My guest today is successful author Traci Sanders, who’s written books from potty-training guides to romance novels. Her most recent release is Unsevered: “Five stars have never made me feel like this. Where are my Kleenex?” says Allaina Daniels, author of Xfinity. Traci is also an avid reader, having logged forty books last year.
Who is Traci Sanders?
First and foremost, I am a mom of three great kids: boy 18; boy 16; and girl 10. Being a mom is the best job I’ve ever had. I’m also married to my high-school sweetheart. We’ve been together for about twenty-four years. My family is my inspiration for most of my books … with just a bit of embellishment here and there.
What genre do you write?
My first published book was a potty-training guide for parents. Then I published my first children’s book and two more parenting books. Six months into publishing, I released my first adult fiction piece, and I was hooked on the romance genre. So, even though I will continue to write and publish children’s books (because I have eight more already written), I mostly write adult romance. It’s my favorite!
What do you like most about writing?
Writing has always been there for me. Also, there is no prerequisite to satisfy. Writing shows no prejudice. You don’t have to have a college degree, or be the smartest or most popular kid in school; you simply have to possess a passion for words. For me, growing up in a family of six girls and one boy, writing was many things – an escape from chaos and noise, a friend who understood what I was feeling, and an outlet to pour my emotions into. It has helped me get through some tough times.
Who has been your biggest influence in your life?
I doubt she even realizes it, but my mother has always been a huge inspiration for my writing. As a young girl, I watched her play the piano and write songs for church. I once found her journal and read some of her songs, which inspired me to write my own. I also wrote poetry and short stories from the time I was in third grade. Writing was my gift, and I realized this at an early age. As I got older, I wrote and sang songs in church. People told me I had an “anointing” from God—a power to heal with my words and my voice. That was a pretty powerful thing to hear at my age, so I took it seriously. And, while my books are not Christian-based, my upbringing does play a part in my writing.
Who are your favorite Indie authors?
Gosh, having read more than forty books last year, I’ve experienced a plethora of great ones. But, to name a few: Beth Hale, Bethany Turner, Stephen Geez, Beem Weeks, Elizabeth Horton-Newton, Emma Scott, Anita Kovacevik, and Michelle Abbott. And recently, I’ve added Kim Cox and Allaina Daniels to this list because they write such quirky, intriguing characters that are fun to read about!
What is your ultimate reward as an author?
My ultimate reward as a writer is when someone says to me, “your book helped me” or “your words touched my heart.” That is when I feel the most successful and fulfilled. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoy seeing my sales go up; but my biggest payoff is when I get that feeling I had as a little girl—hearing those same words from people in my church or teachers at my school. In a way, it was validation for me. It made me feel as if could change someone’s life through my words, whether it is true or not.☺
Name a classic author who has influenced your writing.
I am not usually a dark-natured person; however, in middle school and high school, I was drawn to Edgar Allan Poe. The desperate tone in his writing and rhythmic flow of his words fascinated me. I don’t enjoy horror stories or films, but I remember listening to The Tell- Tale Heart on a tape recorder in class (wow, I’m telling my age now) and being drawn in to the story. It was powerful, and I wanted to have the same effect on readers with my writing.
What is your biggest fear?
Of course I could say it would involve losing a loved one, but that’s a given. So, if I’m being totally honest otherwise, I’d have to say losing my mind is my greatest fear.
If I ever lost a limb or an organ, I would find a way to survive and manage from day to day. But if I lost my mind—my ability to think and create—I would soon wither away inside. Therefore, I plan to use my words to entertain, inform, and heal others for as long as I am able.
What is your biggest pet peeve about writing?
I can overlook a few grammatical errors if the story is compelling enough; but a major pet peeve of mine is when authors repeatedly misuse simple words such as then, than, your, and you’re. It just drives me crazy. If you ever see that in one of my books, trust me, I DID NOT purposefully put it there!
You can subscribe to Traci’s blog www.awordwithtraci.com where you will find samples of her poems and stories, excerpts from her books, and daily tips on all aspects of the writing industry (publishing, marketing, writing, etc.) in my new segment for 2016 called “365 Days to Write Right.”