Bestselling Author Tijan has 23 books published with several more in the works. She is not only an amazing writer but, an amazing person. She does a lot to help encourage, promote, and share indie writers with the book community. Recently we asked her a few questions about her writing and this is what she had to say.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
No! That’s the funny thing. Writing never ever entered my head. I was, somewhat, logical when I was younger. I was bound and determined to get a regular and steady job. I was either going to be a counselor or lawyer. I took one political science in college and knew being a lawyer was out, so I went the counseling route. All that changed after I already graduated college. I had storylines in my head and one summer, I sat down at the computer and started typing them out. Once I started, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I’ve never stopped since!
Are you a full time writer? If so, what did you do in your “previous life?”
Yep. I’m full-time. As for the previous life, I did go to graduate school for counseling, but I wasn’t counseling before I became a full-time writer. I felt like I had to pick which path to take when I finished school. I was going to be a counselor, but something bad happened at my graduate internship and that changed my mind. I decided to throw caution to the wind. I took an old job, one that I always had done since high school, because I felt I could work during the day and then write the rest of the day into the evening. I was a nursing assistant, and I still miss it. I really loved being a nurse aide.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self?
I wanted to write a book my freshman year in college. I said something to my roommate and she laughed at me. She made me feel stupid about it, so I never pursued it. I wish I had started writing back then. That’s the advice I would’ve given myself, is not to listen to the naysayers.
Do you work on one storyline at a time or do you have multiple storylines in the pipeline?
This always changes. If I have time, I’ll work on a few different books. If I don’t have time, if I have a deadline, I’ll focus on one book at a time and really bang out some chapters.
Let’s play favorites! Who is your favorite character you’ve written?
Shane Chen. She was the first character I wrote, and she’s still with me. I think about her a lot, but she’s been in my head so it’s like she’s too close for me to write now. Her series was my first series I ever wrote. It was ten books and all of them were so horribly written, that I retired the series, but I really want to write one last book for her.
Have you experienced any of your stories personally?
Nope. There’s one book that I have to write, that touches my life personally, but I haven’t written it yet. To be honest, I don’t even know if I’ll write that under my penname. I may use a different name for it.
What are your biggest distractions?
FACEBOOK!! Pretty much that. Lol.
What is your least favorite part of the writing or publishing process?
The editing and getting feedback stage. Even if feedback is constructive and helpful, it starts to wear on you. I think the other part is promoting too. It’s hard to promote, at least it is for me. I’m the happiest when I’m offline and writing.
Do you find it difficult, or challenging to write from the male POV?
Not really, but who knows, maybe I’m not doing it right. I grew up with guys. There were few females in my family and most of my friends in life were guys. I feel at ease writing the male POV. I’m also a tomboy too.
What activities do you enjoy outside of writing?
Spending time with Jason, and my dog. Seeing family/friends. Movies. TV. Cleaning. Organizing.
Do you have a favorite author or book?
Not really. My favorites always change.
Ever think you have a great idea for a book, only to find out someone released the same storyline already?
The exact same storyline? There’s same character names and same genres (stepbrother, fighter, bounty hunter) that other authors have done as well as me, though.
Have you ever had writer’s block and how do you work through it?
If I’m feeling blocked, there’s something wrong with either me or the story. I listen to that feeling. Sometimes, I’ll skip over a scene if that’s what is blocking me. Or sometimes, I just make myself start writing. I feel like writing is like a muscle. The more you stretch it and use it, the more you can do, but you also have to rest too. If I’ve got nothing left in me to write, I listen and I won’t write for a couple days.
Do you ever find yourself jumping up from the dinner to table to jot down a scene that just ran through your head?
Not as much anymore, but in the first few years all the time! I wrote for almost ten years before I published and another two before one of my books did well. In that time, I was doing that stuff all the time, but I think it had to do with being rested. I wasn’t writing all the time and I didn’t feel pressure to write. I was just literally doing it for myself.
What does your writing workspace look like?
Pretty clean right now. lol I got a brand new desk, so that helps. I learned the cleaner my office is, the more productive I am.
Sharing your work with the public has to be scary. How do you respond to negative reviews?
I don’t. I used to read them, but I don’t anymore. I’m sure there’s really horrible and nasty stuff out there, but a person can only read so many negative stuff about your writing. I now have a system where someone I trust will read the negative reviews. If there’s something I really need to know, that will help me learn, that person will share it.
Do you have any visuals for your characters from any of your books?
No. Maybe I should, that might help, but I don’t. I have a general idea in my head and I work with that description, but I really like letting the reader forming their own visualization of my characters.
Can you tell us what you are working on next?
Logan’s book! I’m half way done. I’m working on the conclusion of Davy Harwood after that, then I’m taking a break, and after that will be the New Year. I do have a secret project I’ll take some time to work on, but it’s a lot of Fallen Crest for me in 2016.
What is in your purse right now?
Wallet. IBProfen. Chapstick. Some receipts from where I mailed some swag packs to people. Some loose change. My headphones, if I decide I want to get in the writing zone and need music, and a coffee shop gift card.
Do you have a favorite scene or book of your own?
I think when Taryn decides to let go of her worries, and she jumps. I really love that scene. Otherwise, there’s some amazing scenes in the Fallen Crest books. A lot of those give me goosebumps.
Books by Tijan
Fallen Crest Series
Carter Reed Series
Broken and Screwed Series
Immortal Prophecy Series
More About Tijan
I didn’t start writing till later in life. I hope I’m doing it right, and if not, I’ll continue to keep trying! Nothing special about me. I’ve got an English Cocker that I absolutely adore, a man I couldn’t be without, and this insatiable need to keep writing the words, all the words!