Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Introducing Debut Author Tanya Eavenson

Tanya Eavenson and her husband have been in the ministry for fifteen years teaching youth, adults, and counseling. Tanya enjoys spending time with her husband, and their three children. Her favorite pastime is grabbing a cup of coffee and reading a good book. Tanya is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and writes for Christ to the World Ministries sharing the Gospel around the world. You can find her on Twitter at @Tan_eave and contact her at her website www.tanyaeavenson.com  Want to learn more about writing? Stop by her blog http://guidedgirls.blogspot.com

 When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I’m not sure when it happened really, but it took longer than most. See, I never intended to be a writer, it just happened when my husband left for a mission trip. Then in 2011 Unconditional semi-finaled in the ACFW Genesis contest. I still didn’t believe I was really a writer but I keep plugging away, learning the craft. It wasn’t even when I signed my first contract. It happened when my husband told me he was proud of me and that I trusted God and never looked back. That’s when I became a writer and an author at the same time. 

Share some of your earlier writing habits. 

Well, my writing habits haven’t changed much since then. I write late at night while everyone is asleep. There’s nothing better than sitting at the laptop with coffee in hand and words waiting to spill onto the page.

Who inspired you?
 It wasn’t a person really, but several novels that spoke to me. It started with Author Lori Wick and her series, “The English Garden Series.” I loved the biblical aspects and how the characters felt like family. I read the “Twilight Series” because the youth in my Sunday school class came in week after week discussing the novels. While reading, I found a connection to the characters through their emotional journey. Then to top it off, I read Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. It had everything the other novels had combined within one. I remember praying that if I was going to write, I wanted to touch people and bring a better understand of God through my characters. 

Describe how you write a book – with your other responsibilities, does it tend to be something you work into your every day, or do you have to “set apart” time to write with open, undesignated blocks of time?  

As a writer, I heard time and time again that I needed to write every day to be successful. I used to beat myself up when I couldn’t meet that goal. It took two years fighting with this idea when I finally gave up. So I decided to do something different, I set a word count goal each week, and it’s worked. Some weeks I write 3,000 words and others 7,000 depending on what’s going on during the week. Flexibility is the key for my writing success. 

Tell us about Unconditional and what inspired you to write the story? 

What inspired me? Brokenness I guess you could say. Brokenness for families, children, and what happens when couples divorce. Many families, churched or un-churched, find themselves struggling in their marriages for one reason or another, but God wants them to fight to save their marriages and families. 

I grew up in a family where divorce is common, like most people today, with the idea once you “fall” out of love, and you can’t get along  anymore, it’s time to get a divorce. It was almost engraved in me witnessing everyone in my family get divorced one time or many times. I, too, almost went down that route with divorce papers in hand. I told myself many things at the time, but the truth. I was focused on our failures, not the hope that with God, all things are possible. The question was, were we willing to save our marriage at all costs? Would we fight for each other, whether we felt like it or not? 

The story opens in a situation some married couples might find themselves in, losing a child, being in a loveless marriage, hurt by feelings of abandonment, adultery. To fight for the marriage at any cost or give up. In my story, as in real life, there is a choice.  

Share a brief blurb about the book.  
He will fight for her at any cost…

Elizabeth Roberts can't remember her past, and the present is too painful. She turns to nightclubs and drinking to forget her infant daughter's death, her husband's affair.

When his wife's coma wiped out the memory of their marriage, Chris Roberts found comfort elsewhere. He can't erase his betrayal, but with God's help he’s determined to fight for Elizabeth at any cost.

She wants to forget. He wants to save his marriage. Can they trust God with their future and find a love that’s unconditional?

What role have your life experiences played in the characters and/or the situations you develop in your books?
I’d have to say that every character has a piece of me within them whether it’s something the character likes, a physical attribute, or even a journey of spiritual growth. There’s a scene in the novel where Elizabeth and Chris head out to the lake. Elizabeth tries to hold onto the dock, but is unable and the boat floats away. When I thought to add that scene, I could only laugh. It was the first time I’d ever tried to use a trolling motor.  
Do you see parallels or do you try to avoid using your own personal life as a source of inspiration?
Interesting question. I believe God allows us to go through things in our lives. Why? I don’t know. That’s for God to decide. But I know in my life, God has allowed me to experience hardships so I may help others, to be a witness, and to have a closer relationship with Him. So if God can use my life and my words for His glory, I should get out of His way and incorporate it within my stories.


Ane Mulligan said...

Tanya, I love how you look at life's hardships. I couldn't agree more. I'm adding this to my TBR pile. :)

Tanya Eavenson said...

I appreciate that, Ane. Thank you so much for coming by and saying hello.

marylhamilton said...

I love Tanya's heart for people, especially those who are hurting. Having had a "back stage" view of this book, I can highly recommend it!

Jodi Janz said...

I am so encouraged by reading and being introduced to Tanya. Thank you for sharing. I am going to check out her web links. Blessings.

Tanya Eavenson said...

Sweet of you to say, Mary. I'm blessed by your friendship and support. Thank you. =)

Tanya Eavenson said...

Thank you so much, Jodi. I appreciate you stopping by. Blessings to you!

Pat Trainum writing as Patricia Bradley said...

I'm starting Unconditonal this afternoon!
I used to teach healthy relationship classes and I always told the students that marriage was work and never 50-50, that it had be 100% for each of you. And that love is a choice. Even when you don't particularly like your spouse...'cause some days he or she will make steam come out your ears. On those days you have to choose to love. ;-)

Tanya Eavenson said...

Pat, you are so right. Even the steam. =) Marriage is a commitment to love your spouse unconditionally, and I hope my readers are able to see this in my story.

I'm exciting you're starting Unconditional this afternoon! Love to hear what you think! Blessings.

Jennifer Slattery said...

I've read this novel and loved it! Tanya, I love seeing how God led you to writing. What a great testimony you have! Your heart for God shines through!

Tanya Eavenson said...

Thank you so much, Jennifer. I am blessed beyond measure by your words. I appreciate you coming by.