Tani Hanes will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
If your book were made into a movie, who would you want to play your main characters? My favorite question!! My students and I cast Living in the Shallows (and the following six books!) endlessly. The obvious choice for Theo, given the genesis of this story, is Harry Styles. He’s definitely who was in my head while I was writing. Ronan is Niall Horan all over; same speech patterns, same angelic personality. Gethin is where it gets a bit murky, because I was thinking of Jamie Bell, who’s a bit older than my guys. It kinda fits, though, because Geth has that mature, protective thing. And with Matthew, things are so murky they’re practically invisible, because he’s completely made up. From his looks (half Mozambican, half Scottish) to his heart (pure and beautiful) to his accent (Scottish brogue, wowza), he was the most perfect being I could think of. I’ve never seen or heard of anyone who could be Matty. And my daughter, who’s on the covers of my books, was the faceplate for Tink.
How do you come up with the titles of your books? Living in the Shallows actually began as “The Risk It Takes To Blossom”, which is an allusion to a quote from Anais Nin, someone I admire so much. A few months into the process, I came across something online saying that this was not her quote! This rocked me; it was akin to when I first heard the rumor that Harper Lee didn’t write To Kill A Mockingbird, that it was actually Truman Capote. Anyway, I went back to my favorite of Nin’s quotes, and found something else that would work, that carried a similar message. Tink has never really participated in her own life, never engaged with those around her, so I think it works. The following books (two published so far, Diving Deep and Learning to Fly) expand on that theme.
What does your writing space look like? Well, LitS was written for the most part while I was substitute teaching at the local high school lol! The regular teachers aren’t going to leave quantum physics for me in the lesson plans, which I totally get, so I had a lot of time on my hands after I’d given whatever the assignment was. This is why so many of my students’ names wound up in the books! The main characters’ names were obviously already set, but doctors, security guards, fans, most peripheral characters, are named for whichever students I was interacting with :o)
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing? I like to read, I like to knit, I love to watch movies. And we’ve recently moved to New York City, so it’s been so much fun to explore the funnest city in the world!
What is your favourite color? Purple, like my heroine Tink, with indigo a close second :o)
What is your favourite pleasure food? Again, like Tink, I love sushi. It’s part of my childhood (I’m half Japanese, spent a lot of time there, went to college there, my family still lives there), it reminds me of my ojichan, my grandpa. Setting Living in the Shallows there was a no-brainer.
What is your favourite season? I like spring. My obachan (grandma) loved flowers, was a teacher of ikebana, Japanese flower arranging, and she taught me so much. Japanese people are always amazed at my Japanese horticultural vocabulary lol. So I really get a thrill when I see new-green (that’s an actual word in Japanese) on the trees, or new bulbs pushing out of the ground. Going into the backyard to see the trees she smuggled over in her clothes as cuttings (shh, don’t tell!) blooming was something I looked forward to at our old house in California.
What is your favourite television show? I don’t actually watch loads of TV these days, so I’m a bit out of date, but I really liked Dexter, if you can believe it. Especially at the beginning, it was a whole new take on main characters.
What is your favourite movie? Too many! A Room With A View, Billy Elliot, Pride and Prejudice, The Way He Looks (this one has the best first kiss ever, in any movie, IMHO!).
Who is your favourite actor? Again, too many. Eddie Redmayne, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, Sam Rockwell? I know, that last one doesn’t quite fit, but he’s incredible.
What is your favourite song? Right now it’s “Electricity” by Ricky Gervais. Yes, Ricky Gervais! Though I think it’s technically by David Brent, the character he plays in The Office. This song sums up the relationship between my two characters perfectly, I think. It’s beautiful and uplifting and joyous.
What is your favourite comfort clothing attire? Pajamas!!
What books might we find on your bedside table? There are certain books that I like to read again and again, because I like where they take me; they would include, but are not limited to, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Lonesome Dove, Lolita, To Kill A Mockingbird, and The Goldfinch.
Describe yourself in three words. Punctual. Grammatical. Animal-lover. (Yeah, technically that’s four words, but, hey, it’s a hyphenate, cut me some slack :o)
Aileen is a bilingual music student with a chronic case of poverty. She gets a dream job as an interpreter for a boy band making a movie in Japan. Having spent her life as a sheltered, shy only child in the rarefied world of classical piano, she is utterly unprepared for this new world, these boys and their frank physicality and openness. Theo, especially, the known playboy and unrepentant flirt of the group, makes her uncomfortable in a way she's never felt before, and ultimately Aileen, or Tinker Bell, as she's known to the boys, has to decide if she's ready to leave the sidelines and become a participant in her own life.
The laughter and talking had stopped as soon as they entered the room and saw me. They stood, as if unsure what to do. The boy with the long brown hair recovered his composure first and held out his hand.
"Hello, I'm Theo," he said in a deep voice that didn’t quite match his young boy look. He had a British accent, too, though it was different from Betsey's. He added a smile as we shook hands, and I saw gray eyes and dimples to go with the perfect teeth.
The blond boy, whose eyes were a dark, rich brown, held out his hand next. "I'm Ronan, nice to meet you." For a moment, my jet-lagged brain refused to process the words because his accent was so thick. I desperately flipped back through all the movies I'd seen, trying to place it. Irish. This boy was Irish. Just as I was wrapping my mind around that, the redhead stepped forward.
"Hi, I'm Gethin, pleasure to meet you." He, too, had a lovely smile, but his eyes were green. And his accent was different, kind of British, but more sing-song, with elongated vowels, like English on a graceful roller coaster.
Was there something in my coffee besides coffee?
The curly haired boy stepped forward to introduce himself. I stared at him warily. He had stunning dark blue eyes, which contrasted with his brown skin, and the longest eyelashes I'd ever seen on a boy. Given what had come out of the other boys' mouths when they'd spoken, if he started speaking Icelandic or produced yet another English accent, I was going to jump right out the window.
He held out his hand, and as I reached for it, he said, "My name is Matthew, and I'm very happy to meet you." I nearly yanked my hand back. This boy was Scottish, sounded just like Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter, and looked like he should be breaking hearts on the Nigerian soccer team.
AUTHOR Bio and Links
My name is Tani Hanes, and I am a 51 year old substitute teacher. Im from central California and am a recent transplant to New York City. The most important things to know about me are that I'm punctual, I love grammar and sushi, and I'm very intolerant of intolerance. The least important things to know about me are that I like to knit and I couldn't spell "acoustic" for 40 years. I've wanted to write since I was ten, and I finally did it. If you want to write, don't wait as long as I did, it's pointless, and very frustrating!