Hello, Tracey. It’s nice to talk with you again. Some of your readers may remember that you interviewed me in June of 2009 for a Romance University blog titled “A Male’s Perspective on Romance Novels.” I was invited back a few times over the next six months or so and had a good time sharing my thoughts with your readers and the RU staff.
I’m stunned that nearly 3 years have passed since that interview and the subsequent blogs. Not so much time, however, to forget being bruised and staggered by the tough questions you and your RU cohorts, Adrienne and Kelsey, asked me. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to turn the table and interview you. I should warn you that I intend to ask questions that uncover the guarded and aloof Tracey Devlyn.
Before I begin, however, congratulations! Since we last spoke, you published a book, A Lady’s Revenge, which became available April 3rd. And news just as exciting for you—book two, Checkmate, My Lord, is in the hands of your editor. As you can see, I did a little homework in preparation of this interview. Yes, my homework included reading A Lady’s Revenge, which brought the total of romance books that I’ve read to four. In case you’re wondering, I liked it in a manly way. Seriously, I enjoyed reading your story and look forward to book two. Will Dinks make an appearance in Checkmate, My Lord?
Hey, Jack! So nice to have you back with us. Be gentle—I know where you live now and I have a contingent of spies/assassins at my disposal.
Yep, Cora’s maid, Dinks, shows up in the second book. Wreaking as much havoc as ever. Not sure if readers know this about her yet or not, but Dinks has a bit of a matchmaker in her.
While I was gathering the most recent information about you, I was astounded at the amount of time you dedicate, not only to your writing, but also to self-promotion activities. How much time do you dedicate to your writing career?
Wow, that’s a tough question to answer, because it varies from day-to-day. Like many writers, I have a full-time job, so I lose about 50 hours a week of writing time. If I were to add up the time I spend in the morning, at lunch, and after dinner writing and working on the business side, I’d guesstimate about twenty hours during the workweek and then another twenty on the weekend.
Have you received any advice along the way, related to writing, publishing, or marketing that has helped you more than any other guidance?
I’ve received a ton of advice over the last six years, much of which I’ve applied in some way. The best advice I can pass on to aspiring authors is—if writing is in your heart, never give up. The journey will be hard, the sacrifices many. But, the very second you see your first cover, all the tough times fade into the background and you’ll immediately begin dreaming about the next one. Never. Give. Up.
In living life, you often hear the saying that it’s not the end result that’s the most important but the journey itself. What has been the most memorable moment of your journey thus far Tracey?
I’ve had so many memorable moments in the last couple years. The handful that standout is partnering with Kelsey and Adrienne to create Romance University, getting The Calls (editor and agent), seeing my debut’s cover, holding A Lady’s Revenge in my hands, seeing ALR in Barnes & Noble, attending my first book signing and reading, and seeing tears in my proud husband’s eyes. Every single moment is seared into my heart.
During my research, I learned that as you were writing A Lady’s Revenge you envisioned your hero, Guy Trevelyan, as Adrian Paul from the TV series The Highlander. What’s up with that? Are you married to an Adrian Paul look-alike? Are you in love with the Highlander?
Jack, did my husband put you up to this? I swear he’s jealous of a fictional character, which makes no sense because he’s my one and only hero. He might not have the Highlander’s long locks or six-foot-something frame, but he has Duncan MacLeod’s noble heart and steadfast nature. I would never have made it through the last six years with my sanity intact without my husband’s love and support. He’s the Highlander of my dreams.
Have you envisioned the image or personality of anyone you know personally, Tracey, like friends and family members while building the characters for your stories?
You have shared that you are married and we now know your husband is not Adrian Paul. How does your husband feel about you creating a world of romance, sex and handsome heroes? Does he have moments of insecurity? If so, how do you respond to those moments?
I pretty much tell him to buck up. LOL My husband’s probably a better person to answer these questions. Tim, are you there?
My research also uncovered a comment of yours that I found interesting. You mentioned that the concept of A Lady’s Revenge came from a visualization you had of a woman shackled to a table in a dreary dungeon. I have to ask—did this visualization cross from fiction to personal fantasy? Perhaps, it came from an interest in being restrained in a dark dungeon by the Highlander?
Jack, don’t make me hurt you. I learned a few tactics from my heroine spy, Cora deBeau, that would not go good for you.
If you could be anything or anyone you desired, other than a famous writer, what or who would it be?
Famous writer? LOL Well, at one point, I really wanted to follow in the footsteps of Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey. Living in Africa and studying either Chimpanzees or Mountain Gorillas always seemed like a great adventure and wonderful cause. Too bad I couldn’t pass my Chemistry class.
I came across a blog you did for Elise Rome. You said, “Romance nourished my soul for many years before I ever set pencil to paper. I’ve always loved the anticipation of a first kiss…” Tell us about your best first kiss?
I’m pretty proud of this one…
Guy’s temples pounded with a sudden burst of anger. Who was she to deny his help? By God, if it weren’t for him, she would be quite dead by now. The awful thought socked him in the gut. He’d be damned if he would allow her to take foolish chances with her life again.
He rose, allowing his serviette to fall heedlessly to the floor. With dispassion, he watched her eyes widen at his approach. Bracing one hand on the back of her chair and the other on the table, he bent forward until he could feel the heat from her skin and smell the fresh scent of her recent bath.
“If you were so good at taking care of yourself, I would not have had to traipse across the Channel to rescue you. Or shall I say the Raven? After all, it was the Raven I was sent to fetch.”
Her eyes widened even more. “Did Somerton tell you?”
“You’ve been at this too long, old girl, if you think Somerton capable of revealing your alias. Even to me.”
“I’m good at putting the pieces together, remember?” he asked.
All the joy he had felt upon entering her chamber had disintegrated into a pile of half-truths, missed opportunities, and bitter regrets. Tomorrow, during the long ride to his country estate, he would try to reach her again. This morning, he’d had enough.
He leaned closer until the soft curls above her ears grazed his cheek. He lowered his voice. “Depending on others will not weaken you, Cora.” He pulled back until their gazes met. “You’ll still be the strong and courageous person you’ve always been.” Before he thought better of it, he placed a tender kiss on her lips. He lingered there to make sure she understood the difference between this kiss and the pecks of greeting he used to give her. He wanted her to remember how a man’s touch could bring comfort rather than pain and humiliation.
When he straightened, he was relieved to see the dazed look in her eyes. So much better than the terror he witnessed yesterday. Progress.
Tracey again: Nice try, Jack.
Your full response to the Elise Rome blog was, “Romance nourished my soul for many years before I ever set pencil to paper. I’ve always loved the anticipation of a first kiss, the journey to forgiveness, the inevitable capture of a damaged heart, and the guarantee of a satisfying and happy ending. I want this for my readers. In a world where nothing is certain any longer, I want readers to know they always have a safe place between the pages of my books. Though the journey might be a tad bit grievous.” I believe your statement reveals a great deal about the aloof Tracey Devlyn. But, my final question is this, what question would you dread being asked in an interview?
What is the world’s population? It’s always right on the tip of my tongue, but under pressure I buckle. Sigh.
* * *
RU Readers, do you have any tough questions for Tracey? Don’t let Jack off the hook! Ask him about romance and any other guy-type question. Who know when he’ll be back?!!
Be sure to stop back on Friday for author Sherry Thomas’s discussion on beauty is in the details.
* * *
Tracey Devlyn writes historical romantic thrillers (translation: a slightly more grievous journey toward the heroine’s happy ending). An Illinois native, Tracey spends her evenings harassing her once-in-a-lifetime husband and her weekends torturing her characters. For more information on Tracey, including her Internet haunts, contest updates, and details on her upcoming novels, please visit her website at:
- 10 Turning Points to Publication
- Jack Russell Returns
- Getting to Know RU’s Faculty–Tracey Devlyn
- Weekly Lecture Schedule for April 23-27, 2012 – Jessica Scott, Sherry Thomas, Jack Russell & Tracey Devlyn!
- Release Party for A Lady’s Revenge & Mega Giveaway! by Tracey Devlyn