Hi Everyone, I'm pleased to host one of my fellow GIAMx4 sister writers on the Veranda today. She's celebrating her debut novel A LADY'S REVENGE. Please join me in welcoming Tracey Devlyn to the Veranda. And best of all, if you comment you win a chance to have her book!!
Tracey, we all have different stories about how we became writers. What's yours?
|Debut Author Tracey Devlyn|
My path to becoming a writer started when I began to envision different endings to the books I was reading. For many years, I consumed 2-4 romance novels a week and, somewhere along the way, the book didn’t end at page 400. Different endings would plague my thoughts until I would redirect my mind to the next book on my shelf. Then one day, a scene of a woman tied to a table in a dank dungeon flashed through my mind, clear and vivid. For the first time, I wrote down my thought. I’ve been writing ever since.
I love that path to writing. And a great scene, too! What is your favorite genre to write?
Historical romance. The Regency era is probably my favorite time period in the subgenre, with the Victorian era a close second.
When you write are you a plotter or do you follow the muse?
I’m still working through my writing process, but I’d say I’m more of a plotser. In the beginning, I sketch out the characters and the backbone of the story (as far out as I can see). Then I take my newly created road map and start driving. Sometimes I’ll get curious and take a side trip, and other times I’m creeping through a thick fog and can only see a few feet in front of my vehicle.
Your method sounds very similar to mine. I wish I was more methodical, but we have to do what works best. What is your current project?
In about another week, I’ll start drafting the third book in my debut Nexus series.
Any new releases?
Where do you get your ideas for your stories?
Honestly, I have no idea. The concept for A Lady’s Revenge came to me in a flash scene. The other two books in the series grew organically from the first novel.
How long were you trying to get published before you got the “call?”
When my editor called me on April 20, 2010, I had been writing for four years.
How did you celebrate the “call?”
My family took me to my favorite Italian restaurant, where I ordered pasta puttanesca. Yum!
Do you have an agent?
Yes, I signed with my agent within a day of getting The Call.
What advice would you give aspiring writers?
Never stop believing in yourself, put your nose to the grindstone and block out the white noise, network your heart out, establish a daily writing schedule and stick to it, buy the RWA conference CDs and listen to EVERY workshop--even if it doesn’t pertain to what you’re currently working on, don’t get involved in the negative crap, and surround yourself with guardian angels.
I've never listened to all the conference workshops. That's excellent advice. I will do that now. What is the most surprising thing you discovered after you received the call?
The silence. I imagined a flurry of emails would take place over the next few months, but after only a couple of days, I heard nothing but the slow creep of time passing by. J
That's funny, Tracey. I would have imagined a flurry of activity as well. What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
The black void. Beyond the midpoint and before the climax is nothing but darkness. It’s really disconcerting to right toward the edge of an abyss and not know if a solid ledge will be there to catch you or not. If you’ve ever seen the movie Indiana Jones and the Holy Grail, you might recall the scene where Indy is standing at the edge of a cavern. Across the gaping whole was the Holy Grail. All he had to do was have faith and take a step. If he had enough faith, a solid path would open before him, leading him to his heart’s desire. Not enough faith? A long plunge to death. Step by step is how I’ve been approaching my writing, with tons of faith thrown into the mix.
Oh, I know that black void well. Usually I go through it during revisions. What encouragement can you give writers who face rejection?
Read the rejection letter and see if there’s a morsel of good you can pull from it, then shove it in a file folder. If you’re hearing the same thing over and over, take a harder look at your manuscript. Talk to seasoned authors—they’re an incredible resource, especially when it comes to brainstorming ideas. A rejection letter from an agent or editor that has several paragraphs of thoughts and recommendations is your golden ticket to publication. In my experience, if they go through the trouble of conveying that much detail, they see something special in your writing. Listen to what they have to say and revise. Seriously. And finally, NEVER stop submitting.
Christine, thanks so much for inviting me to chat at Veranda View!
You're very welcome. I wish you loads of success!!!
You're very welcome. I wish you loads of success!!!
Please leave a comment for a chance to win a print copy of A Lady’s Revenge (U.S. and Canada only, please.)
Tracey Devlyn writes historical romantic thrillers (translation: a slightly more grievous journey toward the heroine's happy ending).
She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Australia Romance Readers Association and the Windy City, Beau Monde, Women’s Fiction, and PASIC Romance Writers of America chapters. Tracey’s also co-founder of Romance University, a group blog dedicated to readers and writers of romance, and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, Chicagoland’s exciting new reading salon devoted to romantic fiction.
An Illinois native, Tracey spends her evenings harassing her once-in-a-lifetime husband and her weekends torturing her characters. For more information on Tracey, including her Internet haunts, contest updates, and details on her upcoming novels, please visit her website at: