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Hi and welcome to the Library of Erana, a place of words and of their magic. Words are power, they are knowledge and they are freedom

Welcome to Tanya Robinson.

Please tell us a little about yourself.  I am a retired woman who after a full and busy life, during which I was employed in a variety of different occupations, would now like to enjoy some peace and quiet. I have one son, my first born, having lost several other children through miscarriages etc. I enjoy gardening deriving great pleasure from seeing how plants and trees grow from the smallest seeds and survive through inclement conditions. I also have an avid love for all animals although, regretfully, with the one exception of a budgerigar, my life and circumstances have prevented me from having pets in my adult life. My interest in current affairs both national and international is a bit of a two edged sword because injustice, and there seems to be so much about,  it upsets me very much. Visiting National Trust or similar properties, particularly the gardens are a real pleasure and usually a relaxing one.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. So far I have only written my autobiography ‘What a Life! An Autobiography’. However, I am in the process of writing a series of short stories based upon actual ‘incidental’ occurrences from my life. I am also considering writing one or more children’s books one of which will be the retelling of a story my mother made up for my sisters and me and which I loved to hear.

Where can readers find your book? Amazon’s Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00ADYWS76 .  It is also available from amazon.com; amazon.de and amazon.fr.

How long have you been writing and what, if anything, made you choose the genre in which you write? How long I have been writing is a very good question. For many years I considered whether to record my life and events; I am basically a private person and the thought of public exposure unsettled me. There was also the point of having to protect others who of necessity need to be mentioned in such a tale. In the end I decided my story and that of my grandparents and parents were such that should not die with me. It has taken several years to put all the details down on paper, to be honest I cannot really recall how many because the thoughts for it have been in my mind for time immemorial. Of course the genre was self-evident.

Who or what are your inspirations/influences? Without question my precious loving Mother whom I lost at a far too early age.

 Can you name a positive experience from your writing and a negative one? As to a positive experience I am not really sure. The fact of getting everything down on paper was in some ways a relief because up to then these thoughts had continually revolved round in my mind and gave me little peace. Now only some of the memories persist which is a positive outcome as there are moments of respite in between. In addition the experience of writing this book has inspired me to go on to write more.

The negative side was that recording all these events brought back the pain and heart ache; as mentioned the memories where with me for most of the time but to recall the actual events lead to me reliving them. However, as I have said getting them down on paper has given me some relief.

With the rise of e-books do you still publish in print as well? Is this medium important and why? At present my book is only available as an e-book. I really wanted to publish a physical book but my resources at the time would not stretch to this. I therefore concluded it was as well to get the book published in whatever format I could so that at least it would be available for people to read. I have been investigating the various print options and hope to organise for print on demand copies to be available in the not too distant future.

I believe printed books are important because they provide a far more personal physical contact; e-readers as all computers tend to be cold and impersonal. Also, and I am not sure I could explain why, a physical book seems to engage the mind in a more meaningful way. I recently saw a report by The National Literary Trust in the UK (http://www.literacytrust.org.uk) where their researches have sown that young people who only read on electronic devises, this includes comics and newspapers, are unlikely to be good readers or to enjoy reading. The report goes on to say the opposite is true of those who read physical printed material. Of course the problem of the high illiteracy level which exists has to be addressed and to this end the report concludes that even if it is only in electronic format it is preferable students should have the facility to read books etc. The literacy campaign within England recently with the involvement of the Major of London and some leading authors did in fact distribute 1,000 free e-readers with selected books already downloaded on them to young students.

Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst you write? No! I prefer to have my thoughts and words uninterrupted, distorted or swayed by outside influences. To my mind the very nature of my writing requires that events and circumstances be set down in very personal words that reflect the reality of what was happening.

Books are important, why is this the case? What can a book provide that say a video game cannot?

Books usually require the reader to use their imagination, which in itself helps develop the mind and, to me, makes the read far more interesting. Books are also a means of passing on values and imparting information. I have not and do not play video games although I have seen others do so. Despite the fact these require some interactive response they do not appear to impart anything useful and in fact there are reports that some promote violence and create an artificial and unrealistic outlook upon life and events. I am not saying everything has to be educational; I enjoy theatre, dramas, etc. for their own sake as an entertainment but do like to have my mind engaged in some manner. Video games do not appear to engage the mind to a great extent.

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? Despite all I have been through in my life I am still very naïve. I really do want to believe the best of everyone and to be able to trust them. In my book I record how colleagues sometimes got me to make a statement which, due to my accent and lack of comprehension with regard to some English words, came out sounding rather rude. My son sometimes despairs of me because I will still feel concern when someone, who has done us a wrong in the past, is troubled or unwell. But that is who I am and I am not going to change now.