I’m proud to celebrate this wonderful Wednesday with an interview with the fabulous writer Tracie Podger, author of FALLEN ANGEL PART 1 & 2 and EVELYN, unique erotic romances that you’ll no doubt adore. Without further ado, let’s meet Tracie!
Thanks for snuggling up on my couch with me Tracie. Tell us a little about yourself…
I’m a Padi Scuba Diving instructor with my own dive school based in Kent, although right now the teaching is taking a bit of a back seat for a while. I have been fortunate to have travelled to some far flung places and indulge in my hobby of underwater photography. I like to get up close and personal with sharks. I’m married to David and we are owned by a rather obnoxious cat, who, among other things, goes by the name of George!
Wow, a born adventurer! When you’re not travelling the world you’re passionate about writing. When did you realise this was a passion and how did you pursue it?
I suffer with depression and a few years back I spent a little while in a hospital. As part of my treatment I was encouraged to write a journal. This journal was really just a notepad with jumbled thoughts. However, on reading back through this notepad one day I noticed something, an event that I had detailed. A spark of an idea formed and I wondered if I could make a story around this event. Once home, I sat at my laptop and wrote and wrote and wrote. I got lost in my characters, in the fantasy and forgot my troubles, it was therapeutic. The first book I ever wrote, A Virtual Affair was really just for me and I have only revisited this book in the past few months. I intend to release it 2015. A side effect of my depression is that I have very erratic sleep patterns and an over active imagination! I have a pad beside the bed and when I wake, I write down whatever I either dreamt about or what is whirling around my head. For a few nights, and this was while writing A Virtual Affair, I dreamt of a man and, maybe I’m still a little mad, but it felt like he was telling me his story. As soon as I finished A Virtual Affair I started the Fallen Angel series. Although I changed the point of view from the man in my dreams to a woman, Brooke Stiles. It took about eight or nine months to complete A Virtual Affair, Fallen Angel and Robert’s Story. I wrote every day, 8 hours a day.
It was decided that Fallen Angel was too large a book for a debut author so I then spent some time, during the editing process, to split it into two, hence Part I and II. However, I felt there were some loose ends so started Part III. I guess like any author, you then start to have a ‘relationship’ with your characters and Evelyn intrigued me. I wanted to investigate the reason she never married and decided she had an interesting story, the novella, Evelyn, came from that.
That’s a powerful story – and wonderful that you could channel your depression into such a creative outlet. That’s inspirational to many, I’m sure. And 8 hours a day! That’s a fantastic commitment! Do you have a process/routine when it comes to writing or is it more of a ‘when inspiration strikes’ thing? Do you treat it like a hobby or like a full time job?
I don’t have a routine as such. I see my books in my head, like a movie and I write what I see, initially. Because I have supporting characters in Fallen Angel, I did write a family tree, to be able to keep track of everyone and a timeline of events. I also have one notebook that I keep for writing my research. For me, it’s a full time job.
Tell us about your book series FALLEN ANGEL…
Fallen Angel centres around two principal characters, Brooke Stiles and Robert Stone. It’s while on a holiday in Washington, DC, to catch up with a friend, that Brooke meets the elusive Robert. He’s dark eyed with a dangerous past that Brooke is unaware of, a past she has only ever encountered in a movie. There is an instant connection, a sense of familiarity that draws them together. She needs to explore why she feels she knows this man. A relationship develops, an intense relationship and Brooke has to decide whether to return home or stay. However, Robert’s past rears it’s ugly head and Brooke is caught in the crossfire.
These books aren’t about your average, wealthy, CEO and his compliant girlfriend. Firstly, both characters are older, Brooke is 30 and Robert 37 when they meet. She is a strong woman, a woman willing to fight for her man to become the person he wants to be. And he is willing to kill for her. Brooke is thrown into a world so alien to the quiet suburban life she had back in the UK, a world of wealth and power and crime.
Some have questioned whether this is a paranormal and I guess the title can confuse. A Fallen Angel is one cast out by God because they chose to sin and Robert had spent a large portion of his life a sinner. He was abused for many years by a mad, religious aunt who believed he was the devil so on the day he made his first million, he had a tattoo of a Fallen Angel inked on his back – the devil was nothing more than a Fallen Angel.
Very intriguing indeed, and an excellent subversion of what people expect. Pushing for characters outside some of the usual types for romantic fiction is always a wonderful way to go.
Of all of your work, which is your favourite? Which one defines your talents best as a writer?
That’s a hard question! A Virtual Affair is based on a personal event so that one is very emotional. Fallen Angel is the product of a dream, a fantasy life with a gorgeous man! I couldn’t pick a favourite, I love them all for very different reasons. As for which one defines my talent as a writer, I guess that will be the very last book I ever write. I’m still learning, all I hope is that as I write the next book and the one after, I improve. I never want to stop making each book better than the last. There are mistakes in Fallen Angel, Part I, a couple of schoolboy errors and one day I will go back and correct them. For now, I look at that book and I look at Part III and see a difference in style, in pace and, I hope, a maturity in my writing.
Great answer – as writer’s we’re forever evolving. What does the whole process/world of writing mean to you personally?
I can be very dramatic here and say it healed me, which is partly true but I get to do something I love. I get to create a world, people, events that fascinate me, that take me and, I hope, my readers out of their everyday lives for a short while. I’ve had some wonderful feedback and some great reviews. I am regularly contacted by readers who want to chat – who wouldn’t love that? I took a dream, and I don’t necessarily mean the one about Robert, and made it real. To see a comment from someone, telling me that they loved that book they read, well, it means the world.
Can you give us some information about your newest novella EVELYN?
Evelyn is a pivotal character in books I and II of the Fallen Angel Series. In those books, readers learn a little of her background, how she met principal characters Robert Stone and his best friend Travis, and how she became such an integral part of their lives. But that is far from all there is to know about this wonderful character. She has her own story to tell, and it’s a powerful one.
In the Fallen Angel series, every character has secrets – sometimes bittersweet, sometimes utterly devastating, even tragic; and as their secrets unfold, the story deepens with a passionate intensity, weaving the characters’ lives together with bonds that cannot be broken. In every character’s life, choices must be made, and very often the past not only determines the choice, but produces its outcome, especially given the complexities of “family culture” explored in the Fallen Angel series.
In this novella, Evelyn tells her story, ultimately connecting it to the sequence of events as they unfold in Fallen Angel I and Fallen Angel II.
This novella is contemporary romance for readers over the age 18. Although part of the 5* & Amazon best selling Fallen Angel Series, it can be read as a standalone.
Evelyn was sixteen years old when she fell in love. She fell in love with a murderer.
Rocco has been sent from Italy to live with the Morietti family in Washington, DC, for his safety, for his protection. He hadn’t banked on meeting the beautiful, but young, Evelyn, the daughter of the man who has given him refuge. He hadn’t banked on falling in love.
How hard is it to love the daughter of the man who holds your fate in his hands? And once you fall, how hard is it to keep your love a secret? Which is the greater threat to them both, to keep their secret, or to admit and fight for each other?
Evelyn and Rocco are forced to accept a life of secret meetings, lies, love and loss. Few relationships can survive it, and not every romance has a happy ending. But if there is a chance……. is it not worth a try?
This is the story of young love, of dreams and hopes for a future not possible. This is the story of Evelyn.
I love how you expand on the lives of all of these characters – exploring different periods in their lives in new projects. Do you have any advice for burgeoning writers looking to explore their creative side?
Just write! If you have a story in your head, take some time to sit down and let it out. Don’t worry what it looks or reads like, at first. There are loads of courses that will take your money and teach you how to structure but nothing can teach you to write a good story, only your instinct and practice. When you type ‘The End’ the hard work starts with editing. Beta readers are a must and not just your friends or family, someone who will give you an unbiased opinion on what you have written. You will fall in love, cry, scream, laugh, smile, be on top of the world one minute and in the depths of despair the next but at the end, when you hold that paperback in your hand, you will feel amazing.
Brilliant advice! What’s next for you as a writer?
September will see the release of Robert’s Story and then at the end of the year, Fallen Angel, Part III. For 2015 I have a new series with a working title, Passion. Four guys own a bar in California. Four books, each one about the life of each individual. However, I’m not ready to let go of Robert Stone just yet, so who knows, there might be a Part IV somewhere along the line. And then of course, there will be A Virtual Affair.
Excellent, it’s great to know there’s going to be so much more wonderful work from you. Thank you so much for joining me today Tracie.
Find Tracie at her official site, on Twitter and Facebook. All her work is available at Amazon UK and US.