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A Conversation with Tania Johansson, Author of RIDDLE OF FATE

Love YA paranormal? Me too!


Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today!

You’re welcome. Thanks for having me on your awesome blog.


What 5 things should readers know about you?

I have a fairly thick skin. I’ve learnt to take rejection and criticism with a form of optimism that I didn’t know I possessed. Yes, it still stings a bit if I read negative things about my work, but I am able to keep my chin up and learn from it.

I’m rubbish at updating my blog. Mostly, it is a dusty forgotten corner of my website. I am better at posting reviews for books I’ve read, but even this suffers when I’ve read a few books that I didn’t like or didn’t finish. I decided to only post reviews for books I loved as I am not in the business of critiquing.

I am a Christian and love my Church and the people in it. I am doing a Ladies Mentoring course this year and it is transformative.

To my shame, I am addicted to Skyrim (Elderscrolls) on Xbox. If I allowed myself, I would be able to play for hours and forget everything around me.

My other weakness is Costa coffee. I use it as a treat and incentive on my day off from my ‘real’ job to spend a good chunk of time writing. Nothing like sitting down with a mug big enough to drown in, some wafer biscuits and my tablet.



Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? Most importantly, what one thing would they need to have with them if stranded on a desert isle? 😉

Khaya is our leading lady. She is fairly naїve initially, way too trusting and blind to some people’s true intentions. She feels quite trapped by her situation and what’s worse, she feels like an outsider. Her situation goes from bad to worse quickly and she faces the choice of being drowned by the tide or learning to swim – and to recognise the sharks!

Derrin is a lonesome figure. He is good at what he does (he’s a Collector who helps souls transition from the world of the living to the ever after), and he is driven by a desire to help others, but he is unfulfilled. When Khaya is endangered (partly as a result of what he did), he feels compelled to keep her safe. He will not let history repeat itself!

Stranded on a desert island, mmmm. Well, neither of them has many things tying them down. And they say home is where the heart is, so, maybe just each other.

Awww…very sweet!


Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

This is always a tough question as I write random ideas down as they come to me. In fact, I have a mind map on my tablet called ‘Random Ideas’. I get inspired when I read great fiction or watch a brilliant movie, or even just by talking to people or going for a walk. It can be anything, really.

Then, when I am ready to brainstorm a new book, I refer to my random ideas diagram and either stick several of them together or take one and expand. At this point, the story starts to take on a life of its own.

I like it!


How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?

I started writing in May 2011. I’d been thinking about it a lot before then. I would wonder where authors get their ideas from and how they could keep track of (what has proven to be) hundreds of details. A story idea came to mind and I decided to try out my theories. One of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

As to who / what inspired me to start writing, a lot of things. In short, books. I love to read and get lost in a story, exploring new worlds, characters and magic systems. The wonderful thing about writing is that you decide what all those elements look like and how they interact with each other. It is a very gripping and fulfilling thing.

Books are definitely inspiring, I have to agree!


What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part?

The best thing is discovering new worlds and watching them come alive. I love coming up with magic systems and working out the implications of this magic on a society.

The most challenging part for me is simply that I’m not a full time writer (yet). I have to work around my day job.

That is definitely a challenge—congrats for making it work!


What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?

Right now, I am working on a new story that is untitled as of yet. It’s only in the early stages, but I can tell you it involves a reluctant heroine who wants nothing less than to fulfil her destiny.

Apart from this, I have a completed manuscript called Tainted Ink. A ruthless group of people who abuse their position of trust to lure unsuspecting magic students into their iron-fisted grip.

Sounds intriguing!


What authors and/or books have inspired you?

Anything and everything by Brandon Sanderson. He is a master of magic systems and I am yet to read any of his work that I don’t absolutely love. He also dedicates a big chunk of his time to educating up and coming writers and he is open and accessible to his fans. I had the privilege of meeting him at a signing and it only served to confirm my high opinion of him.

Robin Hobb is another author I love. Her writing is beautiful and her characters are perhaps the best I’ve come across. She always carries herself with such grace and I hope I have the chance to meet her some day.

I haven’t read either of them yet—I’ll have to check them out!


What are you currently reading? What are your thoughts about it so far?

I am reading The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett. It took me a little while to get into this book. It flicks a bit from one set of characters to the next, though I am sure it is working its way to a culmination. I am more into it now, but I can’t say I’m caught hook, line, and sinker.

Hope it ends up hooking you soon!


If you had to “sell” this book in a single Tweet, what would you say?

He saved her when she was meant to die. Now, they are determined to correct his mistake. How can she escape both a murderous company and angels?

Fantastic job!



I grew up in a small town called Ficksburg in South Africa and moved with my family to England aged fifteen.

I then completed my schooling through a correspondence course from South Africa. This challenging time taught me a lot of self-discipline and determination. Qualities that have been invaluable while writing my first novel.

In 2004 I started studying optometry at Aston University in Birmingham, UK and currently I live and work as an optician in Kent.

In 2008, I married my wonderful husband, Tor. He has been such an amazing support and wealth of internet wizardry from when I started writing through to designing a cover for Book of Remembrance, to publishing my book on amazon as well as setting up this website. I cannot thank him enough.

Reading has always been one of my passions. I have fond memories of trawling through the library aged five (yes I was a geek from a young age!). More recently, I found myself wondering about the process writers must go through to complete a novel. I started thinking about how they would go about planning out a story and keeping track of all the various aspects of it. Finally, I decided to try my theories out. I have not looked

back since!

I started writing Book of Remembrance end of May 2011 and finished it in December 2011. Since then, I have self-published it as an e-book on amazon. I have also started writing the follow up novel, which is untitled at the moment.


Author links:



Riddle of Fate
by Tania Johansson
Publication date: May 29th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult


Khaya’s life, a life the Order say was never meant to be, is thrown into turmoil when she discovers she has a second ability. The Company who employs people like her – with rare and special abilities – insists that having more than one inevitably leads down a dark spiral into madness. So they are watching and waiting, ready to terminate her at the first sign of trouble.

Now, on the run from the Company’s agents while trying to prove her sanity, Khaya realises they are not the only ones she should fear. Angels are working towards her demise as well.

The question that haunts her is this: What did she do that was terrible enough to elicit the wrath of angels? And can she trust the mysterious Derrin, or is he the cause of all her tribulations?





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