Friday, December 3, 2010

Spotlight on Author Tracy Ames

CK:  Hello folks! Happy Friday to ya! Today, welcome erotic author Tracy Ames!

TA: Thanks for the invite, Charisma. It’s a pleasure. I’m a fan of your work.

CK:  Aww, that's sweet, thank you. I'm a huge fan of your work!  How many years have you been writing?

TA: I’ve been writing professionally, in one fashion or another, for nearly fifteen years, however, I’ve been fulltime for the last seven.

 CK:  I love your stories Tracy, and admire how you are such a “Master of Words.” I’ll admit, my imagination has allowed me to tell some good stories, but I am by far no master of words. My jaw drops when I read your work. How do you do it?

TA: Thank you so much. I’m often criticized for making readers break out their dictionaries or fire up Google. It’s not my fault, really. My vocabulary is a byproduct of transatlantic living and a mother who approached the use of proper English with Hitler-like efficiency. I use imagery to convey what words can’t easily translate. For example, the physical act of kissing, putting your tongue in someone’s mouth and wiggling it about isn’t even theoretically hot...ever. Even still, it’s difficult to describe however the emotion one feels when being kissed isn’t. It’s universal; everyone has experienced the warm gooiness of a kiss.

Stimulus: Reaction- Perception- Emotion- Response
Description: Sight- Sound- Scents- Taste- Texture
(There’s a cheat sheet on my site)

CK:  Wow, that's kick-ass. Well mamma didn't go wrong there, now did she? We all thank her because it is a fine attribute to your stories. Now, where did you submit your first story?

TA: I submitted my first story to a now defunct European newsletter. I wrote for them for five years which was my springboard to other ventures with Hustler and Scarlet Magazine. 

 CK:  Now see, I'm impressed! Hustler?? You go girl!! Please, tell us, what are the pros and cons of being a published author?

TA: The biggest pro is being able to do what you love. The biggest con is doing what you love and being judged accordingly. If you come into this industry with thin skin you’re going to bleed to death. Sadly, most artists are by nature thin skinned. Self-reflection and self-awareness is a must. The solidarity amongst artists is an enormous pro. I’ve met extraordinarily talented individuals from all genres and levels of profession, and it’s their camaraderie and willingness to share that I find most appealing.

 CK:  Would you do us the honor of providing a sneak peek of your most recent project, if possible?

TA: I’d love to give you a snippet of my upcoming release Beg Me but my copy editor would hang me. It’s still in brown paper status. My most recent novel Make Her Want It, the sequel of Seduce Me, went to Amazon’s bestseller list before its release thanks to presales. It has also been nominated for several awards—we’ll see how things pans out, lol. The first chapter as well as an additional excerpt can be found on my site.

The Kink and interracial elements of Make Her Want It turned it into a risky endeavor but it was well worth it. Edward and Sonya’s, my hero and heroine, characters were independently strong so bringing them into a non-vanilla tale didn’t subjugate either of them. Indeed, it gave the readers greater insight into their personalities. Edward is an unapologetic alpha male, and Sonya is his mirror image and submissive. When the sparks start flying, its best everyone run for cover, lol.

 CK:  Please share one of your earlier novels with us. 

TA: My first full length novel was Seduce Me which was the story of Nick and Ali, two characters from my early literary days. An excerpt can be found on my site. It’s rather long, I’m afraid.
Seduce Me

CK:  He He, no worries. I'm sure readers will venture over once the interview is complete. What are your future goals?

TA: My future goal is to expand my media company, Blue Art Media, to incorporate a resource and networking center where new and aspirating artists can connect with seasoned pros and benefit from their wisdom. People are always willing to reach back and offer assistance…the resource center will provide them a forum to do so.     

CK:  Awesome, I wish you luck Ms. Lady! Sounds nice! If your books were turned into a movie, but producers wanted the heroine to be white and the hero black, would you allow that?

TA: Ha! Good question and one I’ve struggled with recently. Someone described my characters as A-racial, meaning their race is forgotten after the initial intro and only referenced in fleeting context. Even still I wouldn’t care to have my characters changed. No, I don’t follow stereotypes and none of my characters fit comfortably in any mold. However, changing their race wouldn’t sit well with me.

CK:  Yes, I feel the same, thank you for that answer. Do you foresee interracial romance (not erotic because of children) books in stores such as Walmart, Target, and CVS in the near future? Any ideas on how we in this genre can make it happen?

TA: Actually Walmart and Target sale the Harlequin’s Blaze Series which has a few interracial offerings. Yes, they’re bloody rubbish but it’s the first step towards crossover acceptance. A few years ago Walmart was questioned about their willingness to stock the Blaze Series (which employs racy language) and their reason for opting out of carrying other publishers. As you can imagine the matter was swept under the rug.

Crossing over to the ‘supermarket’ aisle is a blessing and a curse and we, as artists, should weigh the pros and cons as carefully as our publishers. Pros: more exposure, potentially higher volume of sells, bragging rights aka “Hey, look mom! Here’s my book!”….Cons: demands for a cheaper product will send the artists profit per unit through the floors, loss of artistic control, censorship that’ll make Mao look like a bleeding heart liberal.

CK: Wow, now I never thought of that. Okay, hmmm, let's keep things the same then. LOL If you were to spring into another genre, becoming even more successful than you are, would you deny you once wrote erotica?

TA: Erotica, Refugio de Amor! To deny my erotic past equates to spitting in the faces of everyone who has aided me not to mention those of my loyal fans. If I ever become that arrogant, I give you permission to kick my teeth in.  

CK: Ha Ha! What other genres are you interested in writing in?  YA, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Scifi, or would you combine all these, with the exception of YA into your erotica/erotic romance stories?

TA: I’m in the process of moving into lit fiction and historical. I have two manuscripts in the works; one is based in 18th century France, the other is set on the border of England and Scotland. Both will be interracially based. I’m really excited about these projects. Being able to combine my two passions, history and erotica, is mint!

CK:  Okay, you got me! I'll be on the lookout for these. Can't wait!! What are your hobbies?

TA: I’ve been painting and studying photography since I was very young. And for the past six years, I’ve been involved in competitive ballroom and salsa dancing. I’ve studied American Smooth under Christian Lange and Latin/Rhythm under Paul Scicchitano; both of whom have current standings. Love them!

CK:  Sweet! How do you unwind?

TA: I lock myself in our bedroom and watch documentaries— I completely veg out on useless knowledge. And thanks to a soundproof bedroom, I go undisturbed.

 CK:  Do you mold your characters strictly from imagination or from those you cross paths with in everyday life?

TA: Most of my characters are composites of the people around me however I also draw from strangers. My favorite coffee guy, Lee, at Dean and Deluca was my muse for “Lee” in my short story “Beg Me”. My muses love seeing themselves in print. 

CK:  Do you allow your muse to take total control, or do you create an outline before writing?

TA: After one too many rewrites, I now create outlines before embarking on any project. Once I have the outline sorted out, then my muse is free to run wild…and run wild they do! 

 CK:  What methods of research do you utilize? I know, I know! The internet is available, but do you scour the library as well? LOL

TA: I’m a research hound! I’ll research the topic to the ends of the earth. The internet is extremely useful however there’s still much to be said for print literature especially when you’re researching unfamiliar countries, cities, and cultural.

Here’s a tip: Picking up guide books is head and shoulders above Googling. Why? Because they offer detailed descriptions about the locations (food, streets, lodging, local culture and so on) which the internet can’t provide or the information is sparse and scattered. Lonely Planet guides are the best on the market however they cost almost triple that of other guides. I make a habit of picking up travel books from second-hand shops, AAA, and library sales. Also, check local book swaps or simply ask a follow writer.

 CK:  Please tell us where can you be found on the internet?

My official site is:

 CK: Okay, cool. I'll have to friend you on Myspace. Also, please be advised, your pictures will take readers to your Facebook page! What advice would you like to pass on to aspiring authors? You’ve been wonderful in sharing what you’ve learned in the industry, and for that we all thank you. Folks, jot this down, because what she's about to say is excellent advice. 

TA: The best pieces of advice I can give are to keep on going and read your contracts very carefully. Publishers who push are slow to pay. If you don’t understand any element of your contract, don’t sign—if you question your art direction, put the breaks on. No matter what they say, they can’t go further without your consent. And please, for the love of peach cobbler, familiarize yourself with the new copyright laws—there is a link on my site. Remember, your name is going on the cover, not theirs. Most important, stay true to yourself and surround yourself with people who’ll sit you down and say, “Dearest, that last page was rubbish.”

CK:  Thanks once again for being so kind and easy to approach. The information you’ve shared is most valuable, and we appreciate it!   

TA: Thanks for having me. I look forward to reading more of your work. 

CK:  Aww, stop it! You're making me blush! But I thank you! * giggling * Coming from you that's quite a compliment! And I, look forward to reading more of yours too, lady!!


Raquel Mulgrew said...

Great interview! Thanks for sharing your story, Tracy! I really enjoyed reading it and I've learned a lot. Can't wait to read your work!

-Raquel Mulgrew

Tracy said...

Thank you so much! It's a pleasure. You can find all of my work and that of other very talented scribblers on my site. I thank Charisma for the invite.


Serenity King said...

Hello Ladies!

Charisma and Tracy what an awesome interview. As usual Tracy you offer very good solid advice authors. You already know I heart your work. You are truly an inspiration.



Tracy said...

Awww, thanks Serenity. I give advice because others gave it to me. It's tough out there! I'm enjoying your work as well. Keep it up, Lady.

Anonymous said...

Well ladies, loved this interview. Wonderful tips aspiring authors Tracy!

Tracy said...

Any time! Please feel free to poke around my resource page but I'll place it here as well. There's a link for "Ask an Author" run by Keira Kroft. I've placed the link here as well, Stop by and ask us anything. Big or doesn't matter.

Beautiful Trouble Publishing said...

Awesome rock Ms. Ames and Charisma we appreciate you bringing this to us.

J Hali said...

Great interview, ladies. Learned a new term 'A-racial' :), enjoyed getting to know Tracy-kudos for not following the sterotypes!

Tracy said...

Thanks BTP & J. Yeah, my vocab is full of stocked full of chewy can thank my mom for that. :)

Big thanks, Charisma. Cheers!