Tania pulls inspiration from her real-life experiences, fuses them with her vivid dreams and hence, forms the foundation of her novels. She has travelled wide and far across the world, and lived overseas for a while. Through this experience, she developed a quirk: collecting keyrings from everywhere she goes. She often has intriguing tales about each one, which is quite symbolic of her writing. Now, settled in south-east Queensland, Tania has turned her attention to forging a career as a writer, and this time The Downs and surrounds is taking a starring role.
Her latest novel is described as a steamy New Adult College Romance, set in Toowoomba and at the University of Southern Queensland. Distractions is about university student, Wiley Cayton, who loses focus on her studies when newcomer Cameron Wilks comes to town. Dealing with bullying, friendships, sex, pranks, learning to take responsibility for her actions, and of course, falling in love, this novel covers many relevant issues young adults face today. Joyce captures the essence of college life, the magic of location and the steamy, yet rocky road to love on the page.
With Picnic Point, Margaret Street Cafes and the USQ campus all receiving mentions, why did Tania (a Former USQ student and resident of Steele Rudd College) decide to write a tribute to Toowoomba? “While Toowoomba has changed over the years since I attended university, I loved my time living on campus and enjoy revisiting the city every year. My experience at university was fantastic and provided me with the foundation to become the person I am today. Toowoomba is such a picturesque city and I had to make it the main location for my story.”
With a penchant for creating strong, career-minded female characters, Tania openly speaks about her love for writing women who know what they want, are successful, fight for what they believe in and are rewarded for their hard work. Reminiscent of her many years of hard work in corporate, professional marketing, readers get a sense of her own determined and feisty mindset when reading her character’s stories. And it is Tania’s grit that allows her to have it all today. “I have always been very career-oriented and was adamant about returning to full-time work after having my children, but maternal hormones kicked in. I suddenly wanted to stay at home to look after our boys plus the want to write consumed me. With the support from my husband, I was able to return to only part-time work and now juggle my time around our children and pursuing my new found love of writing,” Ms Joyce said.
Personally loving books such as Anne of Green Gables, Pride and Prejudice and fantasy series like The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan, she ended up finding her home in the romance genre; where Tania guarantees that the hope for happily ever after lives on in her writing.
Words by Raashi Agarwal
Image supplied by Tania Joyce