Today's author interview is with Tracy Madison author of the novel, A Taste of Magic which is released this March. Tracy lives in Northwestern Ohio with her husband, four children, a bear-sized dog, a snobby cat, and a loud-mouthed bird. Her house is often hectic, noisy, and filled to the brim with laugh-out-loud moments. Many of these incidents fire up her imagination to create the interesting, realistic, and intrinsically funny characters that live in her stories...
1. To begin with, can you tell us a bit about your new book, A Taste of Magic?
A Taste of Magic is the fun story of what happens when one woman receives the family's gypsy magic on her birthday. Here's the back cover copy:
Elizabeth Stevens is one bite away from happiness.
Today is Elizabeth Stevens’s birthday, and not only is it the one-year anniversary of her husband leaving her, it’s also the day her bakery is required to make a cake—for her ex’s next wedding. If there’s a bitter taste in her mouth, no one can blame her.
But today, Liz is about to receive a gift. Her Grandma Verda isn’t just wacky; she’s a little witchy. An ancient gypsy magic has been passed through her family bloodline for generations, and it’s Liz’s turn to be empowered. Henceforth, everything she bakes will have a dash of delight and a pinch of wishes-can-come-true. From her hunky policeman neighbor, to her gorgeous personal trainer, to her bum of an ex-husband, everyone Liz knows is going to taste her power. Revenge is sweet…and it’s only the first dish to be served.
2. Have you always wanted to be an author?
I've always enjoyed writing, but didn't give serious thought about trying to become published until my mid-twenties. Even then, it took me a while to get to the point I was ready to submit. With marriage, several moves across the country, and four children, I was more than a little busy! I continued to write, though, and was thrilled when my long-awaited dream of publication came true.
3. What was the road to publication for A Taste of Magic like?
I'd been submitting the book to agents for a while, and at the same time, it was at Dorchester Publishing. After about 8 months there, I received a phone call from the editor with an offer. It was amazing! I didn't have an agent yet, so I took a few days to contact those that still had the novel, and ended up with two offers of representation. While it was a tough choice, I decided to go with Michelle Grajkowski from 3 Seas Literay, and couldn't be happier!
4. Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?
This is a tough question to answer, because almost anything can inspire me. A dream. An article in the paper. A news story on the TV. Normally, though, my inspiration comes in the form of a question that I just have to answer, so I write a book to answer it!
5. What do you think makes a good story?
Hmm, I'm going to answer this question as a reader, not a writer. Even with that, my answer will likely vary from any other reader you asked, because we all have different tastes. For me, what makes a story work is far more about the characters than the plot. Obviously, there has to be a plot, there has to be conflict of some sort to keep me intrigued, but my heart will follow a poorly plotted novel if I love the characters. On the other hand, if I don't love the characters, the greatest plot in the world won't keep me turning the pages.
6. Do you listen to music when you write?
Nope, I find it too distracting. But I do like to listen to music before I start writing, and sometimes I'll take a break from a scene to listen to a few of my favorites. Unfortunately, as much as I've tried, I cannot focus on the writing if I have music playing.
7. Who is your favorite character you've created?
I love all of my heroes and heroines, naturally, but I also have a special love for wacky older lady -- Grandma Verda. She's funny, has great instincts, and wow, I just LOVE writing her.
8. And finally, what can we look forward to from you in the future?
My second novel, A Stroke of Magic, will hit the shelves on June 30, 2009. This time, we get to see what happens to Elizabeth's sister, Alice, when she receives her gift of magic. It's a great story and I can't wait for others to be able to read it!
Thank you for having me here today! I really appreciate it. :)