Pamela Tracy interview

» Posted on Nov 14, 2007 in Blog | Comments Off on Pamela Tracy interview

1. What made you start writing?

I scribbled for a long time. I think I wrote my Native American romance while in junior high (spiral notebook). LOL. In college, I wrote science fiction (carry-case typewriter). What inspired me to ‘seriously’ start? In 1993, my mother passed away. I’d always told her I wanted to be a writer. I was in Montgomery Wards, kinda wandering aimlessly, and wound up in the computer area. What can I say, I had a credit card.

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

In 1993, I was still a little confused. With that computer, I wrote a Star Trek novel. I think I managed 300 single-spaced pages before I realized I was not a little confused but a LOT confused and took a creative writing class at a local college. In 1995, I found RWA. I sold in 1998.

3. How do you handle rejections?

When I started submitting, I had a notebook with a folder for every story. I’d diligently write where I’d sent the manuscript and the date. Then, I’d record when I received the rejection. Over time, I noticed the rejections becoming more personal. Often, I’d rewrite the book based on comments I’d receive. I’ve always figured rejections were bricks in the path to publication. I take them in stride, but I will say, they bother me more now than they did early in my career. Back then, I always knew ‘why’ I was getting rejected (and believe me, if I stumble across an old ‘rejected’ manuscript, I REALLY see the why. Now, I’m not always sure why a manuscript gets rejected.

4. Why do you write?

At one time, I was driven by passion. Now, I’m driven by deadlines.

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

I’d definitely be reading more, and sewing, and watching television. And, to my chagrin, I’ve realized that I’d be doing more in the church.

6. What are you working on right now?

I’m working on my first Steeple Hill Loved Inspired romance. It’s tentatively called Lucky in Love. It’s a bull rider and little Texas gal. It’s due January 2nd.

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

I did so more earlier in my career. My one and only book for Kensington, called The Great Marriage Hunt, Wow, that was me. My first novella Letters to Timothy, that was me. My suspense novels for LIS. Nope, not me. My rodeo heroine, nope, not me.

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.

It’s called The Price of Redemption.

Eric Santellis figures there might be worse things than finding a dead body in the shed of his grandfather’s cabin. Police officer Ruth Atkins gets the call she’s been praying for and dreading. A body has been discovered in the desert where her husband was last seen. Two years ago, he disappeared. A smear of blood dirtied the driver’s seat of his cop car. Two unlikely heroes unite against all odds to solve the crimes and maybe, just maybe, put more than Band-Aids on their broken hearts.
The entire time I wrote Pursuit of Justice (my first book for Love Inspired Suspense) I knew one of my secondary characters deserved a story. Lucky for me, the editors at Steeple Hill agreed.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Probably the same advice most give: write every day. I aim for 3-5 pages. Make writer friends. Also, if your serious, you’ll make time for a support group.

10. How important is faith in your books?

In my suspenses, the plot is usually so dark, that the faith is a soft ray of hope – think soft place to land. In my straight romances, the faith is more like an arm. You know it’s there, it’s always with you, but you’d don’t always appreciate it until it hurts.

11. What themes do you like to write about?

I tend to do women in jeopardy. Even in my straight romances, there’s always a secret, always something to lose.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

My favorite book is Pursuit of Justice. That was my March 2007 book. Truly, when I started writing it, I knew it was my break-out book. I knew it was the one where I’d finally put skill and passion together to form a book that changed me from a beginner writer (I still felt like a beginner writer and I had 12 books out) to an intermediate writer. In Pursuit, I felt like I’d nailed characterization.

13. I am a teacher and interested in the non-fiction book you wrote. Tell us about Promises and Prayers for teachers.

One of the benefits of selling to a publisher, is getting on their loop. One morning, on the Barbour loop, I read a request for people to audition for this teachers’ devotional book. They provided a sample of what a page should look like. That morning, I wrote four devotionals. About a month later, they contacted me, and the rest is history. That devotional book went to number 2 on the CBA bestseller list. It helped get me an agent. I’ve been a teacher for 20+ years. I started teaching kindergarten and now, believe it or not, I teach college freshmen. Yup, I’m the dreaded English 101 professor. Inbetween, I’ve taught 1st, 3rd, 5th, 6th, drama, history, and art. I’ve even taught at-risk high-schoolers during summers and weekends. LOL. I had a lot to write about.

14. What is your writing schedule like?

I usually write between 6 – 8 a.m. I aim for 3-5 pages a day.

15. How do you find time to write with a young toddler at home?

I sacrifice sleep and my house is not, let me repeat, not spotless – more spotty. If I get worried about a deadline, then my husband watches Mikey during the weekend, and I’ll take my laptop and go to the library. That doesn’t happen often, but it happens more often than my husband likes.