Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Format: ebook, paperback
Mitzy Neuhaus is the top selling Realtor in Portland, but even her office is dead in this economy. Foreclosed is the word no homeowner wants to hear and Mitzy is determined to save the incredible mansion on her street from that fate. But with the homeowner desperate to keep Mitzy away from his property and Alonzo, the dangerously hot rival investor trying to snatch it out from under her, Mitzy knows she has to work fast, or the economy won’t be the only thing dead…
1. When and why did you begin writing?
I have yet to meet a writer who doesn’t say “I’ve been writing since I was a child.” It’s almost a bad cliché at this point. And yet…it’s the honest answer, isn’t it? I rack my brain trying to think of the “starting point” and was it back when my mom sewed little books together for my brother and I to write in, or was it sometime before that? Hard to say.
2. How many books have you written?
I have four novels published, one written and “in queue” and several novels that “failed to thrive,” the poor dears.
3. Which is your favorite?
You can have favorites? I thought this was like kids, and we weren’t allowed to have favorites. I have to say…this changes everything…
If forced to choose, I’d have to say that Gone: The Tangle Saga, the first novel in the sci-fi world my brother and I created is my favorite. I think it is the most fully realized and the sharpest as far as technique is concerned. It also has my favorite romantic male lead, and my favorite crazy person.
Second favorite is the one that is in queue still. It would probably be my first favorite because it is my strongest cozy-mystery, and has the most of my real heart in it. But while I love it to death, I never love the book I just finished as much as one that hasn’t been pestering me recently. Books are hard work, and all of that hard work is still a little too recent for the newest one to be my favorite.
4. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I am so blessed, I have several really fabulous mentors. Can I name drop and tell you all of the people who have walked with me on this path?
Staci Stallings, the brilliant romance writer has walked with me through so many hiccups and has talked me off the edge, so to speak, more time than once. She is not only a best selling author, she is a kind, considerate friend.
Then there is the Snow-Flake Guy. I get to go to a critique group led by Randy Ingermanson. It’s like having the audio-version of Fiction Writing for Dummies with bonus features on publishing. That crit group, which has loads of talented writers, has been a great encouragement to me through the last year, and Randy’s insight into publishing and writing have really strengthened both my fiction and my business plans.
Do I have time to mention one more? I said I was blessed! Tracy Ruckman of Write Integrity Press is a delight. She is another one who takes the time to encourage me when I am down. (Boy! I sound like a moody writer, but what can you do, right?) Despite her hectic schedule as a publisher and writer, she seems to always have time to bless me with her insight and wisdom.
Then there are Matt Patterson (Think like a marketer!), Saxon Andrew (Write the Next Book!), Nick Russell, Bobbie Holmes…I swear, once you get started on the “Who is responsible for this Traci character?” the list could go on and on! One thing I never would have predicted about a career in writing is the number of talented people who walk side by side with you as you go.
5. Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I am scribbling ideas for some childrens’ books right now, but they are such infant ideas still that I should leave them alone for a while.
So that makes my “current work” the novel I most recently finished. The series working title is “The Plain Jane Murder Mysteries.” Jane is a college student/house cleaner who has the bad luck of running across murdered clients. While trying to help put the lives of her clients back together, she finds her own life falling apart. Is she meant to go overseas as a missionary? Is she meant to fall in love with that handsome professor? Nothing is as simple as it seems, and the killer is waiting in the shadows.
6. Who designed the covers?
Well, Plain Jane is in the running for a Books of Hope contract—I won’t know until January if she is a winner, so no one has designed her covers yet.
As luck would have it, my brother is a talented designer and created the covers for the Mitzy novels and Gone. His portfolio can be found at http://talesbeyondtomorrow.com/
And, by the by, today is his birthday! So happy birthday, Andrew, you are a fabulous designer and a great bro. May we have many more years of collaboration.
7. What is the most challenging part of being an indie author?
Quality control. As far as producing a quality finished book, you get what you pay for. It has taken time to find the right freelancers to work with.
The most rewarding?
Being a novelist is my childhood dream come true. Independent publishing made that happen.
8. As an indie author, what would you say to a potential reader who has never read anything from an indie author?
Expect the unexpected! Independent authors aren’t restrained by the reigns of traditional publishers. The independently published books I have had the pleasure to read have a spring of life in them, an independent streak, so to speak, that you don’t see in books that go through editor after editor at the publishing house. It’s like the voice of the author is stronger than it would have been otherwise.
Some readers don’t like being surprised…they pick up a book in a genre they love and they expect it to follow a certain set of rules. Indy books don’t always do that, but they have never disappointed me.
Thanks so much for yakking with me, Karen! It has been a real pleasure.
Traci Tyne Hilton is an award winning playwright from Portland, Oregon, the author of the Mitzy Neuhaus Mystery Series, and one of the authors in the The Tangle Saga series of science fiction novellas.
Traci earned a degree in History fromPortlandStateUniversityand still lives in the rainiest part of thePacific Northwestwith her husband the mandolin playing funeral director, their two daughters, and their dog, Dr. Watson.
More of Traci’s work can be found at http://www.tracihilton.com