5-STAR Fantasy / Sci-Fi

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Indie Author Interview: Veronica Tanzen

Indie Author Interview with Veronica Tanzen - Author of the Online Dating Memoir LOL ;-) Living Out Loud.

While LOL ;-) Living Out Loud is Veronica Tanzen's first memoir, she has written articles for community and corporate newsletters for many years. Her flare for painting pictures with her words stirs an excitement amongst her readers that further fuels her passion towards sharing so much more - whether it be her future titles or weekly blog.

Interview with Veronica Tanzen

Author Veronica Tanzen
Author Veronica Tanzen
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Veronica Tanzen: I guess I could be categorized as a hobby writer and committed daydreamer. Other than the private works that I have penned for my loved ones (in the form of poems and short stories), I have written corporate and community newsletters for about 17 years.

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
My favorite book is The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. My life relationships are very important to me and that book gave me so many “ah-ha” moments relating to my failed or struggling relationships (romantically, professionally or in general).
One of my favorite writers would have to be John C. Maxwell. His words have definitely had a hand in molding me to the woman that I am now.
I cannot pinpoint one source that influences my writing, as my passion stems from a combination of an overactive imagination, and being a hopeless romantic with a passion for painting pictures with my words to entertain those around me.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
Honestly, it had to have been a year ago. Although I’ve always loved spinning a tale, the bug didn’t sink its teeth into me until after I finished writing Living Out Loud. Now, my mind is constantly racing and excited about what my next writing project will be.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Not really. The ones that stand out in my memory the most are from the moment I met my muse – my husband.

"I’m a Type-A note-taker [...]"

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?

I’m a Type-A note-taker so I spend my non-writing hours jotting down ideas and thoughts in my phone or on sticky notes that are then plastered all over my desk. I allow my mind to race in a thousand directions during my day to day, and then I compile them into a master list for reference later.
The actually writing comes in spurts due to my, at times, hectic life schedule. But when I do sit down to write, it can be a no-holds-barred situation and I just lock myself away in my office for hours or days at a time.

Please, describe your desk/workplace.
My desk is my nemesis. It is, unfortunately, the disorganized hub of our daily life, flanked by two extra-large dog crates which are all crammed into a spare bedroom. The room is in our basement, so I’m always cold and alone. Alone can be good, but writing while wearing a parka and mitts is not my idea of a wardrobe that inspires creativity; nor is shivering the creative vibration that I want carrying through my body.

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?
Obviously, the easiest thing about writing for me is when it’s a topic that I am truly passionate about. It stirs an excitement in me that literally causes my whole body to vibrate as I write, and I can’t get my thoughts out fast enough. The most difficult writing for me is when I am forced to be creative on a topic that I find dry and unappealing. I will tackle it but with initial resistance until I can wrap my head around how to put my personal spin on it.

"[...] when my words honestly inspire or affect someone, it fills my soul."

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Knowing that my words have sincerely touched someone. I have never been one to like or need a pat on the back, but when my words honestly inspire or affect someone, it fills my soul.

Veronica, please tell us a little about your Memoir LOL ;-) Living Out Loud.
My story is nothing original, in the sense that so many people are living it. My unique path down the road of online dating and my personal process is what makes it stand out. The tongue-in-cheek way that I live my life is one of the things that I know my readers have enjoyed – the fact that I do not take myself seriously or let my negative life experiences hold me back.
The book clearly highlights my philosophy to never refer to negative life experiences as “mistakes.” My view is that they are learning tools to get people to where they need to be in life and have helped them become who they are now. “Mistakes” definitely define who we are, but I’ve taken the approach to allow those life experiences to make me stronger and wiser, as opposed to those who prefer to sit in a corner and lick their wounds. My memoir emphasizes the departure from my then-current self in order to get on the path that I desired for my life.
Simply put, Living Out Loud is a story of triumph. Not the triumph that most would think come with the topic of cyber-dating. There are many triumphs in my memoir. So many so, that I am confident that both men and women can learn from the path that I traveled.

LOL ;-) Living Out Loud (Veronica Tanzen)
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the book?
Living Out Loud was inspired by those who heard my story and confessed that it gave them hope. They urged me to share my story with the world.
It was humbling to see goosebumps appear on someone’s arms and tears well up in their eyes as I casually recounted my story. Those physical reactions made me realize that my story was worth telling.

Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
It would be obvious to say that my target audience is women (maybe divorced, maybe never married) who are dipping their toes into the online dating pool. The most surprising demographic for me has been the rave reviews and feedback from the male populous. I think that I could safely say that the target audience is both men and women from their 20’s on up. It can be purchased at most online book sources, and personalized copies may be ordered through the contact page of my website.

"I have opened up the passion of my heart for all to experience."

What makes your book special?
My heart. I have opened up the passion of my heart for all to experience. This book is not a how-to for online dating. It is a multi-faceted journey of growth through quite a few self-imposed hurdles.

How would you describe the success of your book so far?
Although I have only begun my book promotions and have just recently delved into the world of social media (or should I say – begun flailing gracefully with social media), the feedback from my current sales online and locally has overwhelmed and humbled me.

How long did it take it to write the book?
Start to finish, it took four years to give birth to my first literary baby. I wrote it over a period of a three months back in 2010 and then it sat gathering cyber dust. It wasn’t until a literary agent expressed interest a year ago that I dusted it off, hired an editor and reviewed it again. It actually doubled in size during that process and when I put my cyber-pen down, I felt as though it was finally ready to meet the world.

"Don’t let your ego block the feedback from those around you, but use it."

Can you give some advice for other Authors regarding the writing process?
Listen to people. Don’t let your ego block the feedback from those around you, but use it. You are not the be-all end-all of knowledge, so open your heart and mind to those around you. Accept the kudos at face value and the negative comments with a grain of salt and point to ponder.

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I am working on two projects right now. The first is a fictional compilation of three short stories.
The second is the project that I am the most excited about – two children’s series geared towards preschool audiences and up.

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
I think that the book market will probably be similar to its appearance now, but I do feel that there will be a decline in brick and mortar outlets. I don’t feel that eBooks will take over the industry, but sales of physical books will probably be predominantly from online sales.
Online sales with the “look inside” feature can, unfortunately, easily replace the in-store experience. Being able to read reviews and see what other books were purchased with the one you’re interested in is definitely a helpful tool. You can’t find that in an aisle at a bookstore.

"I [...] love to curl up with a physical book."

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I spend the majority of my day in front of a computer, so the thought of spending my reading time in front of, yet another, screen does not appeal to me. I am old school and love to curl up with a physical book.

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job? When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I do work a traditional full-time job but would dearly love to replace it with full-time writing. When I’m not writing, or at my day job, I am busy doing seemingly endless renos with my husband, taking our two dogs on outdoor adventures, traveling to new cities for romantic getaways with my husband, and spending time with my daughter and granddaughter.

How can readers connect with you?
Readers can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook or the contact page of http://www.veronicatanzen.com/.

Thank you very much for the Interview, Veronica.

About the Book LOL ;-) Living Out Loud

LOL ;-) Living Out Loud (Veronica Tanzen)
Click to Read an Excerpt
LOL ;-) Living Out Loud takes you on a fresh and quirky ride through one woman's attempt to master the science of cyber-dating while navigating her way down the road to finding true love.

Start with a once-conflicted, twice-divorced single mother, toss in some humorous self-discovery, sprinkle in a smattering of questionable dating profiles, and wrap it all up in a very colorful package that will make you want to laugh, cry and...

"An estimated 30 to 40 million North Americans use online dating sites, and the growing industry can now take credit for 17% of all marriages on the continent. Not surprisingly, a myriad of online dating self-help books have popped up on shelves—how-to’s and self-proclaimed success stories of finding a mate. This story is definitely not one of those.

When Veronica first clicked on those two fateful words, “create profile,” she did so with shaky hands and an equally shaken heart. She had no clue what kind of a roller coaster she had just strapped herself into, complete with highs, lows, and stomach-churning turns. The problem was, she had just gotten off another very bumpy ride and was unsure that she had the strength to embark on this new path."

Links to the Book

Link to the Paperback LOL ;-) Living Out Loud with Excerpt on Amazon

Link to the eBook LOL ;-) Living Out Loud with Excerpt on Amazon

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