I was born in a small town in Mississippi near the Gulf of Mexico. I know if I were asked what I miss most about my childhood at different points in my life, the answers would be different. For the ‘me I am now’ I miss swinging as high and fast as I could on a swing set that tilted precariously on its legs while singing at the top of my lungs. I miss that freedom to not care how silly I might have looked. Most of us don’t mind being silly with a friend at any stage in our life but to be silly alone … that’s an innocence I think we all lose.Did you ever dream of becoming an author? What were your dreams during childhood?
I didn’t dream of becoming an author. I did dream of becoming a writer, which is a different reality. I wanted to write books for me and I wanted someone to teach me how. At one point, I just started writing, knowing I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. And even when, as an adult, I had stacks of finished manuscripts, I had no real drive to see them published. My sister made me. Literally.Did you have any heroes growing up? If so, who were they?
My heroes were my cousins, all guys, all older than me. I was the kid who tagged along and they took care of me. Climb a tree and can’t get down (yep, I did), one of them climbed up to get me. Step on a nail, I got carried back to my aunt. Lag behind walking down that gravel road from the bus in the afternoon, I was given a piggy back ride. I don’t think we treasure extended family as much as we once did and I find that very sad.Which literary character of any book do you most relate to?
Alice in Wonderland. If anyone is going to fall down a rabbit hole and land in another world that would be me. Such a klutzy move.Tell us a little about your book covers and how you go about creating them. Do you place a little or a lot of importance on your book covers?
I don’t create my own covers but I do place a lot of importance on them. Covers are a readers’ first impression of our books. I want mine to reflect what that reader can expect to find inside. I’m happy that my publishers listen to my input and care whether I’m pleased with them.How did you get your idea or concept for your book, "Winds Across Texas?" What challenges did you face while publishing this book?
At the time I began writing this book there was a lot of emphasis on the different tribes of American Indians in movies and in books. I had such sympathy for the suffering in their histories. I still do. Soldier Blue had come out a year or so earlier and I can remember walking out of the movie during the first fifteen or twenty minutes with tears streaming down my face. I think Winds Across Texas was born from my sympathy and my anger at the atrocities that were committed. I wrote the first draft as a barely twenty-something mom with no intention at all of publishing it. The first publication in the 90’s was really not a challenge except that I had to learn to write a query letter. To this day, I hate query letters. The challenge with republishing was that I knew I would write it much better today but had no desire to do a rewrite. I had to decide if I could live with the mistakes in writing, such as POV shifts which make me crazy now!How do you keep your stories interesting and from becoming repetitive?
That’s actually not a struggle. Characters are the heart of any story and my characters are very real to me. I feel what they feel. I laugh with them and I cry with them. They will react to situations entirely different from my characters in any previous story would react. Because they’re unique, their story is going to be unique. If that ever stops being true, I have no doubt I’ll stop writing.Where do you get most of your plot and/or character ideas from?
I don’t always know. When I started Winds Across Texas, I had been doing tons of reading on various tribes and I knew Katherine Bellamy as well as I knew myself when I first put pen to paper. She slowly created herself as I was digging through historical accounts. I didn’t have a plot as I think of it today. I began with a series of scenes I could see clearly in my mind that I had to get on paper. There were points at which I knew if my character did this, then that was going to be the result so I was charting a course of sorts. Sometimes my characters would do things I didn’t plan and a plot shift would occur although I wasn’t savvy enough to know what to call it. I was just frustrated that I had to adjust where I thought I was going. I now know the value of knowing where I’m going before I start writing.Who was your favourite character to write in "Winds Across Texas" and why?
Definitely Slade because I am and always have been a fan of good guys with tough facades, especially those who don’t back down from doing hard things for the right reasons.When are you most satisfied with a book or piece of writing? Do you often edit things OUT of your books?
I don’t know that I’m ever completely satisfied. I could probably read a story forever and always find something to tweak. And I rarely have to edit things out of a story. I usually get so engrossed in writing that I’m caught up in events unfolding and forget to set the scene, etc. So, my edits consist more of adding than deleting.Who was the first reader that reached out to you? What did they say and how did you respond?
I believe that was a sweet lady who asked me to write a sequel to my first book set in Scotland and to ‘Please keep your style coming. Although if you must resort to junk don’t use your Susan Tanner name’. She mentioned two authors she felt had shifted from true historical romance to more sordid offerings. I assured her I would quit writing before I resort to junk of any kind. And I will.How has being an author changed your life up till now and what are some new goals you've set for yourself?
I wrote long before I was published and I know I would continue to write if I never published again. Just like riding horses and barrel racing, just like being a mom and a nana, it’s who I am so there was never a dramatic change. I do think the people I’ve met because of this journey have enriched my life and I hope I’ve added to theirs. And no dramatic new goals. I plan to keep writing and I do write in two genres now which is fun.If someone was going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?
I would probably be best played by someone currently unknown and, hopefully, talented enough to make ‘ordinary and a bit clumsy’ look good.How do you think concepts such as Kindle, and e-books have changed the present or future of reading?
I think e-books have made books much more accessible as well as more affordable. We didn’t live near a library when I was a child which made books a rare treasure. I was that child, the one who got scolded in class for reading ahead while waiting for others to finish reading. We were supposed to close our books so the teacher knew when everyone was done. That was a ridiculous waste of good reading time to me!After becoming a pro-author, what kind of feedback do you have for us at AllAuthor? How would you rate this website?
I’d rate AllAuthor as very effective. I’ve found it to be one of the more intuitive websites which makes it so much easier to navigate.
Bestselling author of five historical romance novels and three romantic mysteries, Susan Yawn Tanner was born in a small town in Mississippi near the Gulf of Mexico. She didn’t dream of becoming an author. She wanted to write books for her and she wanted someone to teach her how. She is and always has been a fan of good guys with tough facades. She doesn't create her own covers but she does place a lot of importance on them. She thinks e-books have made books much more accessible as well as more affordable.