Tracy Broemmer: The Interview
KB: Welcome to Kissing Bandits Blog! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
TB: The first thing you should know about me is I hate being asked to tell people a little bit about myself 😉 While I think I can be an okay person-sometimes funny but serious when I need to be, a loyal friend, courteous, though reserved-I hate hearing my own voice in my writing, especially when it’s something about myself.
I am happily married to my high school sweetheart; we celebrated our 23rd wedding anniversary in April. We have a 21-year-old daughter, who just finished her junior year in college, and our son, who will be 16 in June, is champing at the bit to drive his Mustang convertible without Mom or Dad in the passenger seat. (So not cool!)
I am an only child, but I have 54 cousins…53 on my mom’s side of the family and one on my dad’s side. I think a lot of people (kids) hate family reunions, but I honestly loved them. When I was a kid, I knew most of those cousins really well. Thanks to Facebook, I stay in touch with a lot of them now.
I love to read, and I love that my kids both love to read. Between the 3 of us, we have a good thousand books in our house. (My daughter and I started the process of scanning them all into a library app last summer…our phones died several times in the process.) I will read just about any genre, though I rarely touch nonfiction. It makes me feel like I’m back in school, and I’d rather just read for enjoyment. I read a lot of YA stuff, because I like it and because for the past…8? years, I’ve volunteered in a local grade school library, and I love talking books with the kids.
I have a BS in political science, with a minor in psychology, and I have a Masters in education. I worked in early childhood before deciding it was more important to me to be home with my own kids. Being at home has allowed me to focus on writing, which has been a passion of mine since I was a little girl.
To wrap up, I love chocolate, wine (it’s about time for another trip to Napa Valley), and music. I love dogs, especially my fur baby, and I (usually) love Mondays…
KB: Tell us a little bit about your most recent release.
TB: Say Everything, my latest release, is a story about monsters we see in our everyday lives:
One lesson we’re not taught when we’re little is how to pick out a monster in a crowd, not when that monster looks like the rest of us.
Gwyn Hansen is all grown up, but she sleeps with the lights on and she refuses to leave her house because she’s met the boogeyman. Gwyn’s ex-boyfriend, Walker, and her best friend, Sara, want to help her recover, to heal emotionally as well as physically. But Gwyn claims her experience has changed her, maybe not for the better.
Gwyn isn’t keeping secrets because she’s afraid to share them. Rather, she needs to keep her secrets as a matter of self-preservation. How can she ever be comfortable with her friend and lover again if they continue to see her as a victim?
If she can’t say everything, can Gwyn find the right words to start the healing process? Will Walker and Sara have the patience to wait for her, or will they each move on with their lives without her?
KB: Describe how you create characters.
TB: I don’t. I rarely sit and think about what kind of character I am going to create and write about. Most of the time, characters come to me-in my head-and start telling me a story. Maybe I have to think for a little bit about what color hair or eyes they have, but their heart and soul is already there when they come to me.
When people ask me what kind of books I write, I usually say women’s fiction, which is true. But I don’t always go into a long drawn out answer about how I write character-driven fiction. My books have big plots in them, but my characters come first and they tell me about the issues they are dealing with.
I am fascinated by relationships (mother and daughter, sisters, father and son, friends, etc), and I focus on relationships in my writing. And yes, I want my readers to love them, to root for them through the hard times and laugh with them through the good times. There’s nothing quite like having a reader come to me and talk to me about someone who exists in my head and in the pages of a book as if that someone is real.
Sometimes my characters look a little like popular TV or movie actors. Sometimes they’re a mix of people I know and TV or movie actors. They have a mix of personality traits and quirks and issues of people I know or even a little bit of myself or other fictional characters. I want to keep them real, because I want my readers to care about them like they are real.
KB: Describe how you came up with the plot of your novel.
TB: I am not the most active person in the world, but I do try to walk every day. I live in a very pretty area, and there’s a very nice sidewalk/walking view close by. I can walk straight up several blocks to the local community college, walk the campus, and stretch the walk even more if I want to meander through several neighborhoods on the way home.
There used to be an old, dilapidated-looking white house on the main street of that walk. I don’t think I’d ever seen a person or a car near that place since we’d moved in several years ago. Every day when I walked, I would look at that house and just feel that there was a story to be written about it.
I take my iPod with me when I walk, and I usually listen to playlists I make for my writing projects. I’ve had several playlists with horror movie soundtracks for different projects I’ve worked on, and one of those was pretty recent, so I was walking by that creepy house, listening to songs from scary movies, and thinking creepy thoughts.
It didn’t look like a haunted house to me, but a place where someone could be held as a prisoner and no one would ever have any idea anything sinister was going on there.
And then suddenly, the house was gone, and I had the plot for the book, Say Everything.
KB: Who or what has had the biggest influence on your writing?
TB: I’m going to go with the what of this question first…
I’m an only child, and I have a big, vivid imagination. I don’t know how old I was when I decided I wanted to be a writer, but it was before my grandma moved from Jackson Street, and she moved when I was seven. (Before that, I wanted to be an architect. I knew nothing about architecture, but Mike Brady on the Brady Bunch was an architect and I guess that made it sound exciting to me.) I day dream all the time, always have and always will. At least now I can say I’m plotting, so I don’t sound lazy!
I watch some TV and I like going to movies, but I’d rather read a good book. So I guess I would say reading and falling in love with fictional characters has had a huge influence on my writing.
Reading inspires me to write. Reading something that drains me emotionally makes me want to write something equally draining, heartbreaking for others to read. Some of my readers have compared my writing (not necessarily my book plots) to a few of my favorite authors, and now and then when I reread something I’ve written, I see particular authors’ influences in my style, too.
As far as who has had the biggest influence on my writing…
When I was in school, I wrote books by hand in spiral bound notebooks. I think people thought it was cute, but no one really gave it a second thought. Even when I started college, I was so programmed to think I couldn’t make a career of writing, that I chose a different field of study. So now I have a BS in political science and a minor in psychology, and I have an MSE. I spent a few years in the early childhood education field, and I am currently a stay at home mom (to a 21 year old college senior and an almost 16 year old! haha!) and I’ve now written 20 women’s fiction novels and haven’t seen the inside of a prekindergarten classroom in nearly 20 years.
My dad is a big reader, and I remember going to the library with him when I was a little girl. I got my love of reading from Dad, so I guess he was instrumental in my love of writing, too. Other than Dad and my favorite authors, I guess I’d have to say my readers have the biggest influence on my writing, which isn’t to say they can email me and suggest this plot or that plot or that they can text me and suggest something for character X. I just love hearing from my readers how important my characters become to them and how deeply affected they are by my characters’ lives. Knowing there are readers out there who love my characters as much as I do will always keep me writing.
Find Tracy Broemmer at:
Upcoming Releases (June2016)
See Kate, Lorelei Bluffs, book 7
Loved You More, Lorelei Bluffs, book 8
Sketching Litchfield Lake
Destiny’s Calling: Your Future is Waiting
Look For Tracy’s Other Titles:
Stand Alone Titles:
Come Home For Christmas
Two Story Home
Just Like Them (written as Therese Kinkaide)
Fairytale (written as Therese Kinkaide)
Luther’s Cross (written as Therese Kinkaide)
The Williams Legacy:
Truth Is, Book 1
Other People’s Ugly, Book 2
The Lorelei Bluffs Series:
Every Little Thing, Book 1
Two A.M., Book 2
Blind, Book 3
Leaving July, Book 4
Hesitation Marks, Book 5
Four Letter Words, Book 6