Interview with Tracy James Jones

Published 2013-08-29.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in Waxahachie, Texas, but I have also lived in various Texas cities and most often in and out of Dallas. As an only child, my influences came from reading at an early age, the various types of people I have met throughout my life, and having some of the best family and teachers to guide me along my way.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing in high school, mostly in a journal full of teenage angst and all the issues we all had to face. Then in my sophomore year I was lucky enough to take a journalism class which was the true beginning of my desire to become a writer.
What's the story behind your latest book?
According to most customer reviews: “Secrets & Lies” is an uncensored, thought-provoking, character-driven, multicultural, multi-sexual, romantic, family drama. That is exactly what the book was meant to be. The unspoken truth behind the book's concept is that it was a story created out of a dream I had in concern for myself and my life outside of a career. When the idea struck me to write the book I could not sleep for days because it would not leave me alone until I wrote out every word. In the end I am so proud of it because it is everything I wanted it to be, and though the subject matter can and has been considered controversial, I feel that it fits right in with the changes in the world that we see happening every day.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I started writing over ten years ago. The publishing industry was hard on fledgling writers and I had a very difficult time trying to get my work noticed by the right people. Rejection is a bitter pill to swallow, but I kept at it and even pushed myself to publish my first book by a then called 'vanity press" just for the sake of seeing my work in print. I left writing for a few years but found I just could not stay away from it. By the time I wrote "Secrets & Lies", a whole new world of publishing options had opened up. Though I am proud of my indie success, I still have the dream of having at least one novel published in the traditional way. Whether that ever happens or not, I will stay an Indie author because it gives me the option to push what I want.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Thanks to my free option download on Smashwords, I recently signed a contract with the International Baccalaureate Organization granting non-exclusive reproductive use of my short story – “The Crush” - for their world-wide Middle Years Education Program for language & literature teacher support material. The story was used by one of their affiliated teachers as an example of good practice for her class, bringing it to the attention of her IBO Team Leader (in The Netherlands), who contacted me with the request to officially use my work. This is one of the greatest honors I never expected and I am happy to report that sometime in the new school year “The Crush” will be available to classrooms around the world for the next 7 years and will be translated to French and Spanish as well. I truly believe this could not have happened without that little story being published on the Smashwords site.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
No matter which of my novels or short stories are reviewed, someone will always say that my work is very thought-provoking as it opens your eyes to social issues that are often over looked. And you know what? I like that. It is my honor to give a voice to those who are barely seen, often misunderstood, and hardly ever heard. I know how that is because I was one of them. To know that my work is challenging to that condition makes it all worthwhile.
Who are your favorite authors?
I am a total big fan of Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Dean Koontz. Though I do not write in their genre, they have all been a great influence on me. With Indie Authors, I read Charity Parkerson, M.J. Webb, and a ton of others I have meet online since my return to writing.
What is your next big step in the writing world and what can we look forward to from you?
My next big step into the writing world is a book called “Torn: Sixty Days of Calaboose.” This book is a contemporary psychological drama that fits outside the box of familiar reading (and writing) because of the subject matter therein. Though the story is without any graphic sex or extreme violence, it deals heavily with all elements of a single character’s (a sensitive, feminine male) downward spiral into madness and other experiences behind the walls of a small town county jail.

Logline: ~ It is said that a mind is a terrible thing to waste. For some, it is also a very terrifying thing to lose. ~

Question: Have you ever met a character who slowly but surely loses their mind right before your very eyes and they actually know it? It happens here… All else I can say is whomever said truth was stranger than fiction, needs to read this book. Then decide.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
A lot ebooks that I have been reading are usually from author interviews and promotions for Indie Authors that I showcase on my blog. There are some amazing, talented people out there and it really brightens my day to be able to share these fantastic works with my friends, colleagues, and followers through all level of social media.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Oh gosh, yes. It was a long, heart-searching thesis I wrote about myself in high school. "Who Am I," was the title and theme because let's face it, as young people we are always searching for the truth about who we are outside of what others may think or see. I lost that story sometime in my past, but I have never forgotten it because it was a very important piece to write during my teenage years. For the future, I hope to be able to write about more true to life elements of the human condition because I believe everyone has a life-defining story and they all deserve a chance to be told.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

The Crush
Price: Free! Words: 1,570. Language: English. Published: January 15, 2013 . Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(4.89 from 9 reviews)
This short-short romance story was originally written and posted on my blog in early September 2011.
Peyton's Playmate
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,330. Language: English. Published: November 17, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American, Fiction » Erotica » Contemporary
“Peyton’s Playmate” is the story of a mysterious young woman, a devilishly wild and handsome boy next door, and the provocative games they play in order to win each other’s affections.
Paper Images
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 7,890. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
Jarian Martin, a former artist, is a compassionate young man who has dedicated his life to helping others. As the troubles of a difficult past strike closer to home, the life he must fight to save is just as important to him as his own…