AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: TRACY SUMNER
Tracy Sumner is heading into the self publishing world with an old favorite, and a few minutes to chat with the JR Bunnies.
Tracy what is your most current work available?
To Desire A Scoundrel: A Christmas Seduction this was originally published by Kensington, but I have rights back, and have released the eBook on my own! It’s a sequel to To Seduce a Rogue, out in early 2012! Yes, I released the holiday novella first – for the Season!
Tell us a little about To Desire A Scoundrel and what your inspiration to write it was.
When I finished To Seduce a Rogue, I really had this great feeling about Adam Chase’s best friend, Tanner Barkley. Very cynical, secretive, sexy, in other words, the perfect hero! And who better to pair him with than the daughter of the somber chaperone in To Seduce a Rogue? No daughter of such a severe woman could suffer fools easily.
And we all know how foolish a man in love can act.
Then my editor invited me to participate in a Christmas anthology and To Desire A Scoundrel was born.
Katherine Peters is made for Tanner, and for the first time, I wrote about a hero who realizes this simple fact before the heroine! (If you recall, in To Seduce a Rogue, Adam is clueless until nearly the end. Even Tanner tries to tell him the error of his ways. How sad is that?)
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I do have SOME things I want to happen. It’s often more things I want the characters to SAY. But much of what happens is dictated by my characters.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I wrote YA stuff in high school. Think The Outsiders. But I read my first romance novel (LaVyrle Spencer’s Vows) in college…and I’ve never looked back. As a writer or a reader I love historical and contemporaries.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
Noah Garrett from Tides of Love is kinda my guy. He’s a sexy nerd – a marine biologist. Perhaps I should say that he is the perfect guy in my mind. Intelligent+, kinda, tortured, complex, gorgeous.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
Maybe Tanner in To Desire A Scoundrel. It’s hard to write a hero who is very conflicted and closed to love without making him appear “un-heroic”. I like my hero AND heroines to have an edge. I have an edge, so I write with one. But you have to temper that with kindness, caring, vulnerability…something to garner support from your reader. Plus, I have to like them, too!
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Well, this one is really funny. When I started my first novel, To Seduce A Rogue, I was dating this guy who used to be a marine biologist. And I really wrote the novel without thinking that much about how I knew about marine biology, etc. And later on, I realized that he would probably read the book or hear about it and think it was about him. I was mortified!:) Because Noah was all my creation. Seriously.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Writing! Putting butt in chair and PRODUCING.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
For someone who writes HEA (happily ever after) stories, I’m a bit cynical about the long-term prospects of many relationships I encounter. I’m the person who rolls her eyes at weddings. I’m not the crier.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Wine! And romance novels. Jack and Jennifer on Days of Our Lives from the late 80s/early 90s. Someone has a website (Devoted to Deveraux) with all the old clips – and I’ve been enjoying the hell out of it.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
I like the theme music from Out of Africa. Makes me want to create.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Noah Garrett: Harrison Ford/Indiana Jones — as the Professor (not the guy with the whip)
Zach Garrett: Josh Lucas (Jake Perry, Sweet Home Alabama)
Tanner Barkley: Leonardo DiCaprio (Billy, The Departed): part bad boy, part sweet man
Adam Chase: Again, H Ford (Han Solo) Stubborn as hell, fights love, vulnerable
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
Funny! My mother called me (I think I was living in Chicago at the time) and told me an editor with Kensington had called her. I freaked! I submitted my manuscript without including a phone number. They had to TRACK ME DOWN!!!
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Well, Judith Ivory did. But she’s not writing anymore, I don’t think.
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
I’m a graphic designer. Which I love.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
Okay, the grand plan, if I can get the butt in chair deal going, is to finish a Victorian historical with light paranormal elements AND an edgy, sexy contemporary. I don’t know if I can finish both in the year. I also have an anthology coming out with a group of authors in April. Check out my website for release information!
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
Stephen King. Ashley March in romance. Julie Anne Long.
How do you pick your characters names?
Research, names I hear that I like. What fits the character. What I can break down. I’m very fond of nicknames for characters.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
First sight. It’s a fantasy!
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
I probably say something very blunt and sarcastic. Though I don’t hear much of that anymore.
Where can readers find you?
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Dark! The darker the better.