Margaret Tanner is a multi-published Australian author. She loves delving into the pages of history as she carries out research for her historical romance novels, and prides herself on being historically accurate. No book is too old or tattered for her to trawl through, no museum too dusty, or cemetery too overgrown. Many of her novels have been inspired by true events, with one being written around the hardships and triumphs of her pioneering ancestors in frontier Australia.
As part of her research she has visited the World War 1 battlefields in France and Belgium, a truly poignant experience.
She won the 2007 and 2009 Author of the Year at AussieAuthors.com. A Rose In-No-Man’s Land won an un-published manuscript award. Her novel Frontier Wife won the Best Historical Romance Novel at the 2010 Readers Favorite Award, and another novel, Wild Oats was a 2011 Finalist in the EPIC awards.
In 2012, an unpublished manuscript was short listed in English publisher, ChocLit’s, Find an Australian Star, competition.
Margaret is married with three grown up sons, and two gorgeous little granddaughters.
Outside of her family and friends, writing is her passion.
Publishers: Books We Love, The Wild Rose Press and Whiskey Creek Press.
What inspires you to write?
I have always been a writer from as far back as I can remember. I used to write these pitiful sad little ditties then I moved on to short stories. I was quite successful with short stories, had a few published and won a few contests.
One contest win really sticks in my mine. Years ago I entered a competition for a sock company writing about feet. Little feet, big feet, smelly feet any kind of feet and guess who won? I dutifully collected my prize – twenty pairs of socks. Dad and my brother were very happy, so were their feet.
I graduated to novel writing and fell in love.
Tell us about your writing process.
I guess you could say I am a seat of the pants writer. I rarely do character sketches, well maybe just brief ones. My characters jump into my head and seem to evolve as I write the story.
I do always carry a pen and notebook with me, to jot down ideas when they come to me.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Oh yes, I certainly do. I wander around and people think I am talking to myself, but of course I am not, I am having a chat with my characters. As for my characters, they constantly talk to me. I do try not to answer them if I am in public, but sometimes I forget. And people give me those “oh poor thing, she must be crazy” kind of looks. Not that it wories me, an author has to have a thick skin.
What advice would you give other writers?
Set a goal and stick to it. Never give up, no matter how many rejections you receive, keep plugging away and you will eventually achieve your aim – getting published. Of course, then the hard work really begins. Promoting, marketing and writing your next book.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I am not very technically minded, so I couldn’t self publish. I went with a publisher. Actually I have three different publishers, spreading my risk as you might say. You do need to do your research. No point submitting your erotic romance to a publisher who only publish religious stories etc.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think e-publishing will become more dominant in the market. More and more people are getting e-readers. E-books are convenient, cheap and you don’t need to cut down trees for paper.
That said, I do like to hold a print copy of my book in my hand, inhale the aroma, flick the pages, and I can sleep with it under my pillow for a couple of weeks or so.
What genres do you write?
Historical romance, Contemporary romance
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print