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Interview with Tanya Stowe

This week we welcome Romantic Suspense author Tanya Stowe with a timely book of fiction on a pandemic that echoes what’s happening in the world today, and yet she wrote it many months ago.

Tanya, the fact that your book, Killer Harvest, is hitting the market at the same time the world is reeling from the coronavirus seems too much of a coincidence. What drove you to choose this topic for your current Love Inspired Suspense release?
Part of the year I live in the Central Valley of California where the story is set. This area is one of the world’s largest crop producers. California has the 6th largest economy in the world. Movies and Silicon Valley get most of the credit for that. People forget that a very large part of that economy comes from food production. I’ve often wondered what would happen if this area was wiped out by a serious pathogen…so I wrote the story.

What type of research did you go after to add realism to the threat of a pandemic? (In hindsight, just watching the news seems realistic enough these days.)
Other than a lifetime of living in the area, most of my research was done on the Internet. This is my second book about the Border Patrol. I was amazed by the variety of services and things they do…including monitoring the dangerous plants and biohazards coming into the country. I wanted to write about that unique duty and its implications.

With your main characters both being divorced, did you wonder how readers would respond to the emotional baggage they brought to the relationship?
Honestly…I never even thought about it, but I’ve already had one beta reader comment about it. My main focus was the internal struggle for the characters. I was so caught up in their personal struggles, I never even realized they were both divorced. All I thought about was how difficult it was for both of them to connect.

What is your favorite snack while writing?
I try not to eat snacks while writing. It messes up my keyboard and once I start…I NEVER stop. When I feel the need to snack, I step away and do something else…or take a walk. After so many hours sitting at the computer, I’m starting to have aches and pains and I want to do this for many years to come, so I try to be a good girl. Stretch. Walk. Eat healthy. But if I did snack it would be chocolate. LOL.

Where is your favorite place to write?
Somewhere quiet. I’m too much of a people watcher to get any work done when I go out. No Starbucks cafes for me. I’d be too busy trying to figure out where the customers came from or where they’re going. Actually…that might be a good place to go for story-starters!

Do you write when you’re traveling?
Yes, because we travel so much, I have to write while on the road. I’ve discovered it’s tougher than I thought it would be because when we do travel, I’m anxious to get out and explore. That’s where most of my story ideas comes from. I’ve resorted to getting up at 5:30 am…before my husband gets up. He’s really good about leaving me alone and giving me space to write. It’s me I have to worry about! Now that he’s retired…all I want to do is go play!

How do you celebrate a book? When you first finish it? When it’s accepted? When it’s released?
When I finish a book, I reward myself by sleeping in and not writing for a week or two, sometimes longer. So many things get put on the back burner while I’m in the middle of a story that when I’m finished, I love to get things done. It’s like an elephant off my back. Now when the edits are done…that’s the time for lots of chocolate. When it’s accepted I do a little dance…still. Yes, that particular delight hasn’t gone away and I hope it never does!

Do you read your book after it’s published? Why or why not?
Usually, I don’t read a book after it’s published because by that time I’m pretty sick of it, not to mention the fact that I’ve spent the last few months of the book working on the problems. Unfortunately, that’s what I remember…the mistakes. But I have gone back years later to read a book and I’m always surprised at how it’s actually a good story. Just goes to show how the negative impacts you!

What do you read to your grandchildren?
Everything we can get our hands on. When I went overseas for two years, I bought several Hallmark books that recorded my voice reading the story and left it for my little grandchildren. My teenage grandchildren and I talk books constantly. If not books, movies. Most of our family still lives just outside of L.A., so movies have always been a big part of our lives.


Anita Mae Draper's historical romances are woven under the western skies of the Saskatchewan prairie where her love of research and genealogy yields fascinating truths that layer her stories with rich historical details. Anita's short story, Here We Come A-Wassailing, was a finalist for the Word Guild's 2015 Word Awards. Her novellas are included in Austen in Austin Volume 1, The American Heiress Brides Collection, and The Secret Admirer Romance Collection. Readers can check out Anita's Pinterest boards for a visual idea of her stories to enrich their reading experience. Discover more at and

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