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Monday 16 January 2017

ℚ Living in the Shallows: UK Crush [1] - Tani Hanes

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Living in the Shallows (, Tani Hanes, 314 pages), a New Adult Romance, book one of the UK Crush series.

"An extremely engaging coming of age story of adventure and love... [...] This book is a treat from start to finish, and the love scene at the end...well, that was the cherry on top!" ~ Amy S, Amazon Reviewer

"A beautifully written book. All of the characters are really relatable which makes you love them that much more. An easy read that really makes you feel. A book about a boyband, but isn't at all cliché. Really thankfully it is a series because I need to know everything about these characters."
~ Meg, Amazon Reviewer

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Tani Hanes; thank you for joining us!

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Living in the Shallows, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"The song that would best fit this first book is “Electricity” by Ricky Gervais (YES, RICKY GERVAIS LOL)"
I have looked high and low for that video but I simply cannot find it! It has been removed from youTube... It is a song with Chris Martin (ColdPlay) which was featured on the album "Life on the Road" by David Brent (a.k.a. Ricky Gervais in The Office).

What was the inspiration for Living in the Shallows?

"I was a substitute teacher for fifteen years, which is a long time to be with the same kids, but it was a small district, and I knew just about every child. So, when my students’ favorite boyband (not to mention my daughter’s) announced they were going on hiatus, my kids were understandably quite upset.

We talked about it A LOT, and I thought that maybe I could write something to help us (yes, I love this boyband, too, lol) through this trying time. In addition, I wanted the books (there are seven altogether) to be a fantasy wish fulfillment for any young girl who dreamt of being around nice, talented lovely young men who would love her and admire her accomplishments, not just see a face, a body, a means to an end for themselves."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Hmm. Birdie, or Tinker Bell, as she’s known to the boys, is a weird amalgamation of me, my daughter, and my son, if you can believe it! She swims, as both of my kids did, breast stroke is her specialty (ditto), she’s amazing on the piano, like my kids (my son actually got into a conservatory, though he switched majors after just one year), and she’s fluent in Japanese, which is all me. And she likes to knit, a hobby of mine.

It was also important to me to make a statement about body image positivity. Birdie is not a stat-uesque, model-type person. I hate the term ‘thigh gap’, and the fact that we live in a society where that term exists sickens me. Birdie is not fat, though she gets called that somewhere in the first couple books. She is a NORMAL sized person, normal weight and height, and she’s fine with that. This mattered so much to me."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Living in the Shallows - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Well, let me start by saying that I absolutely love my cover! Paramita Bhattacharjee of Creative Paramita did the cover for me; she’s also done the cover for my second, and hopefully she’ll agree to do all seven.

The girl on the cover is my daughter, actually, because Birdie is based physically on her, so I figured, why not? I own the rights to the photos, so they were free to use, and I knew that no one else would have her on their covers, she would be exclusive to my books. Plus I think she’s kinda pretty :o)

The colors and hummingbird motif are central themes in the book, based on something she’s wearing during a key scene. I explained to Paramita exactly what I wanted, and she executed it brilliantly."
Why should we read Living in the Shallows and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"Reading this book, the whole series, hopefully, should make you happy, and ultimately glad you know these characters, even though some really bad things happen to them in later books.

I think this series is unique because it doesn’t assume that there will be a lack of intellect on the part of the reader, if that isn’t too presumptuous. Birdie is rocky smart, very well-educated, and knows a lot of things about a lot of stuff, and I don’t dumb it down or explain it in excruciating detail.

She’s also good at many things, though it’s come at a cost; of course. She’s very isolated, with almost no friends. I’ve been told that she’s a bit of a Mary Sue, and I’m completely unapologetic about that. So many of my beta readers said it was lovely to have a heroine who was smart and talented, and wasn’t afraid to be those things."
Can you tell us something quirky about Living in the Shallows, its story and characters?
"Most of my friends and my betas have wound up in these books, if only in name! I wrote a lot of it while subbing at the local high school, so if I’d just yelled at Donovan to stop talking and get to work, the security guard I was writing about became ‘Donovan’ lol.

Also, the main guy character began as ‘Edward’. I started getting feedback from my betas about this (Twilight! Twilight!); but I’ve never read that series, so it just didn’t resonate. Nearly the whole first book was written be-fore this was brought to my attention (thank goodness for the ‘find and replace’ feature on my word processor!); Edward went out the window, and Theo was born :o)"
Who would you recommend Living in the Shallows to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Any fan of One Direction will find something to love in these books, I think. It should tick a lot of boxes in their hearts. And while all of the characters are fictional, you don’t have to stare too hard to find a couple of those real-life boys in my fictional boys!

As far as disclaimers and warnings, I’ll say that this book ends with a pretty long and explicit love scene, which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone; however, the rest of the book doesn’t really have much of that, so it could shock some people a little bit. "
If you could / wished to turn Living in the Shallows and the UK Crush series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"One of my favorite questions!! We discussed this TO DEATH in my classes. I would LOVE to see Josh Boone direct any movie that came out of this. He had such a deft touch in The Fault In Our Stars, I thought; he was faithful to the book, but managed to translate it nearly flawlessly to the screen. He didn’t dumb anything down, or condescend to the movie goer in any way, just told the wonderful story. Or Gurinder Chadha, who directed Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging, as well as Bend It Like Beckham.

As far as actors, well, the obvious choice for Theo is Harry Styles! I haven’t seen his acting yet, just tantalizing bits in the Dunkirk trailer, but this would be a dream come true, for the whole world, I think.

Ronan would have to be Niall Horan; again, never acted, per se, but he has so much presence and personality, he is Ronan in my head.

For Geth, I always imagined Jamie Bell, though I know he’s a bit older than Gethin is. He could pull off the humor, the sincerity of Geth.

Matthew’s always been the sticking point in this discussion, because I made him up out of whole cloth; he’s very nearly perfect, and that includes his looks. I can’t think of ANYONE who is as beautiful as Matty is.

And of course I always pictured my daughter, Rosie, as Birdie. She is a senior at NYU, a theatre major, so it could happen, who knows?"
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"This series is my first attempt at writing anything that isn’t for a class, so I don’t have a particular ‘writing taste’ or anything. I’ve been immersed in this YA/NA world for so long that I can’t even thing about how I’d write about anything else. My vocabulary, even when simply talking to other people, has become kind of weird, romantic and British in my use of slang and such :o)—I read just about anything, except maybe science fiction, which is kind of funny, since the best and only writing teacher I ever had is a sci-fi writer (Hey there, Wayne Wightman!).

My favorite books include, but are not limited to: Watership Down, Lolita, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Goldfinch, Lonesome Dove, um, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Rebecca, and Insomnia, by Stephen King. Runs the gamut, I think."
What is your writing process?
"These books just POURED out of me! It was an amazing feeling. I kind of had the whole five-year span of Birdie’s story in my head already, so I’d just sit down and type, whether it was at the table at home, or in class at the local high school.

The best advice I ever got (again, thanks, Wayne :o) was that I should never, ever stop writing when I got stuck. It was a surefire way to make sure I wouldn’t want to return to the manuscript, like maybe ever; Wayne said to stop at a point when I knew what was coming next, when I was dying to write about it, so I’d absolutely be rabid to return. Sound advice!"
What is in store next?
"As I said, this entire seven book series is complete, though the later books are very rough still.

This book is the origin story of these five lovely people, and many, many things, some absolutely awful, are in store. I’ve had a couple of very emotional betas text me in the middle of night, tearfully asking ‘How could you let [insert drama] happen to her?” It was very fun and satisfying."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have two lovely kitties at the moment, just like Birdie does by the end of the book, and I had the most wonderful dog, a Kuvasz (yes, Birdie ends up with one of those eventually, too :o)"

The are gorgeous! And so was your beautiful white cat bed - so, sorry for your loss... it is so heart breaking when they leave us...

Thank you so much for sharing them all with us. We hope you have a great tour and we look forward to reading the entire seven book series! (and, of course, a big hello to your daughter as well!)

Living in the Shallows
Available NOW!

purchase from purchase from find on Goodreads


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Rita Wray said...

I enjoyed the interview.

Unknown said...

And here's the link to the audio of the fantastic song "Electricity" by Ricky Gervais and Chis Martin. If I did it right, I'm notoriously stupid at this stuff!!

Unknown said...

This has been one of my favorite interviews so far!! The questions were great!

Unknown said...

Thank you for having me! As I said, one of my favorite interviews!!!

Victoria Alexander said...

Awwww... those pics are so sweet! <3

Unknown said...

Yes, since some very nice young adults seem to have come along and eaten my human children, my fur babies are all I have left lol.

Ally Swanson said...

Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

Ally Swanson said...

Excellent interview! Looking forward to checking out this book!

Ally Swanson said...

Hope you are having a fabulous weekend! Looking forward to checking out this book!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nikolina said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!

Unknown said...

Thank you! I've seen your name around, thanks for all your support also!

Nikolina said...

My please, Tani! Shared on G+ to help spread the word, have a great day! :)