An Amazon Kindle top ten bestselling historical romance author, Tracey J. Lyons (aka Tracey Sorel) also writes contemporary romance. She sold her first book on 9/9/99! Tracey’s books have been translated into several languages. To learn more about Tracey's books visit her Tracey Lyons and Tracey Sorel websites.
1. When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
I always had a creative streak in me, but didn’t know writing novels was what I wanted to do until after I read my first romance novel way back in the 1970’s.
2. How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
It took me roughly ten years to get published after I finished my first novel. And I never sold the first one. I sold the third one I’d written.
3. Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
I’m a hybrid author.
4. Where do you write?
I used to write in a tiny guest room and I recently moved into our empty guesthouse. And I have to say I love, love, love having a space that’s entirely my own.
5. Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
Silence is not golden for me. I actually listen to a radio station I became a fan of when I lived in Northern California. Kfog. It makes me feel close to my California friends and family even though I now live back east. They play a great mix of music and if it starts to bug me I just shut it off.
6. How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
This is a great question. My oldest sister just finished reading Zinfandelity and she called me and said, “I see shades of our mother in this book!” I think all writers bring their life to their work. We naturally draw on what we know and how we’ve lived. My historical Women of Surprise series features three cousins, but each one of them is actually based on myself and my two sisters. And that was so much fun to write because I had every little personality quirk down.
7. Describe your process for naming your character.
In the beginning of my writing I did what all authors do, I used the names of family members and friends. But now I really take the time to match the character’s names to their personas using the internet for ideas and I keep a baby naming book on my desk that lists names and origins.
8. Real settings or fictional towns?
A mixture of both. My first four historicals are set in actual New York State towns, North Creek and Surprise, while the series I’m working on now is set in the fictional town of Heartston, NY. My contemporary Wine Country Vixen book, Zinfandelity, is set in the actual California city of Livermore.
9. What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
In Zinfandelity the heroine’s mother likes to wear outdated thrift shop clothing.
10. What’s your quirkiest quirk?
I’m sure I have too many to name!
11. If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
The You I Never Knew by Susan Wiggs. I loved that book and it really resonated with me. I would love to be able to tell the story of a couple who had lost a child, the marriage falling apart and then another family tragedy bringing them back together. And I read that book years ago and can still remember the storyline! That’s powerful writing.
12. Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
I wish I had had the confidence to break into this business in the 1980’s when I first started writing. I had no clue where to send my manuscripts and often think how much further along I’d be if I knew then what I know now.
13. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Professionally my biggest pet peeve is how everyone seems to want to be doing what everyone else is doing. Be brave! Make your own mark on the publishing world! Personally, there are so many…I can’t stand it when my husband puts the dishes away in the wrong spot. You know, that mixing bowl that ends up with the plates and not in the baking drawer with all the other mixing bowls.
14. You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
I was going to say chocolate but then it would melt and make a big mess in the sand, so drinking water, potato chips and big book that I could read over and over again…I bet you thought I was going to say pen and paper…no…because I figure I can write in the sand with my finger.
15. What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
I was the soda girl at Burger King when they first opened in our town.
16. What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil
17. What’s your favorite movie?
18. What’s your favorite TV show?
19. Who’s your favorite actor?
I don’t really have one in particular.
20. What’s your favorite song?
“Home” by Philip Philips
21. What’s your favorite food?
22. Ocean or mountains?
23. City girl or country girl?
Country all the way
24. What’s on the horizon for you?
Right now I’m working on a new inspirational historical series set in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. I’m also working on the next book in my Tracey Sorel Wine Country Vixen series.
25. Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
I want to leave your readers with this: the publishing business is crazy. How crazy you ask? A few short months ago I was ready to throw in the towel on my career and I’m glad I didn’t because I just hit the Amazon Kindle top ten best seller list in three categories with a book that had been published in print almost ten years ago. The digital age is breathing new life into our books and our careers. Never give up because you don’t know what’s waiting for you around the next corner!
The summertime in Northern California is known for its hot dry weather, Beth Chadwick should know since she’s been going through a bit of a dry spell herself. Her marriage is falling apart. She knows exactly how many pairs of black socks her husband owns and how much starch he likes in his shirts, so when she matches the lipstick stain on his collar to the shade on his secretary’s lips, she knows he’s a cheating bastard.
She has her friends to keep her together. But they come with their own set of problems. Her best friend Madge is hoping to close the circle on her open marriage. Joyce, the devout Catholic, thinks her daughter might be practicing witchcraft. The widow Samantha is caught in the middle of a real triple-decker of a sandwich generation, and Kathy may have uncovered a corpse in her front yard. These women really get Beth’s need for a new life. But, how is she going to get past her stand-by-your-man mother and her soon to be ex-husband? Can their problems be solved over a few glasses of wine?
And then there’s the little matter of the hot photographer camping out in Beth’s backyard…