Tempers flare on Temperance Street in my new book. Official paperback and ebook release date coming soon!
"Right from my early years, I have always cherished the written word. My folks had a bookcase on the upstairs landing, and I remember sneaking out of my room to choose one of the Harvard Classics instead of going to sleep as a good girl should.
"I could get lost in those poems and stories with Keats, Tennyson, Austen, and the Bronte sisters. While I couldn’t fully grasp the words and fully understand their hidden meanings, it seemed there were no limits to where my imagination could take me. With so much inspiration swirling around in my adolescent mind, I began journaling – at first, the same boring account of a child’s daily life – then, short stories, poems, and songs began to emerge. I learned to play the guitar, and with much encouragement, I played those songs for my family and friends.
"Then, something happened. Somehow, my life had taken a drastic turn into uncharted territory. No longer was I the sweet daughter, a lover of literature and song or the innocent little sister. No, I had become the stereotypical rebellious teenager. With a baby daughter at 18 and a high school dropout, I had given up. It seemed I’d lost my way. But my family did not give up on me.
"Throughout the chaos of the early days where I had to scrounge and save to put food on the table and clothes on our backs, I tended bar and played music in the clubs around town, yet, I still journaled. Everything I had ever done up to that point has been recorded! Can you imagine reading that? I do not recommend it. You cannot go back in time and slap the idiocy out of your 20-year-old self.
"In the corner of my kitchen, I’d begun writing on an old rebuilt computer my cousin had repurposed for me, where characters like Brady Kelly and Violet Ryan took root in my mind. It all began with them. I’d completed, if memory serves me, something like 16 or 17 chapters! These characters were relentless, forcing me to tell their story.
"Then disaster struck. Mom was sick. I was angry and bitter. No happily-ever-afters were coming to mind. Brady and Violet would have to wait.
"After my mother passed in 2003, it was like something took hold…shaking me…screaming at me 'Life is too short! You deserve better! Be the best YOU you can be. Your little girl depends on you! And so I went back to school. First, to attain my high school diploma, and then to the Mining and Mineral Technology course. Those three years would test everything I thought I knew about myself. I learned that, yes, I could do it. Yes, I can indeed learn. And, yes, if I cross my fingers hard enough, I can get a good job and be the best ME I can be.
"I was hired at a mining company in 2007, met my husband, and spent four years driving an ore haulage truck. Then, I accepted a bid for a Laboratory Analyst position in 2011. It seemed everything was coming up roses, but something was missing.
"That niggling feeling…you know, when you forget to do something? That was hitting me in full force. So, in 2013, I finally decided to dig out that old manuscript and dust it off. But, to my disappointment, it was missing. My husband, Fabian, and I looked everywhere; it seemed it had been misplaced when we’d combined homes. I hope the bears at the dump thoroughly enjoyed it.
"But all that didn’t mean I’d give up. I’d vowed years ago to never give up on myself again, and so, Brady and Violet came back from the dead.
"With the encouragement from my friends, family, and co-workers who were hanging on to every word I wrote, I published the first edition of Violet’s Storm in 2014, quickly followed by Heathen’s Hurricane in 2015. Caitlyn's Rapture, the third installment in the Stormy Encounters Series, was released in May of 2017 as the final book in that series, but the characters kept delving into my brain, begging to have their stories told.
"Still the Thunder, the fourth book in the series was published in September of 2020 during the first uncertain months of the pandemic. I crept out of my comfort zone during that time to perform a few Facebook live music performances and launched a book in full lockdown. It's amazing how resilient and adaptive we are as humans.
"In 2021, while writing a Holiday novella for the Stormy Encounters Series, more questions began popping up about the craft of writing, publishing and editing. Oh, there were soooo many questions. So I decided to do something about it. I enrolled in a Creative Writing course at the University of Calgary to hone my skills as a writer, publisher, editor and book marketer. It was the best decision I could have made for my writing career.
"Christmas at the Kelly's was released in November 2021, telling the story of young Thomas Brennan, the little lad you met in Caitlyn's Rapture, who was in need of a family. The only trouble was, the Kellys were NOT behaving like a family, in fact, they were acting more like enemies. I won't give anything away...you'll have to read it yourself!
"In 2023, I'm still plugging away at getting my certificate in Creative Writing, with only the final course left. I'm also working on Kane's Redemption, book six in the series, and a contemporary romance set in St. John's, Newfoundland, at a lovely historical property.
"I cannot wait to share all the words!"
Tanya tells her life story, wearing her life's lessons as her shield from failure. She strives to keep writing, keep playing music, and, as of late, paint a picture or two, regardless of how terrible she is at it.