If you weren’t a writer, you’d be—
A psychologist. A find the human mind fascinating.
Does the writing get easier with each book? Or does it get more difficult because you’re also growing as an author with each work?
I have found that it has gotten increasingly harder. Coming up with new ideas hasn’t really been a struggle for me, but as I grow in my craft, I put myself placing higher standards for myself each go round. I am my own worst critic. I am harsher to myself than anyone else could possibly be. Therefore, I am constantly searching for what I deem as my own personal milestones for each and every novel I write. I am the type of author who will pre-edit a manuscript to death. By the time my editor and Beta Readers receive it, I’ve toiled over the thing and re-written various scenes countless times. It gets to the point where I have to say, “Tiana, stop stirring and serve the meal. You’ve done your best.”
Are you an active participant in the cover design of your books?
I am extremely active. The covers you see on my books were my ideas entirely. I chose the models, the artwork, etc. What I do at that point is take my collection, hand it over to my graphics guy and he does an amazing job with translating onto the cover what I’ve told him I want. I am very hands on and meticulous when it comes to my covers. If the models don’t match how I described them in the novel, I have a big problem with that. I’m also an artist myself (draw and paint) so I know what I want because I’m quite visually inclined. This is the reason why I also enjoy having artistic control over my book trailers as well.
I know some authors who hold several advanced degrees, and several successful authors who don’t hold a single degree, do you think it is necessary to have a college degree to write?
I do not think it is necessary to have a college degree to write good books. I believe what is necessary, is raw talent, a willingness to grow and learn, dedication and a few good mentors along the way. There must also be a basic understanding of sentence structure, word flow, scene analysis, etc. I myself have a degree in Business Communication and a certification in human sexuality. It has definitely aided me, but I still believe I’d be just as able to write books without it. One thing that we in this modern day have as authors that many others that preceded us didn’t have is Google. LOL. Seriously though, research is at our fingertips and the ability to feed our minds with new information 24-7 is virtually inescapable. Whatever we are struggling with to learn about, we can study in the privacy of our own homes. No more strolls to the library required. (But at times I wish they were. Libraries are awesome, but I digress.) What college does is help ‘train your mind’ – but that can also be derived in other ways. I believe a degree helps, but it sure is not a necessity. Some of the best authors we enjoy do not have a college degree and we love them as well as their books.
What do you think every writer should know about character development?
I’m not certain I’m the right person to ask this question, yet some of my readers would argue I’m a great choice to prose such an inquiry. I am very big on character development. However, keep in mind, I tend to write long books. (books meeting or exceeding 100k words.) For readers who simply want a quick read that moves super fast, then character development is less crucial. For readers who want to dance inside of the mind of a character, know where he/she came from, understand their motivations, comprehend why they have done what they’ve done, wore the attire they placed on their body that morning and chose the profession that they have, well then yes, character development is essential. To answer the question – I think ever writer has to do what feels right to them. I believe in listening to the character, and really trying to understand them and that will allow the writer to see just how much or how little needs to be shared. It also depends on the writer’s writing style. Due to my love of human psychology, a character’s motivations, childhood etc. are personally important to me, therefore, I share it with my readers as well.
Bio (brief): Tiana Laveen was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She moved away, and now lives inside of her mind, but her heart is occupied with her husband, two children, and twisted imagination. She is a uniquely creative and innovative author whose romance fiction is geared towards those who not only want to temporarily escape from the daily routines of life, but also became pleasantly caught up in the twisted, well developed journeys of her unique characters.
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