Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Spotlight Author with Tracy Preston Stewart

This week I have Tracy Stewart (previously known as... Tracy Preston) in the house. She is a very talented and wonderful woman, who I met a couple of years ago on myspace if you can believe it. ;-) If you get a chance hop on over to any of her pages, you will be amazed! She has a knack for designing a web page that will take your breath away!

Since I am here to interview her about her book DESTINY'S CAPTIVE I better get the ball rolling! So Tracy, tell us about your book DESTINY'S CAPTIVE.

DESTINY'S CAPTIVE was a true labor of love for me. I wanted to write something along the lines of the books I fell in love with growing up. I took different elements from the genre and rolled them into one big adventure. It covers the spectrum with everything from glittering ballrooms to pirate abduction, from espionage to blackmail, from murder to an elaborate cover-up, all the while staying true to the romance and sensual tension you should find in any great love story. I also like to think I managed to throw a little humor in there, as well. ;-)

The characters are what make the book special for me. the family dynamic between the DeLattimers, as well as the bond between Lucian and Angeline, which goes right for your gut from the beginning. it wasn't easy putting them through some of the things my muse "forced" me to inflict upon them.

It sounds great! Looks like another book that I will be adding to my TBR pile! :-) Can you key us in on what Tracy Stewart fans can look forward to in 2010?

There's been a paranormal inside me dying to get out for as long as I can remember. And boy what a tangled web it's weaving in my head. Hopefully I'll be able to finish the first installment of that series (because there's no way I'm getting it done in just one!) and have it available sometime this year.

So you are working on a Paranormal currently... can you give us a sneak peak into your WIP(work in progress)?

Reserving the right to change my mind (a woman's prerogative *wink*), I'm calling it SAVAGE ANGELS. And without giving too much away, you can expect some vamps milling about (among other things... some you may never have heard of before-hint, hint).

This isn't the same recycled vampire love story you've heard over and over, so strap in. There's a lot more to it than that. The plot is so complex it blows my mind a little every day. There's A LOT going on, lots of action.

On top of everything plot related, the characters are tragic figures, dark and intense by nature. So even though they possess supernatural elements, they're going to be very real people with very real problems. I also plan to put in lots of twists to surprise readers and keep them turning those pages.

It sounds very exciting! Can't wait until you get it finished! How long does it generally take you to write a manuscript?

Oh gosh... depends on how crazy things are around my house. I have a husband, a son who's active in sports, and four dogs (YES, FOUR), so it can get crazy.

Sometimes I can sit down and write 5000 words in one sitting. Other times I alternate between staring off into space and counting how many times my cursor blinks in a minute. Writing is a challenge, not for the faint of heart.

I am so glad that you came clean with that answer. Writing is hard! I have never tried counting my cursor. Looks like I will have something new to do while I'm working now.

What do you think makes your writing unique?

Any good writer puts a lot of his or herself into their work. If your heart's not in there somewhere and you don't care about the characters, then how can you expect anyone else to??

I want my characters to learn and grow, overcoming difficult obstacles readers are compelled to experience along with them. I want readers to be caught off gaurd, laughing out loud at least once with each story (I hope).

My goal i for my work to have emotional depth with a smidgen of quirky personality. I don't like formulaic, cookie-cutter stories. I expect more when I'm reading, so I hope I succeed in giving more when I write.

What do you do when you get stuck?

Writers' block is the worst! There are only a couple of things that help me.

(1) Step away from the computer and pull out pen and paper. When you start scribbling or doodling (taking notes or whatever), it will jog your creativity. Think of all the hours you spent daydreaming during class in high school drawing hearts and flowers on your paper. It will jar somethhing loose eventually.

(2) Turn on some music. Something that goes well with the tone of your story.It might stimulate your muse.

(3) Go read a book or watch a movie in your genre. It can be inspiring, get those creative juices flowing again.

But the main thing is, whatever you were doing when you hit the wall--stop doing it. Change your scenery. Take a walk or relax in the tub. Don't just sit there trying to force it because it will only frustrate you, which makes it worse.

Great advice! So, can you tell us what is the biggest fear that you have had to overcome as a writer?

Well, I guess it's human to fear rejection. To be afraid everyone will HATE your work and think it's the cheesiest (or most poorly written) piece of crap they've ever read. I mentioned earlier that writers weave a lot of themselves into their work, so when readers reject that work, they're in essence rejecting the author too.

It was also nerve-wracking to imagine my family members sitting around reading my love scenes (I don't know the meaning of closed door!). That was truly embarrassing. But you get used to the idea after awhile. Your cheeks still burn when someone brings it up at Christmas dinner, but it comes with the territory.

Gottcha!;-) That is a little uncomfortable isn't it? When did you know you wanted to pursue a writing career?

I've always been a daydreamer. That's been clear since I was a tater tot. But the idea of a career in writing didn't hit me until high school.

I worked on my school newspaper and something just clicked. Senior year, my Creative Writing teacher suggested I try and get one of the short stories that I'd written for her class published by a magazine (which I didn't do). But that's when I knew I had the bug, and it could seriously turn into something real.

How long was your road to publication?

I know I'm gonna get in trouble for this (*ducking and covering head with a book*) but it only took about a year. Once I got the story out on paper
, my publisher picked it up and it was out that same year.

Not to make it sound easy-peasy. It's not. I had my fair share of rejections before DESTINY'S CAPTIVE found a home. I suffered the heartbreaks too, I just got lucky and hit the right editor at the right time, and I'm grateful for that every day.

Advice for aspiring authors?

Just that believing in yourslef is the most important thing. If you believe deep down in your heart writing is the love of your life, DO NOT QUIT. No matter what. If your story keeps getting rejected, take some online classes or join a writing group (RWA anyone?). Keep learning, keep working, but don't give up. There's always room for another great story!

Just for fun...

Fast Five

What's loaded in your i-Pod right now?
I am so into Lady Gaga right now it's not even funny. I love the unpredictability of her performances. She's larger than life, and I don't think anyone has reached that level since early Michael Jackson or Madonna. She also has a powerful voice, almost as powerful as her lyrics.

I also just added my Eagles collection. I love their smoot sound. Then there's all the Elvis songs. Love me some Elvis, especially 50's Elvis.

I also am a big fan of Fergie (with or w/o BEP's), Pink, Timbaland, and Disturbed.

Oh, and I have to mention Lady Antebellum. they're a new fav. of mine. BEAUTIFUL music.

Quite a range of genres there... (LOL)

Early Riser or Night Owl-
Night Owl

Hamburger or Steak-
Steak. Give me a steak, baked potatoe, and a salad... I'm in heaven. And don't forget the rolls!!!;-)

TV Show that may not be your favorite, but it stops you in your tracks and you can't walk away from it if it's on-
Let me preface this by saying I abhor this show!! But the first thing that popped in my head is that awful Pawn Stars. I can't stand that guy who appraises everyone's things. For example, say some poor little grandma comes into his shop with a set of antique silver she needs to sell to make her mortgage payment, he'll tell her they're worth $2000, then offer her $500. He says things like, "It's a business and I have to make some money to. Take it or leave it." And most often, THEY DO!

Oh I could just smack him. That's so heartless taking advantage of someone's misfortune to triple your investment. They're scavengers. I find myself yelling at the tv--"Don't you dare! You take your thing and walk right out of there. Don't you let him have that!"

My husband makes fun of me because I get so riled up watching it. I guess it is pretty funny.

Blue eyed or Green eyed hero-
Can I say brown?? I love dark, soulful eyes.

You can say what ever you like! ;-) Tracy, thank you so much for sharing your story and your book DESTINY'S CAPTIVE with us. You will have to stop back by when that paranormal is finished and tell us more about it!

Thank you for having me! It was a fun interview.;o)

For more information about Tracy and her books you can find her at: stewart

Feel free to leave comments for Tracy or I. Thanks for stopping in at Micole Writes Romance.




Donna O'Brien said...

Tracy...can't wait for that vamp series to come out...sounds very interesting! Thanks Micole for having Tracy out so we can get excited about Destiny's Captive as well as a sneak peak into what she's got coming up!

Great job ladies!


Donna O'Brien

Tracy Stewart said...

Hey Micole. Sorry I haven't already been here today but I had to attend a funeral. It's been a loooong day.

I tweeted about the blog earlier and have had a few comments posted on my Facebook instead of directly on the blog, so there have been several visitors who prefer to lurk in the

I'll be checking in for the next few days in case anyone drops by to say hello. Thanks for having me!! :o)

Tracy Stewart

Tracy Stewart said...

Hi Donna! Thanks for the warm words of encouragement. They are much appreciated after a day like today. I'll be working diligently to make that vampire series a reality! <*wink*>

Tracy Stewart

Sarah Simas said...

Hi Tracy!

I'm excited to hear about your vamp series, too. I heart vamps! LOL It was great to 'meet' you and learn about your writing. Best wishes!

Thanks for the entertaining post, Micole!((hugs!))

Micole Black said...

Donna & Sarah, Thank you so much for stopping in!! I can't wait for Tracy's vampire story either! ;-)