Interview with Author Tanya W. Newman

My guest today is author Tanya W. Newman. Hello! Welcome to Writing in the Modern Age! It’s such a pleasure to have you here.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?

My latest book release is entitled The Good Thief, which came out in April of this year. The Good Thief centers on shy bookstore owner Scotlyn Carter, who survived a traumatic bank robbery and subsequent kidnapping two days before Christmas. She escaped, but not before hearing one robber’s promise to find her—and kill her when he does.  

Three months later, James McIntyre, the high school flame whose easy smile and mysterious eyes she could never forget, walks back into her life. Not only does she fall for James, but she also feels safe with him, and begins to think that maybe the robbers have moved on and will not find her.

But James is not all that he seems. He is back in Scotlyn’s life for a reason and has been in contact with the very thieves who kidnapped her. And he’s harboring a dark secret that, if brought to light, could not only destroy their relationship—it could end their very lives.

My next book to be released by Black Opal is also a romance called Winter Rain that centers on three musicians—Spencer, Isabel, and Thomas—who are all working with the same band and who find themselves in a love triangle that ultimately has tragic repercussions. It should be released in 2017. I’m also currently working on a sequel to The Good Thief.

The Good Thief is available through my publisher, Black Opal Books, as well as through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 

Wow! That's great! Congrats on your debut novel! :)

So, is there anything that prompted The Good Thief? Something that inspired you?

Ideas just come to me, usually in the form of characters or images. For instance, with The Good Thief, I kept seeing this image in my mind of this woman walking toward a man. Everything was dark all around, the woman’s wrists were tied together, and there was a lot of fear and anger between them, but there was also love. A question of how they got to that point grew from there. I didn’t know the characters or their motivations, whether they were good or evil, et cetera, at that point, but I knew that I was interested and I couldn’t get that image out of my mind.
Riveting! It's fascinating how the muse works, isn't it? ;)
Let's try a different question.
When did you know you wanted to write? Or has it always been a pastime of yours?

I wrote my first book at the age of ten. I had long been an avid reader (particularly of horse stories), and when I began my summer vacation between fifth and sixth grade, I decided to try my hand at writing a book of my own. It took me all summer long and by the time I was done, I had a whopping thirty handwritten pages! I even designed a cover based on pictures I’d cut out of magazines and did a little 'About the Author' page at the end.  

That summer definitely cemented my love of writing and storytelling, as it was a trend that I continued well throughout high school. It wasn’t until college, though, that I knew writing was what I wanted to do with my life. I started out as a Journalism major, but after taking a course in Early American Literature, I was inspired to change my major to English. A certain professor (who I still keep in touch with today) and a creative writing class reignited my love of fiction writing, specifically.

Nice! I love to hear about an author's journey. 

Do you have any favorite authors yourself, Tanya?

Andre Dubus III. I was astonished by House of Sand and Fog as well as The Garden of Last Days. I’m currently reading his latest, a collection of stories called Dirty Love. He is a masterful writer, whether through story or essay form. I also love works by Stephen King, Fitzgerald, Nicholas Sparks, Hemingway as well as  Ron Rash’s Serena, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, Mary Kubica’s The Good Girl, Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train, and Elizabeth Haynes’s Into the Darkest Corner. Each features strong storylines and female characters (even if they’re not always good), and they all focus on a romantic relationship (not always happy, but always interesting!).

When I need something lighter and an “at home” feeling, I turn to Debbie Macomber. 

Do you write in a specific place? Time of day? 

I have a comfortable chair in our living room that serves as my favorite writing spot. I’ll take my laptop, a cup of coffee, and usually a snack of some kind, power up my playlist, read over what I’ve most recently written, and write the most that I can. I don’t have a specific time of day, but mid-morning on Fridays after I drop the kids at school works well because I’m off that day.
Sounds like a plan!

So...are there any words you'd like to impart to fellow writers? Any advice?

Read, and read a lot!  Keep books on your nightstand, in your bag, downloaded to your phone or tablet; listen to them in your car. Reading is a great way to get started, get inspired, find what you like and want to write, and then just write.  

Write what you want to write, what you feel the most about. I’m a writing instructor, but one thing I feel and that I always try to impart to my students is that the only way to get better is to keep doing it. Write a little every day if you can and you will eventually discover your own style and voice. 
How true! Thank you for offering those words of wisdom to our readers. 

And thanks so much for stopping by to visit us here today at Writing in the Modern Age. It was wonderful having you!  :)
Readers, here is the blurb for The Good Thief.
Two days before Christmas, shy bookstore owner Scotlyn Carter survived a traumatic bank robbery and subsequent kidnapping. Now, three months later, she still wakes up hearing the robber’s promise to find her—and kill her.

Then James McIntyre, the high school flame whose easy smile and mysterious eyes she could never forget, walks back into her life. As she falls for him once again, Scotlyn slowly begins to feel safe for the first time in a long time and thinks that maybe her nightmare will not come true, after all.

But James is not all that he seems. He is back in Scotlyn’s life for a reason and has been in contact with the very thieves who kidnapped her. And he’s harboring a dark secret that, if brought to light, could not only destroy their relationship—it could end their very lives.

Here is an excerpt.

It was mid-April, and they had barely left one another’s side. Scotlyn smiled as she looked at the ceiling, enjoying a lazy Saturday morning in James’s bed. Ever since he’d come back to her that night, they’d been seeing each other four and five times a week, going to movies, for walks late at night, for runs in the morning, to Roman’s for dinner.

Their times together frequently lasted well into the night and they’d ended up staying over at one another’s houses on many occasions, eventually leaving things like toothbrushes, shampoo, and various articles of clothing. Scotlyn remembered waking up one morning and finding a T-shirt James had lost tucked into her sheets and smiling at the scent he’d left behind on it.

He hadn’t left her again, and still hadn’t revealed the reason he had before. They hadn’t talked about it or the robbery again. For some reason, all of that seemed to be getting farther away in Scotlyn’s mind, a feeling she really loved.

It was like they were focusing on just being together, happy. No expectations or conflicts. It was as if the past didn’t matter so much anymore. She hadn’t even had to see Dr. Brenner as much, who told her she was looking better with each session.

“I guess love agrees with me,” she’d admitted to him.

“Agrees with me,” she now said out loud.

“What?” James asked.

“Nothing,” she said, shaking her head.

“Where are you?” he asked.

He was lying on his back, too, right beside her, though she could’ve sworn he was farther away from the moment than she.

“Right here with you,” she said. “You?”

“I’m here,” he said.

“Could’ve fooled me,” she said, turning over to face him and tucking her arm underneath her head. He didn’t turn to face her, just stayed there with his hands laced behind his head, looking at the ceiling.

“Hey,” he said all of a sudden.

“Hey,” she said.

He bounced around in bed to face her, an excited expression on his face now. “Come away with me,” he said.

“Away?” Scotlyn repeated, raising her eyebrows. “Where?”

“Anywhere,” he said. “The beach, the mountains, California, or Montana—”

“Whoa!” Scotlyn said, sitting up.

“I’ve got money,” he said, sitting up with her and rubbing her back. “I’ll pay for everything.”

“It’s not that,” she said. “It’s just…I don’t know…”

“You took off before when you were only twenty-two,” he reminded her.

“Yeah, but that took months of planning.”

“Well, you were alone,” he said. “Now you have me.”

Scotlyn looked at him, smiled, and leaned over to kiss him. “Yeah,” she said. “But…”

James waited, his hand still on her back.

“My dad,” she said. “The store…I don’t know if I can leave him.”

James sighed and rubbed her back some more. How she wanted to say yes, but didn’t know who she could get to help her.

“How is it you can take off like that?” she asked.

James shrugged. “Dad’s pretty well got everything under control at the garage, hired another guy to come in a few times a week. He could spare me.”

“Hmm,” Scotlyn said. She thought about asking Jane if she could help out. Her father knew Jane and trusted her with everything if he couldn’t come in. Jane could probably use the extra money, too. It would take some training, but maybe they could work it out.

“I don’t know,” she said. “Let me do some thinking. Can I let you know tonight?”

James leaned in and kissed her before settling back into the pillows and pulling her with him. “Sure.”

They stayed together like that until Scotlyn could feel her stomach starting to growl and she realized how long it had been since she’d eaten anything. Last night, they’d bypassed dinner altogether, opting instead to just come back to James’s house and to his bed.

“Hey,” she said.


“Would you do something for me?” she asked.


“Would you cook breakfast for me? I’m starving.”

“I’m a terrible cook. Why don’t we just go out?”

“Because I’m way too comfortable,” she said, sitting up and winking at him. “I trust you.”

James laughed. “Well, I guess I can try.”

“Good,” she said, nestling back into the pillows. He leaned forward to kiss her once before getting out of bed and throwing on a T-shirt and jeans.

“I’m pretty sure you don’t need to get dressed to cook breakfast—”

“I don’t have anything I can cook,” he said, pulling on some shoes. He grabbed his keys off the dresser. “I’ll be back soon.”

“I’ll be here,” she said.

She heard him close the back door behind him and stared at the ceiling for a while, enjoying the moment until deciding to go ahead and make some coffee. She sat up and stretched a long moment before pulling on her jeans and top and walking lazily to the kitchen. She found a bag of coffee grounds in the refrigerator, filled the pot with water, and set it.

She was standing with her arms crossed when she heard the back door open again, a little more slowly this time. Knowing that James couldn’t have been to the store and back by now, she called, “You forget something?” without looking back.

A large arm grabbed her then and, before she could react, a cloth covered her mouth. She remembered breathing in to scream, but then she became instantly drowsier than she’d ever been. Her head fell onto a foreign shoulder and, before she could get scared, everything turned to black.

Purchase Links:

Wow! This book sounds great! Definitely a lot of action to keep us interested.
We'll be sure to check out this romantic suspense novel!

Author Bio

Tanya W. Newman was born and raised in Laurens, South Carolina, where she discovered her love of a good story, and where she decided to try to write a book of her own at the age of ten. When she was finished, the story was a whopping thirty pages, but nonetheless cemented her love of writing and storytelling, a love that led to a Bachelor of Arts in English from University of South Carolina Upstate, and a Master of Arts in English from Clemson University and continued through her work as a college instructor and Library Specialist.
Now married to her wonderful husband, Mark, for eleven years, Newman still resides in the upstate of South Carolina, where she sets many of her stories. The Good Thief and her upcoming novel, Winter Rain, are both set in a town she based on Laurens. In addition to writing and reading, she enjoys coffee, movies (usually an action/adventure with a love story added in), reruns of The Golden Girls, going for long walks, and spending time with her adorable son and daughter.

She is currently working on a sequel to The Good Thief.

Author Links:

Tanya's Book:

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