Diva Love: Welcome Back, Tracee Lydia Garner!

Creative Expressions Literary Services is pleased to announce Virtual Book Tour for Fatal Opposition by Tracee Lydia Garner. The tour will run November 27-December 8, 2017.
Author Name: Tracee Lydia Garner
Book Title: Fatal Opposition
Book Release Date: November 27, 2017
Genre: Multicultural, Inspirational, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense

Today, I am pleased to welcome back, Tracee Lydia Garner! Please enjoy this delightful interview.
Have you always wanted to be an author?  

I had no idea stories were in me at all. The start of my journey starts with depression, flunking out of school, specifically community college math for liberal arts and an awful English teacher I did not like at all. In my college days, I just wasn't convinced I was going to make it and I remember one late night surfing on the computer, feeling down and I asked God for "something else". I wasn’t very specific, but I was crying and just calling out to him to help me improve my grades or give me a good job without a degree. He delivered as He always does. I saw a contest hosted by a large publishing house and my dramatic crying and tears actually dried up as I tried to read the details about entering it. I would enter and later win the grand prize and that launched my writing career and changed my life. Everything in life improved, my grades, my outlook and I had a true passion and calling, and I wrote that story (Family Affairs) faster than I wrote anything so I could meet the deadline and submit it. It was an awesome time. Before that, writing NEVER really occurred to me as something I would do. I had wonderful High School English teachers that said I wrote good essays but publication and multiple stories, no idea.

Who are some of your favorite writers? Who do you feel has influenced your writing?  

I think the biggest influences on my writing are my parents, in a very (later discovered) kind of way. My Mom left Georgia recruited by the government when she was 17, and moved to Virginia. My dad left college and came up here to be with her and while I didn't realize the love story I had right here, I now am in awe of the love they shared. My father died in 2011 but they had forty long years together and were high school sweethearts. As a child, you see your parents show affection and all you think is “Ewe, gross. Don't embarrass me.” But till this day, my BFF still gushes and reminds me about my parents kissing and showing affection in front of us and mentions how this impacted her because she didn’t have it in her own home life. I recall how I used to feel about those PDA's prior to growing up. With actual writing and reading, Debbie Macomber was the first to really turn me on to romance. I LOVED her stories and later of course, popular authors like Sandra Brown, Barbara Delinsky and Brenda Jackson. Currently some of my favorites include Irene Hannon, Julie Lessman and Donna Hill but I read MANY new authors all the time some I've never heard about or read before.

Can you tell us what a typical writing day for you is like? 

I actually work in health and human service full time - so my writing life really only happens on the evenings and weekends. Writing my stories is almost a part of my mental health regimen and escape. As a Peer Counselor in my day job, the tragedies and atrocities people I see face are so real and even hurtful. I need escape. But I do try to get some writing in on my lunch break and sneak in a little time here and there. I do just about everything myself including arranging my own interviews and doing my own PR. I thank goodness for e-mail because it lets me get a lot done including when it's time to upload my book and get all the production stuff done. I try to write as much as I can because time is so short, and I have my own self-imposed deadlines that I try to meet, and I try to arrange an event, signing, book event, or attend/teach at a writing conference workshop about 3 Saturdays out of the month so I have at least one Saturday to rest/write/plan and sleep in. But I go to a lot of conferences. I also teach at the community college 3 times a year - each time is an 8- week Write the Novel class and 3 times a year, on one Saturday, from 9 - 1:00 I do a Self-Publishing Boot Camp, also at the community college. My writing has launched my platform for speaking and teaching and I wouldn't have those other outlets or streams of income if not for the books.

What is the best piece of advice you would give to a budding writer?

The best piece of advice is twofold - If you write a book -really take time to sit down and plan (and I'm not talking about planning or plotting the book (because I'm a “Pantser”), but I'm talking about planning your writer life). Those that write one book never think that they have books 2 nor 5 more books in them. Believe me when I say you will have another book in you. So with that said, you should WAIT until 2 and 3 are done before you release number one.

This is advice I wish I would have gotten and the advice to gain clarity, let go of things and to write faster, AND to wait to release - I couldn't wait with the contest, obviously but I could have really focused and done more to keep the books coming. You'll fizzle out, life will happen, family will throw a monkey wrench, but sitting down and planning things out will first give you peace of mind and free your brain of clutter but also help you gain clarity sooner. I didn’t plan anything when I started, and I didn’t seek any real counsel. Now I’m a planning fool. My plans have plans. So, at the end of each year, I either revamp my plan, tweak it and I note what did and did not work or what excites me so I can keep doing something or cut something out and it simply makes me feel so good and at peace. Stopping for a minute and just breathing to really think out what it all means is key. I will also say that I give myself a pass. I’ve been in publishing a VERY LONG time and I won the contest at 23 and the book came out when I was 24. I’m now 40 so I realize that some of the planning I’ve learned has come with age.

As a writing teacher you meet many writers. What advice could you give aspiring writers on how to select an instructor or class?

Look for teachers that have some publishing credits. I think that it is difficult, because there are many GOOD instructors teaching that aren’t published. I think that they can still tell you how to do it, provide valuable instruction, but I believe they can be that much more helpful and forthcoming if they have had their work published a time or two.

It’s not just about story formatting and having great characters, it’s about the publishing game and how have you fared in it and that is so valuable to students, it goes beyond teaching skill and gets to the meat of how have you faired in the world of publishing. As a budding writer, I found people who went through the entire journey, that were much more helpful than someone who just told me about the story structure and format. I would and wanted to know, about the entire experience.

What are some of the reasons why talented writers don’t succeed in publishing?

I think that there is saturation.

I hate to say that because that’s like saying if it’s so saturated why don’t you stop writing and of course I won’t. But it’s hard to see one small fish when the area is full of fish. This is going to probably cause some controversy and maybe I can say this because I write slow, but I would be willing to have a limit on books.
Isn’t that kind of sad? Let’s say at book 30 every writer has to take a five-year hiatus. Almost like seats in a public office. But this would give editors time to discover new talent, and you better believe I’d be (and any other writer) writing my butt off in that five-year “vacation”. But that will never happen, that’s too restricting and I digress.

So, saturation in the markets, they sometimes may lack development of the skill and notice the difference between skill and talent. I believe that EVERYONE has talent and that it really can be cultivated. I really and truly prayed for my writing when I thought I would flunk out of college and God supplied. Yes, I loved writing articles, commentaries, loved talking but that didn’t mean it could translate into good writing and story-telling. If you really want something, talent or not, you can LEARN to do it and master it. Just go ask Tiger Woods.

What techniques do you use when you hit a rough patch in your writing?

When I hit a rough patch, I believe that the issues are about fear of failure or success and
they are more about personal issues rather than the story itself. I once feared characters

would not do well when I was taking a new direction with my writing and so I wrote a
letter from the characters point of view to myself and they kind of allayed my fears or
just confirmed them. Confirming them isn’t terrible, but it lets you know that these are
the issues and you have to try to move on. Put all those cards on the table, both good and
bad when you hit a rough patch.

I also hate rewriting, but I have done it before. Sometimes you’ve got to open a new,

blank document and just start over again. I’m always surprised about how similar what I
wrote, reflects in the new stuff but it’s still a rewrite even if there are similarities. You
can’t write the exact same thing and that’s a plus, but you can write, new, fresher stuff.

About the Author

Tracee Lydia Garner is a bestselling, award-winning author who writes stories full of complex heros and heroines, relationships and families that experience tough but realistic life challenges in their quest for love. Born and raised in a suburb of the DC metro area, Tracee works in health and human service by day, has a degree in Communication and is a speaker and advocate for people with disabilities. Find Tracee on the web at www.Teegarner.com, or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

About The Book


More than anything, she wants to be a part of something that feels right....

Cashell Bruer has lived a sheltered life. When she meets handsome NFL rookie James Parker on her birthday, she's smitten. With him, she can truly begin to live. But will he want her when he discovers she has a heart condition? Not to mention her new job involves polishing his bad boy image!

He longs to make his adoptive family and his team proud, while making peace with his past…
James Parker has it all, a family who chose him, and a coveted spot on an NFL team. When lovely, spirited Cashell keeps turning up in his life, he wonders if she's the one to share it all. But what if her only interest in him is status? And even worse, what if his search for his real family ends up putting her in danger?

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Thanks for stopping by!


Michelle Lynn Stephens is an Indie Poet and #1 Bestselling Author with Brown Girls Books. She has a heart for helping others and assisting them in sharing their vision with the world. Visit anytime at http://www.michellelynnstephens.com.

1 comment:

  1. Michelle thank you for hosting the Fatal Opposition Tour and your continued support of Tracee. Wishing you continued success.