Guest Blog: Tanya Hanson

Happily married to a firefighter, I’m a California beach girl who learned some valuable things on the way to becoming a writer. I waited way too long to submit, until the kids were away at college. Big mistake.
Furthermore, I also learned:
1. Check your pen name early on. I didn’t and now share cyberspace with a porn star of the same name.

2. Remember that nobody dies from rejection. Gnash your teeth for a day, then move on.

3. Write what you love, not what’s trendy at the moment. If you don’t, writing’s a chore and what’s the point?

4. Enter contests. It’s such a feel-good thing when you do well, and the comments are helpful if you don’t. It might open some doors. And practically speaking, having to follow directions and prepare a perfect manuscript is great training.

(For example, my entry in the Hearts Crossing Contest at White Rose Publishing led to an eight-book series contract! And I was just the runner-up! The third book, Sanctuary, is now available and deals with cancer-survivor hero and heroine. Guess what…it’s as romantic and hopeful a love story as you’ll ever see.)

5. Read! I got a recumbent bike both for exercise and for a dedicated time for reading. Reading good literature helps remind you how to vary sentence beginnings and structures, increases vocabulary, and improves grammar skills. (Can you tell I taught high school English forever?)

Thanks for spending time with me today. I’ll be awarding e-copies of my two summer releases, Sanctuary and Faithful Danger, my first suspense novella.


  1. I love your statement about nobody dies from rejection. Great advice here.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  2. hi Debby, amen! I’d be dead a million times LOL.

    Thanks so much for posting today.

  3. Sage advice from a savvy author. Thank you, Tanya, for a concise and accurate set of guidelines.
    By the way, though I’ve not kept up with porn stars, I’d never heard of this one. Maybe she’s riding your coattails. LOL
    Pat Dale

  4. HI Tanya

    Great reminders to all of us!! Have a great day.

  5. Tanya–you learned valuable lessons, and I agree with all of them. I entered RWA contests when I got rejections from the NY pubs. I’d heard about the crique sheets and that’s what I wanted. (I did place third in one and got my name and book title in the magazine.) I used those critique sheets from several contests on two ms. I made a kind of spread sheet and listed my strenghts and my weakness.
    Then I began to really learn the ropes. That paid off big-time!
    Congratulations on the huge contract–I do envy you that, for sure. Celia

  6. Hi Tanya!

    I feel like I’ve waited too long to get my writing career going as well. I like that we’re both on track and happy with what were doing.

    I too exercise (on my treadmill) while reading. It’s the only time I could find to read!

  7. Great post, Tanya – and some great advice, too! 🙂 You’re an amazing author – and I can’t wait for the next installment of the Hearts Crossing ranch series!! God bless, sweetie!

  8. Hi Pat, so good to see you here. Um…I think she’s been around for a while LOL. I didn’t realize it but found out when my ELEVEN-year old neighbor googled me and and got her Yikes. (she spells is HansEn, but so do most people, even relatives!)

    Thanks for the post.

  9. Hi Charlene, I get tons of my advice from you, my friend and mentor! oxoxox

  10. Hi Celia, yeah, it took years, but good ones. I learned so much about writing, in general, teaching writing to high school freshmen. Seems grammar finally made sense. RWA chapters and workshops and contests taught me about romance writing. All good stuff. Congrats on Texas True and your great reviews.

  11. Hi Kathy, yes indeedy! congrats on A Dozen Deadly Roses and its success. I loved the story, the hero (yum) and also the setting. It was great to “see” places I recognized. Thanks for the post today.

  12. Dear Marianne, I think you’re my # one fan. I so appreciate your support. Interesting how the Hearts Crossing contest got us together. Your Hearts Communion is such a lovely story. oxoox Thanks for the post today.

  13. Enjoyed meeting you! Your books look very interesting. And I loved the advice about rejection. I’ve been submitting a lot lately and will be gnashing my teeth on some I’m sure!

  14. Great advise, Tanya! I too waited until the kids were in college, but in this case, better late than never applies!!

    I don’t read at the gym, but I do my best thinking on the elliptical.

  15. Great advice. Congrats on the multiple book contracts.

    Linda Rondeau

  16. Hi Nightingale, so nice to see you here. I wish you much luck in your submissions. That takes a great amount of courage, too, to put yourself there. But if you’vee done your “homework” and gotten your Ms. practically perfect, it’ll happy someday, I promise.

  17. Hi Roz, but you’re getting it done now, that’s the important thing! Congrats. I also get time thinking by going for a walk, or even in bed early in the morning. I’m pretty much a pantser but I do like to get scenes thought out ahead of time LOL

    I so appreciate you stopping in today.

  18. Thanks for your good wishes, Linda. It was dream come true, but since I’m pretty much a scattery-brain, I’ve got to work really hard to keep things, people, horses et al (they’re ranch stories) straight from book to book. Book Four should be out in November. So nice of you to stop by.

  19. Tanya, you’re such a hoot! Love following your posts. Great advice here, especially about checking out that pen name. lol. Loved SANCTUARY and look forward to sinking into my recliner to read FAITHFUL DANGER. Keep ’em coming!

  20. Tanya,
    Thanks for the tips. And I thought sharing cyberspace with a five year-old beauty queen was a trial. LOL How did you choose where you would enter your first contest? That’s something I’ve never considered.

  21. Glad to see I’m not the only one who counts time on the stationary bike as reading time.

  22. Great info, Tanya! I like the bike idea! Exercise for brain and body.

  23. hi Dora, thanks as always for your support. I sure enjoy our White Rose sisterhood. My TBR list is so long and I’m finishing up Book Seven, but I’m gonna get some reading done soon…promise. I so appreciate you stopping by today.

  24. Hi Mackenzie, the Romance Writers of America (RWA) has a monthly magazine, Romance Writers Report that lists contests going on. My chapter Orange Country Chapter RWA hosts the prestigious “Orange Rose” contest. Check it out.

    As for the Hearts Crossing contest…I was interested in trying to write inspirational romance and checked out the website at White Rose Publishing for books to read. I kinda fell into the contest. I feel especially blessed, because the contest winner, Marianne Evans, has become a dear friend. I thought they might like my entry..but I never imagined it would lead to an 8-book contract. Yippee. PTL. Thanks for stoping by today. oxox

  25. hi Georgie and Paty, I confess to being so busy at home moving things around and re-arranging things, tossing others, in preparation for new furniture to be delivered this week that I tweaked my back. Plus time has been short as I finish a book. But I’ll be back in the exerbike saddle in a day or two, I promise!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  26. Great advice Tanya!

    Good luck & God’s blessings.

  27. I watch TV while I walk on my treadmill because I postively hate excercise.

  28. Hi Pamela, thanks for the good wishes. And Caroline, I used to run treadmill when I belonged to a now-closed gym. (I was lots younger then and would go with my daughter LOL) I’d be so bored I’d count the red cars that drove by outside. I did the stairstepper while I read Jane Austen’s books…one thing, I was in much better shape then LOL. Thanks for posting, friends.

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