Tanya Lukas has been a member of WLT since January of this year and will be attending the 2014 Summer Writing Retreat in Alpine next month. She lives in rural Palo Pinto County in North Texas.
Scribe: In what genre(s) do you write?
Tanya Lukas: My current novel, The Life of Barleigh Flanders, is Historical Fiction set in Texas, mid 1800’s, and involves the Pony Express; however, I also write Historical Romance and Contemporary Romance. My short fiction, Of Murder, Mayhem and Magnolias, the 2002 recipient of the Judy & A. C. Greene Literary Award for Texas Authors, was Contemporary Comedy. I like to dabble in different varieties of writing.
Scribe: What authors would you like to have coffee or a beer with and which beverage?
TL: I would love to have coffee with Larry McMurtry and tell him the story of how I came this close (show him my thumb and index finger centimeters apart) to stealing THE paper mache statue of the blue pig from his book store, The Blue Pig, in Archer City, Texas. Thankfully (or not) my sister was less adventurous than myself and talked me out of it. I thought it would be fun to take the pig on vacation, do the whole photo-journalism thing like folks do with garden gnomes, and send Mr. McMurtry pictures of all the interesting places his blue pig turned up. How I wish I’d talked my sister into stealing that pig! We would have returned it, of course, with a well-stamped passport and a “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” photo-book full to the last page. And second, I’d love to share some Almondage champagne with Ken Follett. While not technically champagne since it’s from California, it’s my favorite, and we could sip mimosas and discuss how the heck he went from Eye of the Needleand penning thrillers to The Pillars of the Earth and writing historical. Brilliant authors, both, and two of my favorites.
Scribe: If you were stranded on a deserted island, what book would you want to have with you to keep you sane?
TL: If stranded on a desert island, the book I would want to have with me would be the one I am currently working on, as writing keeps me sane. Writing, for me, is therapy, and editing and re-writing would keep me occupied until the rescue boat arrived. I might be tempted, though, to put my rescuers off until I found the perfect first word, the exact connective phrase, the most wrenching final paragraph, the ultimate hook, the best last word…
Scribe: What have you learned from your association with the Writers League?Where do you see your writing taking you (or you taking it) in the future?
TL: I have learned from the Writers League to put myself out there, to enter contests, to risk exposure, to not be afraid to “show and tell,” which is difficult for this introverted writer. I’ve entered League contests and have received valuable feedback, and now I’m looking forward to my first Writer’s Retreat. I’m anxious for a weeks immersion in the magical final editing process in order to prepare my manuscript for marketing to agents and publishers.
Scribe: Is there anything else about you that you would like to share with the world? An opportunity for blatant self-promotion!
TL: The future of my writing will take me one step further to that of a published novelist. I’ve experienced the joys of seeing my short stories, poems, magazine articles and plays published, and now I’m ready to see my first full-length novel on book shelves. I envision walking through DFW airport, stopping at the news stand/book store to get a bag of almond M&M’s and a bottle of water for my international flight to some exotic destination, and pausing to straighten the shelf where my book is displayed, perhaps next to one of Follett’s or McMurtry’s.
Oooo – blatant self promotion here - what to say? The first thing that comes to mind is what one says when walking into a twelve-step program: Hi, I’m Tanya, and I’m a horse-aholic. Most of my writing, like my life, is closely intertwined with horses. I’ve written for international equestrian magazines and have published stories and photographs about the “horsey lifestyle,” and I’ve been crazy about horses since I can remember first dreaming about them as a child. I’m fortunate that my husband is similarly afflicted and understands this disease, for that is what it is, and the only treatment, as there is no cure, is to spend more time in the barn. My current novel follows the trail of the Pony Express, and having personal experience with equine quadrupeds lends valuable authenticity to my writing. I feel at peace walking into my barn and breathing in the wonderful smell of “horse.” For those of you who know this smell, no explanation is needed. For those of you who don’t know this smell and wish to, look for The Life of Barleigh Flanders, coming soon to DFW news stands – I’m positive.
If you’d like to learn more about our Summer Writing Retreat in Alpine or register for one of our workshops, you can find more information here: