Facts on Fobes
An ENE interview with author Tracy Fobes.
Tracy Fobes writes rich historical romances with a paranormal twist for Sonnet Books, published by Pocket Books. She has four books in print: Touch Not The Cat, Heart of the Dove, Forbidden Garden and Daughter of Destiny. Her fifth book, To Tame a Wild Heart will be out in late 2001. Tracy Fobes has received the following honrs: the Waldenbooks Bestselling Debut Author in Romance for 1998, Winner of the 1999 PRISM Award for Best Paranormal Romance, and 2000 RITA Finalist.
ENE: Why do you write?
TF: I've always loved reading, and immersing myself in people and worlds that I wouldn't experience in real life. I write for the same reasons...it allows me to experience characters and worlds that I couldn't know in any other way.
ENE: When did you start writing? What did you write?
TF: I've always dabbled in writing, from my earliest days in childhood. I kept a diary, wrote poetry, and made up stories for my brothers' and sisters' amusement.
ENE: Who are your favorite authors of fiction?
TF: I read all sorts of genre fiction. In romance, my favorite authors are Laura Kinsale, Nora Roberts, and Elizabeth Lowell. I also enjoy Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Thomas Perry, Patricia Cornwell, Stephen Donaldson, Anne Rice, and Janet Evanovich.
ENE: What stimulates your muse?
TF: A lot of different things-music, a good movie, firelight, a walk in the woods.
ENE: Do you ever get writer's block? How do you deal with it?
TF: I've had writer's block once or twice. When it happened, I usually sat down and analyzed why the ideas just weren't coming anymore. Invariably it had to do with fear-I was afraid my stories would sound ridiculous, or my writing skills just wouldn't be up to par. Once I'd identified my fears and could face them, I found that I could go on.
ENE: Do you ever have to defend the genre you write in?
TF: No, thankfully no one has ever challenged me or the romance genre in general. Perhaps I've just been lucky, but the people around me are sensitive enough to avoid that sort of thing.
ENE: Do you allow others to read your work while it is being written?
TF: A select few...my husband, my mother, and sometimes a close writer friend.
ENE: What advice would you give romance fiction writers about getting published?
TF: There are two very important things to getting published. First, you have to persevere. No matter how many rejections come through the mail, you simply have to keep going. As the old ice hockey saying goes, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take. Second, you must write the book that's in your heart, even if its strange and doesn't seem marketable. Anything is marketable if it's written with passion.
ENE: Here are some questions from our readers - How would you characterize your style of writing?
TF: My style, I would say, is formal. Historical romance demands a certain type of language, one more formal than, for example, a contemporary romance. People back in those times tended to think differently, and sometimes I suspect they had a better command of the English language than we do today. A thorough read of Jane Austen's works, with a dictionary by my side, has convinced me of this.
ENE: Are you tempted to make scenes sexy? Or do you demur so your books sell?
TF: I always try to make my stories and scenes sexy. As we all know, romance is about the relationship between a man and a woman, and one of the most exciting and enjoyable parts of any relationship is the sexual aspect. Sex is primal and touches us on a level that nothing else can.
ENE: Do you do any research?
TF: I perform exhaustive research. Besides researching what life was like in Regency and Victorian England, I also research special topics as required by the story. For example, in Forbidden Garden I researched plant grafting techniques, and in Daughter of Destiny I researched druidism.
ENE: Why do you write? How do you write? Do you use a word processor...pen or pencil... dictation?
TF: I write because I enjoy immersing myself, and directing, worlds that I couldn't otherwise experience. I exclusively use a word processor...couldn't live without it!
ENE: Do you just sit down and write till dry and then go back and revise? Or do you write a whole lot and then redraft?
TF: Unless a story changes drastically in mid-stream, I try to push through to the end of a book, and then go back and revise the first draft.
ENE: Where do you write? How do you deal with distractions andinterruptions?
TF: I have my own office to write in. I shut the door and ignore the phone until I'm ready to come out. Sometimes I light a candle or play music to help me focus. Even so, I'm occasionally interrupted. I respond to the person interrupting me in a gruff tone, and I tell them that unless it involves blood or death, to leave me alone. That usually does the trick.
ENE: Do you live what you write?
TF: Parts of my stories I live, or at least try to experience, to add to the book's believability. As my stories are historical with paranormal elements, however, it is difficult...
ENE: How did you sell your first novel? Did you send out query letters, outlines and sample chapters or complete manuscripts? Did you go through an agent (if so, how did you manage to snag one)? Or get did you get an agent after you had an offer for your manuscript?
TF: I didn't get any fast or easy breaks. For me, perseverance won out in the end. I wrote two novels before Touch Not the Cat, the first book I sold. I shopped all of my novels around, a synopsis and three chapters, to agents. I received enough rejections to wallpaper my bathroom. Eventually an agent particularly liked Touch Not the Cat and picked me up as a client. The agent then went on to sell CAT to Pocket Books. In all, it took me about four years to get from the point when I began to write my first full-length novel (which is unpublished) to the time I sold CAT.
Visit Tracy Fobes's website http://www.tracyfobes.com/




Touch Not the Cat
Heart of the Dove
Forbidden Garden
Daughter of Destiny
Other ENE Features
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