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Cindy Tanner: An Unexpected Journey (Contest)
Friday, August 7th, 2020

UPDATE: The winner is…Mary Preston!

It wasn’t until recently I realized I was always a writer. I grew up as an only child in rural Indiana. I have always been curious, which fed my active imagination. It served me well as I was growing up, making otherwise mundane chores exciting.

I was writing stories before I fell in love with reading. That came much later. I had a stutter, so for years, I tied reading to the dreaded moments in class when we had to read aloud.

Then one day, my parents told me my pony was lonely. He was the only pony on a farm full of Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses (plus one wayward Donkey named Jethro). They thought it would be a good idea to read to him. So I did, and without the stress of a class full of people listening, the stutter mattered less.

I haven’t stopped reading since I fell in love with it. As I got older, especially in law school, when I didn’t have the time to read, I would collect books and spend my breaks devouring everything I could. Anytime my stress level was high or I struggled with something in everyday life, reading was an escape. Writing was cathartic.

I took a gap year between graduating college and going to law school. I continued to work in a legal department for corporate compliance and spent any downtime writing my first complete story as my dad continued to encourage me to publish. What he didn’t know is that I had been looking for an agent or publisher. I have a stack of rejections to prove it. I had always written for me. I had no idea what it meant to publish a book or if I should.

It became obvious in law school that the career I had always thought I wanted wasn’t going to make me happy. Remember that fear I had of reading aloud? Totally forgotten as I would be in class, writing the sequel to the story I had written the year before. Getting called on was an annoyance that interrupted my writing. Around this time, I got my first e-reader and started to read Indie authors. It was life-changing.

As I left law school, it was like diving into unknown waters and life threw me a few curveballs. I met my future husband during my final year of law school. Then my dad got sick. When he died, my muse went with him. Grief is fickle, at a time when I needed a story to get lost in, I couldn’t find the words to create one. I was raw, and reading helped me cope.

Very slowly, the muse returned. Almost cautiously, like she was unsure if I was ready. I attended my first book convention and standing in line, waiting to meet Penny Reid, it hit me full force that I wanted to be on the other side of the table. I went to two more book conventions that year and would self-publish my first book that fall.

When my muse came back, she was stronger and more resilient. The doubts and fears were gone. Suddenly, it didn’t seem so scary to share the worlds I create. Loss had created a new perspective, and I jumped in headfirst to the unknown.

August 8th will be the third anniversary of publishing my debut book, When You Were Mine. It took almost two years, but the sequel, Mine For Now, released this June. I have met so many amazing people along the way. I know that I still have a lot to learn, mistakes to make, books to write, incredible books to read, and readers to meet, and I’m looking forward to it all.


For a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card comment, let me know what you love about reading.

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16 comments to “Cindy Tanner: An Unexpected Journey (Contest)”

  1. Delaine McLafferty
    · August 7th, 2020 at 7:45 am · Link

    Reading is my escape from real life it allows me to travel to other places, meet new people, make new friends and fall in love all in my own home. I take care of my 87 year old mother with severe Alzheimer’s and I need the escape. We don’t leave the house much so I don’t meet people and the friends I have are mostly on the computer or through texts.

  2. Shirley Long
    · August 7th, 2020 at 11:29 am · Link

    I would probably be a raving maniac if not for my time spent reading.
    Reading is my “go-to” when I need to clear my mind and let my problems float away. I can get lost in a book and spend hours in another world with the characters and what they’re going thru. Pure and simple ~~ reading is my escape from my normal life into a world of fantasy and HEA.
    And I just hate it when “wifey” things, like laundry, cooking, cleaning, etc get in the way of my reading time.:):)

  3. Pansy Petal
    · August 7th, 2020 at 11:50 am · Link

    Thank you Cindy Tanner for sharing your story. It is inspirational. As for your question, “What do I get out of reading?” So much. I get escape from this mixed up world to worlds where the problems get solved. I get to visit worlds that can be found only in the imagination. I get to meet people I want to know. I get to experience exciting things that would scare the bejesus out of me if I encountered them in the ‘real’ world. AND . . . I get a new book boyfriend in every book. 😀 I do love to read!

  4. Colleen C.
    · August 7th, 2020 at 11:59 am · Link

    I love the many journeys and characters that books share with us… seeing how everything unfolds leading up to a HEA. 😀

  5. Pat Elliott
    · August 7th, 2020 at 12:56 pm · Link

    Reading is the one thing that feeds my soul, that keeps me alive, that keeps me whole.

  6. bn100
    · August 7th, 2020 at 3:15 pm · Link

    the characters and stories

  7. ButtonsMom2003
    · August 7th, 2020 at 6:20 pm · Link

    Reading lets me escape (hide) from everyday problems and concerns. Now I also read to help authors I love by writing reviews. I loved reading about your journey. Thank you.

  8. Mary Preston
    · August 7th, 2020 at 6:55 pm · Link

    Reading is like breathing, necessary for life.

  9. flchen1
    · August 7th, 2020 at 10:34 pm · Link

    Thank you for sharing your reading and writing journey, Cindy! I think I’ve always loved reading or being read to–I recall my mom reading to us until we could do it ourselves, and then we read to our younger brother. I loved our weekly trips to the library, and adored the children’s librarian. I took break from reading for pleasure during college, but am back at it, and love how books teach and guide and offer hope and encouragement and joy.

  10. Debra Guyette
    · August 8th, 2020 at 6:03 am · Link

    I love the escape and the ability to visit places and experience things you can only do in the pages of a book.

  11. Jackie Wisherd
    · August 8th, 2020 at 5:06 pm · Link

    I love that reading teaches me about other people and other places.

  12. Cindy Tanner
    · August 11th, 2020 at 7:57 am · Link

    So many great responses! Thank you all for sharing!!

  13. Cindy Tanner
    · August 14th, 2020 at 12:51 pm · Link

    Mary Preston you are the winner!!!!

  14. Mary Preston
    · August 14th, 2020 at 8:14 pm · Link

    THANK YOU!!! Who do I contact and how?

  15. Delilah
    · August 18th, 2020 at 7:55 am · Link

    Mary, I sent you email address to Cindy!

    Cindy! Thanks for being a great guest!

  16. Mary Preston
    · August 18th, 2020 at 3:49 pm · Link


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