Interview & Contest: Tracy St. John

head3Jen: We kick off a new with with a visit from Tracy St. John.  Tracy, will you share a short bio with us?
Tracy: Tracy St. John lives in coastal Georgia with her husband and son. You’ll often find her haunting train museums with her locomotive-loving kid. Besides writing, she has also worked in video production both in front of and behind the camera. She’s usually cast as the gun-toting bad gal, getting handcuffed in the end. She has no complaints.

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Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Tracy: Alien Embrace is the first book from the bestselling Clans of Kalquor series. It has been re-released internationally by its new publisher, Totally Bound. In this science fiction universe, the mighty Kalquorian Empire trembles on the verge of extinction. After a virus decimates their female population, Kalquor is desperate to survive. Their one hope lies with the women of their enemy: Earth. These are the stories of the women fleeing a government gone mad and the three-man alien clans who will do anything to save them. The idea came from my love for science fiction and the idea that every woman deserves at least three men to dote on her.

Here’s a short excerpt:

Late that night, Amelia rushed into her quarters and locked the door behind her. She leaned against it, listening to her heart quiet. Getting the short distance from the shuttle to her door had been a terrifying five seconds that seemed to never end. Every shadow seemed a threat. Every pool of darkness menaced. Every sound was the snarl of an angry Kalquorian. She’d run as fast as possible to the safety of her quarters. If the Kalquorians were waiting outside, she’d escaped. She had gained the safety of her apartment. If they pounded on the door all night, their only reward would be sore knuckles.

Amelia’s gasping breath quieted as she relaxed. She pressed the light button. Nothing happened. She tried again, but the apartment remained dark. None of the floating globes flared to life.

The triple moons shone through the banks of windows. The dim sisters to the twin suns cast everything into silhouette. Amelia groped her way to the com to call Maintenance. The silence bore down on her like a weight. Instead of the quiet of emptiness, she heard the silence of held breath, of watching eyes. Amelia looked at the unmoving shadows, her hand poised over the com.

Get hold of yourself. No one was waiting for you outside, and no one’s in here. Rajhir’s clan doesn’t have the security code to your apartment.

Despite her internal advice, creeping terror forced her to call out. “Hello? Is someone here?”

Her voice quavered in the still air. No one answered. Feeling foolish yet relieved, she shook her head at herself. “Come on, Amelia. You’re too old to be scared of the dark.”

“Call Maintenance,” she commanded the com. As the oppressive silence spun on uninterrupted, Amelia’s heart quickened. The com sat unresponsive. Dead, like the globes.

She backed away from the desk, her eyes searching the shadows. Every muscle screamed to run. She kept control by the slightest of margins.

I’ll go back to Vrill’s, she thought, trying to look everywhere at once as she backed towards the door. I’ll spend the night and call Maintenance from her place tomorrow morning.

A part of her realized her own foolishness. Before she backed into Breft, she knew escape ceased to be an option. Massive arms wrapped around her, pinning her against the Nobek.

Resignation deadened Amelia’s limbs. She accepted the capture. She protested only with a low moan behind the hand that covered her mouth.

Two familiar hulking shadows stepped before her. Fingers stroked her hair as Rajhir’s voice floated in the air.

“Don’t be afraid, my little one. You know we would never hurt you. Our Matara comes to no harm.”

He bent toward Amelia. His breath was warm against her neck as he sank his fangs in. He bit, pumping the intoxicant into her blood until only Breft’s grip kept her upright.

Darkness blacker than the night shut down her vision. Amelia was swept up into the cradle of strong arms, held tightly to a muscled chest like a precious child. She heard the door open. The night breeze caressed her skin as she lost consciousness.

 

Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Tracy: I am most definitely a plotter. My outlines have outlines. By the time I start my first draft, I have about 75 percent of my dialogue written and 50 percent of the action mapped out.

Jen: Describe your writing in 3 words.
Tracy: Intense, shocking, passionate.

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing?  Easiest? Most rewarding?
Tracy: The most challenging part of writing for me is description and setting. I would have my characters roaming around in a void if I could get away with it. I have to really work at that aspect.

Easiest for me is dialogue. My characters always have plenty to say. They especially like to talk to me when I’m having conversations with real people. That’s why I often look exasperated and say “Huh?” a lot.

The most rewarding part of writing is hearing from readers who tell me my books helped them temporarily escape difficult times. I love that I get to be a part of their lives in a positive way, no matter how small.

Jen: Who has influenced you as a writer?
Tracy: Mostly science fiction writers. Ray Bradbury, Anne McCaffrey, and Piers Anthony are my top three. I’m also heavily influenced by television and movies, since scriptwriting is where I started. I take a lot of inspiration from Star Trek, Babylon 5, and Stargate, among many others. Strangely enough, I don’t read much romance. However, I do have a few go-to authors like Jeffe Kennedy, Tricia Skinner, and Aubrey Cara.

Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Tracy: Free time? What’s that? You speak odd, outlandish words. Actually, I love to browse for clothes and shoes, though there is little buying. I don’t have the space. I’d commit crimes against nature for a bigger closet.

Jen: What’s next for you?
Tracy: As always, I am working on several projects at once. Not only am I working on a couple of Kalquor-related projects, but also a brand new science fiction romance series called Portals to Risnar.

 

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