January Member of the Month: Tina Traverse
Tina Traverse is a passionate writer, avid reader, a self-proclaimed Autism Warrior Mom and Proud Newfie Gal.
Tina hails from a quaint little hamlet on a quaint little island known as Canada’s youngest province, Newfoundland. The desire for writing came at an early age when she wrote her spin on the Bible’s Good Samaritan story for her third-grade class. When she fell off the traditional publishing path, Tina stumbled onto an exciting new path called, self-publishing. It’s been a thrilling journey, publishing not only her work, but being a part of numerous anthologies.
In her spare time, Tina enjoys leisurely strolls in the great outdoors, playing Thomas the Tank Engine with her youngest son and being beat at Wii bowling by her teenage son.
Tina lives with her husband of too many years to count in a scenic town by the bay.
What inspired you to become a writer?
My first introduction to writing came when I was eight years old and wrote my version of the biblical story of the Good Samaritan. From that moment, I fell in love with writing.
What is your genre?
Hmm, that’s a tough one. I would say Urban fantasy romance with thriller and horror elements.
What is your writing process?
When an idea for a story pops into my head, I allow it to take shape in my mind, playing it out like a movie before sitting down at the computer to write it. After the first draft, I will go through several subsequent drafts before sending it off to my editor. Once my manuscript returns, I apply the changes the editor has noted, and after a couple more read throughs, I will publish it.
What books have influenced your writing style the most?
I grew up reading a variety of books in a variety of genres, however as a teenager I enjoyed Danielle Steele novels. At that age, I enjoyed her stories and style of writing and wanted to write stories similar to hers.
My preference for the romance genre changed to thrillers and mystery novels as I became older.
Do you ever experience “writer’s block” and if so, how do you prevail?
Yes, I get writer’s block all the time. Sometimes, to overcome it, I take a break from the writing until the ideas start flowing again. If this doesn’t work, I will write an outline detailing the events of each chapter which usually helps with releasing the ideas of what I want to happen next.
Are you currently working on any writing projects?
Yes, I am. I published my current set-in-Newfoundland novel, Scarlet Desire: Covet, which is book one of the Scarlet Desire trilogy, in July. I’m currently working on book two, Scarlet Desire: Impulse.
Do you have a favourite writer and if so, who and why?
My favourite writer is Stephen King. While I do enjoy his books, he is my favourite because of his personal story. When I gave up on writing because of self-doubt, learning about how he overcame his struggles to become one of most popular and respected authors out there inspired me to start writing again.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Triton the Aegean Chronicles by a fellow self-published author, Yelle Hughes.
What advice would you give your younger writing self, based on your experiences now?
Based on my experiences, the advice I would give my younger self would be:
- Make sure the plot and characters are intriguing, consistent and developed.
- The manuscript will have to go through several drafts before it’s submitted to a qualified, honest editor.
- Then it will need to go through a few more drafts before it can be published.
- Pick a cover artist who knows what they are doing and will work with you and your vision of how you want the cover to appear.
- Most importantly, though, find a supportive network of fellow authors who are willing to give advice and share their experiences and do the same for them.
Do you have any advice for emerging writers?
The advice I would offer to emerging writers is the same advice I would give my younger self. The only thing I would add is when filled with self-doubt, remember even the most successful writers have insecurities. Just be willing to accept that this is a natural part of the writing process and through time, you will get better. Writing is about growth and enjoying your passion.