Writer’s Desk: Tracy Higley
Tracy Higley has been attempting to time travel through the pages of books since she was a child. She started her first story at the age of eight and has since authored nearly twenty books, including the acclaimed Seven Wonders Series, and the Time Travel Journals of Sahara Aldridge. She earned a Master’s Degree in Ancient and Classical History and has traveled to Egypt, Greece, Jordan, Israel, Italy, and Turkey, researching her books and falling into adventures. Peruse her travel journals and learn more fascinating history at www.tracyhigley.com.
More about Nightfall in the Garden of Deep Time:
Kelsey dreams of a life filled with creativity.
She’s about to stumble into far more than she imagined…
Kelsey Willoughby doesn’t have time to pursue her dream of writing a novel. Imagination doesn’t pay the bills, and she’s busy saving her beautiful bookshop from online competition, hotel developers, and the sneaking suspicion that nobody reads anymore.
Not to mention all those voices telling her she doesn’t have talent.
But then the vacant lot of weeds next door starts to shimmer.
When Kelsey stumbles into a luminous nighttime garden party, larger than the vacant lot that holds it and filled with enigmatic guests, she suspects they hold the key to saving the bookshop, and perhaps even to her own mysterious origins.
But answers aren’t forthcoming, not until Kelsey is willing to confront her past, step into her potential, and push deeper into the unknown edges of the garden, where an unexpected journey takes her into a world of dangerous revelation.
Q&A with Tracy Higley
TG: Everyone always asks for an interesting fact, we’re going to flip the question. What is one boring fact about yourself?
TH: The way I eat is very boring. I don’t like to take time thinking about food or preparing it, so I eat the same breakfast (bulletproof coffee) and same lunch (chopped salad) almost every day!
TG: Where did you get the inspiration for Nightfall in the Garden of Deep Time?
TH: This book sprang from a weird experiment! Last year I started making a list of everything I love. Words and phrases, books and movies, ideas and plots, images, colors, everything! When the list got long, I printed it out on slips of paper, and put them all together into an “Inspiration Jar.” Then for about three weeks, every morning I would pull out two slips of paper and free-write on what I loved about that thing, and how the two things could come together in a story. After several weeks of this, a story started emerging, full of all the ideas that inspire me.
TG: Do you have any habits or rituals as a writer?
TH: I try to write at least a small amount of words every day. Slow and steady works best for me, as opposed to fast and furious spurts of writing. Also, coffee.
TG: What habits would you encourage others to take up to be a more productive writer?
TH: Try everything—all the different pieces of advice you get. It takes some time to figure out what works best for you. Try methods like dictation, or writing without editing, or maybe editing as you write. Try outlining and try writing without a plan. Just because it works for someone else doesn’t mean it’s best for you. Get in the habit of learning new methods and experimenting with them all.
TG: What do you snack on or drink while writing?
TH: Coffee. And sometimes I keep candy on my desk for tiny rewards.
TG: How do you overcome writer’s block?
TH: I take a walk. It’s amazing what getting outdoors, and away from the office, can do to unlock your creativity!
TG: Are you an “edit-as-you-go” writer or do you wait until the very end before you do any editing?
TH: Edit as I go. I tried that “terrible first draft” method, tried to “turn off the inner editor” for many years before realizing that I enjoy editing as I go, and it tends to create a much better manuscript because I’m not as disciplined after the rough draft is done to go back and improve it.
TG: What would you say is the most common mistake new writers make?
TH: Not writing enough. Writing, finishing, starting again, finishing—this is the only way to really learn and improve.
TG: What is the best piece of writing advice you’re ever received?
TH: Write what you love. For me, creating a book takes a huge amount of energy. If I’m not truly enjoying the setting, the characters, the story, it feels like too much work and it drags.
TG: What is coming up next for you?
TH: I am about to dive into a new project, and not entirely sure where it will take me. But I suspect it will be a mystery series, set in a museum or a university.
Enter to win the winner’s choice of a paperback or ebook copy of Nightfall in the Garden of Deep Time*
*Due to shipping costs, the winner must have a US address.
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