'Play It Again'
Thank you for stopping by to join us as we listen to jazz and to Tracy as she tells us a bit about her newest release. The music is easy listening here at the club this week and they've told us we can stay here as long as we like. The drinks are on the house and they have a special brew of coffee for those who like the stronger taste. Tracy, thank you so much for being here all week to chat with our readers and answer their questions. Get comfy everyone and we'll get started!
Deanna: What is the first thing you do when starting a new book - outline, synopsis, or just begin writing?
Tracy: It all starts with an idea, obviously, which I usually write as a short synopsis. Then I make fairly detailed character bios and an outline. Of course, all of this changes as I begin to actually write, but I like having a framework to begin with.
Deanna: Do you find a character photo first or wait until you’re further into the book to fill in those details?
Tracy: I’ve never actually bothered finding a photo at all for any of my characters. I can see them very clearly in my mind and I’ve never seen a photo yet that quite measures up. Of course, the art department does a good job of translating the character into a photo or whatever, in the end.
Deanna: What traits do you give a hero to make him stand out from the other characters?
Tracy: I like quirks and I also like a bit of the ‘rebel’ in my protags – male or female.
Deanna: How many plots do you include in one of your books?
Tracy: I like a lot of subplots. There will be at least two if not more, as in my book MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER, which has about seven. I love it when all the complexities are woven together in the end. That, for me, is a really satisfying book, movie, or play.
Deanna: Do your books have a common theme or are they all different?
Tracy: So far, redemption is a very strong theme in all of my books - that and the idea that God specializes in using the most unlikely people for His purposes.
Deanna: How do you go about naming characters?
Tracy: Names seem to pop into my head almost instantly when thinking about my characters, as if they were meant to be. I’ve never had to think this through very much.
Deanna: What is your strongest trait as a writer - dialogue, POV, characterization, etc?
Tracy: I think I am very strong in terms of my characterization, and I’ve also been told that my dialogue is strong and very believable. I strive for authenticity in both areas.
Deanna: How many times do you proof-read and edit before you’re satisfied with the manuscript?
Tracy: Is gazillion a number? Seriously, I tend to revise to the point of death. I find distancing myself for a while works wonders and helps me to see it with fresh eyes. At some point, however, you just have to hand it over to someone else to take a look at.
Deanna: How do you pick locations for your stories?
Tracy: The location usually comes with the initial idea. It might be a location that inspired me in the first place, or when I thought of the story I immediately see it in a certain location.
Deanna: We’re dying to hear about your newest release and the characters we’ll meet!
Tracy: PLAY IT AGAIN is the story of a very unlikely couple whose one night stand turns into much more than they bargained for. Deanie Burton is an ex rock and roll junkie and Russ Graham is an older, rather stuffy accountant. Their worlds are eons apart and yet they are inexplicably drawn together, despite their better judgment. Each has a lot of baggage – Deanie from an abusive relationship and unorthodox lifestyle, and Russ because of a failed marriage and what he sees as hypocrisy in the church. It takes place amid the 1980s music scene.
Here’s the book cover copy:
“Sparks fly when an ex-rock and roll junkie and a stuffy accountant rendezvous at a local resort, but neither are prepared for the emotional entanglements, family complications, and threat from the past that unexpectedly resurfaces. Set in the 1980s, this story brings two opposing forces together in a clash of romance and danger, while its musical undertones highlight the theme that God can turn anything into beautiful music. Play It Again is the much anticipated prequel to Tracy’s debut novel And the Beat Goes On. Find out where Mark Graham’s journey began in this, the story of his parents.”
CONTEST: I'd love to give away a signed print copy of Play It Again to one lucky comment who also leaves their email addy in the comment so I can easily reach you! Thank you for stopping by!