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Interview with T.L. Hanigan

A little something about T.L. Hanigan:

T. L. Hanigan is a Pacific Northwest author, who reads as much as she writes. When she is not spilling her words on a page, she is traveling, freelancing as a photographer, and spending time with her family. As a single mom, she hopes to encourage young readers that anything is possible.

Questions and Answers:

1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I first realized I wanted to be a writer in the first grade. I’ve always loved writing stories throughout my childhood and even into adulthood.

2. How long does it take you to write a book?

That depends. One book took me eight years, another took me a year and a half.

3. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

I usually write in the morning while I’m drinking my coffee, and always at night for about three-four hours.

4. What would you say is your unique writing quirk?

I would have to say dialogue.

5. Whether it be traditional, self, or story book apps. How'd you find the publishing process?

Originally, it was on Wattpad. This is where I got back into writing and found that other people really enjoyed my writing. I knew I wanted to self-publish one day, so after doing some research, I finally took the leap – and I’m so glad I did!

6. How much of your writing process involves research in your subject matter or plot?

I start with where and when I want the story based. State, city, century. From there, I look at the landmarks of the city or town (houses, schools, libraries, etc.). I make sure to save each webpage so I can go back to look at it later, if need be. With stories involving spirits or demons, I know a lot about the paranormal but there’s still so much I don’t know. One thing that is helpful is reading about Ed and Lorraine Warren’s investigations.

If the story is based in the 18th century, I research everything. From the rooms they called in their homes, to the food they would eat. What the roads looked like, the people, and the towns. It is all so interesting to me.

7. When did you write your first book and how old were you?

Started or finished? I’m kidding. I started one when I was about eleven years old, but I didn’t finish a book until I was nineteen.

8. What do you like to do when you're not writing?

When I’m not writing, I love spending time with my family and friends.

9. What does your family think of your writing?

They think it’s really cool and they’re proud of the work I’ve done.

10.What was one of the most surprising things you learned about yourself in creating your books (characters, location, plot)?

I’ve found a few things. I’ve put a piece of my personality into a character, or I stick with small towns because I’ve always liked a small town here in Washington that is just so cute.

11.What is it you particularly like about the genre you write?

With horror/thriller, you can make it as scary as you want. In fantasy, I love that you can make up your own rules in your own little world.

12.Do you have any suggestions to help others become writers? If so, what are they?

You don’t have to write every day to be a writer. It can be every few days, but the goal is to write. Even famous authors take breaks. We are our worse critique. You might be surprised what others like in your story, even though you may not. Don’t give up. Not everyone will like your story and that’s okay.

13.Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I do! They’ve asked what I’m working on, when the next book is coming out, and/or if there will be a sequel.

14.Do you like to create books for your target audience?


15.What do you think makes a good story?

I believe what makes a good story are characters, setting, plot, conflict, and resolution.

16.How do you handle writers block and what do you tell other aspiring authors who may be fighting or fearful about hitting that wall?

There are several ways I handle writer’s block and I recommended these to aspiring authors:

  • Re-read the scene

  • Take a break

  • Look at your outline

  • Eat a snack

Final thoughts:

I learned quite a bit from T.L. in this interview. The biggest lesson I took from her in-depth interview was that it's okay to take a break. It's okay to walk away from the wall before you bang your head against it. Personally, I have been suffering bad from writers block on my current project and I have been beating myself up over it the last couple of weeks. But after reading her words, I will try to forgive myself and just work through it. I see great things from this author. Thank you for sharing your insights.

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