1. My name is Tania Renee Zayid. I am a poet, a Registered Nurse and now a published author.
2. The road to publication has been a long time coming. I have had poetry published in a local paper in my hometown, but this is my first published work of fiction. I have written poetry for 35 years and I wanted to transition to fiction writing. What a transition!
3. My story, "A Good Woman" was inspired by all of the dating stories that I have heard from both women and men.
4. Best advice on dating in the 21st century: Never compromise your values and listen to your gut instinct. If something doesn't "feel" right, then it isn't right. If your Spirit tells you to move on, listen!
5. Five words to describe my prior dating experience: Difficult until I honored myself!
6. I do not believe there is a such thing as "happily ever after". As women, many times we aren't happy with ourselves from day to day, so we can't expect to feet that way about someone else. I do believe that there can be peace beyond the passion and that we should strive for "peace'. Happiness is variable and fleeting. Peace is invaluable.
7. I started writing poems when I was in junior high school. I always wanted to be a great poet. About six or seven years ago, I wrote my first short story ever to submit to the Essence Short Fiction Contest. That story allowed me to find my Voice. "A Good Woman" is the second piece of fiction that I have ever written.
8. I write all the time. The "memo" section of my phone is filled with ideas and thoughts, words and titles. Whenever something occurs to me, I write it down. I am working on structuring my days where I have a block of time to write consistently.
9. Favorite Quotes that define me as a writer: (Rumi): "Let the Beauty of what you love be what you do." (Audre Lorde): "If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive."
10. I am working on my first book which, in this first stage, is about the interconnections of women. I am also working on another poetry collection and a "how to" book for new Nurses.
11. The best piece of writing advice that I ever received was from Victoria Christopher Murray during her writing class in 2014: 'Just WRITE"! Even if it is one word a day, I try to write towards my goal everyday.
12. My absolute favorite writer is Sidney Sheldon! I read my first Sidney Sheldon book when I was twelve. I have read every book that he has ever written many times. His story telling is amazing and his female characters are always strong and extremely intelligent! The book that influenced my life the most has been "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou. That book inspired me to be a writer.
13. I am definitely a night owl; I work 12 hour night shifts. I prefer tea, can't stand coffee. I prefer paperbacks although I do enjoy the convenience of e-books. I prefer peace and quiet so that I can hear my thoughts.