Today's interview is with Tracy James Jones, author of Secrets and Lies.
About the Author: Tracy James Jones
Jennifer Walker: Where can we find out more about you and buy your book?
Tracy James Jones: I can be found on Amazon and the links below;
Jennifer Walker: Tell us about your book.
Tracy James Jones: My new book:
Secrets & Lies
(Provocative multi-cultural modern-romance)
“Sometimes a need for keeping secrets… Can be just as intriguing as a reason for telling lies…”
Secrets & Lies is a 60,000-word in-depth emotional journey into the private lives of four central characters that unfolds as a provocative, multi-cultural, modern-romance with a twist…
Secrets, as they are, rarely devastate the national population as a whole. They are more often limited to the individual going on about their lives. That is what this story is about, a group of not-so-ordinary people, all from very different backgrounds, whose secrets and lies leaves a trail of honest deception waiting to upset the rituals of their daily existence.
* * *
Kennedy Jordan is a handsome young man with a secret past and a challenging future that keeps him in the balance between having what he wants versus what others expect of him.
Camilla Vargas is a beautiful ambitious young woman with big dreams of success that she has planned to obtain by any means possible, and vows to not let anything keep her from it.
Ulanda Jefferson is a hip outspoken fashionista with a fiery attitude. Armored with sharp-wit and an uncensored tongue, she is more than just a force to be reckoned with.
Bren Searcy is a grown-up lost in transition, (literally from male to female). There is almost nothing she wouldn’t bear to hang onto the happiness she has finally found.
* * *
In the end, for everyone involved, even the elements of true confessions gets lost in translation as the explicit details of who they are brings the group together in a surprising, yet necessary finale that could change the course of all their lives forever…
Jennifer Walker: Where did you get the idea for the story?
Tracy James Jones: The idea for this book turned out to be something I believe I have been wanting to write my whole life. Growing up shy and in a very strict, over-protective environment sort of stumped my view or vision of what life and people were really about. I had to learn a lot about life in the real world on my own, and in the process, I had to figure who I was and where I fit into it. Not exactly a pretty picture, but the experiences I had along the way introduced me to a lot of different people and things. What I learned through my interactions with others sort of fed my creativity. The idea, simply put, came from living and the characters I have encountered throughout my life.
Jennifer Walker: What is your greatest writing challenge?
Tracy James Jones: My greatest challenge is trying not to hold my characters back. I keep trying to groom them in a respectable way when I know an uncensored, outspoken character should reflect exactly that. When I first started writing, an agent friend pointed that out to me and insisted that I learn to release my personal views from my characters and just to let them be, whether I like the character or not. That was hard to do because of how I was raised.
Jennifer Walker: What do you find most rewarding in writing a book?
Tracy James Jones: In some ways, my writing allows me the adventure of living outside the box. Basically, I live a little vicariously through my characters because they are free to do and be whomever they are and I get to join them. I find their adventures and experiences touch on all sorts of emotions, which is something I love.
Jennifer Walker: Tell us about your previous work.
Tracy James Jones: My first book, a biography, was about a local guy from my hometown. I was in college when I received the offer to pen his life story.
No Tears For A Hero -The Stephen Mitchell Story - 1995
No Tears For A Hero: The Stephen Mitchell Story is an extraordinary saga of triumph of the human spirit. When Steve is hit by a car while riding a bicycle one day, the Mitchell’s world is shattered. After a long hospital stay, much of which Steve spends in a coma and paralyzed down one side of his body, he returns home to face the long road to recovery….
In 2008, Mitchell’s story was produced as a documentary film by an acclaimed Dallas Director & Brokedown Films, entitled, “Champ: The Steve Mitchell Story,” which won the official selection seal for the Dallas Video Film Festival that same year.
My second book is titled Searching For Eden. Fiction 2003
Searching For Eden – The Story of Stacy Christian
In the middle of the night, seventeen-year-old Stacy Christian ran away from home or he would have been dead by the light of day. He had no idea that his nightmares were only just about to begin… In the end, it is for the lives of others and his own future that his journey to adulthood really begins… (Sort of a YA male adventure turned loose in a grown-up world.)
I am presently reconstructing both books for re-release as ebooks.
Jennifer Walker: What other projects do you have coming up?
Tracy James Jones: After Secrets & Lies I am prepared to release another book titled Torn.
Torn: Sixty days of Calaboose
“It is said that a mind is a terrible thing to waste… For some, it is also a very terrifying thing to lose…”
This title will not likely fit in with the general reading public because of the subject matter. Though there is no graphic sex or extreme violence, it deals heavily with all elements of a single character’s downward spiral into madness and other experiences behind the walls of a local county jail. In a way it can be somewhat compared to HBO’s once popular prison series “Oz.”
Tracy James Jones: Presently, I am just getting into writing groups and thus far, I have learned a lot about the self-promoting/marketing business. My groups offer a lot of interesting thoughts and advice on what to and what not to do. When I am writing, I rely strongly on my test readers, and I have one person for each level of my writing process. 1st draft, second, third and/or final proof. Each person is very important to the outcome of my book because when I am writing my focus remains totally on telling the story. My test readers help work out the flaws and they keep me on my toes.
Jennifer Walker: What is your writing process like--do you outline first or just start writing, etc.?
Tracy James Jones: Usually, before I begin a book, I decide what the story is fully about in an outline. That helps me to map out the important elements of the story. Then I write out my characters. I start with who they are, how they look, personality traits and what makes them tick. Once that is done everything else plays out in my head like a movie. Even the secondary characters just fall into place once the story begins.
Jennifer Walker: When and why did you decide to become a writer?
Tracy James Jones: The when would be in high school. I had a fantastic journalism teacher who had a way of pulling you into a project with every fiber or your being. No matter what the subject, she taught us to push the envelope with our words until we could covey passion and emotion in anything we wrote. After that, I always looked for books that brought back those same intense emotions.
As for why, besides that teacher, it was my own passion for the intensities of the human condition. For that reason, I have always been observant of people. I’ve always had a fascination regarding how they reacted in all sorts of situations. I just love human emotion. It’s like if someone smiled, I always feel compelled to smile back, or if someone were sad, I feel sad with them. The compassion I have for others is often reflected in my work because it breathes real life into my characters. It also speaks to the kind of person I believe I am.
Thanks to Tracy for stopping by!