Author Interview: Tina Hogan Grant
Award-winning author Tina Hogan Grant is with us today and I'm so excited!
Tina was born in England and came to the States in 1979. After moving to California, she became a commercial fisherwoman and spent ten years fishing off the southern coast of California with her husband Gordon. After retiring from fishing, they moved to a small mountain community in CA and spent the next ten years building their dream home, doing most of the work themselves.
Grant enjoys writing suspense romances, stories with strong female characters who know what they want and aren't afraid to chase their dreams.
Her book Better Endings won a gold medal award for Best Fiction Adventure 2020, and The Reunions won a Gold medal award for Best Fiction Adventure 2021.
The author has had appearances on FOX NEWS Bakersfield, Bakersfield NOW NEWS, HOMETOWN -KVPA Radio Santa Clarita, Voyage LA Magazine, and The Mountain Enterprise Newspaper.
I was lucky enough to win Jill (Book 4 in The Sabela Series), and was pulled right in. You can read my full review here.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
My father was an author, so I grew up appreciating the joy of books and watched as a child while he held a full-time job to support his family and wrote late into the night to pursue his writing career, which he did successfully.
I knew at an early age that I would someday like to write a book and when I was in my early twenties; the urge became stronger when the idea for my debut novel, Reckless Beginnings, unfolded in my head. But it didn’t happen straight away. I was a commercial fisherwoman at the time, spending weeks at a time on the Pacific Ocean. Life simply got in the way, and it took another twenty years to write and publish the book.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Because Reckless Beginnings took so long to reach the book world, I disciplined myself when writing my next book, Better Endings. My goal is to write a minimum of 1,000 words a day. It doesn’t matter if I write maybe half in the morning and the rest later in the day, but my day does not end until I have reached my goal. I have used this practice when writing all my books and it has helped me to stay more focused and release books in a reasonable time.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I try to write every day during the week and leave weekends for quality time with family. Reading, of course, is something I enjoy doing, but I also enjoy the outdoors. I love to kayak and explore lakes and marina with hubby. We also enjoy riding ATVs and spend many hours exploring the many trails close to our home in the mountains.
What does your family think of your writing?
Sadly, my parents passed away before I published my first novel, which saddens me. However, the rest of my family is extremely supportive and read all my work.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
When I wrote Reckless Beginnings, which is based on my life, it helped me understand myself so much better and why I made the choices I did. It was almost like therapy. It connected me with so many readers that related to my experiences and it touched me when many shared how much my story had helped them.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I published my first book in 2018, and since then I have written ten books. Open Arms, which is book 7 in The Sabela Series, will be released in December 2022.
It would be hard to pick a favorite. They are all my book babies, but my debut, Reckless Beginnings, is special because it launched my amazing writing career and gave me the courage to write more.
Do you have any suggestions to help someone become a better writer? If so, what are they?
I think the best advice is to write every day and read books from those that inspire you. Read genres you write. Pay attention to the flow of the story, the plot. Were you engaged in the book? If not, why? And most of all, never give up.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
After going through a publisher for my debut novel and having a terrible experience, I self-published the rest of my books and it was the best decision I made. I am in control of my work, and to be honest, the royalties are far better.
My primary concern was formatting my books for publication. Something I knew nothing about. I discovered the software “Vellum” and it has made this process painless. The best investment I made. I can’t recommend it enough.
What does literary success look like to you?
I think everyone has different levels of success. For me, I achieved it when I wrote my first book. What has happened since then has been beyond what I ever imagined. I am enjoying this journey I’m on and look forward to what the future holds with my writing.
What do you have coming next?
I recently finished the first draft of my next book, Open Arms, and it is now with my editor. While she has it, my days are full with preparing the book for publication, which involves working with my cover designer, writing the blurb and all the other tasks.
In a few weeks, I will start writing the short story collection that will be spin offs from the Tammy Mellows Trilogy involving more fishing adventures that were not included in the books. I also plan on writing a prequel for the trilogy too.
Tina has been kind enough to give us an excerpt from the award-winning Better Endings.
Tammy gripped the rail until her knuckles turned white. She looked out through the windshield of the helm and saw nothing but an angry ocean, with waves constantly crashing over the bow of the boat. At each breaking wave, they became airborne and Tammy had to brace for impact when the hull slammed back into the ocean. It took all her strength and every muscle in her legs to remain standing.
By nightfall and still with six hours left of their journey, the storm became ruthless and showed no mercy. The jet-black skies shielded the stars from view, and the winds howled at fifty miles an hour, throwing the downpour of rain at high speed against the windshield of the helm. The wipers couldn’t keep up with the floods of water pouring down the glass. The seas had increased another foot. Each time they dipped down in the trough, Tammy cringed as the wall of water on either side of the boat crashed down over the deck. Anything that had been loose on the deck was now washed away.
Tammy looked over at Dwayne, who was at the wheel about two feet away. She was scared and wanted to be held by him, but that wasn’t an option. It was impossible to move even an inch on the boat without losing her balance. Dwayne had braced himself against the side wall of the helm and was using both hands to steer the boat as best he could through the terrifying storm.
“How do you even steer in this weather?” Tammy hollered.
While turning the wheel back and forth, Dwayne yelled back, “It’s not that easy, but I’ve spent most of my life on boats and have had plenty of practice.” Suddenly, he grabbed the wheel hard with both hands and held it tight. “Shit, here comes a big wave. Hold on tight and bend your knees on impact.”
Tammy looked ahead and screamed. She saw nothing but a fast approaching, solid body of water about to crash over the boat. “Oh my god! I don’t want to die out here.”
“Hold on!” Dwayne yelled.
Readers can stay connected with Tina by checking out her LinkTree, where she is active across multiple platforms.
And please join us again on Monday, 10/17, for a Live Chat! There are three (3) ways to watch:
On Tina's Author Page -
Her Facebook Group - Read More Books -
Or on her YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfx3dqE8Uo9jFMycaa2JQjQ
Hope you can tune in! Thank you so much Tina for sharing your stories and writing journey. See you next week!