Saturday, February 22, 2014

Introducing Author Tanisha Jones!

Meet the fun and fabulous Tanisha Jones, she's represented by the Aponte Literary Agency. I knew I was going to like her because of her love of SyFy and FireFly (If you haven't seen it you should).

Please welcome her, and lets find out a bit about her:

What genre to you write?
TJ: I write Urban Theological Mythological Slightly Erotic Romance or Paranormal romance for the less creative thinker.
MVF: That is awesome, I love how you put that.
TJ: Why thank you.

What drew you to it?
TJ: I was always a fan of the darker side of romance and history. Being from New Orleans I was always fascinated by the ghost stories and haunted places in the city. I’ve taken several Haunted city tours. I find something so intriguing about the mythology of the French Quarter and the strong theological influence on the city.
MVF: Excellent—I know I need to meet you; I love New Orleans. Next time I am there, I will let you know. Already I am intrigued by how you are letting the area influence your writing.
TJ: Cool. I’ll have to take you to some of the haunted city sites.
MVF: It’s a deal!

Do you write more than one genre, why?
TJ: I’ve tried to write a mainstream romance and young adult stories but find that I tend to end up on a dark and twisted path. I do write poetry, but it usually ends up having a strong sexual edge.
MVF: I’m with you there. I can’t write contemporary. Tried, but something weird happens. It sounds like you know yourself and that is wonderful.
TJ: I have always had a very clear idea of who I am. My daughter has inherited that trait. As a get well card she drew me a picture with rainbows and hearts…and a decapitated bride. It was lovely.
MVF: I like your daughter already!

Tell me about your current work (Blurb/book cover here if appropriate) or just give a blurb on a story you are wrestling with.
TJ: My current novel is The First to Fall :

A New Orleans Police Detective Elijah Cain has always been a little odd. Standing nearly seven feet tall with eyes the color of turquoise, he has the ability to read thoughts and walk through memories. Quiet and intense, he is solitary only opening up to the grandmother who raised him, her best friend and housekeeper who is like a second parent and his partner and best friend. Everything is his life is regimented and orderly until he and his partner are called in to investigate the disappearance of the body of recently deceased rock star.
The search for answers leads him to the woman of his dreams, literally. Dr. C. Keegan Kent is beautiful, sexy and enigmatic. When they meet, it’s electric and they are drawn together. She reluctantly opens a world to him that he never knew existed. A world full of magic and mystery and a past that he didn’t know he‘d forgotten. A world that she is trying to keep away from him, for his own good. But when a demonic creature begins stalking them, she has to tell him the truth, a truth that he has to come to terms with as his two worlds collide.
Discovering the truth is only the beginning of a war centuries in the making.

TJ: I’m currently working on the second book in the series.
MVF: Oh, you have hooked me. This sounds delicious! (I can’t help it; your words remind of something decadent—and this books sounds wonderful!) Awesome!
TJ: Thanks, again

What inspired you to write (the above) story?
TJ: I have a weird way of coming up with stories, and this is the first time I’m actually telling anyone. Usually I get my ideas right before I fall asleep at night. I have a hard time getting to sleep, but when I do, right before I fall into my deepest sleep, story ideas come to me. Some stick some don’t, this idea was one that kept coming back, it was nagging me until finally I started to write then it flowed easily. What started as a standalone romance has become this universe in my head that adds to itself every week.
MVF: I totally get this—most of my ideas start as dreams. This means your subconscious is very active—and awesome.

How do you write?
TJ: Sporadically
MVF: –why is this? Do you write when the muse hits, or just because of time? (and I see you answered it below.

Late at night?
TJ: I actually write at night because it’s the only time I can. I mean, I’m a single parent with a full time job and a daughter who is like my shadow. Where ever I am in the house, there she is.It’s like she has a homing beacon or GPS on me. Usually I have to wait until she’s asleep before I can do anything or I have to deal with her hanging over my shoulder like a parrot telling me what to writ o asking questions.
MVF: That is very tough to be a parent—and I am finding we writers have to be creative when and how we write. Juggling all can be difficult and you have my respect for this.
TJ: I appreciate that. Some people just don’t get it.

Do you start and stop? Or write furiously until it’s done?
TJ: I work in spurts. I can stop and start sometimes, especially when there are other things going on. Working during the holidays is nearly impossible.
MVF: Isn’t that the truth! I thought I was going to get so much done. Ha!
TJ: I know, especially with my shadow popping up- usually in costume to “perform” for me. I am a captive audience.

Do you plot everything? Or are you pantser or a mix?
TJ: I try to plot what I’m writing, but it never really works. I recently started working from an outline, which makes it easier plot wise, but I feel like the flow is stilted.
MVF: I can understand this, I do something similar; but if it’s too plotted it drives me batty.
TJ: I like the freedom to go where I need to go, story wise.

Do you listen to music when you write or do you need silence?
TJ: I can never work in silence. I can’t sleep in silence. If it’s too quiet I can’t think. As a matter of fact, the more noise and chaos the better. I actually wrote a short story during the New Orleans Saints/ Philadelphia Eagles game with a house full of people yelling and screaming. I started The First to Fall during football season, the year the Saints won the Superbowl. Yes, I am a football fan.
MVF: You awesome, my kids are rooting for the Saints this year. I can’t write in chaos—so this fascinates me, it sounds like you can really focus.
TJ: I have always been a bit of odd duck. I can concentrate anywhere f I am focused on something. Sometimes people don’t really know how to take me, am I being aloof or shy when usually my mind is just a million miles away.

Where do you write? Office, coffee shop, anywhere?
TJ: I write anywhere, but my favorite spot is in bed. I can relax with my cup of tea and write until I begin to doze off. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve woken up with my face on the keyboard of my laptop.
MVF: Oh my! I admire that—I can’t write in bed. I sleep too much…
TJ: Like I said, I have trouble getting to sleep so I can be up for hours writing helps with that. Besides, if I go anywhere else, my daughter comes in with her Barbie Army. My bedroom is a Barbie free zone. If I ever write an autobiography it will be called My kid photo bombs my life.

Name 3 books/authors you’ve read which have had an impact on your writing?
TJ: I must say Sherilyn Kenyon, she was the first person who wrote about New Orleans and mythology in a way that I respected. Her fantasy novels are based in reality not a parallel reality that most fantasy authors seem to dwell in. She also has some very interesting characters, believable without being too fantastical.
MVF: She has a very strong following, have you ever had a chance to hear her speak? She loves her fans and this wonderful.
TJ: No but I would love to if she ever comes to New Orleans. I know her following his huge.

TJ: Anne Rice- was one of the first author that drew me with the dark and almost gothic stories she tells. She was classified as horror but I always thought of her more of a romantic writer.
MVF: My favorite book of hers is Interview with a Vampire and Vampire Lestat. Yep. I am a geek. I am with you—I think she had a very strong romantic side in her writing.

TJ: Charlaine Harris- her mysteries are just that-mysteries. Even the Southern Vampire series are all mystery based tales. But I love the humor of the stories and the characters are strong and eccentric. I do take a slight issue with the way her series’ end- Some just stop- others wrap up every story line ever in the final novel.
MVF: I really enjoyed the first part of her series—she came up with unique people and situations.
TJ: Yes, but you can sort of tell when she gets bored. I don’t ever want people to tell if I’m bored. It feels like a letdown. I guess that’s why my series has so many characters that I tell their stories but stay within the same universe. If that makes any sense.
MVF:Yes it does, and I'm with you. I don't want to be bored.

TJ: JK Rowling- Simply because I admire a single mother at the end of her rope reaching a goal that I dream of. Plus- Harry Potter is pretty dang cool.
MVF: Those books are—I love them.

TJ: I also have a strong affinity for Toni Morrison, Stephen King, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Maya Banks, Suzanne Brockmann, Linda Howard, James Patterson, and Janet Evanovich. And of course Harper Lee.
MVF: I like that you have such a wide range of authors you enjoy—I think this is important if you write. It flavors our characters if we read a wide range of things.
TJ: Not only our characters- it flavors our lives.

I’m a Sci-Fi/Fantasy buff, I love movies/shows in this genre, was or is there a T.V. Show or movie which has inspired you (doesn’t have to be Sci-fi /Fantasy). Name one or at least three.
TJ: Okay, I’m about to geek out for a second but I love everything Joss Whedon. I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel until the end, Firefly was the BOMB.
MVF: YES! I’m with you… ok…taking a deep breath.
TJ: I am also a fan of American Horror Story, Defiance and Scandal. I nearly gave up going to a New Year’s Eve party because of Dr. Who but Everything else I watch is usually animated or kid oriented because my daughter often takes over every television in the house. Except when Syfy does Face/off and Heroes of CosPlay, my daughter loooves those so much. She even DVR’s them.
MVF: That’s awesome!

For the geeks like me: If you watched Firefly: Which character drew you the most? Or were you like me and all of them did (see, I was going to put this in one way or the other!)
TJ: I liked them all- Wash, was my crush- so sad- but River and Kaylee are my favorites. River because she is such a lost soul, locked up in the body of a killer. My favorite scene in serenity is when she locks everyone in that hallway and kicks much reaver ass. It was EPIC.
MVF: It WAS! I loved that, they all thought she was just a lunatic—the line when she told Simon “You saved me, now it’s my turn to save you…” I am paraphrasing—like you said EPIC!
TJ: Yes- The image of her standing with those dead bodies around her when the doors opened- No WORDS!!! I nearly cried I’m such a spaz. Haha!!
MVF: So did I…!
TJ: And Kaylee because she speaks plain, just says what’s on her mind. My all-time favorite line from Serenity was when she said: "But he coulda made 'em family. 'stead of keepin' Simon from seein' I was there. And I carried such a torch! And we coulda...goin' on a year now and I ain't had nothin' twixt my nethers weren't run on batteries!" Classic!!
MVF: Yes!! I cracked up reading this—it’s another reason I loved this show!!

What fictional character (Book, show, movie) would you most love to meet?
TJ: The Thundercats. Because they are freakin awesome!
MVF: See, if you’re going to spend time with fictional—I’m with you go for broke!

Tea or Coffee? (Water is a given).
TJ: Coffee- definitely! Tea when I’m sick- but I drink about 4 cups of coffee most days. It’s my one vice. Coffee and Ben and Jerry’s Karamel Sutra ice Cream.
MVF: Oh, you are so cool! Yep, we so have to talk writing one day!
TJ: Anytime!
Thank you so much for stopping by--I am hoping you come by again!

Author Bio:
I was an only child for the first eleven years of my life and developed a love of books. By the time I was eleven, I had written a play. In middle school I wrote a rather popular teen series, at least in my school, which garnered me the nickname “the story teller.” Through the years I have continued to write and now as a single parent, I’ve passed these traits on to my own daughter. She has a fantastical imagination and hopes to one day become a writer, “like Mommy”. And a vegenarian. (A vegan veterinarian, I think.)

You can find her book here: Amazon
You can find her online here:
Twitter @tanishadelil


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks V.L!
      I had a lot of fun chatting with Tanisha!

  2. Love this interview! Now I have to meet Tanisha (I mean...Firefly and Thundercats?Yes!) I'll have to check out The First To Fall because I love a mix of mythological and mystery, theological and M.V. said, "sounds delicious!"

    BTW, RT this year is in New Orleans (May), and I plan to be there...I hope I get to check out some of the haunted sites and meet Tanisha!

    P.S. Love that you have such a wonderful clear sense of who you are and that you're passing this on to your daughter...awesome parenting!

    1. Hi Rashda--isn't Tanisha awesome!?
      Oooh, sound like you are going to RT, that is fabulous!

  3. Wonderful interview! I loved eavesdropping on you two! Tanisha, my daughter Abby is a Bar Manager at SouBou in the Quarter…please drop in if you're of a mind and tell her I sent you and our Aponte connection. I'd love for you two to meet! Happy carnival season, dear!

    1. Thanks Eileen! Oh how fabulous your daughter works in the French quarter! Do you get to visit her often?

    2. I'll have to go and meet her. My sister is already googling.

  4. Great interview! I love to get to know an Author before I read one of their books. That rarely happens but it's almost like meeting someone first is easier then reading and wondering how or why they write a certain way. It definitely helps me sink my teeth into a book if that makes any sense! This book sounds raw and potent. Count me in :)

    1. Hi Sabrina--so glad you stopped by! And I'm with you the more I spoke with Tanisha the more interested I became! :)

  5. Thundercats??? I'm geeking out in a major way right now and am so happy! Thanks for that! I am so delighted to learn more about you and your work. I love dark and sensual, so I'll be adding your work to my TBR list!

    1. Hi Dana--- Thundercats are awesome! I thought that was fabulous.

  6. You sound so interesting and confident . . I like that! I'm not into the sci-fi stuff but I'm a HUGE football fan too. (Roll Tide!) I also love poetry - have you put any of them up on your blog? Your short stories are wonderful. I also love Southern Gothic and New Orleans embodies that perfectly. Kudos for you writing with everything else in your life, you have talent as well as passion.

    1. Hi Deb--I didn't know you wrote poetry? How cool!

    2. Thank Debbie, I will be putting some of my poetry on the blog. Soon.

  7. Tanisha, best wishes with your book!

  8. Thanks to Everyone . Its not often that people get my geeky sensibilities. I feel welcomed. Thanks again.

    1. Hi Tanisha-- thank you for being here-- you are so much fun to talk to. I hope you come again!

  9. Great Interview, Tanisha. Love the story of how you arrived at the writer's journey.