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MEET MY CHARACTERS

June 7, 2015 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , , ,

Tracy Reed

I have been on a blog tour for the past few weeks, which has been great. It’s given me a chance to chat with readers from all over. I can say that because, I know one of the blog stops was based in the United Kingdom and another was based in Australia. I’ve officially gone international. YEAH!

There are a lot of things I like about blog tours…I’ll expound more once it’s over. One of the things I like is it forced me to really get to know my book. I know that sounds strange seeing I wrote the story, but there were a lot of things I had forgotten about their back story and personality. We talk a lot about building or developing characters at RWA and this was very helpful.

I am the first to admit, I am a novice when it come to writer lingo or jargon…protagonist, story arch, subplot, syntax, deep point of view, conflict. antagonist, alliteration. And don’t get me started on length…short story, novelette , novella, full length, jumbo or super length. I may not explain it in correct author terms, but I get by. However, there’s one thing I know for sure, I read what I like and write what I like.

So when I decided to do the blog tour, I was asked to do a character interview. What the crap. I had no clue what that was. I’m not a stupid woman. I graduated college with honors. I had my own sports segment on my college television station for a year, which also aired on local cable. I interned in the Sports Department at the local NBC Station in Tulsa for a year. I worked in Public Relations and the music industry. Plus I run my own business, but this stumped me. When the blog tour promoter answered my simple question, another, “What the crap!” popped into my head. How was I going to interview these two people without giving the story away. Oh yeah, and I had to provide the questions.

I thought long and hard about this and once I started writing, it just flowed. This was my favorite type of interview to do during the tour. I’m already kicking around possible questions for characters from my next books. A good thing about this type of interview/post, is it makes the characters seem real, which helps tell the story.

Here’s my post from a couple of days ago that first appeared on Writer In Progress Blog [www.writerip.blogspot.com].
Meet GENERATIONAL CURSE’s Kyla James and Sean Prescott
GENERATIONAL CURSE is set in New York. However, there are a few things about Sean and Kyla you might find interesting. So let’s ask them.

Where do you live?
KYLA: Upper East Side
SEAN: Tribeca

Tell us about your family? Any sisters and/or brothers?
KYLA: I grew up in a traditional home. My father’s a doctor and my mother is his support. I have a younger sister, who’s also married to a doctor. All of them live in the suburbs.
SEAN: I grew up in a traditional situation. My dad is in construction and my mother worked in his office until a few years ago. They live in the suburbs. My older brother is married and is heart surgeon. He and his family live in California.

What do you do for a living?KYLA: I’m an Interior Designer
SEAN: I’m a Furniture Designer

Where do you work?
KYLA: All over Manhattan, the Hamptons and a few projects in Florida and Chicago
SEAN: My showroom is in Tribeca. However, I do custom work for clients all over the world.

How did you meet?
KYLA: I was leaving an appointment and walked passed his showroom and a chair in the window caught my eye.
SEAN: That’s not how we met. I was doing a showing in Charlotte and she came in.
KYLA: I don’t remember that.
SEAN: She walked in and started stroking all of the sofas and taking pictures. Then she asked if I shipped to New York. I said yes and gave her my card.
KYLA: Oh yeah. Now I remember. Because when he turned around and I saw his behind, I forgot about everything that happened beforehand.
SEAN: Really?
KYLA: Shut up. Next question.

Is that how you started working together?
KYLA: No. I think it was at least what, a year later?
SEAN: About six months. That’s when she walked into my showroom.
KYLA: That’s right, now I remember. It was the chair. I knew it looked familiar. I went inside and I was surprised to see him. We started talking and…

What about the chair?
KYLA: I ordered it for my client.
SEAN: Then she came back the following month for another client and we’ve been working on projects ever since.

So when did you start going out?
KYLA: Who said we were going out?
SEAN: We’re just friends.

Really, you seem very comfortable with each other.? [They’re both smiling]
KYLA: Uhm…I’m in a relationship right now. Besides, I don’t like to mix pleasure with business.
SEAN: So am I pleasure or business?
KYLA: Next question

Have you ever been in love? Engaged? Married?
KYLA: No. No. No.
SEAN: Yes. Yes. No.

What happened Sean?
SEAN: Next question

Tell us something the other doesn’t know about you:
KYLA: Sean’s my best friend.
SEAN: I’m in love with her.

Have you ever considered being more than friends?
KYLA: Uhm…I thought we covered this?
SEAN: Yes.
KYLA: Really?
SEAN: Yes.

Okay, here’s the lightening round.
Print or ebook?

KYLA: Both
SEAN: Both
CD, vinyl or iPod??
KYLA: Yes, no, yes
SEAN: All three

Movies: Chick flick, action, suspense, documentaries?
KYLA: All four
SEAN: All four
KYLA: Really, you like chick flicks
SEAN: Next questions

Jazz, Hip Hop or old school R&B?
KYLA: Jazz and old school
SEAN: All three

Favorite comfort food?
KYLA: Fried chicken
SEAN: Mac and Cheese

Favorite pizza topping?
KYLA: Mushrooms, sausage and extra cheese
SEAN: Pepperoni, sausage and extra cheese is a must

How do you take your coffee?
KYLA: Black
SEAN: Black

Favorite desset?
KYLA: Sugar cookies
SEAN: Gelato

Dog person or cat person?
KYLA: Dog
SEAN: Dog

City or Suburbs:
KYLA: City
SEAN: City

Taxi or Subway:
KYLA: Taxi and foot
SEAN: Taxi or foot, sometimes the subway or I drive

Will you ever get married?
KYLA: Next question
SEAN: Yes

Fiction for Women Who Love God, Couture and Cute Guys
 

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My First Blog Tour

May 5, 2015 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , , ,

I’ve been preparing for my first Blog Tour…yes, I’m very excited. I have to admit, I had no idea how much work was involved. I have a lot going on and at one time, I thought I could set up my own blog tour. Stop laughing those of you who know how difficult it is to undertake such a daunting task. Hey, hear me out. I come from the school of, Do what you can to save money and farm out the rest to save time. So maybe, that really didn’t apply to this situation. Okay, I’ll be honest with myself, it didn’t apply.

I am swamped. I have two books coming out this Summer, another in the revision stage and another about thirty-five percent from finishing. I know that because I’m doing the RWA The End challenge and tracking my progress. Plus, I have to complete the second installment to my first book GENERATIONAL CURSE.

As an indie writer, I do a lot of the work myself, except, editing and eformatting. Thank God. If I didn’t have those deadlines I don’t know where I’d be.

Anyway back to the blog tour. I thought, if I can design a cover, then I should be able to set up a blog tour. I’m laughing at myself. I made a list of possible blogs and reviewers and that was the extent of that. I got so bogged down…did I mention I own an online lingerie store and our house is under construction. I think I got tired reading that statement. When I looked at what I wanted to accomplish, I just didn’t have the time.

I remember hearing about Goddess Fish Blog Tours at an OCC meeting as well as from some other sites. So I contacted them.

I write a genre that’s not too common so I was little apprehensive about a blog tour because of that. So before I agreed to book their service, I submitted a couple of chapters of my book to make sure there wouldn’t be a problem. Let’s be real, I wasn’t about to pay for something that might night work or only yield a couple of blog stops. [Remember, I write Christian Fiction with Faith and Sex]. Thank God, that didn’t happen. After they reviewed my excerpts, it was determined, they would market my book as a Contemporary Romance with Faith Elements and a little heat. I can work with that.

So how does this all work? About a month ago I received a slew of emails from the tour promoter. I remember it was a Friday night, and I was standing in line at Panda Express trying to decide between the ribs and the teriyaki chicken when my phone started dinging. I looked at my phone and my email was full of requests from the tour promoter. Wow. I was on a roll. The messages kept coming. About a week later the last one came in and I got to work.

Here’s the ironic part. I wrote the book, now I had to talk about the book, which seemed relatively easy. Man, reviewing the questions made me start to question myself. How is it I can push put eighty thousand plus words without a problem, but ask me to sum up my book in one sentence and I draw a blank? Or tell you why you should read my book without sounding arrogant? And don’t get me started on the character interviews, [don’t tell my promoter, but these turned out to be my favorite posts] or the “tell me about yourself” question. On paper, I think I read a little boring…I should work on that.

Back to the tour. The promoter gives you access to a site so you can chart your progress. I was a little nervous about this. What if there were no takers for my book? When I checked the site, I was excited and overwhelmed. My tour was completely booked. Praise God! Now I had to get to work.

I printed all the requests, reviewed them and that overwhelming feeling came back. It may seem like I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. What I thought happened was you answered a few questions, submitted an excerpt, the cover and that was it. Not so. In my list of procedures, I was reminded, no duplicate posts. Oh man, that meant all twenty blog posts had to be different. After the initial shock, I realized this was a good thing. It allowed me the opportunity to reacquaint myself with my book and my characters.

As writers, once we complete a book [i.e., send it to press] we’re removed from it, at least I am and on to the next project. This process helped me to enjoy my book again. It also reinforced my theory, do what you can and farm out the rest.

When does the tour begin? May 11th – June 5th, I’ll be on a blog tour. Am I expecting big things, of course I am.

Tracy Reed

readtracyreed@me.com
www.readtracyreed.com

Fiction for Women Who Love God, Couture and Cute Guys

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PARTY IN MY HEAD

April 5, 2015 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , ,

How many people are at the party in your head? Ask any writer this question and you may be surprised by the answer.

I’ve been asking myself this question for awhile now. I currently have standing room only at the party in my head. I’m writing one book, editing two, promoting another, writing mental notes on three others and reading one for pleasure.

When I decided to become a writer, it was a different time in publishing. If you put out three books a year, that was considered a lot. As the indie writing market grew, so did the desire for fresh content.

I had it all planned. I’d release my first book and take about three months and then release the next one. I figured I’d release the follow up to GENERATIONAL CURSE early next year. The problem with my original plan was the ebook.

When the ebook was born it opened the door to easier accessibility. Readers no longer had to wait months or years for follow up books. They were now able to get the next book within a couple of months, if not sooner. At first I thought this was a trap by the publishing industry to sell more books.

I hearing a writer say she really didn’t read other people’s books, because she felt she might be tempted to use their ideas. That stuck with me and I read sparingly. Then I joined RWA and heard something completely different. I love print books…I like how they feel in my hand…but I digress. I downloaded the Kindle for iPhone and then I got an iPad for Christmas and my life changed.

I began reading for research on both devices. I’m not sure how many books I’ve read in the past six months, but it’s increased tremendously.

Trust me, I’m going somewhere with this. I became like most readers, downloading every free book I could download. Once I finished the free book in the series, I wanted to know what happened next. I was hooked. I quickly downloaded the next book. I think I read six books in a month. [For some people that’s not a lot, but for me it is.]

Now I understand the formula.

When I increased my reading and understood why my old plan wasn’t going to work, I started writing and editing and reading…more. Needless to say, I wasn’t prepared for this new plan.

I wrote GENERATIONAL CURSE, while waiting to hear from a potential publisher about a different book. I figured once that series was sold, I’d have a little time before GENERATIONAL CURSE was ready to go. So I focused all of my energy on the other series. However, things changed and GENERATIONAL CURSE was released first. I was caught off guard.

I did a little research and discovered there are writers out there putting a title out a month. How am I supposed to keep up. It took a while to get my first book just right. My good sense side asked my not so good sense side if I’d lost my mind.

Here’s what I found out. A title could be a short story, a novella or a full-length book. Okay, so I don’t have to be chained to a chair and only released for potty breaks. Then I signed up for the RWA “The End” Challenge. I figured this would help me finish a book I had to rewrite. [I’m half way done with that one.] In one month I wrote 20,000 words. I CAN DO IT!

I felt empowered. If I could write 20,000 words in a month, then I could write a novella. Wait a minute. If I write a novella, I can sell it for $.99.

New plan. Set up a realistic production schedule that includes novellas, short stories and full length novels. It seems like a lot, but if I could write 20,000 words in a month [not including the 9,100 on a different project] then I should be able to stick to my plan.

So how many characters are in my head? Too many to list. Smile.

Tracy Reed

readtracyreed@me.com
www.readtracyreed.com

Fiction for Women Who Love God, Couture and Cute Guys

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All Romance eBooks

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A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO A REWRITE

March 5, 2015 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , ,

I recently self-published my first book, GENERATIONAL CURSE. However, it isn’t the first book I wrote. That honor belongs to THE ALEX CHRONICLES:WHAT MY FRIENDS DON’T KNOW. It’s the first book in a series about five best friends. The stories follow the characters as they maneuver and meander their way through a lot of secrets. The tagline asks the simple question: How well do you know your best friends?

I think I was watching Bridget Jones’ Diary or Sex And The City, when I got the idea for the book. I went into this thinking it would be a stand alone and then the characters reminded me I had left a few unanswered questions. I immediately started answering those questions in the second book. However, a new book answered those questions, but it also created a few new ones. On to book three.

Fast forward, a couple of new computers, three crashed hard drives and a healthy relationship with Dropbox and back up drives, I am 30 pages away from completing my first series. NOT.

I went to a conference and an agent requested it, didn’t like it. Another agent liked it and signed me. [I shared this story in an previous post]. While my oldest child was out making the rounds, I gave birth to a surprise baby, GENERATIONAL CURSE. In writing that book, I saw my oldest baby with fresh eyes. While working on GENERATIONAL CURSE, I read a lot [I also judged the BBB which exposed me to some different genres]. The advice that in order to learn how to write, you have to read, is so true. I liked how GENERATIONAL CURSE developed. It has just the right amount of heat and edge to keep the reader engaged. THE ALEX CHRONICLES was missing that.

I got a stack of post-its, a notebook and a few red pens and started performing surgery. When I was done, I liked the characters even better. They were mature with great personalities and better story lines.

Here’s the funny part. I had a cover based on the old manuscript. No matter how much I wanted it to work, it just didn’t now. And because I knew I had the other books complete, except for those last 30+ pages for book three, I bought the covers for them as well. Now none of them fit. Back to the beginning.

I ordered a proof with the manuscript changes, but every time I looked at that cover, it just reiterated I had to make a change. After reading the proof, something else kept gnawing at me…the first seven chapters. I had been fighting with myself about those pages longer than the cover issue. No matter how much I liked the content, I felt it didn’t really tell the story. This was a major realization for me. So, last week, I highlighted the pages and hit delete. It felt like someone had chopped off one of my arms. I stepped back, looked at the book with a revised chapter eight as my new chapter one, did a little tweaking and I like it. It immediately grabs you.

What about the first seven pages? My plan is to add a few thousand words and make a novella. So now my little three book series, will become a four book series. As for the new cover, it has a much more sophisticated feel. I’m saving the Cover Reveal for later.

I’m hoping to release this book by the end of Spring.

Tracy Reed

readtracyreed@me.com
www.readtracyreed.com

Fiction for Women Who Love God, Couture and Cute Guys

Available at
Amazon.com
Barnes and Noble
iTunes
All Romance eBooks

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IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?

February 5, 2015 by in category Pink Pad by Tracy Reed tagged as , , , , ,

I want to talk about the preconceived notions people have about Christian, Inspirational or Faith based books. When someone hears a story has one of the three aforementioned tones, they immediately shut down thinking the story is going to be sweeter than cotton candy dipped in chocolate and covered with gum drops.

There’s CIF [Christian, Inspirational, Faith] fiction that falls into that description and there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s written extremely well and packs a message for the reader. However, it’s the misconception that all CIF books are like that which provokes a closed mind to experiencing some really great stories. [I swear I’m not preaching.]

When I decided to start writing, I’d dabbled a little in high school and college. Even so far as to writing a couple of plays. I found them later and felt they’d be a good base for a barbecue fire. When I read them again, I realized, although they were poorly written, they had a few things in common. The characters were all Christians but in real life situations. Let me explain. In a lot of CIF books, the story centers around the church with conflict between the pastor, the board, the choir director, pastor’s family and some evil person not affiliated with the church. There’s nothing wrong with those books. I’ve read a few and like them, however, they weren’t the kinds of stories I wanted to tell.

I have always loved God, fashion and cute guys. I liked “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Bergdorf Blondes,” “Elements of Style” and “The Debutante Divorcee.” These were characters I could relate to. The books are filled with the most incredible fashion and very handsome men. The only thing they didn’t have was a faith based theme. It was reading these books that it occurred to me, why not write a book with similar content, but add a little CIF to it.

My first attempt at writing a book sounded very much like ChickLit. I was fine with it until my beta readers ripped it to shreds. After a lot of re-writes, I finally had a book I was pleased with. Problem was, it wasn’t considered acceptable. Why not? Response, Christians don’t act like that, Christians don’t care about designer clothes, Christians are happy being upper middle class at best, Christians don’t get challenged, tempted, have racy dreams or wicked thoughts, Christians only have sex for procreation and on special occasions. And there is no way a Christian would get divorced, commit adultery, fornicate, swear, drink wine or dance.

Needless to say, I was stunned at the comments because I know a lot of Christians that have experienced and or faced a few of those things. So I set out to write books for “my people.”

It ticks me off when I hear people say no one will read books about Christians [or people of other religious beliefs] in real life situations. I want to read about “my people” dating, regretting, marrying, divorcing, falling in love, wearing designer clothes, traveling and being pursued by wealthy men. I don’t want my heroine to be naive and deceived by an evil protagonist whose only objective is to steal her virginity or corrupt her. What about the sexy, fun Christian girl who works hard and falls for her boss, or divorces her cheating husband or who used to be a little slutty and is now in love with God struggling not to slip back into her old ways. These are great stories and if they’re written well, you can take the CIF elements out and they’ll still be great stories.

 Generational Curse

My next book is a take on Sex And The City. It’s five successful women all searching for love while wearing amazing clothes. I hear you saying that’s not possible because that book was all about sex. Not really, the core of that book was friendship. Sex was just one of the supporting characters, much like the clothes, men and New York.

I think it’s a little more challenging to write a CIF book because you have to determine how far is too far. Although I want my books to have a little heat, I’m very careful about crossing the line. I want my kissing scenes to be as passionate as those found in traditional romance. Although most of my characters are Christians, I don’t want their passion or desire to be watered down. I have chosen to share my characters thoughts. If my heroine finds the protagonist hot, she’s going to say so. And if he’s having a lustful thought, I want you to read it. These little nuances make the characters feel real…just like in traditional romance.

So back to the original question, IS THERE A DIFFERENCE? Not really, just different levels of intensity.

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