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State of the Heart Tlalane Manciya

Tell us about your writing career (how many books, when did you start writing, did you do any courses, won prizes? – anything interesting)

My name is Tlalane , I’m based in Cape Town. I’m a Clinic Administrator by day and an author by night. I write poetry and romance novels. My writing is not limited to poetry and romance novels but expands, from time to time, to short stories and inspirational articles. My writing journey kind of started in my head when I was young after reading ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and fell in love with romance stories and I deeply knew I wanted to write stories with happily ever after at some point in my life. My passion for writing poetry kicked in during my teenage years after reading The Diary of Anne Frank. I kept a journal and it grew over time to become more than just a journal as I realised that in between all the writing, I had a dream to write inspiring poems and stories that not only feed the soul but the mind as well, reaching audiences on the global stage.

I’ve performed my poetry at many events since 2018. My poetry has been published on platforms such as the Archdiocesan news and the magazine of my workplace and on my website.

On my writing romance novels, I capalitized on time during lockdown by publishing my first online novel on Amazon. Being on lockdown also afforded me the opportunity to attend webinars and conferences to further enhance my writing. One of my biggest moments of my writing journey was when I was awarded the Ikhwezi scholarship by ROSA last year (2020), to attend their annual conference for romance writers and I knew that from there I have a chance to enhance my romance writing career, and also live my dream I’ve had since I was little. Being awarded the Ikhwezi Scholarship opened doors for me on my journey as I found myself being part of an Anthology of Sweet Romance by ROSA.

I also have stories that I’ve published on Booknet as well.

Beginning of the year I was chosen as one of the winners of the Dream Up Poetry Challenge Contest where my Poem titled ‘Let the Light In’ was accepted for the Dream Up Poetry, Mental Wellness anthology where 25 poets from around the world, 4 continents and 8 countries wrote poems addressing depression and anxiety.

Shortly after I received news that one of my short stories has also been accepted for and All Shook Up Global Anthology, where submissions from around the globe were received about how each person coped with the Pandemic.

Why did you choose to write romance?

I chose to write romance because it’s one of the genres that has stories full of hope where the characters in the story overcome obstacles and which often leads to a happily ever after.

What is the name of your story in the anthology?

The name of my story in the anthology is State of the heart.


Dineo decides to make a fresh start and moves to Cape Town after a life changing incident that almost destroyed her life. Emotionally unavailable and not interested in dating, she puts all her time in her career as a Pediatrician. The move was exactly what she needed as her life begins to get back on track. Until one day when she comes home from work to find a little girl sitting by herself crying on the stairs of her apartment complex. Her effort to reunite the girl with her family lands Bongani on her doorstep.

Bongani is a brokenhearted and emotionally scarred man who has dedicated his life to raising his little girl Zara, after her mom walked out on them. His heart can't allow him to get close to any woman, including the beautiful woman who rescued his little girl. Avoiding her isn't easy, especially when she is developing a friendship with Zara.

Dineo and Bongani soon discover that no matter how far you run from your past, it always has a way of landing on your doorstep. Will they be able to mend each other's hearts and love again? Or will the ghosts of their past keep them apart.

Please include anything interesting about your story and your writing process.

My story is set in Cape Town and my writing is mostly done at night and on weekends. I’ve written most of my stories and poems on my cell phone, if I’m in a restaurant or at a shop in a queue I will always be writing something and that’s how some of my work gets finished, I utilise any moment I get and write on my cell phone.

What was your inspiration for this story?

It’s the kind of story I’ve wished to write for a long time and this was the perfect moment to finally write it.

What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning this story?

The most research I did was on my heroine’s career and I did the research in the process of writing the book until I was satisfied with the information I gathered that I needed to use in the story.

How long did it take you before you began writing this story and then, how long did it take then to complete?

The story took months before I wrote it. It has the kind of story line I’ve always wished to write about, but never took time to write it, so when the Anthology moment presented itself I knew that this story is the one I will write specially for the Anthology. I started writing it on the day I received an email that I’m part of the anthology.

How do you select the names of your characters?

I don’t sit down and plan names, I normally would think of a name that sounds original.

How do you like to collect and organise your ideas?

I collect the ideas in my mind and then organise them while I write the story, at times I even change plots or a scene over and over as the ideas come, so I’m not a very organised writer at all when it comes to ideas…..

Are you a plotter or a Pantser?


You can follow Tlalane here:



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