Interview with Tracy St. John

What's the story behind your upcoming book, Alien Caged?
'Alien Caged' is the eighth (!) book in the Clans of Kalquor series. Those who have read the series know the Earth/Kalquor War has ended ... at least it has in a formal sense. There are still those who refuse to stop fighting, which is where we are when the book opens. A renegade Earther battlecruiser has captured the crew of a Kalquorian destroyer. The captain and his two male clanmates are trying to figure a way to escape, and they think the lovely Earther crewwoman Elisa might be the key to their freedom.

The characters in this installment are a little different from previous books in that they are older ... middle-aged, mature, settled into their lives. I myself am 46 years old, and a large number of my readers are not the twenty-somethings that appear so frequently in erotica. I really felt it was time for us to have a heroine with some laugh lines and crow's feet. We are still vital, beautiful, and sensuous women despite what media would have us believe. 'Alien Caged' celebrates that and the men who appreciate us.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on the coast of North Carolina in small town. I was surrounded by the fishing and tobacco-growing short, there was very little to do, especially in the pre-Internet and video gaming age. We had two channels on our television. There was nothing to do but play and read, for the most part. Playing for me, my younger brother, and our friends meant using your imagination. A stick could be your rifle, sword, magic wand, a snake ... whatever it needed to be. We played 'pretend' constantly, becoming characters and making up scenarios and adventures as we went. We were coming up with stories all the time! I think of that as my earliest writing lessons.
When did you first start writing?
I wrote short stories as a child in school. I wrote about my dog, the horse I wanted, everything. I wrote a little newspaper for my neighborhood when I was in fifth grade. I can't remember when I wasn't writing.

I wrote my first 'novel' when I was in sixth grade, I think. It was a horror story about a black cat that ends up killing an entire family. It was awful, but what do you want from an eleven-year-old? I think it was the first time I took the idea of a writing career seriously.
What do you read for pleasure?
I'm all over the place with my reading. When it comes to fiction, I read a lot of horror (mostly Stephen King and Dean Koontz), fantasy, and science fiction. I also enjoy the classics, like Tom Sawyer, Frankenstein, and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Funny enough, I rarely read erotica, the genre I'm known for writing. I have a very small list of go-to authors that I enjoy in that category.

I read a ton of non-fiction. Lately I've been heavy into history, from the Revolutionary War to the Civil War. I also read a lot of philosophy, religious study, and books on spirituality. I'm fascinated by everything.
Describe your desk
Ponderous, ha-ha. Last year I worked sitting at this cramped little hand-me-down denizen with overflowing drawers and sagging shelves. I asked for a new desk for Christmas, and Santa was kind enough to deliver. I have this immense executive desk with cubbies and drawers galore, some with space for files. It's gorgeous and when I sit down to work, I know I'm at my 'office'. It helps me get serious about what I need to do, which is write. Best of all, it was a tax write-off.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I have received emails from readers who have told me how my books helped them escape when life has been at its worst for them. They thank me for providing a place where their sadness and hurt can cease for the little while they are immersed in the story. I am always humbled to hear that the words I've strung together gave someone a little happiness. It is the absolute best compliment I think a writer can receive. You can't put a price on that.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have been traditionally published and quite successful at it. However, I have found that a publishing house, with multiple authors to cope with, cannot always respond quickly to our concerns. When there is a problem, it can take quite some time to get it solved. Not only that, but a traditionally published author has little say when it comes to things like book covers, formatting, and things like that. As far as marketing and promotion are concerned, even traditional publishing houses leave a lot of that work to the author. Copy editing? In my opinion, that has become a joke with even the Big 6 publishers. I can't believe the number of mistakes I'm reading in bestsellers these days.

I love that as an indie, I can respond to issues with my books immediately. I don't have to contact someone else and wait for them to get to my problem, which may be a long way down the list. I get to tell my cover artist, "No, that part isn't quite what I want to see. Please change it." Formatting mistakes are no longer a nightmare, as they were at one time. I have complete control over my product and how it is presented. Plus, I keep a lot more of the money my books make!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Right now I use a very old Kindle, one of the original devices. I have asked for a Galaxy tablet for Christmas, which I plan to use for reading once Santa confirms I'm on his 'nice' list.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I like interacting via social media with my readers. I try to make it a point to respond to their emails and Facebook comments. I figure if they take the time and effort to write to me, I owe the same to them. I have the best readers! They let me know what they like about my writing, we discuss the worlds I've built for them and the characters they (and I) love, and we have a great time. Some have even inspired me with new story lines. I think being available to them has helped build relationships beyond that of author/reader. It's like having a bunch of cheerleaders motivating me every day.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything!!! I love them with all my heart.
Published 2013-09-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Shalia's Diary Book 5
Series: Shalia's Diary. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 60,300. Language: English. Published: April 16, 2015. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
Shalia is haunted by the kidnapping she endured ... and by a ghostly presence stalking her through the halls of the vessel taking her to Kalquor.
Alien Indiscretions
Series: Clans of Kalquor. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 153,200. Language: English. Published: March 26, 2015. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
Long-hidden secrets threaten to shatter their love ... and the Kalquorian Empire.
Blood Potion No. 9
Series: Netherworld. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 68,950. Language: English. Published: February 5, 2015. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal
Ghost Brandilynn Payson goes undercover with a shape shifting motorcycle gang bent on wiping out vampires and humans. Beauty, meet the Beasts.
Alien Slave
Series: Clans of Kalquor, Book 5. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 84,280. Language: English. Published: November 12, 2014. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
Having escaped post-Armageddon Earth, Dani Watson is resigned to working in a brothel to pay off her contract. Then her worst nightmare arrives to buy her: a Kalquorian clan.
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 127,740. Language: English. Published: October 25, 2014. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
Intersex Michaela Blake can’t imagine any man falling in love with her ... much less a three-man Kalquorian clan. True love knows no boundaries, however, and Korkla, Govi, and Raxstad won’t let a jealous ex-lover, murderous traitors, or even Michaela herself keep them from the bewitching boy-woman.
Shalia's Diary Book 4
Series: Shalia's Diary. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 67,140. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2014. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
Shalia thinks she’s faced every danger possible as she continues her journey to Kalquor ... but her greatest challenge awaits her on the Xniktix Space Station.
Drop Dead Sexy
Series: Netherworld, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 88,380. Language: English. Published: August 26, 2014. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal
Call girl Brandilynn has been murdered after encountering a serial killer, but with ghostly hunk Dan and vampire Tristan, she proves she’s the life of the after-death party.
Alien Salvation
Series: Clans of Kalquor, Book 4. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 77,650. Language: English. Published: July 27, 2014. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
Lindsey is an Earth survivor who could complete Kalquor’s Clan Bacoj ... or destroy it.
Shalia's Diary Book 3
Series: Shalia's Diary. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 73,210. Language: English. Published: May 28, 2014. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
Told in the passages of her ongoing diary, Shalia Monroe’s adventures continue when she leaves Earth to find and join a clan on Kalquor. However, her heart still breaks for young Clan Dusa, making Shalia wonder if she can indeed find love again.
Clan, Honor, and Empire
Series: Clan Beginnings, Book 3. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 148,940. Language: English. Published: May 4, 2014. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Gay Erotica
When love and duty clash, three men must decide if their loyalties lie with the Kalquorian Empire or each other.
Unholy Union
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 62,740. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2014. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal
Elaine Curtis’ life hangs in the balance when two men battle for her love: tormented priest Father Thomas and Asmodeus, the demon of lust.
Alien Conquest
Series: Clans of Kalquor, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 80,810. Language: English. Published: March 22, 2014. Category: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM
An invasion has Cassidy fighting for her soul, but it’s her heart Clan Tranis is determined to claim.
Alien Rule
Series: Clans of Kalquor, Book 2. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 106,210. Language: English. Published: December 16, 2013. Category: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM
Marked for execution, Jessica McInness knows joining the enemy is her only hope for survival.
Shalia's Diary Book 2
Series: Shalia's Diary. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 65,890. Language: English. Published: November 24, 2013. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
Shalia documents her continuing adventures as rebel Earthers turn on the Kalquorian rescue effort.
Alien Caged
Series: Clans of Kalquor, Book 8. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 106,770. Language: English. Published: October 21, 2013. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
They are the enemy, a threat to her life and soul. They are also the men she loves and must set free.
Ravenous Virtue
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 95,860. Language: English. Published: August 25, 2013. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
Park Service ranger Raven Virtue crosses into an alternate dimension to pursue a vicious criminal responsible for the abductions of dozens of women...where her allies, the brutal and gorgeous Vendeen and shape-shifting Daagiis, prove to be as dangerous as the criminal kingpin she’s determined to stop.
Sister Katherine
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 120,860. Language: English. Published: July 7, 2013. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
A Clans of Kalquor story. A nun must dare her heart and soul when she is captured by a Kalquorian clan.
Alien Embrace
Series: Clans of Kalquor, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 89,370. Language: English. Published: July 3, 2013. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
Re-edited and expanded. An Earth woman is claimed by an alien clan of three men, bringing their two worlds to the brink of war.
Shalia's Diary Book 1
Series: Shalia's Diary. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 61,030. Language: English. Published: May 16, 2013. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
A Clans of Kalquor story. The journal of Shalia Monroe begins in the wake of the end of the Earth-Kalquorian war, in which she details her life following the devastation of Armageddon.
Clan and Conviction
Series: Clan Beginnings, Book 1. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 117,130. Language: English. Published: May 2, 2013. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Gay Erotica
Criminal psychologist Krijero has his hands full trying to discover who is behind the deadly drug epidemic sweeping the Kalquorian Empire. Staving off the romantic inclinations of the case investigator and his enforcer isn’t helping matters any. Prequel to Alien Slave.
Alien Refuge
Series: Clans of Kalquor, Book 7. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 118,440. Language: English. Published: March 14, 2013. Category: Fiction » Erotica » BDSM
Clans of Kalquor 7. Searching for a safe haven for her child sends a woman into the arms of the enemy and in the path of a revolt.
To Clan and Conquer
Series: Clan Beginnings, Book 2. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 86,320. Language: English. Published: December 20, 2012. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Gay Erotica
The prequel to Clans of Kalquor 3: Alien Conquest in which an ambitious young officer, a crippled warrior, and a wisecracking doctor become unlikely heroes and an even more unlikely clan.
Alien Redemption (Clans of Kalquor Book 6)
Series: Clans of Kalquor, Book 6. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 133,090. Language: English. Published: November 15, 2012. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
Only her love can redeem their crimes ... if their secrets don’t get her killed.
Netherworld III: Once Bitten Twice Dead
Series: Netherworld. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 87,820. Language: English. Published: August 9, 2012. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal
Brandilynn Payson thinks the afterlife’s hard enough having to choose between two yummy men, but now an ancient evil is killing her friends … and she’s next in line.
The Font
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 53,880. Language: English. Published: June 27, 2012. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal
Naya Woods is not what she seems. Her potent blood gives unstoppable power to Heriolf, vampire king of southeast Georgia, allowing him to kill anyone in his path. His terrified subjects, led by noble vampire Elisha Midyet, band together to kidnap Naya in hopes of weakening and destroying Heriolf. Elisha knows the innocent woman in his possession must die for the good of human and vampire alike.
Alien Interludes: Clans of Kalquor Short Stories
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 101,920. Language: English. Published: April 24, 2012. Category: Fiction » Erotica » Sci-Fi Erotica
Short story collection from the bestselling Clans of Kalquor series. Nine tales revisiting the alien clans and their Earther mates.