1. Please tell us about your path to becoming an author.What were some of the bigger challenges when you started writing?
At the age of 23, I was failing college and I prayed to God for a "fallback plan". I told God this college stuff ain't working too good, can You help me? LOL He delivered and I entered my story into a contest I (He) found online and I won FIRST PLACE, GRAND PRIZE. It was an awesome time. I even stayed the course in college while going through the process of being published and it just lifted all my "boats" they say. I think the validation and encouragement helped bleed into other areas of my life. Some of the bigger challenges for me were simply consistency and staying focused. I wished that I'd written faster and had more coming out, I would have two more full lengths novels after the contest that got contracted. I don't write full time, I have a job outside the home in social work and while I'd love to write full there are a lot of factors involved with making that leap. I personally am still not ready to do that, both financially and just really with my own level of discipline and as such, I can really get bogged down in all the desires and frustration over not doing the writing I could be doing if I could just quit the day job. Sadly, there are no guarantees even if I do quit. Quitting is not an option at this time, so I try to focus on the writing I am able to do and simply ask God to help me keep at it.
2. How many books have you written? What publisher(s) do you write for?
I have three traditionally published books and four Indie published books. I used to write for BET Arabesque and then I branched out and wanted to see what indie publishing was all about. The first indie book came out in 2007 before Indie publishing was all the rage and that title completely bombed. Since then I've learned a lot about the process but also had tons of fun along the way.
3. What is your writing process? Do you plan everything ahead of time?
I have plotted one book and that was not successful. It remains incomplete Just two years ago, I did a version of plotting for me, which was to write 1 - 35 in a word doc or on a sheet of paper and then I wrote just 1-3 sentences to sum up each chapter. I realize that's more synopsis I know and while it was fun, it did help me write about 250 actual pages and you would think that's great, you're almost done; but somewhere along the way I fizzled out. I wanted to try it just to see and confirm that one thing was true: that I'm a Certified Pantser. I always feel like the time I spend plotting is time I could just write it. I do a bit of plotting after the fact but that's just to see if my timeline is correct, to map out names and places and ages and locations but they are just quick notes and fact checking, not real plotting information.
4. What are your greatest joys in your writing career?
The greatest joy besides readers that tell me about something I wrote, is just the initial/infant ideas that come and how I feel God speaking to me. I'll be writing something and I hear "put that right there" I do it but I'm like why is that? And later in the story it's revealed and I'll be like "Oh, wow. Thanks God".
5. Do you have some writing goals that you hope to achieve in the future?
Some writing goals include release two books this year which I've never done and then release three books next year. I'm writing a little faster, something I've been praying for and other goals for writing obviously to reach at least one best-seller list in my lifetime, have the opportunity to have contracted work again even though yes, self-publishing is awesome, a traditional contract was just as awesome to me way back when. Long term, I'd just like to continue to write (to publish) / teach / speak full time. All of these three things I do more on the side at present. I've spoken at the federal government level and I teach an 8-week Novel Writing class a couple of times a year, at the local junior college. I see my writing and publishing as a platform for doing all of that.
7. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm a Virginia native (living just 45 minutes from our National Capital) that loves to read and write romantic suspense. I use a wheelchair as I have a degenerative muscle disease called Muscular Dystrophy. Currently, I'm secretary for the Virginia Chapter of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW-Virginia) and I'm a co-host with author Mary Manners for the Faith, Hope and Love Chapter of RWA monthly Facebook Parties -this year being my first. I enjoy the theater and always go to several plays a year even day trips up to NYC to catch something on or off Broadway and when I'm not working full-time in human service, I'm reading, trying to up my marketing game and trying to stop shopping (as a recovering shopaholic).
From those who leave a comment, I will give a paperback copy of
Here is an Amazon link:
And here is a link for the book trailer: Book Trailer for Deadly Affections!
Tracee Lydia Garnerwww.Teegarner.com
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