Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
A- My name is Tracy A. Ball. I’m 52.
Fiona: Where are you from?
A- I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. I currently live in West Virginia.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
A- I am a novelist, reviewer, content editor, blogger, T-shirt wearer, and professional snacker. My family is blended from three cultures. I have opened my home to foster children, drug addicts, AIDS victims and anyone who needed an assist. I know people who have committed murder and people who have dined with the Pope.
Which is why I write sweet stories about tough love…and takes naps.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
A – In addition to the three novels and two novellas I have already published, I am a part of several amazing anthologies releasing this year.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
A- I’ve wanted to write as soon as I learned to read. I spent my whole life trying to craft stories. But, I was twenty-five before I completed my first draft. I haven’t stopped since.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
A- When I had written my third story. It’s the first one I had published. I had completed others, but there was something about that one that made me feel I could wear the title.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
A-My daughter and I were chatting about her favorite boy-band, doing ‘what if’ scenarios. She got so caught up in the fantasy, she wanted me to write it down so we wouldn’t forget.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
A-To that first story? I titled it, what it was: A Girl’s Dream. In general, I get my titles early. I state what I’m writing about as a working title and most of them stick.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
A-I do, but I can’t name it. I begin by writing an event or an outcome and then I spend the story figuring out how they got there.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
A- There is a piece of real life in every one of my stories. Many of my characters are people I know. And, the gist of the most important dialogs come from conversations around me.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
A-It depends on the story. My settings are almost always places I have experienced.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
A-Most of my covers are the work of the publishing house (although supplied the pictures of the first two novels.) I am just this year beginning to learn cover design and I have so far created two or three of my own.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
A-All of my stories relay the same message. It’s my brand motto: Brave the Danger, Dare to Dream, & Love Who You Love
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
A-I am an acquisitions reviewer. Most of what I read is from future stars who are in process of entering the writing world. I am only required to read up to a certain point. If the writing convinces me to read further, it’s a gem.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
A- I’m not sure how to answer this one. If I received support, great. If I didn’t, also great. My writing is always for myself first. If somebody like it I’m pleased, but it’s not a requirement. Therefore outside encouragement was never a necessity. That said, a Priest was adamant that I should write. He recognized it as part of my true identity.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
A-I do. The absolute best thing for me to do!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
A-There is always something. As with any art, the work is never finished. Something can always be adjusted or tweaked. You just get to a point where you have to say, that’s enough.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
A-Yes, I did. This year, I challenged myself to write out of my comfort zone. Write characters I would never have touched before. My latest is a villain. When done correctly, bad-guys are awesome.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
A-That’s hard to say. KAYOS is action-packed. I think it would make a great movie
I might choose for my leads:
Lareina- Ajiona Alexis/ Keke Palmer/ Zoë Kravitz
Christian – Alexander Ludwig/ Theo James/ Tom Felton
There are also roles waiting for Robert De Niro and Ed Norton if anybody wants to contact them.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
A-Yes. I say this all the time:
Writing is a profession you do first, learn later. You can’t learn the lessons until you put something on the page. If you write for approval, quit. Nothing kills a good story like expectation and perfectionism. Rules, grammar, spelling, formulas, etc., all have their place and purpose. They make a story shine, but those things aren’t the story. Tell a tale that’s so engaging, the mechanics go unnoticed. (If a line is better with the comma in the wrong place, the grammar nazi’s might not like it, but your readers will.)
Years ago when publishing was a slow process a lot of eyes crossed those unpublished pages. Not anymore. Publishing is faster. People—even editors have become acclimated to text shorthand and bad grammar. Mistakes are a way of life. Roll with it. I’m not advocating lazy writing (it shows) or carelessness, but don’t beat yourself up for being human. Corrections are easy. Even with a finished, published project (that’s where 2nd editions and re-branding comes from).
Your job is to tame the alphabet. Have at it.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
A- Reviews are our bread. And, it’s the only way to give you what you really want. Your opinion matters and we want to hear it. It doesn’t cost anything for you to share it. So please, review.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
A-As I said, I’m an acquisition reviewer. I’m reading about six books right now.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
A-I’ve been a die-hard reader all my life. I started reading on my own around three. I was in chapter books by five and I was ten when I read Roots, by Alex Haley (I think I read it twelve times consecutively). The following summer, I read the Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough. (I mention that myth in my story, KAYOS)
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I enjoy villains who are right. When you realize they are villains only because you disagree; you would cheer them on if they did what they did for your side.
The thing that touches my heart is humble heroics. It’s been seventeen years since the first Harry Potter movie hit the screen, but I still tear-up when Neville gets awarded house cup points. And, that’s Harry Potter! Samwise Gamgee bursts my heart. The characters who think they are small but do big things anyway.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
A- Without a doubt, Maya Angelou. If ever there was an inspiration, she is mine.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Besides writing and reading? I draw, paint, and chase my grandson. He’s two. A lot of chasing going on.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
A- I love fantasy. Lord of the Rings, Beauty & the Beast, and the Phantom of the Opera are my favorites. I am a big Game of Thrones fan and I enjoy many of the Marvel movies. However, writing, researching, and my grandson take up most of my time. I’m not sure I can work my television without supervision (lol).
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
A- My husband is a musician, so my favorite is him. After that, I’m all over the place. If the music tells me a story (not just the lyrics) I can relate to, I can appreciate it. I tend to absorb my environment. In other words, whatever’s on.
I used to have favorite foods -pizza, grapefruit, Brussel sprouts (what a combination), but I’ve been teaching myself to live without expectations. Unless it’s something I just don’t eat, I’m fine with whatever is put in front of me.
Colors: Green. Kelly Green. Forrest Green. Chrome Green. Sea Green. Did I mention green?
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
A- All the things I do now without a word count goal tacked on. Writing is my life and I love it, but it is still only a part of who I am.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
A- Chasing my grandson.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
A- She loved her family and told the truth.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Here are the links..
Armen Pogharian said:
What a great breadth of life you’ve led. I can honestly say that we do have some things in common – I like pizza and I take naps. Best of luck to you.