Thursday, March 21, 2013

Author Spotlight: Tracey Cramer-Kelly

Tracey is my first author guest.  Please make her feel welcome!

Please tell us a little about yourself.
Hi Zoe, and thank you for hosting me today! I’m writing from small-town Minnesota, where I live with my hubby and two kids, age 5 and 10. I work a full-time job, running our family motorcycle business.

At heart I am a storyteller; I love digging deep into a character and exploring how things that happen in their life impact and transform them. I’ve published two novels (both of which have been winners or finalists in contests), and my third will release this summer.

What is your favorite pastime, other than writing?
My favorite way to spend time is riding my motorcycle, especially if my kids and hubby are with me. Unfortunately, here in Minnesota I’m lucky if I can stretch that to seven months of the year.
I’m also a vocalist (I’ve released two cover songs and been featured on other albums) and play taiko drums, which is like a cross between martial arts and banging on BIG drums (great exercise!). I’ve even toyed with video and production; in fact, my second music video, featuring a female motorcyclist, was just released:

What is a typical writing day for you?
There is no such thing as a typical day when you own a business and have active kids! So my writing time is “stolen” hours whenever I can get them (I’m writing this in a coffee shop). It makes it harder to get into the “flow” but I’m proof it can be done if you want it badly enough! I also daydream anywhere and everywhere, so that when I do sit down to write I have an idea where I want to go.

Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as inspiration?
I spent five years in the National Guard as a paramedic, and that figures prominently in my writing. I’m also a biker chick, so I started writing motorcycle-riding characters. Because of my hobbies and my military background, I’ve had the fortune of meeting, working and playing with some very interesting people! I think everything I write is affected by what I’ve experienced. Yes, there’s a healthy dose of imagination and plenty of creative license, but a seed has to be sown somewhere, and for me it is often a ‘human’ interchange.

Tell us about your books.
My first, Last Chance Rescue, is about two members of a search-and-rescue team who have a problem trusting each other with more than their physical safety.

True Surrender is a military romance with a wounded veteran hero whose struggle with an amputation and PTSD nearly destroy his relationships and career.

My upcoming novel, Take Two, is about an actor who is poisoned on set and forced to recover at the (rather older, ahem) director’s home with her two teenage daughters.

I understand you’re doing something special for Take Two?
Oh, this is the fun stuff! Starting March 6, I’m sharing a new “installment” of Take Two (for FREE) on my blog every week. I hope your readers will come and enjoy this. Click here for details:

You mentioned an unusual tie-in between your books?
A fun twist to my writing is that my novels are intertwined.

For instance, the hero of True Surrender was briefly married when he was younger. His ex-wife is the heroine in my first novel, Last Chance Rescue.

In Take Two (my upcoming novel), the characters are filming a movie. I used True Surrender as the “movie” they are filming.

Take Two is also the second creative offering in what I call the “Cool Rider Project,” which (as you might conclude from the title) is biker themed. Details can be found at

What inspired you to write Take Two?
I like to say that my second book (True Surrender) led to my third. The first video I produced (“The Rose / Surrender Version”) features scenes from True Surrender. The experience of seeing my writing come to life was exhilarating and empowering but also humbling. The seed for Take Two was planted then, but as is often the case, the characters told me what would happen next!

What are you working on now?
I’m experimenting with short-story erotica, and I recently completed my first short script (a theater/film production). I’d love to write a movie script, but I only have so many hours in a day, so I’ve chosen to focus on novels and novellas. And I try to keep singing because it brings me such joy.

Tell us what excites you about writing and getting published.
When I hear from readers that my writing touched them in some way, it really makes my day. Sometimes it is hard to keep going. But ultimately, I have this need to share, and hopefully I’ll find readers who are receptive to my style of writing, which is not your formulaic romance.

And finally, where can we stalk you?
My “hub” is my web site (

Take Two installments will be posted to my blog:

About the Author:

Tracey Cramer-Kelly is an author and singer/musician. Her work fuses writing, music and visual imagery and includes novels, short stories and music videos.

Two of her novels, Last Chance Rescue and True Surrender, are Indie Book Awards Finalists. True Surrender also won a Gold Medal from the Military Writers Society of America.

Music videos include "The Rose (Surrender Version)," which tells the story of True Surrender (the novel), and "Cool Rider," a rock-n-roll video featuring Tracey as a biker chick (which she really is).

Tracey's writing draws from her experience as an Army Reserve paramedic and exposure to helicopter medivac. She obtained her helicopter pilot license in 2001. She owns a motorcycle accessories business and lives in small-town Minnesota with her husband and two young children.