In this installment of the author showcase we talk with Tanai Walker. Tanai started writing strange little novels at the age of fourteen and dreamed of becoming a published author. She is a hard-core musicphile and enjoys everything from Bluegrass to Rap to Metal. She has an extensive collection of digital music files, CDs, and vinyl. Tanai is a total fangirl.

Q  When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer?

I decided to be a writer the summer after 9th grade. I wrote it in one of those spiral notebooks, 120 or so pages front and back in my atrocious handwriting. It was about a group of teenaged girls battling an alien invasion. My Dad encouraged me a lot. He noticed that I was devouring books and suggested I try my hand at writing. I did and discovered that making up stories was just as satisfying as reading them. 

Q    Taking a stroll through your Instagram you seem to have a passion for pop culture, if you were able to write a project in an established universe what would you do?

I would love to work on something from the Lecterverse. That is the universe behind Thomas Harris’ Silence of the Lambs, and the character Dr. Hannibal Lecter. I watched the movie first on VHS during a family movie night, because my family enjoys gruesome movies. The story really had an effect on me. The novel of course is even more faceted. Harris’ writing is just so razor sharp in the presentation of one detail after the other. Every character is just as engaging as the next.

Q    You studied graphic design and teach art for your day job. Do you think that has affected how you approach book writing?

I wouldn’t say that it has affected the way I approach writing. For me, making art and looking at art recharges my writing battery, so it’s a suitable day job for me.  I often have some sort of lesson plan doc, PowerPoint, or a tab researching art for a lesson open alongside my current writing project. I teach at a public school, which is exhausting but fulfilling because I get to spread all of this culture to the next generation.

Q    Who are the authors that you read for inspiration and technique?   

I often pull writers like Toni Morrison, and Joyce Carol Oates from my shelves to reread when I am looking to revitalize my own writing. Both writers deal with topics that are very real, but they are able to slip in magical/fantastical elements so seamlessly. I am reading The Wheel of Time series right now as I start on my next novel to see how the multiple characters interact on the page.

Q    I saw that even in this new digital world you still like plotting and outlining your stories in notebooks, what do you think being able to hold the words in your hands gives you that an app doesn’t?

For me it’s just habit now. I wrote my first book in a spiral notebook and then after my Dad advised me to outline, I would outline in notebooks. I have also used index cards so I can arrange them and see how the plot looks. I guess it works out for me because I am a visual and tactile learner.

Q    What is your next book going to be, are you going to pen a sequel to Curse of the Gorgon  

 or try something new?

I may return to the Gorgon series. The main antagonist Thora, will not leave me alone and is demanding her own book. I have always wanted to write a Steampunk novel, so I am going to give that a try with my current work. It takes place post-Civil War and the main character is a black spy investigating a secret meeting of Confederates that turns out to be a plot to take over the world using these awful machines powered by Necromancy.

Q} if people want more info about you or your projects where should they go?

For more information about my books check out my website at:, my publisher’s website: Bold Strokes Books or my Instagram @t.walkerauthor

Final four questions –we ask everybody
Q) When the zombies take over the world where will you be?

     I would probably be one of the first casualties. I am not that fast or particularly coordinated and I have slow reflexes. I’ve gotten through life slowly and methodically. There is no room for over-thinking in a zombie apocalypse.

Q )  What is your favorite Fandom

      The Lecterverse of course for obvious reasons. My second favorite is the Tarantinoverse. All of his movies have an evident connection suggesting that they all take place in the same universe. Tarantino has cleverly established this not only through characters and events but also fictional products and media.

Q) What piece of art, be it in the form of music, a book, a film or picture, do you think people must experience before they die?

There is something magical about listening to your favorite singer perform live. I think everyone should experience that. It’s worth splurging.

Q) Give one fact that most people would not believe about you?

I was born on February 29th, Leap Day. So my birthday only comes every 4 years. It’s a big hit with my students because technically, they are older than the teacher.

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