My author feature and giveaway today is with Tracey Garvis-Graves, author of the fabulous book, On The Island. I reviewed this book two weeks ago, which you can read here. Tracey is a gifted writer and a wonderful friend. I have really enjoyed getting to know her and am grateful to her for all of her valuable insight into the world of writing. If you aren't familiar with Tracey, you need to remedy that and visit her blog here. I interviewed Tracey and am excited to share it with you. So my friends, I give you...Tracey Garvis-Graves!
Laura: Tell me a little about your writing process.
Tracey: Well, I'm definitely an outliner and a plotter. I don't have to know everything that's going to happen, but I need to have a general idea of the beginning, middle, and end. I also like to let the story develop for a while in my head before I start writing.
Laura: How long did it take you to write On the Island?
Tracey: It took approximately 18 months by the time the book was written, edited, and polished.That doesn't include the 3-4 months where I was just thinking about the story.
Laura: What comes first, characters or plot?
Tracey: Definitely plot. It's how my characters react to the plot that helps me develop them fully.
Laura: What's your perfect writing environment?
Tracey: Total silence! Some authors can write with music playing, but I work best when there is no noise at all. When I'm drafting and the words are flowing I hate to be interrupted by sound of any kind, whether it's my kids, husband, the telephone, or the doorbell. I can, however, edit while one of my kids is in the same room watching SpongeBob SquarePants!
Laura: How often do you write?
Tracey: I try to write every day, but I work full-time so sometimes I have to wait until the weekend to get a good long stretch in. I'm always up by 5:00 a.m. so I can sneak in some writing time before I have to get ready for work.
Laura: Let's talk about your dream cast. Did you have an actor and actress in mind as the perfect choice to play Anna and T.J. when you were writing On the Island?
Tracey: When I was writing the book I could see the characters in my head, but they weren't famous people or anyone I recognized. It was only after the book was released that people started asking me that question. Jesilea from Diary of a Bibliophile actually came up with Anne Hathaway as the perfect Anna. I totally agree even though Anne Hathaway doesn't have blue eyes; we'll just have to pretend she does, lol!. Actually, if Anne Hathaway had Courtney Cox's eyes, it would be exactly as I envisioned Anna. Anne Hathaway encompasses Anna's understated beauty wonderfully because in my mind I pictured Anna as someone who was very attractive, but not overtly so. She's classy as opposed to flashy, but she can rock a fancy dress when she wants to.
As for T.J., I have to thank my friend Tina for the suggestion of Taylor Kitsch. Fans of Friday Night Lights will recognize him from that show. I have to say that he would be an absolutely perfect and swoon-worthy T.J., and I don't know that I'd mind being stranded on an island with him. He has a wonderful boyish charm, and I can totally picture him with a ponytail, dark suntan, and a lot of scruffy stubble.
Laura: Tell me a little about what you're working on now.
Tracey: I've shifted genre slightly and I'm working on a novel that will probably be categorized as women's fiction although there are also strong romantic elements. It's called Covet and it's the story of Chris and Claire Canton, a couple whose marriage has unraveled after Chris loses his job during the height of the recession. When he finds another job after a year of unemployment, Chris thinks their problems have been solved. Unfortunately, he now has to travel extensively which leaves Claire more adrift than ever. Claire's chance meeting with Daniel Rush, a local police officer, sets in motion a series of events which will cause all three of the main characters to question their choices and deal with the aftermath of their decisions. It's an emotional read, and I think the issues this couple has to deal with will resonate with readers (or at least I hope so).
The novel I'll be working on after Covet will be a return to straight-up contemporary romance.
I think you'll agree with me how fabulous this lady is. Let me just say that I cannot wait until Covet is released! I will be the first one there to buy it. It sounds sooo good.
And now to the giveaway! Ms. Garvis-Graves is giving one lucky winner a copy of On The Island with a few other surprise items that go along with it. I'm thrilled she's doing this and am so excited for whoever wins!
To enter, do any or all of the following:
*Like Tracey's Facebook page
*Like Novel Magic Facebook page
*Follow Tracey's blog
*Follow Novel Magic blog
*Follow Tracey on Twitter
*Follow Novel Magic on Twitter
*Shout out this giveaway on Facebook and attach link in your comment
*Shout out this giveaway on Twitter and attach link in your comment
There are plenty of ways to enter this contest. Please leave me a comment under this post and let me know each way you entered this contest. I will put the number of entries into random.org and that will choose the winner. Contest closes on Sunday February 26 at 10:00 PM Mountain Time. Good luck!