Friday, March 27, 2015

Interview with Tania Johansson, RIDDLE OF FATE

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Khaya doesn’t know she was meant to die when she was five years old. She doesn’t know her boyfriend is not all he seems. And until now, she didn’t know she had a second ability, but when it manifests, it throws everything into chaos. A first ability means you are gifted. A second ability, they say, means you are headed for madness.

She realises the Company is willing to kill her before her mind breaks and, worse still, angels are trying to kill her too.

Riddle of Fate is a stand alone novel.

Do you have a favorite character?
You are asking me here to choose between my children. I love them all and if you ask me again tomorrow, the answer might be different, but if I had to pick today, I would say Derrin. He is tortured by his past and driven to prevent history from repeating itself. Even if that means being cast into damnation.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
My ideal writing time is sitting in my local Costa with a massive coffee, wafer biscuits and my headphones on. I listen to music on Spotify, which is great as I can choose the right mood of music for the scene I’m working on.

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
This to me is a sliding scale. I’ve sat firmly on the discovery writing end of it with my first novel, Book of Remembrance, and right over to the outline end of the spectrum with my second novel, Of Folly and Fear. I did a chapter by chapter outline for OFaF. This, however, felt like an icy hand of death on my reserve of imagination. Since then, I have moved along the scale, trying to find where I’m comfortable.

Now, I’ll write down some general ideas to work out how the magic system and the world functions and who will be my main characters. I also like to have a good idea of where I am starting and where I want to end, but keep the middle fairly vague with only a few ideas jotted down for where we are heading.

Sometimes, I will press pause on my writing and go back to planning, mapping out the next three or four scenes (not too much detail) and then carry on writing.

Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
Absolutely. My editor, Janet Philip, has a low-key public profile, but she is fantastic. The books wouldn’t be what they are without her. 

What have you’ve learned during your self-publishing journey?
I guess that writing and finishing the book is only the very start of the journey. There is so much else involved with it and I am still learning about these other bits every day. I am not great at keeping up my public profile and I guess this is where my learning curve is still pretty steep.

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
I am on Twitter (@TaniaJohansson), facebook ( and I have a website ( where I have a blog and a section where I review books I’ve read (read, gush over books I loved).

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
I do. And ultimately, writing the next book usually (if not always) wins. I find marketing really challenging and time consuming. I much prefer to lose myself in the next story!

What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
It won’t be easy. BUT, if you love writing, it is worth every bit of effort, frustration and sacrifice.

What’s next for you?
Writing, some more writing, um, writing and then some more writing! I have a completed manuscript, Tainted Ink. I am looking for an agent for it, but in the mean time, I have started writing my next book.

Thank you so much for having me on your beautiful blog today and taking part in Riddle of Fate’s blog tour!

Book & Author details:
Riddle of Fate by Tania Johansson
Publication date: May 29th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Khaya’s life, a life the Order say was never meant to be, is thrown into turmoil when she discovers she has a second ability. The Company who employs people like her – with rare and special abilities – insists that having more than one inevitably leads down a dark spiral into madness. So they are watching and waiting, ready to terminate her at the first sign of trouble.
Now, on the run from the Company’s agents while trying to prove her sanity, Khaya realises they are not the only ones she should fear. Angels are working towards her demise as well.
The question that haunts her is this: What did she do that was terrible enough to elicit the wrath of angels? And can she trust the mysterious Derrin, or is he the cause of all her tribulations?


I grew up in a small town called Ficksburg in South Africa and moved with my family to England aged fifteen.

I then completed my schooling through a correspondence course from South Africa. This challenging time taught me a lot of self-discipline and determination. Qualities that have been invaluable while writing my first novel.

In 2004 I started studying optometry at Aston University in Birmingham, UK and currently I live and work as an optician in Kent.

In 2008, I married my wonderful husband, Tor. He has been such an amazing support and wealth of internet wizardry from when I started writing through to designing a cover for Book of Remembrance, to publishing my book on amazon as well as setting up this website. I cannot thank him enough.

Reading has always been one of my passions. I have fond memories of trawling through the library aged five (yes I was a geek from a young age!). More recently, I found myself wondering about the process writers must go through to complete a novel. I started thinking about how they would go about planning out a story and keeping track of all the various aspects of it. Finally, I decided to try my theories out. I have not looked back since!

I started writing Book of Remembrance end of May 2011 and finished it in December 2011. Since then, I have self-published it as an e-book on amazon. I have also started writing the follow up novel, which is untitled at the moment.

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