It’s week three of our Member Spotlight series, and for this installation, I would like to introduce Tina Ann Forkner!
Tina is a novelist and freelance writer. She has had five novels traditionally published, two with Random House and three more with independent publishers. Her novels are part of the women’s fiction genre and are primarily about women and their relationships, conflicts, and transformations that ultimately result from their particular journeys. A few of her titles include Ruby Among Us and Waking Up Joy.
Originally from Northeastern Oklahoma, Tina has been living in Wyoming for almost 20 years now. Her husband says that makes her a Wyoming woman. “I agree with him one hundred percent,” she says. “I have fallen in love with Cheyenne, even though a piece of my heart will always belong down south. My husband and I have a blended family and so I am the mom/stepmom to three kids, one of them a student at University of Wyoming and two of them on their way there.”
Tina has been writing since she was a child.
“I was always an avid reader and when I wasn’t reading, I was making up stories in my head. I started writing them down as soon as I could write and never stopped. I’ve had a lot of different jobs, but it was always my dream to write books,” she says. “What I enjoy most about writing is creating characters and connecting them with readers. Everyone loves a story that grabs the heart and that’s what I want to do. I love when I hear that a story has touched a reader in a personal way. When that happens, I know I’ve created a character that someone else can relate to.”
Tina uses The Second Floor for writing, obviously, but she also uses it as a place to catch up on all the administrative work that a lot of readers don’t realize writers have to do.
“Publishing has changed a lot since my first novel came out in 2008,” she says. “Authors have a long list of responsibilities that we did not have prior to the advent of social media and the broader use of the Internet in business and marketing. For instance, I’m at The Second Floor right now and I’ve been catching up on email with one of my publishers and working on some edits that just came in from a critique partner.”
Tina has a home office as well, but coming up to The Second Floor gives her a chance to really hone in on her work.
“Sometimes the only way to really focus on my story is when I’m away from my house,” she says. “The truth is, when I’m working from home I’m not always as focused. There is laundry to be done, floors to be mopped, dishes in the sink, and day to day tasks that need to be done. When I’m working at The Second Floor, those things have to wait, and I am able to focus solely on my work. A few hours at The Second Floor is often just as good as five in my home office.”
Tina also admits that sometimes she uses the Second Floor to read books. “Since I am a writer, I call it work!”
In addition to being a writer, Tina is also a substitute teacher in Cheyenne. And when she finds some spare time, she loves to head out to Vedawoo for a hike and some relaxation. She also loves gardening. “I’m not very good at it,” she claims, “but I like to plant things and see what will grow.”
Thank you so much, Tina, for sharing with us! And good luck on your current novel!
Stay tuned to meet another of our wonderful members here next week.