I came across Tracey Livesay's books on Goodreads and immediately wanted to interview the author. In spite of her busy schedule, she agreed. And I'm elated that Tracey is the next author to be featured in IFB's Behind the Pages. Check out her wonderful answers below, and enter the giveaway to win a copy of her latest release, Love On My Mind.
Hey, Tracey! Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from?
Thank you for the invitation to be on Itching for Books!
Part of my childhood was spent in a small town in Virginia, Farmville. It’s usually known for having two colleges, Longwood University and Hampden-Sydney College and, back in the 90s, a rapper named the Lady of Rage. Now, when I say Farmville, most people think of the Facebook game!
You're a former criminal defense attorney. What inspired you to become a writer and how was the transition from law into the world of fiction?
I’ve been writing stories since I was a little girl. After I read my first romance novel at 11, I was hooked, but I hadn’t connected that writing was something I could do to make a living. I was expected to go to college, graduate school and get a professional job making money, which I did. I got married, had kids and made the decision to stay home with them, and through it all, my love of romance and writing stayed with me. When my youngest son started full day kindergarten, I talked to my husband and said I could go back to work as an attorney, but I’d like to try and get published writing romance. He was totally supportive and I’ve been able to do what I love.
Does your experience as an attorney influence your writing/stories?
It does, but not in the obvious way, like writing stories about the law. Law school really does train you how to think critically and I approach story-telling in that manner. I think about the story I want to tell, mend any possible plot holes and make sure I hit all the beats so I’ve earned my ending. It also affects my writing process. I’m a total plotter. I do a lot of work on my character and stories before I start typing the first word.
Tell us about your debut, The Tycoon's Socialite Bride.
It’s a modern day marriage of convenience, which can be tricky to pull off. My hero, Marcus is on a quest to avenge his mother when he crosses paths with my heroine, Pamela. The story focuses on how Marcus learns to let go of the past and embrace love in the present.
What can readers expect from the rest of your In Love with a Tycoon series? How many books will there be in the series?
Pretending With the Playboy is the second book in the series and its Carter’s (Marcus’s best friend and attorney) story. It’s a mixture of the playboy trope, fake engagement and second chance at love. The heroine, Lauren, had a major crush on Carter when they were younger, but it never went anywhere. When Carter’s aunt is taken ill, he rushes to her side and is faced with a grown-up Lauren and familial responsibilities he’d tried to outrun. Carter is very wicked and very sexy.
A third book was planned for the series, but it’s been put on hold. Maybe next year.
How does your latest release, Love On My Mind differ from your previous?
Superficially, it’s longer, which is big for me. I’ve been known to write short. LOL But more importantly, it’s extremely personal. It was born of thoughts about my oldest son, who has Asperger’s and a love letter that my husband wrote me when we were dating in law school.
What are your feelings on the state of diversity in books?
We’ve made some inroads, but there’s still a ways to go. Look, romances are romances. They feature a central love story and a happily ever after. There may be tropes you like, marriage of convenience, sister’s best friend, enemies to lovers, which affect your decision to read a book, but the demographic of the hero or heroine shouldn’t be a negative factor in that decision. It’s going to take a concerted effort by people in the industry to make diverse books more available. It would also help to have more diverse people making acquisition and marketing/promo decisions.
In what ways have you evolved as a writer since your debut?
I’m ready to take more chances with my stories. In the beginning, I was trying so hard to get traditionally published that I didn’t want to rock any boats. I wanted to write a good story, obviously, but I played it a little safe. I’m learning to trust my voice and choose to pursue ideas that may be out of the box.
When not writing, something you do for fun or to unwind after finishing a book:
Recently, I feel like all I do is write! LOL When I tear myself away from the computer, I try to get out and go for a run. I’ve run 5ks, 10ks, and several half marathons. I’m training for my first full marathon this fall. My other passion is designer handbags. I like to look at blogs, read up on the latest designs, etc. My daughter always says anytime we go into a store together, the first thing I do is head toward the handbag department!
What's next for you?
The next book in my series for Avon, Along Came Love, comes out in October and I’m in the middle of writing the third book in the series, out next year.
Thank you for taking the time, Tracey. Any tips for aspiring writers?
First, finishing a book is a tremendous feat. Be proud of it. There are lots of people who start a book, very few follow through. Second, remember this is a business. Make sure you learn all parts of the industry, not just the parts about writing. The romance of finally achieving your dream of being published can be alluring and you can forget that the goal is to sell books. And that’s plural. Books. Keep writing.
More About the Author
Tracey Livesay wrote her first romance novel at the age of eleven, called "The Healing Power of Love.” With a detour through college and law school--where she met her husband on the very first day--she’s finally achieved her dream of being a published author. She lives in Virginia with said husband and three kids. For info on her upcoming releases or to chat about TV, movies and/or purses you can check out: