Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tina Wainscott - Romance with a Thrill

Tina Wainscott was born and raised in South Florida and is a self-described “true cracker,” but the story of her life really begins in Pennsylvania. “I was conceived at a drive-in movie outside of Philadelphia, believe it or not. I guess the movie was pretty boring,” she says. “Then my parents, who were just kids, moved to Florida and discovered they were expecting. They collected shells from the beach to sell to souvenir shops to pay the doctor’s bills, and they managed to get the bills paid days before I arrived. They were the original shell seekers.”
Wainscott’s talent for storytelling developed at an early age. As a child growing up in Naples, she loved to direct make-believe movies with her neighborhood friends and create adventures where characters were caught in dangerous situations. When she was seven years old, she wrote her first story: “Pathways to Death.”  According to Wainscott, “I had a happy childhood and a stable home (as my mom is eager to tell people). But I grew up on Alfred Hitchcock.”  She took business courses after graduating high school because she “wanted to be sensible,” but she also enrolled in creative writing courses at night to satisfy her desire to write. She eventually took a job as a sales support manager for a software company, but she continued to write short stories in her spare time. One of those short stories “got too long” and developed into her first full-length novel. In an ironic twist, she was laid off from her job the very month her first book, On the Way to Heaven, was published. She has been writing ever since.
Wainscott describes her books as “romantic suspense with a paranormal twist.” Of her twenty-three published novels, seven are set in Florida; two of them in Naples. Her favorite, Unforgivable, was inspired by an actual event. “A little girl was giving away kittens in front of the local Publix,” she recalls. “A man came out, took one of the kittens and threw it against the window. Luckily, the kitten survived, but I was so incensed, I sat down and started writing. I imagined what might happen to the girl’s life as a result of that incident, and the whole story came together. I call it my gift book.” Wainscott later got to meet the actual kitten that inspired the story.
Wainscott’s career has taken twists and turns (much like those in her novels) from paranormal romantic suspense to straight suspense with some romance, and now, plunging back into paranormal romantic suspense again as Jaime Rush. "I took a pseudonym because I'd gone away from romance and paranormal and my new publisher wanted to bring me out as a fresh new author," she explains.
Her “Offspring” series, for Avon Books, is about a group of people with extraordinary psychic abilities and a shady government agency out to kill them. "In the first four books, each couple is dealing with being thrown together with strangers and being hunted down,” she says. “They've got to solve the mystery of who's behind it and how their parents were involved, parents who are now dead. I call it X-Files meets Lost. The fifth and sixth books in the series (Beyond Darkness and Darkness Becomes Her) are more stand-alone as far as the plot arc goes. You can pick up any book and jump right on the train, but it's always nice to start a series at the beginning to watch the characters evolve."
Wainscott is also doing some stand-alone novellas in the “Offspring” series so new readers can get a taste of her writing for $1.99. The Darkness Within is available now, and a spin-off story will be out soon.
Wainscott continues to evolve in her writing. "I'm finding that my writing is veering into more traditional paranormal elements. For example, in the “Offspring” series, I discovered there really is a Darkness. Some of the characters in Darkness Becomes Her and the novellas actually possess Darkness … or does it possess them?"
Wainscott is “wildly excited” about a whole new series that's scheduled to come out starting April of 2013, called “The Hidden”. In the series, Crescents (humans who hold the essence of deities) walk the knife’s edge between the glamour of Miami and the “Hidden,” a place filled with dark magic. Dragons, angel hybrids, and sorcerers, Crescents must fight the dissention among their kind and the lure of their darkest nature. "I'm having a ball creating a world, a history, different kinds of beings, and yet all anchored in the quasi-normality of a real city,” Wainscott says. “Playing with magic really opens up the possibilities.” She was inspired by “those mysteries in our everyday lives, like where our socks go, and why things are in a different place than we know we put them.”  Her Crescents can see the dangers in this other world that exists right along with ours. They have to deal with this without revealing it, or their own magic, to regular humans. Wainscott will be writing as Jaime Rush for these books and plans to releasre two related novellas prior to the series’ launch.
While her deadlines keep her writing for more than eight hours a day, she sets aside weekends for “family time” with her husband and daughter. She also enjoys reading, swimming, and watching favorite shows like Supernatural and Once Upon a Time. But being a writer is her true calling, her passion and her obsession. “It’s so exciting when an idea first blooms in my mind,” she says. “I love the writing process, especially when everything’s flowing.  And I love creating people and worlds and drama. But, as I was preparing a talk for the Friends of the Library, I discovered the real reason I write. My characters come to the story with baggage, with hurts and vulnerabilities as well as strengths. And while I put them through hell during the course of the story, they come out on the other end stronger. Not only do they find love, but they love themselves. We all have baggage. Isn't it nice to know there's hope that we can overcome anything?"

For more about Tina Wainscott, visit her website at

Next: Karna Small Bodman - A Look Inside the Beltway

1 comment:

  1. I love Tina's work, and she's so generous about sharing her writing tips with other authors. Tina, your new fantasy series sounds wonderful. Can't wait!