Tracy H. Tucker: I went through a very difficult, very unexpected divorce ten years ago. I found it cathartic to create a character who went through a similar experience. As the author of the book, I was able to control what happened, and this was comforting since my world had been so drastically shaken. I thought I'd add some humor with the hypochondria and make each chapter of the book have a double meaning...what the character was experiencing health-wise, but also what she was going through emotionally. For example, in "Heart Failure," Christine worries about having a cardiac condition but is also devastated by the realization her marriage has ended. I wanted the book to be a blend of heartache, angst, humor and personal growth, because I experienced all of those in my divorce, and I figured it could comfort other women enduring the break up of a long-term relationship. I've heard from several who said the book really resonated with them, and it makes me feel very good to have helped in some small way.
CTW: What sort of planning or research did you have to do?
THT: I used WebMD a lot :).
CTW: What was the biggest challenge you faced writing this book?
THT: Time. It was very challenging to find the time to write it. It took me about two years to finish it, which is much longer than I'd anticipated. In the early stages of the book, I was a single mother to three busy girls who were involved in sports and other activities all year. That, along with my full-time teaching job and taking care of several pets, made it tough to carve out time to work on my book.
CTW: How did you overcome it?
THT: I wrote whenever I could, sometimes in only fifteen-minute increments, at different times of day. I kept thinking of the end result, and how excited I would be to get a novel published!
CTW: How do you keep yourself motivated to write?
THT: It's part of me...something I need to do to stay "me." I keep in mind the positive reviews I've gotten for this book, as well as witnessing others' successes and hearing about their current projects. Reading also motivates me to write. I love to get into a book, but I also read like a writer, paying close attention to what authors are doing. And chocolate helps :).
THT: Ralph Fletcher, author of What A Writer Needs, wrote that "the writing becomes beautiful when it becomes specific." I always keep that in mind and emphasize that with my students.
CTW: What advice would you offer aspiring authors?
THT: Don't give up! Believe in yourself. Write what you want to write. The genre isn't as important as the story...don't try to write what you think the public would want. If there's a good story there, people will want to read it. And read. Stephen King said (I am paraphrasing here), if you don't have the time to read, then you won't have the tools to write. Great advice from someone who's seen a bit of success :).
CTW: What was your favorite latest read?
THT: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay. Outstanding character development, great voice, intriguing storyline and a very satisfying ending.
CTW: What's up next for you and your writing career?
THT: I'm about 30,000 words into my next book. It has some humor like I Kill Me, but it has more sex and more drama, with a major twist planned for the end. The main character is a 36-year-old veterinarian who was widowed two years ago and is raising her teen daughter. She's rather addicted to sex but prefers to keep emotions out of it... until a new man enters her life. Oh, and she keeps seeing the image of her dead husband as she orgasms. I'm hoping for an early spring release.
CTW: Is there anything else you would like to share?
THT: I am so grateful to people who have taken the time to read and review my book, and I've loved hearing from people who have contacted me to say how much they enjoyed it. I can't tell you what it means to me as an author to have my work validated and how much I appreciate readers spreading the word. I'd love to hear from people via my Facebook page!
I also want to say thank you, thank you to bloggers like Laura for giving so much of their time to promote books and indie authors. We owe you so much!
Check out Tracy's other stops on her Chick Lit Plus blog tour here.
Tracy will donate 25 percent of her US royalties to the National Cervical Cancer Coalition during the month of January.
About the Author
Tracy H. Tucker is first and foremost the mother of three of the best people on Earth. She has a Master's in Literacy from the University of Maine and has inspired the youth of America for seventeen years. She's an avid animal lover and would like to publicly thank her husband for putting up with the pet hair, the dogs in the bed, the things the cats hack up and the repeated requests for goats. It's a wonderful life.
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