it didn’t happen right away. I tucked it away and continued to struggle with the battles in my life.
Twenty years later I still had not written the book, but the thought never left me. When my father suddenly passed away in 2010 and a year later I was diagnosed with breast cancer I began to think seriously about the book and began writing the outline. Eight years later it’s finally published. (Phew.)
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
If you consider having a need to be barefoot while I write unusual, then I do. I’m not sure why this is a must when I sit down to write. I think it has something to do with being able to wriggle my toes while I’m contemplating the next line and I’m deep in thought. I guess It’s part of my thinking process.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Other than my father, there are so many great ones to choose from. But if I have to choose just one then it has to be Lisa Gardner. She never disappoints me with her mystery thriller. I love her style of writing and the suspense build up in every novel. Her books usually pull me in within the first page and I find myself engaged throughout the entire story. For me, her books are hard to put down. Now that’s a good book.
Other greats for me are the all-time classic authors, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and both Emily & Charlotte Bronte.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on a sequel titled BETTER ENDINGS and also a prequel, THE JOURNALS OF TAMMY MELLOWS
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
My Book is fairly new and I’m still experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t. Having an author’s page on Facebook is a huge asset and I ‘ve gained quite a following. I do most of my promotions there but branching out to other venues. Pinterest has been great. I started a group board for authors, readers, and writers and that has helped with followers and exposure. Here is the link if allowed. https://www.pinterest.com/tinahogangrant/authors-readers-writers-everything-books-group-boa/ anyone is welcome to request to join
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Keep writing and read a lot. It doesn’t matter what you write, a story, poem, journal, letters. Just write every day. Use writing prompts. They are a great way to get your creative juices flowing. Join writing groups on Facebook and websites. Talk to other writers, mingle in the groups. Read what you like to write. Learn from the successful authors. Pay attention to their writing. Ask yourself why you like him/her as an author?
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
My father’s favorite answer to me while growing was “There’s no such word as Can’t.” I’ve lived by that motto my whole life. I’m not a quitter, I love a challenge and I WILL achieve what I set out to do.
What are you reading now?
I run the book club at our local library. We are currently reading STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel. A compelling novel about the end of the world how we know it today that currently has me intrigued.
What’s next for you as a writer?
After completing the sequel and prequel I have plans to start a new series which I’m excited about.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
Oh my, that’s a tough question. With so many books to choose from. I absolutely love J.R. Tolkien’s Hobbit series and they provide great reading material that I can read over and over again. So the entire series would be my choice.