Monday, July 14, 2014

Meet YA Author Traci McDonald

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes author Traci McDonald and her book Burning Bridger. Traci's blindness hasn't kept her down. She not only writes, but blogs also. You'll enjoy meeting Traci!

First, a bit about Traci:

What started as a life time love of great books turned into a career for Author Traci McDonald when she began writing full time after recovering from a kidney transplant in 2009. Researching, blogging, creating stories, and reading good books from her home in scenic southern Utah adds to Traci’s  busy schedule with her three sons and husband. Although she has been blind for 18 years, modern technology and good training have helped her to enjoy all facets of being a mother, music lover, reader, writer, and a history enthusiast. Traci serves on the board of The Heritage Writers Guild, is a member of a Nationwide group of blind authors known as Behind Our Eyes, and her blog,Writing Blind tours authors for The World Of Ink Network. Traci received training in picture books, Middle Grade, and Young Adult writing, but she has discovered her true voice is more genuine in New Adult or romance.

Why did you pick to write books for the YA market?

When I first wanted to learn how to be a good writer, an author friend of mine challenged me to write a story in 500 words or less. This story had to include a setting, at least two characters, a conflict, three failed attempts at resolving the conflict, and a resolution. I failed horribly. I was 900 words into the story and was only one third of the way through. I wanted to learn the craft of writing at its finest and writing for kids takes much better discipline, vocabulary, and control of the story. It was a challenge, and I love a challenge.

What types of books do you like to read?

I love all books with a good plot, well developed characters, and vibrant descriptions. Because of my blindness, I enjoy reading much more than I do television or movies. I need a book to bring the pictures of the story alive in my mind. I love Westerns thanks to Louis Lamour, Romances thanks to Dorothy Keddingrton, and Mysteries due to Mary Higgins Clark.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do?

I love to read first and foremost, but I also love walking, hiking, softball with my husband, bicycle rides, talking to friends about books, listening to music, and hot baths.

Tell us about Burning Bridger and how the story came to be.

Burning Bridger is the story of Lily, a beautiful Latin woman who flees dark memories of her tragic past to hide in Maui. When she is rescued from a strange man, an ex-army ranger named Bridger, his unwelcome attention is spurned by the traumatized young woman until she discovers Bridger is the only man who can protect her from a killer.

Burning Bridger is a parallel novel to my debut novel Killing Casanova. My fan base asked for more stories from the original, and I wanted to use the beauty of Maui for an exciting tale.

Here's a peek at Burning Bridger:

When twenty-three year old club girl Lilly Pinion survives a brutal rape only to watch her best friend die, she swears off men before retreating to Maui.

Unfortunately, Maui doesn’t mean safety. Ex-army ranger, Bridger Jacoby's attempts to protect Lily from a tattooed man determined to kill her forces Lily to face her trauma, but not before she must  confront her attacker. The courage to trust someone might come too late. Surrendering to her past might cost her and Bridger their lives.

Have you written other books? If so, tell us a bit about them.

My debut novel Killing Casanova is the story of a blind woman who sees beyond the playboy reputation of a local boy being stalked by an old enemy. Killing Casanova includes the character Lilly Pinion who is attacked by the nam trying to kill Jake Casanova.

What’s next for your writing? Are you working on a new story?

I have a rough draft of the third novel in the series Surrendering Savannah that I want to polish and get ready for release at the beginning of 2015. I’m also working on an urban fantasy that I hope to have finished this fall.

What advice do you have for other authors?

While writing is a dream come true for me, getting published can take some of the magic out of that dream. Remember, you are the creative mind behind the stories. Find a publisher, or press that allows you to make the most of your writing experience. Don’t let a publisher or agent tell you whether or not you are worth their time. Find a community of writers, publishers, editors and friends who allow you to publish your work, profit from the sales, and support your dream to write.

Anything else you want readers to know?

I write clean romance, perhaps due to my training in children's books. My novels are appropriate for all ages but they do deal with difficult topics: cheating, drinking, and sexual assault. These topics are spoken about, but not described in the context of the story. Life is hard. Anyone who tells you different is trying to sell you something. Life is also a beautiful, magical, adventure where love is the only thing that matters.

Where can readers find you and your books?

You can find me on my Facebook page.
On Twitter.
On my blog.

My books are on Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, iTunes or anywhere e-books are sold. You can also find my work in the anthology Behind Our Eyes: A Second Look on Amazon.

1 comment:

  1. I really like Traci's advice for authors about becoming part of the community of writers. So true! It is nice to have the support of other writers. :)

    Wishing Traci the best of luck!