Tialla Rising is a Christian fiction writer who was homeschooled through high school. She lives in the mountains of Arizona where she says “[a] good book, a stormy day, and coffee comprise my favorite moments.” Tialla describes herself as an “author, writer, editor, proofreader, bookworm, and all around literature-lover. I love to read books, write books, fix books, smell [old] books, categorize books, dust books, and admire books.”
Tialla is a voracious reader of fantasy and mystery genres, including all of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books. Some of her other favorite titles include Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and of course the Bible. In addition to literature, one of Tialla’s most-liked subjects is biology and at one time she wanted to be a veterinarian.
Tialla’s parents gave her the opportunity to choose her own curriculum. “For example, for math I could choose from Saxon, Math-U-See, or Abeka. They would explain the pros and cons of each, and then let me choose which I wanted to do. In that way, I was still receiving the core subjects required, but I had a say in what was chosen. It definitely made me feel very involved in my schoolwork, and made the learning process a lot more fun!”
The home where Tialla grew up on the outskirts of Flagstaff, Arizona, was the perfect setting for creative imagination and active adventure – as she was surrounded by mountains, forests, volcanic cinder cones, ancient Indian ruins, Route 66, and remnants of the Old West particularly the lumber, railroad, and ranching industries.
When she was 13, Tialla had an idea for a story. Fiction writing became a major part of language arts class for the next four years. She started writing her first novel when she was a freshman and finished it as a senior. Although it only took her a year to write it, the editing and revising process took another two years, followed by a year for publishing. She used Amazon’s CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
Throughout the writing and publishing process, Tialla also learned about business, computer software, web design and marketing. She received a great deal of ideas and input from friends and family (even her brother helped!). Tialla’s father Gene, an insurance agent, advised her on financial matters. Her mother, Vicky, provided much moral support and encouragement, “whether it was in ideas, contacting publishers, editors, and proofreaders, consulting with me on my cover design, writing notes on my manuscript, staying up late discussing future plans for my book.”
Tialla’s debut novel titled Holding the Future Hostage: The Legacy of the Ruby Vial, published in December 2012, is a young adult fantasy action-adventure. “It’s about a teenage girl that finds this object, called a ruby vial,” Tialla said. “It ends up taking her places she’d never expect.” In her story the characters travel to India, and the book includes references to The Hobbit.
Like J.R.R. Tolkien, Tialla is a lover of language. “Words are life,” she says. “I mean, honestly, can you imagine life without words; without language? God has given us such a precious gift through language, speech, and words. I strive to honor Him with those words and to create stories that will glorify Him; to give back to Him for the gift He has given us.”
Tialla published Where Shadows Lie: The Tension of Redemption in June 2015. This novel features characters from her first book, but it’s written in a completely different genre. Where Shadows Lie is a suspenseful action thriller, but more than that it’s a Christian love story. She actually found this book more difficult to write than the first one because of all the research that she did to make it as realistic as possible. It contains some crime violence, but nothing too graphic.
In addition to reading and writing, Tialla enjoys hanging out with friends, hiking, watching movies and TV shows on Netflix, and vlogging. She says “One strange fact about me: I always have to feel busy – and if I’m not crazy busy, I feel lazy. I’ve burned myself out from this multiple times in the past year, but I just can’t break the habit.”
Tialla hopes to write and publish several more novels throughout her life. She also has ideas for a children’s book. But she decided to take a break from writing after publishing her second novel. This year she focused on real-life experiences including apartment hunting and wedding planning. Tialla became engaged to her boyfriend, Joshua, in April and their wedding took place on July 10, 2016. (Tialla doesn’t like long engagements!)
Now that she is married and working, Tialla says “Life is 100% different in every way.” She wrote on her blog, “People ask me when my next book will be out, they wonder what I’m working on… I have high hopes that I just need to wait for life to settle a bit, and then it will come to me. We will see, I suppose!”
Tialla’s Tips for Teenage Writers:
- Outline the story first, that would have helped me a lot in revising. I don’t think I would have had to make near as many revisions if I had outlined what I wanted first.
- Keep writing… schedule a certain amount of time every day or a couple of times a week to write, whether you are “inspired” or not. I can kick-start my inspiration and creativity just by forcing myself to write.
- When you get ideas, write them down. Pay attention to other stories and phrases that people say.
- Read a lot — that’s very helpful. Read, read, read. That is key to writing a book. Just observe what other authors do – how their styles are. Observe what not to copy. Figure out what you don’t like so you don’t do that.
- There isn’t any harm in taking note from your favorite authors; in fact, I encourage you to do so. Just don’t try to conform to their style if it neglects your own. You need to figure out what works best for you because then you will flourish.
- Do your research. [My] characters travel to India and I wanted to make sure I was being genuine. Someone couldn’t pick up my book and say, “Well, this isn’t India, are you kidding me?” So I contacted several of my India friends [and] had them tell me what India is like.
- Have FUN. If you have a blast while writing, odds are other people will enjoy what you have written. If you don’t have fun while writing, it isn’t worth it.