Creativity, Intuitive Decision-Making & Embodying the Fool With Tanya Gallagher

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In this episode I speak with Tanya Gallagher and a Seattle Based author and entrepreneur and one of my oldest friends.  In this episode Tanya and I discuss how an early leap of faith in dropping out of college and moving across the country for a brand new relationship set her up for a lifetime of trusting her Intuition. She is the true embodiment of the Fool card because of her ability to jump into creativity and wholeheartedly and surrender to her intuition.

  • We discuss how the importance of having a relationship with your inner guidance system and how that can help you navigate doubt from the people around you.
  • We talk about the challenges of changing identity and allowing yourself to create your own value system.
  • Tanya talks about how she was drawn to writing about love and how reinvention has played an important part in both her writing and her career.
  • We discuss how creativity and intuition work together and how Tanya has been able to make challenging decisions easier by trusting her intuition.

Tanya also talks about ways that she has used her intuition to improve her writing so that she could write nine books all while running a business with her husband, having a full-time job, and being a mom.

Connect with Sheila:

Book a Tarot or Reiki session at or find her on Instagram

Connect with Tanya: and on Instagram and read her brand new Awkward Arrangements series here:

Book 1 – The Fake Date Agreement

Book 2 – Renting with the Rival 

Book 3 – Pickup Lessons – out 9/14

Check out this episode!


Sheila M  0:05  

Welcome to Living Tarot. I’m your host Sheila Masterson. I’m a tarot reader and teacher, an energy healer and medium and creator of Practical Tarot for Everyday Intuitives. Each week on this podcast, I’ll share my own experience of embracing and growing intuition and interview guests about how they heard the call of intuition, embraced the adventure and embodied the taro along the way. Join us and learn how you can stop second guessing. Empower yourself through intuition and live intentionally with the Tarot. 

Welcome back to living Tarot. I am so delighted this week to have one of my oldest friends, Tonya Gallagher, on the podcast. Tanya is a Seattle based writer, entrepreneur. footie and cake lover by day, she’s a user experience writer in the tech industry, helping make tech more approachable and easier to understand. By night. She’s the author of contemporary romances about smart, strong women, and the men who love them, and co founder of Penchant, a brand of luxury body care products designed to enhance life’s pleasures. So I’m really excited about this episode, we jumped in. And it just so happened that for my first episode interview that I happened to choose a friend who was the full card. I’m really excited about this episode in particular, because we’re really talking about what it means to surrender to intuition in instances that don’t make a ton of sense. So I hope you get a lot out of this week’s episode. Please share your feedback. We’d love to hear about it and let’s dive right in.

So welcome Tanya. I’m so excited that you’re here. We’ve known each other a long time. And I know everything about you, but can you tell us who you are what you do? Just give us kind of the short Cliff’s notes version of yourself.

Tanya Gallagher  2:13  

Sure. Well, first of all, thank you for having me. I’m super excited to be here today. My name is Tanya, I am a writer and entrepreneur based in the Seattle area. By day I write for the tech industry. By night, I write romances and also own personal lubricant company. So that’s the short notes.

Sheila M  2:35  

I love it. I love it. And a little bit of background, Tanya and I have known each other since we were in high school. So just babies. it’s like 20 years now, which I can’t believe. But I’ve kind of had the chance and the opportunity to witness a huge chunk of your life which is not the case with most of my guests. And I’ve kind of had the option opportunity to see how over time you’ve used your intuition. And really kind of made these decisions that to outsiders might seem crazy, but to you, like seemed very in alignment. So I want to start by talking about kind of like the earliest time that I can think of where I really saw you do this and that was when we were in college, you actually made the decision to leave your college drop out and move across the country, which at the time, I was like, holy shit, this is crazy. Like, what is she thinking? Can you talk to us like a little bit about about that experience? And what was going on leading up to that and then kind of take us through the move and everything?

Tanya Gallagher  3:49  

Yeah, of course. Um, so I guess the first thing is, when it came to college, I wound up at a school in Boston, where I was pursuing a bunch of creative endeavors and it was a really wonderful school. But it was not the right school for me. And I went through about a year and a half there and got more and more unhappy. And it wasn’t because there weren’t wonderful people. And it wasn’t because the classes weren’t great. It was just something within me that wasn’t feeling quite right about it. And I got to a point where I was ready to leave school, I said, Hey, I’m dropping out. It wasn’t. I’m gonna, you know, pause and come back at a later point. It was like this is feel so wrong to me that I’m just going to leave with no backup plan. And I think that was a super scary decision at that point. 

Sheila M  4:40  

I’m sure it was you were what like 19- 20. Yeah.

Tanya Gallagher  4:46  

And I think it was scarier for the people around me though. I think because you get there gets to a certain point when you are not listening to your intuition, and then it kind of bubbles up in these like no moments. I think the best part of intuition is when you get these yeses and you know what the right thing is. But this leaving college was kind of an example of a No, that was so strong that it couldn’t ignore it anymore. And I knew that continuing to stay the course in school, which is kind of the traditional thing to do, was just gonna make me more on B. And I think that’s the thing. You have this path that you think you’re supposed to be given, right? Like, you go through high school, and then you graduate, you go to college, you graduate, you get a job, and you do all these different things, but there’s kind of a prescribed order, at least that’s the story that you’re told. Yeah, right.

Sheila M  5:36  

Yeah, absolutely. And I think especially because again, I have known you for a long time. You were very academically gifted and always really successful in school. And I think especially when you are a person who’s really smart, there’s like, it’s just assumed that you will do all of these things and you will follow this path and I, one of the things that I talked to people a lot about is how like you’re saying, like a lot of people can recognize and “No”. But then, like, don’t know how to put that up against everybody else’s expectations. You know what I mean? Which is exactly what you’re talking about.

Tanya Gallagher  6:13  

Yeah, I think at the time when I was in high school and even early college, I think I got a lot of external validation from doing well in school, right? This is great. You’re top of the class, like I got a scholarship to the school that I just dropped out of just walked away from a lot of money. And you realize, like, that’s not what’s making you happy. And so just kind of letting go ahead is really important. And I think as soon as I walked away, and like put in my notice that I’m leaving school, it was such a weight lifted off my shoulders and you just know from that, that like, this is the right thing. And so having no plan, I moved back home to my parents house. Luckily, they welcomed me back and I started working two jobs. Just trying to make some money while I figured out my next steps. In there, I also happened to meet my now husband. He and I had actually met in school. And we had a very long story of being friends and then having these random encounters of visiting each other across the country. And at that point, after I had left school, right things were turning around, I was listening to myself and not everybody else, and fell in love with him online. And we knew each other in person for less than six months when-  I’m sorry we knew each other in person for less than a week. And when six months after I dropped out of school, I moved in with him across the country in Los Angeles. So I have that two jobs short term, and manage to transfer one of them out to Los Angeles. Just as a retail job and I could get an opportunity there just to have something to learn this because I was flying across the country with, you know, limited resources and no plan other than let’s move in with this guy.

Sheila M  8:12  

So, okay, so I have to I have to pause you there, because what was it about your husband that you were like yeah, I for sure cuz like even if you’re like yeah this guy’s great and your intuitions like yeah let’s you know let’s date this person but to then move across the country into what I assume was probably a small apartment with somebody that you hadn’t spent a lot of like in person time with – what was it about him and like those conversations that you guys had that made you feel comfortable taking such like a big leap and I’m sure comfortable is not the right word, but I guess confident enough to do it.

Tanya Gallagher  8:56  

Yeah, I wish there was something more than intuition, oh here are these things are logical and they add up. And honestly, I have what are called these “oh shit” moments where you go through life and you realize, Oh shit, this is gonna be a big deal. And sometimes it hits you out of nowhere. And that was kind of me and Ian. And we found each other. He came to visit me in Pennsylvania again, I was living there. He was home from Los Angeles to visit his family for the winter holidays. And when he came to see me, it was like, Oh, shit, this is the right thing. And so yeah, this was we dated online, which was pre webcam. I guess I should say we had webcam, but there was no audio attached to it. So you would just have us talking at each other and then like typing at the same time, um, but it was just this, this connection of knowing that this person gets To me, and I think the fact that I was in my most vulnerable state, right, like I had just left school, I had no plan, I think allowed me to kind of tap into like, what didn’t feel right. And he felt right. And I always talked about going to Los Angeles. I grew up acting and doing theater and said, Hey, like, that could be a fun thing to do. Like the entertainment industry is in LA. Why not go explore that? Even though I had no immediate plans, like it just felt like there was an interesting opportunity there. Um, but more importantly, like he was the right person. And, and so yeah, I’ve gone Come on a plane. And my parents did make him come fly home to Los Angeles together. They’re like, you’re not getting on a plane alone. He’s coming to get you if you’re moving in with this boy. So he came to get me and we flew to LA and moved in together. And that was 15 years ago. More than that, more than that. Yeah.

Sheila M  11:02  

Yeah. I mean, so. Okay. So you move across the country and how did it feel like as soon as you, got there and you were like settling in, were you still like, yeah, this is right. Or were you like, oh, shit I might have made a mistake? Wait, did you have any doubt as as you were kind of transitioning into that?

Tanya Gallagher  11:25  

Not for me, I think part of it was because we had seen each other in person. So little, there is still that element of Okay, now he had to fall in love in person and get that physical aspect. And we have this really strong emotional connection, because all we did was talk online other than that week of visits back and forth. And so this was kind of like getting to fall in love with each other in a different way, which was really nice. And that said, it didn’t arrive in Los Angeles have we lived in a small house With five people total, another couple, one single guy and us. And the very first day, all the roommates knew we were moving in, and they threw a party for their own friends not like a welcome Tania party. So I walk off a plane to my new house, state where, you know, I visited once, and there’s a party in my house. So it’s a very weird experience coming in, but it was just a matter of rolling with it. And I think that’s what we continue to do.

Sheila M  12:30  

Yeah, yeah. So I know, that was like, kind of the first step for you. Do you feel like especially doing something like that at such a young age? Do you feel like that made you bolder in terms of making some of these other pivots later in your life where you were kind of like I’ve already done this, so now I feel comfortable.

Tanya Gallagher  12:52  

Yeah, absolutely. I think having a precedent of, well, I did the scary thing of leaving, you know, my plane With no other plan in place, let me know that I would like no matter what I would be okay. And I think more and more over time I’ve let go of that, you know, top performing student expectation of myself that type a grade A person and leaned more and more into my intuition and to making those pivots as needed. Because that’s what feels right. And I have the faith and the trust. After you know, that experience proved me right to continue leaving and and continue trusting those choices, even though they might seem illogical on the outside.

Sheila M  13:40  

So after that, what came next for you? What was kind of the next big intuitive pull that you had to do something a little bit different?

Unknown Speaker  13:49  

Yeah, I think the next big thing was leaving my job in the aerospace industry. So I need to back up and say that when I first came to Los Angeles I went to a recruiter to try to find a new job. Because I knew I needed something stable. I wasn’t planning to go back to school anytime soon, I knew I would look when the time felt right for me. But I needed something right because now I was living on my own with my boyfriend did to pay the bills. And I ended up finding a job in the aerospace industry and as a salesperson or account management. So taking care of people getting to use my communication skills, and really help him help our customers throughout the entire customer journey. And they I think I was really good at my job, but it didn’t mean that I liked my job. And I think there’s a big difference in finding the thing that’s right for you and finding a thing that you can do like just because you can do something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be happening up. Yeah, yeah. Am I kind of got more and more unhappy, being in that role, and my company wasn’t a great company that appreciated me or where I was really using my full talents, and had my daughter. So she was about a year old. And we said, You know what, I think it’s time to find something different and move to Seattle. And Seattle just was just a place. I have no family here. But it was a place that we felt really called to. And so I convinced my company to move me out to Seattle. And when I was here, started building other plans. And I needed to get out of that company, even though you know, it was a really great blessing that I was able to still have a job and move with some stability. That at a certain point isn’t worth being unhappy in your role. And so my husband and I am behind the scenes. We’re working to build our company penchant. And that was kind of this next big pivot of Okay, like, we’re onto something, let’s totally get off the beaten path of here’s a job that we’re employed by other people. Now we’re doing our own thing. And so that was kind of a big shift too.

Sheila M  16:14  

Yeah, so a couple things I really want to talk about that you hit on there. So first of all, the idea that just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean that you like it. I think it’s so important. And it’s another one of those things that like, brings us up against like logic and reason. I’m so good at this thing. I’m rewarded for doing this thing. I’m paid a lot of money for doing this thing. And that was like my experience with my first job out of school. I did event planning for quite a few years because again, I was trying to convince myself that I liked it. And I was really good at it. I got right out of school and I took to it right away and had very like high profile clients and I was really good at the job but I didn’t like it and it took me like a while to figure that out. And I do think that there’s a lot of people that have that impulse where they’re like, I know something isn’t right. Like they’re hearing that no, like you’re saying, but they don’t know how to shift out of it. They’re like, but no, I’m good at this, like, I’m good at this thing. Like, it’s fine. I’m good at it. And so I love that you talked about that, because I do think that’s really important. And then when you’re talking about making this shift into a more entrepreneurial job, what was it that really inspired you to create your product? With Penchant? Because I like I’ve been curious about this, for as long as you’ve had the company is like, what really inspired this?

Tanya Gallagher  17:41  

Yeah, well, um, Penchant is a really interesting one, because, again, the company produces personal lubricants and other body care products. And that is definitely not something you would normally put on a resume if you’re coming from the corporate world. But it was something where We’re looking to build a business that was online and flexible. Because have we worked on as a side business, we have worked in the wedding photography industry for about 10 years. And that was my weekend gig. And that was my husband’s full time job at a certain about to a certain point where we wanted something where are we we’re not trading our hours for dollars, where we had a product that we were selling online, that people could get 24/7, and that we could have some more control in our pipeline and our spending and people to scale our income. And so there are a couple things you’re looking for, you know, just product criteria, like we wanted to be lightweight, so it didn’t have to cost a lot to ship and various other things. And Ian was the one who actually was doing some research and came to me with the idea of personal lubricant. And we were looking at thermometers before that, so how Let’s say big shift, right? 

Sheila M  19:02  

Way less sexy for sure,

Tanya Gallagher  19:03  

Yeah WAY less sexy. And he came to me in the middle of the night and said, I got this idea. I found our product. And I started laughing. But it was again that like, knee jerk reaction of Yep, that’s the one. And I think it’s because it’s a space that people don’t talk about all that much. But they certainly use lube, right. And it’s a very natural, normal part of wife and sex and humans, but we don’t talk about it. So that meant it was kind of an underserved niche, where we felt like we could come in and we can make a difference and give you a product that you felt really good having on your bedside tables that you weren’t ashamed about where we were celebrating, you know, your access to life’s pleasures, and just making you feel good. 

Sheila M  19:47  

So I love that so much. And I like I love the whole journey into it and like those ideas that kind of pop up in the middle of the night. And I think it’s so interesting. How you kind of you knew what you want it to do, but you didn’t like start with lube you were kind of feeling a couple of different ideas in your head. And I think that’s so interesting that like, again, it’s like you hear it and you just kind of know i think that’s so cool. I’m really really, really exciting. Um, so from there, I know it took a lot to kind of get that off the ground Did you have moments through that process where maybe like doubt crept in, did it feel like the right thing the whole time? And then like, once you once you kind of had the final product and we’re starting to get sales and get, you know, placements at different stores and everything. What was that experience like for you and did you did you feel like excitement and like, a strong yes the whole time or did you have like Doubts along the way.

Tanya Gallagher  21:01  

Yeah, I think for me, there was a lot of yeses along the way. And knowing that I was in that aerospace job, when we first started exploring building our own business, it was really powerful, really powerful for me to see something that really got excited by and, and I think one of the scary things is that there was a sort of high barrier to entry. Because when you’re looking at manufacturing products, you have to put out a certain amount of money. You might have minimum order quantities or values that you need to fulfill for companies to even say, yes, they will manufacture this. This is not something that I’m making in my backyard. You know, we’re working with labs and getting this all done in the right way. And I think that aerospace background as much as I disliked being in that industry and having that job. It really taught me a lot about running businesses on the big scale. Because I had multimillion dollar clients, I was responsible for the top 12 customers in our company. And that was something where those kind of big transactions didn’t scare me. And I think could have been very scary. But I was trying to approach it with this business mindset of, hey, we’re starting this business, we’re not even Tanya running this business, we are a business going out there and investing the way that a business needs to in order to get the products and the supply chain lined up. And I think that was a really helpful mindset to be in where it felt less scary. And certainly there’s like, Oh, my gosh, my money is tied up in this thing that could totally fail. Because it takes a while to even you know, get everything up and running. And so there was you know, that period of Okay, well hope it works. But there’s nothing prouder than the moment you know, you’re holding your first product in your hands and go wow, okay, like we did this and it was very successful right away, which was surprising. And I think that was another one of those oshit moments really, oh, it’s, it’s going well, like this is better than we could have expected it to do wonderful like, and maybe I’m that much closer to leaving the aerospace company. And that was really, really fun. Um, and I think it gave me the confidence to when the time was right. Walk away from the aerospace company and just be very happy doing that.

Sheila M  23:32  

Yeah, yeah. And I think that’s another thing. I think we’ve all had that moment where we know we made the right decision, especially when it comes to career stuff when you’re like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and then you finally get to get out and and have that experience. And I love that. I love how, like how you kind of talked about moving along the way and figuring out Yes, a lot of stuff is tied up in this but I think we’re going to be okay. And, and, and having that kind of immediate success to validate your experience, I’ve guess probably also made it a little bit easier to be like, yeah, this was, this was the right thing. So that’s one of those ones where I think it’s easier to look back and say, yeah, I’m certain about this. Did you get feedback from other people in your life? When you guys were were kind of like starting this project? Did you like where you’re like, were your parents on board? Were like your friends like you’re doing what? And did you have like you said, Did you have any hesitation about it? Because you came from a corporate background where you were like, okay, now this is going to be on my resume. It’s going to be like a polarizing thing, or were you not worried about it at all?

Tanya Gallagher  24:47  

Yeah, well, I definitely made the decision to use a pen name and just to separate some of my my day job life from this life in case it didn’t work out. I wanted to make sure that, you know, there was some separation there. But I think the funniest memory that I have is telling my dad that I was starting a lube company, and my dad is sort of more on the conservative side. Um, and I was still working for the aerospace company. And I was traveling and I was in an airport and I was telling my dad, okay, like, I’m starting this business, I got this product in mind, and he sent me a text message and says, Well, what is it? I was like, Oh, God, I can’t I can’t do this over text. Like call my dad in the middle of this airport, like looking around saying who’s listening in on this? One side of the conversation about Yeah, dad that we’re gonna start a lube company. Um, but it worked out. He received it very well. And it’s always really strange when your parents become your biggest fans of business like this because you’re like, please, let’s leave that You know, in the corner, let’s not talk about it. You can support me from afar. I don’t need to know about it. Um, but I think the precedent that I had set of leaving school and moving in McKeon and all those different choices that seemed, again, a logical from the outside, I think set people up to recognize that I was no longer in a position to do the normal thing or follow anybody else’s rules or guidelines. And I was kind of turning my own course. And so it my dad, again, very happy, you know, to support that and continue continues to support me.

Sheila M  26:41  

Yeah, yeah. That’s really good, though, that you that you have that kind of support. And I mean, I I’ve also known your family for a long time. So I know they’re kind of, you know, behind you, 100%. And I think that’s like, it’s really awesome. Maybe a little too enthusiastic sometimes.

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From from starting Penchant, and then having that become more and more successful. You again made more pivots. So let’s talk about kind of like your next big step after after starting that.

Tanya Gallagher  28:50  

Yeah, so my next big step was to enter the tech industry. And so pension is still up and running and alive and well. But it got to a point where my husband and I were both doing their full time. And we said, you know, this is great. But from a household resources standpoint, we may had some more stability back in our lives if we have multiple sources of income. And that was a good call. And it allowed the business to grow further because the business no longer had to support both incomes. And so it allowed it to become even more successful than if we had both been doing it. And when we made the decision as a family that hey, you know, we should probably take a look at what’s out there. I started applying for different jobs. And, again, I think it was really hard to make a pivot, because my resume said, I’ve worked in the aerospace industry. I’ve been a recruiter, I’ve done all these other things, and not what I wanted to do, which is on the creative side. Throughout my life, I’ve been a writer, I’ve always loved storytelling. I’ve always worked on books behind the scenes, and I really really wanted to find something that would make me happy, having learned that the aerospace industry, and that kind of rigidity was not for me, right. Um, and so in addition to doing Penchant, one of the things I was kind of doing behind the scenes was I was working on some blog management for for an entrepreneur. And I was also doing some young adult novel writing. And so I mentioned these because these are important in the next step, which is I get my resume out there. And I’m going through all these job boards, and I found a job that looked super boring on the outside. It’s like, Hey, you need to do repetitive tasks, and you need to look at a lot of data. And I’m like, No, thanks. So I moved on. And then I got a call from a recruiter who says, hey, I’ve got this job. She sends me over the job description and it’s the same job that I was like, no, that’s not the right one for me. But then she used words to describe what was actually happening in this job. And it was super interesting. They couldn’t say a lot about it at the time because it was kind of a new project. But basically, it was an opportunity to shape the voice for a digital assistant. So think about Siri or Cortana, something along those lines. And so as soon as I had that conversation and learned what the job was, I said, Sure, toss my name in the hat. That sounds really fun. And they wanted somebody who could write dialogue. And so that’s where that young adult novel comes into play. I had a contract for young adult novel that I had sold. And so I was able to use that as my portfolio and bring forth that blog management as well. All those things I was doing in the background, was able to bring forth pensions then didn’t say was my company, but I said, hey, I’ve been doing you know, blogging, management, social media, outreach, writing, and all of those things came together. And it was the fastest interview I’ve ever had. I had a 30 minute call. 30 minutes later. I got it. Yes, we’d like to hire you. And so super exciting.

Sheila M  32:04  

That is so crazy. I can’t even imagine. I feel like every interview process I’ve gone through, especially for like big companies has been like slow as molasses. It always takes twice as long as they say it’s going to, it’s always like 20 rounds of interviews, you know. So I think I think that’s so I think it’s so funny that you like looked at the job. And we’re like, no, that sounds boring. And then it was like the personal engagement and the fact that somebody reached out to you about that job that you had seen. I think there’s like, so fascinating. It’s like such a, they were like, wait, take a second look.

Tanya Gallagher  32:40  

Yeah, exactly like hello. But also, it just goes to show you how much the right words make a difference. And that’s my job these days. So I was working as this digital agent, writer for a little while, about a year and a half. And then an opportunity for different role came up in the UX writing world. Same tech company, but I got a referral from my boss in the digital agent world. She’s like, we love you, we want you to keep working for this company. Here’s another role that we think you’d be great at. And that’s what I’m doing today. And that was definitely making a lot of shifts and just being open to things coming my way. And it was just became more and more fun. Yeah, the opportunity is great.

Sheila M  33:27  

I love that. I love that. And then kind of Finally, like you said, You have written books in the past, but I know it’s a big part of your life right now. Aside from your day job, you kind of do it all. And so what made you want to you know, add one more thing to your your to do list?

Tanya Gallagher  33:52  

Yeah, well, I’m writing again, it’s always been part of what I love to do. I never knew that I could have a day job writing and In a way that felt really fun. And so I always did this creative writing behind the scenes. And that young adult novel I had a contract for and then the publishing house never actually published it because the line that they were doing folded. And so I had this unpublished book and like, well, Alright, there you go, I guess I got the experience of writing a book. And I realized it doesn’t have to be as scary as you make it out to be or as it can be in your head when you say write a novel, right? And so it’s just piece by piece, putting things together. And I always love the idea of telling stories. I think there’s something really fun about that. Especially given, you know, my background, and the fact that I super believe in love and pleasure and letting yourself enjoy those things. And so I kind of dovetailed really nicely with the work that I had done with penchant. So I said, Hey, well, I’ve already got this pen name established, why don’t I use it? And so in September of this year, my ninth book will be published, which is super exciting.

Sheila M  35:02  

Yeah, we’ve that, oh my gosh, no, I saw you post about it the other day. And I was like, Oh my god, it is nine books. Like, I just like, I think it’s like, if you’re on the outside, and I do a lot of like e-reader stuff, so I, like don’t even realize half the time, like, how many books are on there. And then I like went back through and I was like, no, it’s, it’s nine, but like, this is going to be the ninth book, which I think is insane. And it’s so exciting to me. And especially because the creative process, even when you are following your intuition can be so painful. Like, like giving birth. You know, it’s like you’re you’re this full creation and I think I was hoping you could talk about that a little bit. Because I think sometimes when people think that you have an intuitive idea or you have something that’s like really in alignment, that that means that it’s easy, and I was hoping you could say About a little bit.

Tanya Gallagher  36:02  

Yeah, well, definitely writing a book is a lot of steps, a lot of process of writing the book is the first part, if you want to have perceived publication, it is also totally okay just to write a book for you, because that’s all you want to do. And you never have to have it, you know, published if you don’t want to. So just putting that out there that whatever you do that’s right for you. But I knew I wanted to work toward getting this published as well. And that is a lot of other steps. I pursued the indie publication route, where I work with editors and cover artists and a bunch of folks to help bring the book to life once I’ve written it. And so that’s a bunch of a bunch of steps in process to go through. But I think the important thing is to realize where you’re getting in your own way. And when you have this intuitive idea or something that you’re following. And for me, I realized that quotation marks were getting in my way and so rate, you need quotation marks and dialogue when you’re writing a story. But I was blocking my flow when I was actually sitting down to type things. And so I recognize that and I started saying, Well, I know this is dialogue, so why don’t I just write it without the tags. And then when I’m editing, and I’m doing that more critical thinking piece of it, I can go back in and kind of do follow the rules, right? And so trying to take some of those rules away and like, get the book out of you was kind of the first step for me. And, and I think, the more you go through it, and the more you know, and the more you get comfortable with any sort of project, the more I realize every book is different, and everyone comes out differently. But a lot of times I find that when something feels tough in the writing. For me, it’s because I’ve gone astray somewhere. So even though I tend to plot my novels, so I have an idea of where I’m Going each time, that doesn’t mean that it’s always the right thing. And so sometimes when you’re in it, the creative process takes over and you realize, like this, I feel like I’m forcing this and that means it’s wrong. So I have to go back and I look like I take a couple steps back and find out where’s the point that it starts feeling wrong and hard? And then usually that’s a point where I need to reevaluate and make a different choice. So

Sheila M  38:26  

That’s so interesting. I love, I love how you describe that to you because I hear that sometimes from people and I also think especially when it is creative people have this idea that like everything just kind of like flows right out and it’s like no problem. But I also think it can get a little bogged down because especially and I truly believe that like all creative pursuits, so like art and writing anything acting is like kind of like a different channel. You know, you’re like channeling something. And I know Just from the work that I do when I do like a mediumship reading, sometimes even when I do a tarot reading, it feels like there are so much coming through so fast, it is hard for me to like, even get it out of my mouth. And I’m just speaking when I’m doing these things. I’m not like writing it all down. And so what is your experience like with that? And and how do you kind of manage? If If you have those moments where you’re like, Oh, this big idea is coming through and I feel like I can’t keep up with it. Does that? Is that something that you experience?

Tanya Gallagher  39:28  

Yes. And my trick is dictation. So I like turning on my phone app. I’m literally just the notes on my phone and starting to talk to myself, because I can talk faster than I can type. And so I find it helps keep that mental flow of ideas coming. And And so that kind of helps me keep going but it can become overwhelming at times. And I think the biggest thing for me though, is to take a step back and recognize like what is the big picture ideas Because the details, sometimes I can, I can add those in later. But having the framework and the outline for me is really helpful. Like, where is the story going? And when I know that the details will come back, and I can fill those in. And those are the kinds of things that you might go back and tweak later on anyway as you go through an edit. So for me, it’s Yeah. All right, let’s start with the big picture. And if that’s there’s a lot of things competing, like, let’s get that down first. But definitely, I’ve had characters who will just speak to me, I know that always sounds like such a weird thing to say. But there are definitely characters who show up and they’re like, I’m going to tell you what’s up and you just just try to hang on and write down what they say. And you can put it in when it makes sense later, but just trying to capture the moments as they come.

Sheila M  40:47  

I love that too. And I remember when I came out to visit last year, we like talked about that a little bit and I was like, doesn’t sound weird to me at all. You know, like I talk to spirits all the time. It’s not that weird, it just, you know, you just, it’s what’s normal for you. And so if you could kind of like in totality, and kind of look back at all of these different steps that you’ve taken following your intuition if you could kind of like I don’t know how I would put it but , if you could tell yourself your 19 year old self who was like about to, fly across the country to move in with this guy that you’d only spent a week with in person, what would you like now Tanya, tell 19 year old Tanya, to kind of what piece of advice I guess would you give to yourself to to help you kind of move through all of these these moves over the years? And what advice would you give to other people?

Tanya Gallagher  41:54  

Yeah, I think the advice that I would give to myself, which is also the advice that I hear when I like tune into my inner voice and it’s just ask, Hey, how are things going, is just, it’s all gonna be okay. All as well. And like, that sounds so simple, but you’re always okay in every moment just recognizing the okayness of yourself. And that you have the the endurance and the flexibility, and the ability to pivot so that you will be okay in any circumstance and to just keep trusting yourself over and over again, things will continue to come up that will challenge you, but trusting that you know, the right thing for yourself, is really the way to go and just keep listening to you to that inner voice and try to tune into it as much as you can. And sometimes I feel like when I’m not listening, those are the moments that I get the most blocked or the most challenged or frustrated, but kind of re centering yourself knowing that it’s going to be okay, and coming back to your inner voice and tuning in is the best thing.

Sheila M  42:56  

Yeah. Um, so we’re almost done. But I do want you to To talk just a little bit about this project that you have coming out in September. I know it’s kind of part of a larger project. So if you can tell us like a little bit about what you’re working on.

Tanya Gallagher  43:12  

Yeah, so the book that’s coming out in September is called Pick Up Lessons. It is the third book in the Awkward Arrangements series. And I just wanted to write something that felt real and fun and romantic comedy series. So each book follows a different couple, but it’s a bunch of friends throughout the story. So people show up again and again, but you can read each book individually. And, and I think over time, I’ve just gotten really into the idea of good guys. Like, there’s definitely like the jerk persona, but like, there’s also something to be said about, hey, here’s a guy that if I met in real life, like would be a good person for me, even if there are challenges along the way. So these are low, angst books. They’re fun, they’re sexy, they’re flirty, and you should Pick them up.

Yeah, yeah, and I’ve read I’ve read the first two so far. Love them.  Very easy reads like and that’s the other thing too for everything that’s going on in the world right now. One of the things that I love is it’s like a little mini escape for for like a day and I’m like it’s just it’s so nice to just read something that’s like very fun and like, kind of exciting and and light and like you said low angst because I feel like if there was ever for low angst, it’s right now for sure. So I I love I love that description. So I will have the link in the show notes to order that series and so everybody can find it if they’re looking for it. But the last thing that I really wanted to talk about before we play a fun little game is where where I really kind of see you in the Tarot. So, in all of these archetypes in the Tarot, they all recommend different human experiences. And so when I was thinking about you, and I knew I really wanted to have you on and I knew I wanted to have you on early in the podcast. I was like, you know, Tanya, and this is not an insult, even though the word kind of insult, but I was like, you know, Tonya really embodies the Fool card in the best possible way because it really is about taking that leap of faith and even down to the advice that you said you kind of give yourself is like all it’s gonna be okay, like it’s gonna work out, you know. And I think being able to kind of take that leap and trust that you’re going to have the resources to figure it out along the way. Or if you don’t, that you can outsource to someone else who can help you. And I think is really cool. And I think a lot of the time the Fool kind of gets a bad rap as being like reckless. But I think whenever we’re talking about making these huge steps in life, and And I mean, all of the huge steps for all of us things like getting married, you know, like, that’s a huge deal. That is somebody you’re committing to forever. And it’s a huge leap of faith, you know, and taking that step and especially for you from from leaving school like something extremely untraditional, especially for someone, like coming from our background where like everybody goes to school, everybody gets their bachelor’s degree, at least if not like, more education, and then kind of always being able to pivot when things weren’t feeling right for you. It’s like, it’s such a Fool card thing because you’re always ready to kind of reset and like start over. And there’s no issue there. And it is not a skill that a lot of people have. And I was like, you know, the more I thought about your entire journey, and everything that you’ve gone through, I was like she really has this element, but also um The like, secondary one that came up for me was the knight of swords, because I really see you, being someone who can kind of like just charging 100% even if, like you said, you’re not quite sure where all the pieces are going to land. And again, there can be this kind of reckless element. But I think that there’s always some of that that needs to happen, especially with the writing like to be able to just kind of charge in and, and it is really about being able to bring that like intellectual piece down to earth where you’re like, this is all like cerebral, it’s all in my head and I have to kind of bring it down to earth. And even if I think about your day job working in user experience for a tech company, it’s literally like you have to piece through all of this like very techie stuff, and you have to walk the line between being like that person who can kind of bring it into reality, and not have it be too like, technical and like have it be somewhat Natural. And I think there’s a huge, there’s a huge need to just kind of like you just kind of like jump into things. And I think it’s it’s really interesting because I, myself am like much more cautious person much more risk averse. And even though I do have that strong connection with my intuition, I still have like a lot of moments where I’m like, is this really what I’m doing? I don’t know about that. So I did want to talk about that because I feel like it is. It’s so like, in your essence to just kind of take that like leap and be like, I will figure it out, you know? 

Yeah, well, I will take both of those as compliments. And you actually had posted up on your Instagram before card and explained a little bit about it the other day, and I saw that and it super resonated with me. And so I was curious what cards you saw for me, so that’s really awesome.

And also, I have to say it’s a learned skill like I was again I clung really tightly to the identity of being somebody who did the right thing and follow the rules and had this path. And the more and more I leaned away from that, I think the more and more I go with the flow and kind of embody these other cards. And so even if you’re a person who doesn’t see that in yourself right now, know that you can kind of take those qualities on, the more you lean into trusting yourself some. 

Sheila M  49:21  

Absolutely, absolutely. And that’s one of the things I talked about in my high priestess. embodiment workshop too, is how intuition really is like a muscle and the more you use it, the better like the stronger it gets. And the more you get used to recognizing it when it comes up. So like you said, a lot of people are aware of like, a no or like a you’re not safe, but but people are less aware of the Yes, especially when it’s like, in contrast to what’s expected of them or what they expected. So I do think I do think that’s really interesting. Yeah. Really cool. And then I guess, just one last question. How do you I mean, we’ve talked about some of the ways that you use intuition. But how do you use your intuition now in your daily life? Or how do you kind of tune in with yourself? and kind of do these gut checks to make sure that you’re still on the right track? What does that look like for you?

Tanya Gallagher  50:25  

Yeah, it’s a combination. Sometimes it’s just moments that will reach out to me different opportunities. We actually just purchased a new home. And the way that we found this house was looking at the wrong house driving home, there was a street and I said, we need to turn down that street. I don’t know why. And, and then that’s where we found the house that we ended up buying. And so it was just like one of those like, Oh, we like go there, but that’s what we need to go there. So. So that’s kind of like the more some of the bigger moments of it. But I also tried to To take moments right before bed a lot of times, like when I’m in that resting state, when not a lot of people bother me or wanting anything from me, just trying to kind of close my eyes, take some deep breaths and listening to my inner voice and ask some questions. Because I think you can have a dialogue with yourself. And it’s just a practice of getting to understand what is your ego speaking? And what’s your intuition speaking. And that intuition is coming from that place of calm, and all as well, and just kind of leaning into that moment. And I think that’s a really powerful way. First of all, calm down and second of all, just to tune in and get some answers when you need them.

Sheila M  51:43  

Yeah, yeah, I love that. And then finally, we’re going to play a little game that I invented for my podcast, and it’s called witchy or wacky so I’m going to give you a sentence or an object And you can tell me whether you think it’s witchy or whether you think it’s wacky. no judgment here. It’s just to kind of give people a fun idea of how you view the world. So and again, just first first thought that comes into your head. So using crystals in jewelry.

Tanya Gallagher  52:21  

wacky Ah,

Sheila M  52:23  

Putting crystal eggs in your vagina?

Tanya Gallagher  52:26  


Sheila M  52:28  

using meditation to connect to creativity

Tanya Gallagher  52:31  


Sheila M  52:33  

using Tick Tock to learn Tarot

wacky – i don’t know about TikTok

We are too old! Asking spiritual guides or helpers to help you with writer’s block.

Tanya Gallagher  52:50  


Sheila M  52:51  

letting your hair go gray

Tanya Gallagher  52:53  


Sheila M  52:56  

love it. Yeah, so that’s it. Kind of everything I have. Is there anything else that you wanted to talk about that we didn’t talk about? Or any last thoughts that you have before we close out today?

Tanya Gallagher  53:09  

No, I think that’s it. It’s just been so wonderful to talk to you. And I’m so excited for everything that you’re doing these days. And to see all these projects come to life for you is so wonderful and people can’t see but I’m looking at you on the screen. I see the smile on your face and I see how aligned you are with all this. And I just know it’s going to be such good thing. So

Sheila M  53:29  

That is such good news coming from somebody who embodies the Fool card because it’s been a real it’s been a real roller coaster of a Fool year for me, so But yeah, thank you so much for for being here. Where can people find you on social media or online? I will share everything in our show notes afterwards, but if you just want to let them know,

Tanya Gallagher  53:51  

yeah, the best place to find me is at Or @TanyaGallagherBooks on Instagram. I tend to hang out out there and like the pictures so

Sheila M  54:03  

awesome, awesome. Yeah, so and I will share all of that I’ll share a little bit about where to find your latest book series and the rest of your book series. And but thank you so much for being here today. And I’m really excited that I got to have you as one of my first guests on the podcast.

Tanya Gallagher  54:21  

Thank you for having me. This has been wonderful.

Sheila M  54:25  

Thank you so much for listening to Living Tarot. If you loved today’s episode, please leave us a review and subscribe so that you never miss an episode. This helps us reach even more budding intuitives. Feel free to share on Instagram and tag me @starsagespirit and let me know what you learned, what surprised you, and what you’d like to hear even more of. As always, if you want to hear more about my courses, or book a reading with me or for full episode shownotes you can head over to