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Today I’m on the ‘Him Improvement’ blogtour, organised by
About the Author :
Tanya Chris writes feminist-friendly romance in a variety of sub-genres and pairings–most especially M/M. Born on the West Coast and raised on the East Coast, she’s fact-based but thirsty for justice, and her books often include an examination of a current social issue, even when they’re set in the past. As a lifelong genre-hopping reader herself, she admires character-driven work with a message, regardless of the form it takes.
Tanya is an avid rock climber, a long-distance runner, and a participant in her local community theater where she has tackled most roles, including playwright, actor, director, producer, and stage manager. Her travels, both for climbing trips and for cultural exploration, have brought her to places as fascinating as Egypt and as beautiful as the Dolomites, though there’s no place like home.
Tanya is best known to readers for having written Aftercare and to writers for the quote “Writer culture is researching what degree is needed to be a paleontologist so your shapeshifting vampire dinosaur erotica will be authentic.” Her website features dozens of free stories, including the aforementioned (and highly authentic) shapeshifting vampire dinosaur erotica.
Book Title: Him Improvement
Author: Tanya Chris
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza
Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance
Trope/s: enemies to lovers, opposites attract, millionaire, age gap
Themes: gentrification, compromise
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: 60 000 words / 161 pages
The course of true love runs through every neighborhood….
Only one thing stands between Gregory MacPherson II and his dream revitalization project for the gritty neighborhood of Ball’s End: a rinky-dink, run-down used bookstore called Hailey’s Comic. But when master negotiator Mac shows up to make a deal with the owner, he comes face-to-face with quirky, colorful Hailey—unexpectedly good-humored about Mac’s attempted eviction and, also unexpectedly, a hot guy.
Hailey won’t give up his lease, no matter how much money Mac offers. When it comes to consummating their mutual attraction, though, he’s a lot more flexible. Soon Mac has as hard a time prying himself out of Hailey’s bed as he does prying Hailey out of the building. But Hailey doubts Mac’s plans serve Ball’s End’s best interests, and he insists Mac give him a chance to prove his case. If they’re going to build a happy ever after, one of them will have to be remade….
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
I live in the United States, in Connecticut. When I travel outside of the US, I usually say I live in New York because no one’s ever heard of Connecticut, but it’s pretty nice here. I was born on the west coast in the Seattle area and most of my family still live there, but I’ve mostly lived here since I was 8.
I always knew I wanted to be an author but I had a problem with the part where you put your butt in the chair and actually write. It was NaNoWriMo that changed things for me. NaNoWriMo is an annual event where you challenge yourself to write 50,000 words in the month of November, and in order to do that, you have to write fast. No wallowing in self-loathing. So I discovered that the trick for me is to write in haste and edit at leisure. Once I have a first draft, I can work from there.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
I was a huge Nancy Drew fan. We didn’t have a lot of money for books, and the library didn’t carry them for some reason, so a new Nancy Drew book was a rare treat. As soon as I got one, it’d be finished already. Maybe that’s how I developed my habit of re-reading favorites.
As an adult, I’ve gone through phases. For a couple of years I read nothing but True Crime. Then it was non-fiction. For a while I was trying to read everything on the Modern Library’s 100 Best list. Nowadays, it’s mostly M/M Romance.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I really admire Nora Phoenix’s marketing genius, but I have to admit that even if I had direct access to all her knowledge, I probably wouldn’t apply it. My marketing skills are poor at least in part because I don’t want to sharpen them.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
The characters in my My Guys series (My Guys, Mine, and You, Me & Her) are like real people to me. They’re theater people and rock climbers, and so am I. I used my own climbing gym and local amateur theater as models for the ones in the books, and I keep expecting to run into my fictional friends there.
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
I prefer silence to music. I write better if someone is writing along with me—either next to me, in person, or doing a word sprint online. I’m not really a morning person, so I try to edit in the morning and draft in the afternoon, but if someone’s willing to meet me to write in the morning, then I’ll draft in the morning. Right now I’m sitting on my deck. 🙂
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
It usually starts with “If I were going to write a book about x, what would it be?” For Him Improvement, it was “what’s an issue that there are legitimately two sides to?” I came up with the answer of gentrification, so I put my two characters on opposite sides of that issue.
I don’t really base characters off of real life people, and I don’t kill my characters, so I don’t think anyone needs to be worried.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I’m definitely a pantser. I can’t plot at all. That’s why the NaNoWriMo free-for-all method works so well for me. It does sometimes mean heavier editing for the start of the book, but more often than not I’m surprised by how the plot works itself out as I go.
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
I worry about a lot of the tips I see passed around because they’re so finicky and black-and-white, as if you can write well by compiling a list of words you shouldn’t use and somehow eliminating them. I think your best bet is to write and then read what you wrote. Repeatedly.
What are your future plans as an author?
Write. Read what I wrote. Repeatedly. 🙂
More seriously, I’ve got some great books in the works, including a Regency, a new BDSM series, a climbing book set at the Olympics, and more omegaverse books. I enjoy mixing it up and can’t bring myself to settle on one genre. Maybe I’ll even end up back in M/F someday.
Last, but not least, can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
“You know what I like about you?” Hailey asked.
Mac straightened up with a shake of his head. He knew what people usually liked about him. He was a handsome man with strong features and thick hair. He came from money, had turned that into more money of his own, had the manners and confidence to comport himself anywhere. He made decisions quickly but logically, took action when others froze, and played a good game of hockey. But he expected to hear something different from Hailey—maybe that he had a bright aura or had been some form of cuddly animal in a previous life.
“Your shoulders. I’m a sucker for a guy with good posture. You had that suit on in the store, but I could still tell. Is that not okay to say?”
“I was expecting something more… well, less superficial.” He’d wanted Hailey to see something in him, something he maybe hadn’t even known was there himself, a goodness of some kind.
“Like that you have a beautiful soul? We all do, don’t we? Your beautiful soul happens to be topped by an impressive pair of shoulders. But all right, I’ll tell you what I meant to say before I got distracted by them. I like how transparent you are.”
“I’m not transparent.” He was a consummate businessman, a master of impassivity.
“But you are.”
Thanks for having me on your blog!
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Tanya Chris.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
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