Friday, October 11, 2013

St. George Book Festival Author Interview with Traci McDonald


Traci McDonald is the author of Killing Casanova, published by Crimson Romance in July of 2012. She is also the author of three creative writing pieces featured in Behind Our Eyes:  A Second Look, The second literary anthology of Stories, Poems and Essays by Writers with Disabilities.
Traci has been writing for 5 years, since she received a kidney transplant in 2009 and reclaimed her life. She has been blind for 18 years, has survived two transplants, and a 32-year history of Type I Diabetes.
“My writing is a dream and goal I have always pursued. I have a different set of challenges to overcome, but the prize belongs to the one who doesn’t shun the fight.”
McDonald’s follow-up novel, Burning Bridger is under review with her publisher while she works on her New Adult Urban fantasy.
You can read more about Traci McDonald and find samples of her writing at www.tracimcdonald.blogspot.com\writingblind. You can follow her on twitter tracimcauthor or go to her Facebook page TraciMcDonald.505.

What are three words that describe you? Determined, Confident, Intuitive

Are you a morning person or a night owl? If I had my way, I would stay up half the night and sleep through mornings. They go better for me that way.

What is your favorite food? Food and I are not friends, but if I have to choose…# 38 from Earnesto’s- Carne Asada Burrito with green sauce.

Where do you dream of travelling to and why? I want to visit The Turk’s and Kakos because the average temperature is 78 degrees year round and the water is so clear you can see through it.

Do you listen to music while writing? Not while I’m writing because I have to listen to my computer talk, but I use music and lyrics for inspiration, focus, and emotional connection to my characters. I wrote Killing Casanova based on inspiration from Carie Underwoods song “Goodtime Cowboy Casanova”

What's your favorite book or who is your favorite writer? I think the best Young Adult book I’ve ever read is Veronica Roth’s Divergent. Mystery novels I love Mary Higgins Clark- Medical and Science drama Robin Cook-Horror thriller, Dean Koontz and Historical Fiction, Win Blevins

Can you tell us a bit about your latest manuscript? My latest manuscript is the sequel to Killing Casanova. “Burning Bridger tells the story of Lilly Pinion, a character from my first book. Lilly escapes the sexual assault in Killing Casanova, to find herself heart broken. When her best friend is killed trying to help her, she retreats from her tyrannical father and her past to Maui. Bridger Jacoby becomes entangled in her problems when he comes between her and a knife-wielding stalker bent on her destruction.

What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started? When I started, I believed a good idea and some talent were all you need to be a great writer. Since then I have learned that more important is a good work ethic, a never give-up attitude, and a thick skin. Publishers, editors, agents, and the other 300 thousand authors out there are fighting for and against your dreams. You better be prepared to make them happen on your own.

Do you plan everything or just let the story flow? I have written both ways, but flowing stories end up incomplete. And planned stories are flat.

The secret is to plan your story, then plan your characters. Let each chapter flow within the plan and then let go of the plan to let the story follow its natural course.

Do your characters ever want to take over the story? My characters are always a lot more chatty and long winded when they talk to me. When I let them talk to the reader, they are reined in. Any character can have a thousand stories to tell, I just think of them as sequels.

Is there anything you would do differently? I wish I could learn faster what not to do. If I could download all the great learning experiences I need to be a great writer in one class, I would. I think any writer’s journey is as important as the work.

Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing? There have been many influences. The work of: Veronica Roth, Dorothy Keddington, Louis L’Amour, Robin Cook, Dean Koontz. The list is too long. My life experiences, my husband and best friend, my kids, my blindness. Once again, the list goes on and on.

Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft? This writing ‘thing’ is work. You don’t have any one but yourself to drive, motivate, and sell you. Wherever your writing takes you is determined by how long you work at it.

Blurb of your latest release or coming soon publication if any:  The follow up to Killing Casanova, Burning Bridger, is due for release by the end of 2013 and is the story of Lilly
Pinion. Her playgirl life in California has crashed down around her. Her last refuge is buried in bloody memory.  She leaves the wreckage on the mainland to escape to Maui for retreat. Haunted by her past and a tattooed assailant, Lilly finds herself reluctantly rescued and guarded by Bridger Jacoby, part-time bouncer and bodyguard.
 Lilly distrusts most men and her reliance on her well-timed rescuer sends her fleeing from a forgotten enemy who wants her dead. When her pride and her fear collide in a chase through Hawaii’s tourist attractions, Bridger, risks Lilly and his own life to expose the truth.

List of previous books if any: Crimson Romance published Killing Casanova in July of 2012; Behind Our Eyes: A Second Look is an anthology of 65 disabled writers. I have three pieces in the anthology published in May of 2013.

Any websites/places we can find you on the web? You can find me on facebook at tracimcdonald.505, www.tracimcdonald.blogspot.com, and on twitter at tracimcauthor

Both of my publications can be found on amazon.com, bnn.com, the i-store, and where e-books are sold.
Paperback copies can be ordered from the websites or through me at tracimcdonaldauthor@gmail.com

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