Walnut Springs Press March Madness Sweet 16 Questions--Tanya Parker Mills

From the Northern bracket again, comes the versatile Tanya Parker Mills

If you could be a character from any book, who would you be and why?
If I could be a character from any book, I would be Scheherazade from One Thousand and One Nights because, first of all, I'd be living in luxury, but more than that, I'd get to do my favorite thing--continue making up stories. Besides, I have a thing for the Middle East (as shown by my dressing up as Lawrence of Arabia for the Protagonists Ball at the recent ANWA Conference…see picture).

If you could co-write a book with any author who would you co-write it with?
If I could co-write a book with any author, I'd choose Barbara Kingsolver (though I'm sure she wouldn't choose me…she doesn't seem like the type to belong to a writer's group, let alone co-write with someone). But among those who might say yes, I'd go with Liz Adair.

(Here we are sitting next to each other for a signing at last year's LDStorymakers Conference)

How many hours do you spend on writing a day?
I think I average 4-5 (which is pretty pitiful when you consider my low output…I'm just too much of a perfectionist).

What advice would I give an aspiring writer? 

Start young and never give up. Also, don't belittle your work. All authors are a work in progress.

How have your personal experiences affected your writing? 

All of my experiences abroad have made me highly attuned to different cultures and that's why I try to write fiction that bridges cultures, no matter the genre or the type of culture. Certainly, my experiences with my son, who was diagnosed with Asperger's, gave me the impetus to write A Night on Moon Hill.

Tanya at her book launch for A Night on Moon Hill

How long did it take you to publish your first book after you started trying? 

Gulp. I started trying to publish The Reckoning too soon (in 2003) before it was really polished, and finally ended up self-publishing it in 2008 (after it was finally ready).

Is there a movie that you prefer over the book version? 

Yes. "The Bourne Identity" was better as a film than Robert Ludlum's original book.

Do I write in your PJs? 

Very rarely any more. I used to write at night when my kids were younger and then I was often comfortably dressed in my PJs. But once I started a morning writing routine, a shower was absolutely essential to wake me up and I just couldn't get back into my pajamas after showering.

Do you use a laptop or a desktop for writing? 

At home I use a desktop Mac; when I'm traveling, I use my new MacBook Air.

What is your favorite quotation? 

You've got to be kidding! There are SO MANY!!! I'm going to stick with my favorite scripture as my favorite quotation: "Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me." (Doctrine and Covenants 19:23)

What is your favorite cereal? 

I'm afraid I'm boring, but healthy. Total Bran Flakes. Grapenuts are a close second.

If you were a crayon what color would I be?

Emerald Green. :D

Do you prefer summer or winter? 

Well, since I live in an area where winter is fairly mild, I'll say winter because my heater keeps me toasty warm while I write and I have more of an excuse to stay inside and write.

What is one thing you hope to accomplish this year? 

Get an agent!

(Then maybe I'll have a shot at one of the big publishers like this one…we happened by on a quick trip to NYC to see some Broadway shows)

(On that same trip, I got to see some of the sites I wrote about in my last novel, including Peace Fountain)

The world would be a better place if…

money were taken out of all politics, or out of everything, for that matter. There should be things in this life that are not for sale.

What is something you've always wanted to try? 

Scuba diving!

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