Tania Joyce is no stranger to my blog. But what makes this interview different, is that Tania's debut novel - Propositions - was released a couple of days ago.
I've known Tania for several years. She's a talented and dedicated writer, and I was privileged to read some of the early drafts of Propositions.
Not content with anything except a perfect, exciting, tantalising, sexy, and extremely well-written book, Tania has polished and honed this book for a long time, ensuring that readers get nothing but perfection.
Tania Joyce - congratulations! I am so very happy for you.
What is it about the high-flying corporate business world that allows you to see beyond the long hours, pencil skirts, and multi-million dollar decisions, to find romance and love?
I think it comes down to real life experience. The corporate world can be tough. Long hours, stressful, deadlines, budgets and clients to keep happy. To find someone … anyone … that shares your passion, supports your aspirations and dreams, and loves you would be a nice reality for many.
I faced many challenges in my own corporate career over the years and this has influenced the creation of my heroines. I like to write about empowered, career-oriented women who are successful and fulfilled in their lives. It’s just after going through some drama-filled turmoil they happen to find a lover that supports and complements them for a Happy Ever After ending.
Is there any of yourself in your main characters - Jessica Mason or Nate Somers?
I can see myself in both of the main characters.
As a new writer I wanted to write about things I am familiar with, so my heroine in Propositions, Jessica Mason, works in a corporate environment. After working in a similar profession, I felt I could provide in-depth information and description about what goes on behind the scenes to the reader. Jessica is also passionate, driven and professional (most of the time) which I can relate to.
Nate is a workaholic. I know, without a doubt, I can get that way when I am enthralled in a project and deadlines need to be met.
Both characters have their own family dramas, stresses, had their hearts broken and are determined to succeed in life … so yes I can relate to my characters as I had to draw on my own experiences to deliver these complex elements and emotions into my story.
Could you fall for a man like Nate Somers?
Hmm. He’s tall, rich and handsome! Er …. Yes!
But more than that … to find a man that loves you, supports and encourages your career and life choices, and be good in bed is someone you’d want to hold on to forever.
What research, or experience, did you do in order to accurately enter the world of big event management?
My heroine Jessica is in marketing and event management. I drew on my own experience in the corporate world to provide the foundation for Jessica.
My cousin is an operational manager for a large international hotel chain so he helped and provided me with the much needed background information about opening hotels and the processes they go through. It was really interesting to find out what goes on before a hotel opens its doors to guests.
I also like to set my stories in places I have visited. I think it helps to write vivid descriptions of the towns and cities for the reader, rather than relying on Google. So for the sake of accurate research I spent a lovely weekend in Darling Harbour, out at the Hunter Valley, visited some amazing vineyards and drank lots of wine. All in the name of research, of course!
You’ve been working hard to polish Propositions, creating a beautifully written, exciting, and high quality novel. What advice would you give to other debut authors who are hoping for a contract like yours with Momentum?
There has been so much I have learned on my journey to publication. It took me just over three years.
You have to learn to write properly (eg the whole 'show…don’t tell' stuff), research the genre and subgenres and I found it beneficial to have a freelance professional editor to help polish my manuscript before I did any submissions. Also attending conferences and workshops to improve your craft and putting yourself in front of publishers at pitching opportunities helps. Propositions was picked up after a pitching session at the RWA conference in August 2015.
Critiques are essential to help perfect your writing and you must be prepared to rework your manuscript to make it marketable.
It can be daunting and depressing and there are those days where it can feel like a waste of time until one day you’ll get that magic email. Anyone in my writing group can vouch for that!
I’m eagerly looking forward to the sequel to Propositions. In the sequel, will we see any characters that we’ve already met?
Yes. Without giving too much away … the sequel’s working title is called Acquisitions. While Jessica and Nate will make an appearance, the sequel is about Troy and his happy ever after.
Can you give us any teasers or hints about what we can expect in the next book?
While I’ve written the first draft I’m still nutting out some of the finer points. It is about a woman who comes to town as part of the team that is buying up land for property development. Gumtrees Winery is on their hit list to purchase. Troy becomes an owner of Gumtrees, so the stakes are high but the sex and the tension between the two main characters of course will be hot!
No strings attached ... or so she thought.
Following years of sacrifice and struggle, Jessica Mason now co-owns a successful marketing agency in Sydney. All Jessica wants to do is focus on growing her business and maintain the lifestyle she's worked so hard to achieve. But everything changes when her agency wins a major contract for the opening of the new Somers Hotel and she has to take on the account.
Nate Somers is a workaholic trying to please his retiring father. When he meets captivating, go-getting Jessica, the prospect of a short-term love affair sounds like a proposition he'd be crazy to decline.
But when Jessica spends a weekend away at her favorite vineyard retreat, she runs into Troy Smith, the ex-boyfriend who left her broken and vulnerable years ago. Things don't go to plan when the well-kept secrets from her past are revealed and Troy starts weaving his way back into her life.
With her business at stake and hearts at risk, Jessica's future is destined to change. Who will end up making Jessica a proposition she simply cannot refuse?
From page 45
“So was this just ‘once more’ or is this going to be a regular occurrence, Ms Mason?” He smiled at her, making her legs feel unsteady at the seductive sight of him. How could she have sex with a man and not get involved? Could she do it? Max assured her it was possible.
“Nate, I’m not sure what to make of it. Maybe I should get Alex to look after your launch.”
“I don’t want to work with Alex. I want to work with you.”
“But we can’t go on like this. You’re my client. I can’t be involved with you; it’ll make working together uncomfortable … well any more than what it already is. I don’t need my staff getting suspicious and I don’t want emotions to get in the way of decisions that need to be made.”
“Me either. But, I find it very difficult to keep my hands off of you.”
She sighed because she had to agree. Something unexplainable attracted her to him.
“So what do you propose we do?” she asked as she slipped on her stiletto pumps.
He stood in front of her, his eyes locking on to hers as he tucked her hair behind her ears.
“We either have to stop this, or … I’m only here for a few months.” His words full of suggestive connotations.
She gasped. Was she drawing to the correct conclusion?
“You really want to have an affair? With me? She blushed at the notion.
Nate’s subtle nod and sparkle in his eye sent her head into a spin.
“Nate, I’ve never done the casual thing. You’re only here for a while and neither one of us wants to risk getting hurt. I’m sure you agree.”
“Wholeheartedly.” He hesitated as if deliberating on many ideas before his expression turned serious.
“Let’s consider this like any business proposition … a negotiation if you will. If we agree, great. If not, we’ll have to find some way where we can work together. Okay?
Jessica couldn’t believe her ears. But more shocking, was that she was contemplating the whole idea.
“If we continue to see each other, my number one priority would be discretion.” Nate said as he but on his jacket. “I’m sure you can appreciate where I’m coming from, considering recent events surrounding my father. Unfortunately there are people out there, like the gossip magazines, that think my life is interesting, so the paparazzi can often hang around when I attend functions.”
She nodded in agreement because she didn’t want to be front page news for the wrong reasons.
“Discretion is a must.” She paused, wondered what on earth she was doing discussing terms of having an affair with this man. It was such a crazy concept. “And I don’t need any gray areas, so let’s keep the intimacy out of it—no staying the night, romantic dates or weekends together.” Jessica looked at him anxiously. She didn’t really know what she was saying, but anything to protect her heart from being hurt when he left.
She’s widely travelled, has a diverse background in the corporate world and has a love for shopping, shoes and Shiraz. She’s rarely seen without glitter, sparkle and stilettos. Her quirk is she collects key rings everywhere she goes and often has an intriguing tale about each one.
Tania draws on all her real-life experiences and combines them with her very vivid dreams to form the foundation of her novels. She likes to write about strong-minded, career-oriented heroes and heroines that go through drama-filled hell, have steamy encounters and risk everything as they endeavour to find their happy-ever-after.
She grew up loving books like Anne of Green Gables, reading the classics like Pride and Prejudice, and getting lost in the world of fantasy, like The Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan, before finding her home in the romance genre.
Only unearthing the desire to write after having children, Tania now shuffles the hours in her day between part-time work, full-time family life and never-finding-enough-time to write. One day she hopes to find balance! She lives in Queensland with her husband and two boys. When she’s not writing, she enjoys camping, hot yoga, and the company of friends and family – especially if it’s over a glass of wine!
‘Propositions' is available for purchase from all good ebook retails including Amazon and Kobo, or directly from Momentum. Print-On-Demand option is available at Momentum.
For more information about ‘Propositions’, please visit www.taniajoyce.com