Q&A With Tracy Sumner
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Q&A With Tracy Sumner
Today’s guest is USA Today Bestselling author Tracy Sumner. Tracy Sumner is the author of Regency romance, romantic Southern sagas and Victorian romance books. Some of her many series are Southern Heat Series, The Garret Brothers Series, The Duchess Society Series, & League Of Lords Series.
Q: What is it about Regency Romance, Southern Sagas and Victorian Romance genres that you enjoy writing so much?
A: Because I love to read them! And I wanted to be a part of the genre I loved so much. I majored in journalism and after I finished grad school, I really wanted to write a novel, so I dove into what was my genre by then.
I think READING a lot of historical romances by master writers (Judith Ivory, Tessa Dare, Lisa Kleypas) truly helped me understand the genre. I started reading when I was 19 and fell in love with the genre. Then, I started my own romance (To Seduce a Rogue) about four years later. 😉 And sold that to Kensington Publishing! So, understanding the genre, the limitations, and loving the time period help to create the world. For the relationships, that (for me) takes digging really deeply while I’m writing. I really go into the emotions of the point of view character on the page. And love is love, right, 1750 or 1820 or 2023. Family is family. Life challenges are life challenges, taking away electricity, penicillin and iPhones, lol. When I write historical, my voice is just there. I do make a conscious effort to avoid “modern” language but, of course, it’s there in any current historical novel to an extent. But if you build the world, the reader goes along and you don’t pull them out by writing something completely unbelievable.
Q: When did you know that being an author was what you were called to do in life?
A: Again, I was 19 and on a college beach trip and without a book. I was a huge reader of Stephen King, etc., etc., but NOT romance. I picked up LyVyrle Spencer’s VOW and that was it for me! I really remember thinking, where have these books been all my life?
That said, I did write in high school. But it was more Outsiders type of stuff then.
Q: What is the research process when you come up with an idea for a historical romance novel?
A: I keep files for every book on my slate to write. And I have an idea, I place the snippet in that file. Bit of dialogue, emotional something, whatever it is. I do plot – but loosely. I think I’m in the middle between pansters (who go full steam without notes) and all-out plotters. I do better, though, I have learned, if I have some direction for the story and the characters. I have scenes that I list out in order with those notes for each scene. Just something I want to “hit” or make sure the characters do.
I also have a fairly good idea how long it takes me to write a book or novella now, too. So I schedule it out, say yes to too many things, then freak out and start writing. :) That’s about it!
For research, I love diving into professions for my characters. I think almost EVERYone I’ve ever written has a passion outside the passion for another person. Duke who is a geologist? Yep! Viscount who wants to be an architect? Okay. I had a geologist write to me and say I nailed those details, so…I think I’m pretty decent at the research piece. ;)
Q: If you were to experiment in other genres outside of romance, which genres would they be and why?
A: Well, I have written a contemporary novel and novel in a southern, steamy, small town series. I’d perhaps dive into that subgenre. Might happen someday soon!
Q: What new releases and new projects are you currently working on?
A: Goodness, what a list! ;)
I’m working on a novella for the Gentleman and Gloves set that is releasing in Feb 2024. My novella, Kiss the Duke Goodbye, is finishing the DeWitt brothers trilogy! (Kiss the Rake Hello and The Devil of Drury Lane are #1 and #2 in the set.)
Then, I’m writing #6 (full length novels, there are also three novellas in the series) for the Duchess Society with Wolf Publishing. #6 is Three Sins and a Scoundrel and features Jasper Noble’s story! I can’t wait. This series has been a JOY in so many ways.
I also have a December 2024 release with Tall, Dark and December in the Rake Review set! This features my Brazen Belles partners. We have a Facebook group. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/brazenbelles)
I also have another novella coming in the shared world Lyon’s Den series with Dragonblade Publishing in 2025. My first novella with them came out in Sept – A Lyon Who Loved Me. Such fun!
Q: Where is your favorite spot to sit down and plot, research, write and edit your work?
A: I really take a Stephen King approach to this. (Read his advice in On Writing.) I don’t lock myself into having to write/edit/research in one perfect spot. I write at desks, on the couch, in bookstores or libraries or coffee shops. I need music without lyrics if I’m home but seem to be able to ignore the lyrics if I’m not. LOL
Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to your work? If so, who would be your ideal cast for the characters you created? The entertainment industry is long overdue for new and original content again.
A: They do not, but I’m telling you, the League of Lords series would make the BEST series. Humble, I realize. But I’ve had so many readers tell me they’ve never read anything like it. One just called it a cross between Bridgerton and X-Men! How about that? A duke who shoots fire from his fingertips and has a meet-cute in Hyde Park (after he’s stung by a bee & finds he’s very allergic). And that book, The Duke is Wicked, has won about every contest I’ve entered in this year. HOLT Medallion, Reader’s Choice, etc. It was a great contest year.
(Check my Instagram, I have contest win graphics pinned on my profile)
Thanks and happy reading!!!