I’ve been lucky enough in the last half dozen years since I first became published to be a guest on a number of people’s blogs, a generous gift especially given many of them didn’t know me and hadn’t read my books. I find the romance community to be extraordinarily generous in that way and I like to give back to help put a spotlight on other authors too. It’s been some time since I have had a guest on my blog and I thought it was about time, so when Tracy Brenton put out a call on FB for some help to promote her new self-published title, I put my hand up eagerly. I love being able to help a fellow author but also introduce new authors and new books to people who just love reading a wide range of titles (like myself).
Tracy bravely decided to answer my 10 questions, giving us a little peak into her process, her life and her new book, Spark. I hope you all enjoy meeting Tracy as much as I did.
10 Questions with Tracy Brenton, author of Spark.
TB: Spark is a story about a girl who returns to her home town, Tempest Beach, to find her brother in a coma and a stranger running his business. She decides to take charge and sparks fly. She has to contend with a business that’s in a mess; a hot, black-belt mechanic who thinks he should be the boss; and a bank officer who is about to re-possess the business. And that’s all before the loan shark comes looking for pay-back.
LL: That sounds amazing. Is this a standalone novel or are you planning a little bit of a series?
TB: This is book one in the Tempest Beach series, which features the martial artists from Tempest Serene dojo. I’ve got six books planned and each one is a standalone story in its own right, although there are guest appearances from all of the gang in each book. No cliff-hangers!
LL: I love a series for all the reasons you mention, so it sounds great. That all leads me to my next question – Authors are always being told it’s best to diversify in this ever-changing publishing environment. Do you write only Contemporary Romance, or do you also write in other genres too?
TB: Funny you should ask… I have a short story called High Tide which is a Young Adult romance set in Tempest Beach. I’ve also written a story about a Zombie-Vampire. A romance, of course!
LL: Ooh, I love a good Zombie-Vampire romance. Are you working on that or something else currently?
TB: I’m working on Tempest Beach Book Two – Sing. It’s about a girl who falls for her younger brother’s best friend, when all she really wants is to settle down and raise a family with a guy who is established, secure in his career, and safe. And older, naturally. Which is everything he is not.
LL: Sounds great. How long have you been writing for and what led you to being published?
TB: I started writing about five years ago when I did a course with the Australian Writers Centre. That led to me challenging myself to write a book, just to see if I could. It took me almost a year (I was running my own business at the time) but I caught the writing bug and when it was finished I got started on the next one, which turned into Spark. I pitched Spark to a publisher at a writing conference last year and they asked me to send it through when it was complete. When the crunch time came I decided to self publish instead.
LL: What do you think is the best advice you could give to a new writer with an aspiration to being published?
TB: Just start where you are. And be consistent. Stick with it. There’s a learning curve but it’s so satisfying to finish a book. So never stop learning and never stop writing.
LL: Good advice. So, writing can be a tough, lonely gig. What inspires you to keep writing? Where do your writing ideas come from?
TB: I love creating stories and complete worlds out of nothing. Having all the separate pieces come together in a meaningful way, and walking away satisfied that, despite everything that went wrong, everything worked out perfectly. Ideas come from everywhere! A snippet of conversation, a view from some place unusual, or a dream.
LL: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what led you to writing?
TB: I’m an accountant by day and a writer by night (and morning, and weekends, and any spare five minutes). I started writing about five years ago when I realised I wasn’t doing anything just for me. I tried a bunch of different things and writing was the one that stuck. I feel like I’ve found ‘my thing’. I completely rearranged my life, selling my business and getting a part-time job, to create more time to write. My part-time job turned into two part time jobs so I’m actually working full-time hours, but I still have more time than when I was working for myself and it’s made all the difference to getting my book finished.
LL: Yes, time is precious, isn’t it? It’s good to hear you’ve managed to carve out writing time – it can be hard to do. When you’re not writing, what are your pet peeves?
TB: My pet peeves – wet towels on the floor (I live in a house full of boys – they’re pretty well trained though) and cliff-hangers.
LL: What are your favourite things?
TB: My favourite things – dairy free chocolate mud-muffins and a good book, one that sucks you in and doesn’t let you go until you’ve reached the end.
LL: I think that’s my favourite thing too – the good book, not the muffin. 🙂
Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog today, Tracy. It was fun finding out a little bit more about you and your writing.
TB: It was my pleasure. Thanks so much for having me here.
Tracy Brenton lives on the Mid North Coast of NSW, Australia. She loves all things creative and takes way too many pictures of sunsets and beaches. She’s working hard on developing a taste for coffee and writing the next book in the Tempest Beach series.
You can find out more about Tracy at: