Please give a warm welcome to guest Tracy Ward! She’s visiting the virtual offices to talk about her new release Fair Play. To celebrate, she has a tour wide gift card to giveaway, too, so please enter the giveaway after reading Tracy’s interview.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Tracy Ward] Wife, mom, adventurer, finder of lost things, a terrible cook and a worse dancer.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Fair Play?
[Tracy Ward] Every writer has a muse and playwright, Ashlyn Carter is no exception. In order to secure her inheritance, save a regional theater from bankruptcy, and earn her spot on Broadway she must team up with her sworn enemy—her big brother’s best friend, Noah Blake.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Tracy Ward] I love the theater and I love stories about writers. So I asked myself, what would happen if your enemy was your muse in a love story? And from that other questions arose. What would happen if the one girl you could never touch– your best friend’s little sister–turned out to be the only girl you’d ever love? Ashlyn and Noah took shape from that and Fair Play was born.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Ashlyn?
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Noah had a theme song, what would it be?
[Tracy Ward] Comfortably Numb, the Eddie Vedder version. For some reason I found myself listening to this song almost every time I wrote in his POV. But then Ashlyn comes along and pushes all his buttons and it turns into something more along the lines of Crossfire by The Killers.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Ashlyn is never without.
[Tracy Ward] A ponytail holder. In the Texas heat, no girl with long hair should ever be without one.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Noah’s bathroom?
[Tracy Ward] He’s not a metro-sexual, so I’d say 1). Hair gel 2). moisturizer 3). a hair dryer
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is Ashlyn’s greatest regret?
[Tracy Ward] Inviting Kyle back to Noah’s place that night in New York is her biggest regret. She was only seventeen at the time, young and naive. Not only did she think Kyle would actually share her script with his famous father, but she thought she could make Noah jealous in the process. Boy did that backfire on her.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Tracy Ward] Music, movies, and people watching. I know the people watching thing sounds totally creepy, but I like listening to other people’s conversations, observing their mannerisms and body language. It gives me all kinds of crazy insights and ideas.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Tracy Ward] 1). A laptop. I’ve never been one of those pen-to-paper people. My mind works too fast and my hand writing is way too slow.
2). I almost always have a Diet Coke close by
3). I need to be alone. I’m not one of those people who can sit in a room and feed off of collective energy. I need my own space and my own noises.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What was your biggest distraction while working on Fair Play?
[Tracy Ward] My kids. They’re 8 and 10 (7 and 9 at the time I wrote FP) and are active in sports, which most of the time my hubs and I coach. There’s always a practice or game to go to or communications to be sent to parents. And if there isn’t a practice or game, I’m planning for the practice/game. I’m always thinking about how well we’re doing in teaching and preparing them, not just for the next game, but for life in general. So maybe the answer isn’t just my kids, but the neighborhood kids too.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Tracy Ward] The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series. That was a phenomenal series that started slow for me, but once I got into it, I couldn’t stop reading. I’m really really sad there won’t be any more of those. Lisbeth Salander has to be the most compelling character ever created.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Tracy Ward] The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. My sister, who is three years older, read it. I think it was the first and last book she ever read. I was in fourth grade at the time. It captivated me and I’ve been devouring books since.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Tracy Ward] I play on a rec league women’s basketball team. We’re all pretty competitive, I don’t know how you can play sports and not be. And it gets rough out there, which is a tremendous stress reliever, but I wouldn’t trade the bruises I’ve taken or given for anything.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Tracy Ward] http://tracyaward.com/
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
Enter here for a chance to win a $50 gift card to be given away at the end of the tour:
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