J J Hanna
Interview with Author Tanner Walling
Updated: Dec 11, 2019
This week, for the final week of November, we are joined by author Tanner Walling.
I hope you've enjoyed seeing these interviews this month and hearing from other authors!
In December we will return to a normal posting schedule with a break for the holidays.
For now, enjoy Tanner's answers!
What genres do you write?
I write primarily young adult and middle grade thrillers, science fiction (especially dystopian), and fantasy.
When did you start writing? How did you get interested in writing?
I always used to be interested in science and, for the longest time, didn’t want to have anything to do with writing because I was used to writing by hand. Seeing as I hated those hand cramps, I avoided writing until I started writing for my science website, Science All Around, when I was 11. This eventually lead me to experiment in books when I was about 12. A few months later, I met some new friends who asked what I like to do and I, for some dumb reason, said I wrote books despite the fact that I had written only three chapters. This got my friends so excited that I decided to jump back into writing books and found it was the thing I most loved doing.
What’s your favorite part of writing?
My favorite part of writing is being able to touch the lives of others through my stories. I have a pretty diverse friend group so, naturally, my characters are of many different ethnic backgrounds and sexual orientations. Since they get such little representation in mainstream entertainment, my friends have been incredibly excited for the release of my books because they incorporate characters of many different backgrounds. It’s things like that that continue to kindle my love for writing.
How do you get past writer’s block?
To get past writer’s block, I often let the project I’m working on sit for a while while I work on another project. By having multiple different projects going at once, it keeps my mind fresh and open to new ideas because my different projects span various different genres and sub-genres.
What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
My best advice for new writers is to write what you love, not what the industry wants you to. There’s always a market for what you love and having a smaller, more niche market for what you love will make selling your book easier and writing and promoting your book so much more fun.
What's your favorite social media trick? After all, we all need to build platforms somehow. Where can we find you online? Links? Handles?
My favorite social media trick is also something critical to my brand: positivity and kindness. I love helping and supporting others and it really stands out in a world of such negativity. Basically just being genuinely nice and candid gets you a long way, both in life and on social media. My handles are @tannerwalling on Twitter and @itstwalling on Pinterest and Instagram (I have to build up Instagram more, so more follows there would be appreciated!).
What is the hardest part of the creative process for you?
Editing is by far the hardest part of the creative process for me. It’s literally the reason for the large gap in time between my first book and my upcoming books - I just despise editing. I love sitting down to write and plan new stories and books. Bringing new worlds to life is my passion so when it comes time to edit and not create, that’s not very fun for me.
What's something unique you want people to know about you? What distinguishes your brand?
I think the one unique thing about me that also factors into my brand is my age. My first book, Fury of the Storm, was published right before I turned fourteen and I’m currently seventeen, so my age definitely sets me apart from most of my contemporaries in young adult fiction. However, I think my age definitely gives my books a distinct appeal because I actually know what it’s like to be a teenager in the modern world so it lends my books a certain authenticity that is hard to find anywhere else in young adult literature. As for my brand of writing, it’s definitely all about the pulse-pounding action and authentic characters.
Tell me about your current projects, your hopes for them, and how far along they are. I want to hear it.
I’m currently working on my middle-grade disaster thriller series, Fury of the Storm Adventures. I’m working to get the second book, Aftershock, out and I hope to make the series the preeminent series in its genre. It’s done well so far on the Amazon bestsellers’ list for Children’s Weather books but now that I’ll be having more of the books coming out and an increase in advertising, I’m excited for what’s to come. I’m also working on several science fiction thrillers and dystopian thrillers in the background!
What projects have you had published? Where can we find them/read them/buy them? Can you give me a one paragraph blurb about each?
Currently, I have my book Fury of the Storm out on Amazon and B&N. It’s a middle grade disaster thriller in which the main character Isaac finds his jet crashing in the middle of the largest hurricane ever. Stranded on some barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina, he must fight to survive and get to the mainland where he can be rescued.
What are some of your favorite books/authors, and why?
Neal Shusterman (especially his Unwind and Arc of a Scythe series’) is my favorite author because his writing is not only gripping and engaging but it really makes you think about some intense and often pressing issues our modern world faces such as abortion and population control.
Why are you writing the genre you write?
I’ve always been a fan of everything thrillers and speculative fiction, and I’m a teenager myself, so I pretty much just naturally fit into the genre I write.
Tanner Walling is an Amazon bestselling thriller, sci-fi, and fantasy author as well as an editor for lyrics website Genius. Born and raised in Massachusetts, he published the first installment in his Fury of the Storm Adventures series just shy of his fourteenth birthday. In addition, he is an editor for the lyrics website Genius where he has accumulated over twenty-five million page views on his contributions, many of which can be found at genius.com/introspection. He can be found as @tannerwalling on Twitter, @itstwalling on Instagram and Pinterest, and on his website at www.tannerwalling.weebly.com.
J. J. Hanna graduated from Taylor University with a degree in Professional Writing. She's currently working with literary agent Cyle Young, learning to be a literary agent, and working as a freelance writer and editor. To hire her for editing, writing, speaking, or consulting, see the services tab. In her free time, she can be found cuddling with a cat, reading the latest suspense novel, or filming YouTube videos about the publishing industry.
Follow her on most social media @authorjjhanna
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