A warm welcome to the Diamond Mine, Tracy. I would love to start by asking you how you are doing and what you have going on right now. J
Thanks, Misty! I’m glad to be here. I’m doing great, currently working hard on manuscripts in several stages. I’ve been writing historical fiction for awhile now, with my last eight novels set in the ancient ruins of Greece, Rome, Egypt and Persia. My latest book, The Queen’s Handmaid, just released a couple of months ago, and follows a servant girl on a secret quest through three empires. Right now I’m working on a follow-up to that book, that features the magi who came to Bethlehem at the birth of Jesus.
One question I am always inclined to ask another writer is: why did you want to become a writer?
I’ve always loved writing, from a very young age. Lots of short stories, plays, poems! There has always been a love of words, a love of reading, in my heart. The stories I read as a child captured and transported me to wonderful places, and I wanted to give that gift to others.
Did you ever have any frustrations to the point you decided to quit writing? And if so, why didn’t you? What advice would you give to someone struggling the same frustrations?
There have been lots of frustrations along the way. Early on, it was trying to land an agent, hoping to find a publishing house that would publish my work. Eventually those things happened, and then a writing career becomes about doing the hard work and hoping people discover your books. I don’t think I’ve ever seriously considered quitting. Since I started my first novel not long after I learned to spell, it’s impossible for me to think about not writing!
What book have you written that stands out as your favorite, and why? As a writer myself, I have a favorite that I can’t seem to let go and I’m just curious if you do, too.
This is always a hard question. Often, it’s the book I’m working on now, or the one I just finished, because I feel I improve every time. I have a new book coming out next month, one that is a little different than what I’ve been doing. It’s a globe-spanning contemporary suspense with some historical elements woven through, called Awakening. I’m really excited about it. It was fun to write, and I let some of my inner fantasy-writing out to play, which I don’t always do!
In the books you have written, who is your favorite character, and why?
I think I have two favorites – Hemi from Pyramid of Secrets and Sophia from Keeper of the Flame. Both of them are trying hard to wall off their hearts, protect themselves from being hurt by isolating themselves from everything and everyone. I love writing that type of character, and watching him or her gradually awaken to life and love.
We’ve always been told every author leaves a little piece of themselves in every story they write. What character you’ve created most resembles who you are?
Most of the female protagonists I’ve written have been strong-willed and opinionated, and don’t quite fit in to their society. I think that’s a thread running through most of my books, and through me as well.
Have you ever had a book you struggled to finish, and if so, why? And did you finish it?
Every book is a struggle to finish! Writing is hard, hard work. At least for me! I greatly enjoy the dreaming and plotting and researching, and even the revising and rewriting and editing afterward, but getting that first draft down is often painful and accomplished through a sheer act of discipline. Yes, I have finished all of them, because I know that this is truly what I want to be doing.
My fellow miners have all garnered contracts. What advice can you give to aspiring authors like me who are still waiting?
Keep writing. Do your best with what you’ve written, start getting it out there and networking, but don’t wait for the contract to start writing the next thing. No one really wants to hear this, but often it’s the second or third or fourth manuscript that finally finds a publishing home. If you’re hanging on too tightly to a single piece of writing, never growing as you write the next and the next, you are hurting yourself.
I know you travel to different locations, and use them in your stories. What is your favorite location, and could you tell us a little about your trip?
Yes, I’ve been blessed to do quite a bit of fun traveling around the Mediterranean and the Middle East. I absolutely love Egypt – the ancient temples and massive statues, the grand pyramids, the Nile. Even the people are wonderful. I’ve had some adventures there!
I’ve saved the best for last. Do you have any questions you would like to ask about us; individually or as a group? Have at it, but be gentle. J
You look like an eclectic bunch of writers! I’m wondering how you all found each other and what made you want to start a blog together? I’ll bet there’s a fun story there!
Thank you so much for stopping by and please come again and tell us how you’re doing and what you have going on.
Thanks, Misty! And in the meantime, I’d love for your readers to stop by my website, where I’ve got some free stuff, like a free short story to try out my writing, plus lots of fun photos and videos of my research trips to the settings of my books. Visit me at www.tracyhigley.com!
In a few days we’ll be drawing some names from those who comment and sending them a free copy of Tracy’s newest release called the Queen’s Handmaid. Make sure you leave a comment and your contact info. In the meantime, enjoy!!