Michele Scott

Interview with Bestselling Author Tracey Garvis Graves

Interview with Bestselling Author Tracey Garvis Graves

One of the things that I really love about the new world of Indie publishing is the support authors give one another. We have come together to help each other get good books into the hands of the readers. The other thing that I really love is that good books that the Big 6 or agents overlooked are getting into the hands of readers and heading up the bestseller lists!

 I am happy to have been one of the authors to experience this, and I am also happy to share great books with other readers. I have a diverse taste in my reading. I read everything from R.J. Parker’s non-fiction serial killer stuff, to a good old fashioned Nora Robert’s romance. Speaking of fantastic adult romance…

Today I want to share with you a beautiful book written by a talented author who has also become a friend of mine. Tracey Garvis Graves’ book ON THE ISLAND has hit that top 10 Amazon list and has been strong there for weeks now. With 327 five star reviews you can’t go wrong with this one!

 I had the pleasure to interview Tracey. I hope you enjoy and please check out her books.




Tracey Garvis-Graves lives in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, two children, and hyper dog Chloe. On the Island is her first novel. She blogs at www.traceygarvisgraves.com using colorful language and a snarky sense of humor to write about pop culture, silly television shows, and her suburban neighborhood. She is hard at work on her next book. You can e-mail her at traceygarvisgraves@yahoo.com. She’d love to hear from you.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m a new author and On the Island is my debut novel. When I’m not writing I like to curl up with my Kindle; it’s one of my most prized possessions. Add a glass of wine and I’m instantly in my happy place.

When did you begin writing?

I’ve always been interested in writing and took a few fiction writing classes in college. I started blogging in 2008 and decided to try my hand at novel writing in 2010.

Do you write during the day, at night, or whenever you can sneak in a few moments?

I prefer to write early in the morning. I get up at 5:00 a.m., take a quick shower, pour a giant cup of coffee, and power up my laptop. I write until about 7:00 and then finish getting ready so I can be at work by 8:00. I also try to sneak in as much writing time as I can on the weekends.

What is this book about?

 Here is the description from Amazon:

When thirty-year-old English teacher Anna Emerson is offered a job tutoring T.J. Callahan at his family’s summer rental in the Maldives, she accepts without hesitation; a working vacation on a tropical island trumps the library any day.

T.J. Callahan has no desire to leave town, not that anyone asked him. He’s almost seventeen and if having cancer wasn’t bad enough, now he has to spend his first summer in remission with his family – and a stack of overdue assignments – instead of his friends.

Anna and T.J. are en route to join T.J.’s family in the Maldives when the pilot of their seaplane suffers a fatal heart attack and crash-lands in the Indian Ocean. Adrift in shark-infested waters, their life jackets keep them afloat until they make it to the shore of an uninhabited island. Now Anna and T.J. just want to survive and they must work together to obtain water, food, fire, and shelter. Their basic needs might be met but as the days turn to weeks, and then months, the castaways encounter plenty of other obstacles, including violent tropical storms, the many dangers lurking in the sea, and the possibility that T.J.’s cancer could return. As T.J. celebrates yet another birthday on the island, Anna begins to wonder if the biggest challenge of all might be living with a boy who is gradually becoming a man.

On the Island is a full-length adult romance novel. It explores the human need for more than mere survival, the meaning of bonds formed in isolation, and the ways those bonds are bound to change.

 What inspired you to write it?

I love, love, love the desert island premise. I’m a big fan of the T.V. show Survivor and I’ve seen every episode of Lost. I have fond memories of my mom taking me to see The Blue Lagoon when I was thirteen. I enjoyed the movie Castaway but felt the premise was underutilized by placing Tom Hanks on that island all alone. Think of the possibilities if they’d put someone else there with him (I’m not sure I ever really bought the attachment to the volley ball). When the idea of writing a desert island book first came to me, I thought it would be interesting to put two people on it that shouldn’t be together and then see what would happen.  

Who is your biggest supporter?

My husband, without a doubt. He’s a great sounding board and he’s wonderful when I need the male perspective. I think he thought I was crazy when I first told him what I was going to write about. Actually, everyone probably thought I was crazy but they were too nice to say anything. My other biggest supporter is my friend Elisa Abner-Taschwer. I refer to her in my acknowledgments section as my de facto publicist. We used to work together thirteen years ago and even though we don’t live in the same city anymore, she works tirelessly to promote On the Island. She’s absolutely wonderful. My critique partner, my twin sister, and my dad are also infinitely supportive.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

There are way too many to list, but if there’s one author who influenced me the most it would be Stephen King. Although I’m not a huge fan of horror novels, his book The Stand is my all-time favorite book. Once a year I reread the same beat-up paperback copy that my dad gave me when I was twelve. It’s just an epic book. My favorite genres to read are contemporary women’s fiction, contemporary romance, and most commercial fiction.  

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Amazon (the e-book and paperback are available now and the audiobook will be released in the next week or so), Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords (which distributes to Apple, Sony, Kobo, and Diesel).

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?

April Haug, one of the bloggers that hosted a stop on my A Tale of Many Reviews blog tour made a trailer for On the Island which was incredibly nice. I certainly don’t have the knowledge or skill to do it myself, so I think it’s great that she did it for me.


What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

If you want to write a book you’re going to have to sit down and write. Don’t worry about it being perfect right out of the gate (that’s what multiple drafts and revising are for). You can’t edit a blank page so just get the words down. It took me twice as long to revise On the Island as it did to write it. And the most important advice of all: write the book you want to read. Forget about trends because they’re constantly changing.

What is up next for you?

 My next book, Covet, is a contemporary women’s fiction novel although it will be heavy on the romance. Here is a brief description:

What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else?

Chris and Claire Canton’s marriage is on life support. Downsized during the recession, Chris copes by retreating to a dark place where no one can reach him, not even Claire.

Daniel Rush had it all, until a tragic accident took away everything he cherished. A chance meeting with Claire sets in motion a chain of events that will leave three people questioning their choices and dealing with the aftermath of their decisions.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Yes. I’d like to thank readers everywhere for embracing On the Island, taking the time to review it, and telling their friends and family members about it. It’s a word-of-mouth book and I feel strongly that without these positive reviews and personal recommendations, it might never have found a wide audience. I’m eternally grateful and blown away by the readers and wish I could thank them all personally. 

 Tracey Garvis-Graves lives in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, two children, and hyper dog Chloe. On the Island is her first novel. She blogs at www.traceygarvisgraves.com using colorful language and a snarky sense of humor to write about pop culture, silly television shows, and her suburban neighborhood. She is hard at work on her next book. You can e-mail her at traceygarvisgraves@yahoo.com. She’d love to hear from you. 

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