TIJAN: Real World Problems Honestly Written Bring YA/NA Gold!

Oh my goodness!  I was SO excited to get to visit with Tijan!  She is notoriously quiet and rarely does personal interviews or promotion. She insists it’s because she wants her books showcased rather than herself but, her stories are so edgy and intriguing, one can’t help but want to understand the person behind them. 
So, who is Tijan?  She is a quiet, unassuming but friendly and fun lady, whose background is in social work and counseling.  She has seen a lot of what young people are dealing with in today’s society and has incorporated those things into absolutely can’t-put-down books! Her talent is immense, her insight amazing and her outlook is surprisingly bright and encouraging.  She is the perfect paradox of realism and idealism that inhabits every character she writes. Let us introduce you and we’re sure you’ll adore her just as much as we do!

InD: Goodness gracious, it is so great to meet you, Tijan! It is hard to find anything about you aside from the amazing books you write. I am so excited to get to know you.
Yeah. I'm pretty private but I’ve been trying to loosen up the strings a bit.
InD: First, you live in Minnesota? Were you born and raised there?
I was born in Kansas. When I was six years old, we moved to Minnesota. I also traveled and lived in Nebraska for about a year, so I've been in the north mid-West most of my life.
InD: What was it like growing up in the Minnesota Lake country?
I don't really know how to describe it. I grew up in a small town which, now that I’ve had the chance to travel and live in cities like Fargo, I appreciate the small towns a lot more. I didn't realize I was addicted to water until I moved to Nebraska for that year. I was getting very antsy because I needed to see water and lakes. Now I live in the heart of the lake country!
InD: I’ll bet it is beautiful.
Yeah. The winters are really hard up here but I like the colder weather. It is gorgeous here.
InD: Why did you move to Nebraska for a year?
I was working at a camp one summer and they talked me into moving there and transferring colleges. I was there for another semester but I felt like I’d left a better college, so I was kind of lost during that year. I didn’t know what I really wanted to do. I ended up deciding to go back to my original college in Minnesota and major in Psychology.
InD: Were you a big reader growing up?
Oh yeah, I was a voracious reader. I remember in 4th and 5th grades, reading Native American literature and fiction. I would go in the library at school and sit in the book aisle and read. All of my friends would be out at recess or at lunch, and I would be in the school library reading.
InD: Why, specifically, Native American literature?
I have no idea. I think I was drawn to their way of life and being one with nature. My sister gave me a teen romance book around the 6th grade. Once she gave that to me, I fell in love with romance novels and I would read every romance after that. Since then, I’ve never been able to get enough!
InD: Did you still sneak off to the library and read romances or did you haul them all home and pile them in your bedroom?
I don't remember finding a lot of romance in the elementary school library, but when I joined the public library, I found them. I was a huge, huge reader. I was talking with my parents recently about when we used would go on road trips to Missouri, to see family. I would check out thirty romance paperbacks—big, thick ones. I would fill a garbage bag full and I would have them all read by the time we got there.
InD: Oh my gosh!
Yeah, I was a huge reader. That was all I wanted to do. Thank God it worked out.
InD: Looking back, you could say you were training for your career!
I remember in college, coming home on a holiday break and just binge on reading because all I had time to read at school were textbooks. I remember thinking this was all I wanted to do and wondering if there was a job where I could get paid to read.

Read the entire interview in the March 2020 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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