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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Author Interview - Traci Tyne Hilton

Anne: It's my great pleasure today to interview a lady with a bunch of popular mysteries to her credit, Traci Tyne Hilton. Yesterday I reviewed one of her recent ones, Good Clean Murder, and today it's our pleasure to learn a little more about the lady. (See review HERE.) I got a kick out of her response to my request for a casual picture of her--she said she didn't have any that were decent or recent, which leds me to imagine maybe she hasn't had a picture taken since she was a sweet little toddler. That would have been a great Throwback Thursday picture, don't you think? However--this one she imposed on her daughter to take. Not bad, huh?

So Traci--what inspired Good, Clean Murder?

Traci: Reviews on my Mitzy series! Mitzy is an over the top, silly, cartoon character of a person, on purpose. She's fun and fun to write about, but so many readers wanted a character who was easier to relate to, and had some real hardships to face. Jane is that girl.

She's young, a bit naïve, very optimistic, and hopeful. She's got her head on her shoulders, but needs some serious life experiences to take her dreams to reality.

Her goals and experiences are based a bit on mine. For a very short while I was a terribly bad housekeeper working with my mom who was running a house keeping business. Right after that, I went to Bible school. They say write what you know...and it definitely saves on research time!

Anne: I loved this story, and it seemed to flow so smoothly--but I'm sure there were places difficult to write. What was the hardest?

Traci: The beginning is always the hardest for me, and this was my first death investigation scene so I wanted to get it right!

Anne: Do you plan out your stories in advance or write them by the seat of your pants?

Traci: I plan, then write, then revise the plan to match what I wrote, and on and on. I can't go without an outline, but the book usually takes on a life of her own.

Anne: I got a kick out of Jane's rebellious, I'll-do-it-myself attitude. Sooo--is this a piece of your own personality?

Traci: Definitely! Just ask my mom. :) Jane is braver than I am, though, and an all around better person, too.

Anne: What do you do when your editor wants to chop out a piece of the story? Do you save it in a separate file, or do you just delete it?

Traci: Anymore I just delete it, but early on I saved things in case they would come in handy for other books or as backstory. My file folders are too full for that nowadays.

Anne: If you were giving only one piece of advice to a new Christian writer, what would it be?

Traci: Join the ACFW! That's the easy way of saying meet other writers, take classes, write lots, and treat yourself like a real live professional author from the very get-go.

Anne: I have to agree with that one. American Christian Fiction Writers is The Premier Christian writers' tool! So--what is your next book about?

Traci: Ooh, Jane has her hands full this time! I'm working on Spoiled Rotten Murder: A Plain Jane Mystery right now. A wedding singer is found on the water front with a cake knife in his neck. Jane's one shot to help solve the murder is to work for the bride-zilla she thinks might have done the deed. I hope to have it ready by May 1st.

Thanks again for letting me chat with you!

Anne: It was for sure my pleasure, Traci. I hope we'll see you back here again one day!
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