I have long been a Tracy Ball fan. We are both with Black Rose Writing, and we follow each other on Facebook, but it was her humor that hooked me. For instance, when I said tell me about yourself, she responded, “I am made entirely of rum and snacks! I have hung out with murderers and dined with people who have dined with the Pope, which is why I need the rum… and a nap.”
There is honesty in her writing you will like, and her personality comes through in the pages. She writes real and raw interracial romance with an intensity that burns because she has been busting stereotypes while teaching interracial and generational healing for more than a quarter of a century.
I hope you will enjoy her interview as much as I did.
What was it that made you decide you had a story to tell and to become an author?
I wanted to be an author all my life. The thing that became the story I had to tell was meeting my husband and getting involved in an interracial relationship.
As an author or writer, what sets you apart from others?
I didn’t become a writer. I was born this way. And while, I still have to hone my craft and sharpen my skills, writing is in my blood. It gives me a different approach to every aspect of world-building.
What genre do you write, and why?
Interracial Romance (just about every sub-genre). It’s who I am.
If you were to name one or two books that you deem unforgettable and that had a major impact on you, what would they be, and why?
Roots by Alex Haley taught me who I was. And, Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien opened the door to endless possibilities.
What authors do you read regularly? Why?
I read the Indy authors in my writing circles- we have to support each other. I also read Sharon Kay Penman. I hope to one day write as flawlessly as she did. And Christine Feehan. She knows how to use the full range of her topic.
If you were to have dinner with 5 individuals living or dead, who would they be and why?
My parents (deceased) and three of my ancestors. I have so many questions.
What is your writing routine? When you write, do you plan or outline ahead or are you a “pantser”?
Definitely a panster. I get one or two scenes and then my story becomes how they got there and what happens next. I am never without my laptop—my preferred writing tool—and I work on something writing related every moment I can.
When writing, how much do you read? Do you read in or out of your genre?
I don’t read much while I’m writing a story and nothing in my genre. I don’t want to subconsciously draw from someone else’s work.
Is there something you set out to do, but somehow, it didn’t work out for you? (In writing, or something else you felt was important to you at the time?)
I believe things work out the way they are supposed to. Not necessarily the way I want, but usually for the best. (I’m an overly optimistic person. lol)
What tips would you give to new or even experienced writers?
If you’re not writing for yourself, don’t bother. If you want to use your writing to teach a lesson, other than children’s stories, don’t bother. If you’re seeking perfection (rather than realness) don’t bother. Comparing yourself to other authors is a waste of valuable writing time.
How do you handle a negative critique?
If someone doesn’t like what I write, that’s okay. I didn’t write it for them.
Is there a type of writing/genre that you find difficult to write? Why?
So far, I love everything I have tried. Horror intimidates me a little, but I’ll get to it.
How important are the elements of character, setting, and atmosphere to a story, and why?
The “story” is ultimately, “what happened.” But the difference between talking at someone and inviting them into your world is the balanced application of those elements.
Do you see yourself in any of the characters you create? How/Why?
Yes. All of my stories contain a real person, place, thing, or event that I relate to. At least one character shares my honest reaction.
Is there an unforgettable or memorable character that will not leave your head, either of your own creation or from a book you’ve read?
I tend to write antiheroes. I am fond of my bad boys. Baldassare! He is a cursed pirate who is content with his hell and changes the world rather than himself. He is too much fun and absolutely unforgettable.
Tell us about your most recent book.
Swords & Cell Phones – Sometimes it’s your destiny to change your fate.
How did you come up with the concept?
I’m a LOTR fanatic. The story came about after a conversation with a teen about the handling of the ring.
How did you come up with the title?
The title was easy. It’s an example of their most readily available tools.
From your book, who is your favorite character? Who is your least favorite character? Why?
Favorite: Trill. He redefines loyal and has the hardest job.
Least favorite: Christif. Much of the trouble he caused was intentional.
Snippet from Swords & Cell Phones:
After one accurately placed jab with Loathel’s blade, Honor considered her feat. Responding to movement behind her—movement she hadn’t been aware of—she concluded somehow the Elve was doing it. He had to be. She deftly switched the longknife from her right hand to her left, lashed out, and was rewarded with a pained yelp from something else she didn’t know was there. Wow, I’m better than Jalen.
Loathel, standing in front of her, switched his sword from his left hand to his right and back again six times over, arcing and swirling, in a blaze of movement that left four Queons, three
Kildar, and a wolf dead.
“Okay. So you’re better than Jalen.”
“I should hope.” He stabbed something over her head.
After that, they were both too busy to hold the conversation.
Her published works include:
Blood Like Rain; The Other Shore; Civil Warriors; Swords & Cell Phones; Dragonfly Dreams; KAYOS: The Bad & The Worse; The Right Way to Be Wrong; The Tiger & The Snake; White Russian Lies; Mail Duty; If By Chance: A Shorts Collection; Welcome to BBs; Death’s Desire; Big Guns & Bullsh@t; Peaches & Dreams; A Song in the Storm; Mercury Chain Thomson; Kitten-Shipped; Imogene’s Flowers; Thorns; Black’s Magic; Truly Madly Kiss Me; Cumberland Christmas; Train Ride.