Please welcome Tracey Alvarez writing as Tracey Drew who is here from New Zealand to talk about her new release.
Hi, Tracey. Great to have you with us. How long have you been published? What titles and/or series have you published and with which publisher? Have you self-published any titles? Please give details.
I self-published my first contemporary romance in December 2013. Since then I have self-published 20+ other romance titles, become a USA Today bestselling author with one of my titles reaching the USA Today list, and I’m now working on a series of cozy mysteries.
Wow! That’s incredible. Congratulations! Tell us a little bit about your books.
I’m currently writing the fourth Knitty Kitties Mystery, with book 3 HANKS & A HITMAN that released on April 19th.
Love the title of your series. I’m partial to kitties, as I feature them in most of my books including my Cobble Cove cozy mysteries.
Describe your goals as a writer. What do you hope to achieve in the next few years? What are you planning to do to reach these goals?
I’d like to write a lot more Knitty Kitties Mysteries, they’re so much fun!
Cozies are enjoyable to write. I’m hoping to continue the Cobble Cove series, too, and also start another.
What type of reader are you hoping to attract? Who do you believe would be most interested in reading your books?
A reader with a sense of humor and one who loves cats, yarn, and a tricksy mystery to solve.
I’m sure that will be a wide audience.
What advice would you give other authors or those still trying to get published?
I’m personally a big proponent of publishing independently—once you’ve done your dues learning to write gripping stories, characters who jump off the page, and developed a voice that readers can’t get enough of, write the books you love. There is an abundance of advice and support online for indie authors, but also plenty if you want to go through traditional channels.
What particular challenges and struggles did you face before first becoming published?
Self doubt. And it doesn’t go away once your first, or even tenth, book is published. You have to take that leap of faith and keep pushing forward.
That’s so true.
Do you belong to any writing groups? Which ones?
I belong to the Romance Writers of New Zealand, who are very supportive to members who write genres other than romance.
What are your hobbies and interests besides writing?
Knitting and crochet, cats, reading, road trips with my car-loving husband.
Those sound like great hobbies. I used to enjoy crocheting, and I love spending time with my cats and my daughter and husband, too.
What do you like most and least about being an author? What is your toughest challenge?
There are many awesome things about being an author—working from home with my two cats snoozing close by, making up stories about imaginary people, the sense of satisfaction from completing another book that I’m proud of. The not-so-good—marketing and promotion, administration, deadlines. The toughest challenge for me is the regular battle with writer’s block and the stress that goes with it.
I’m lucky that I don’t suffer writer’s block, but I agree with you about the challenges of marketing and promotion.
What do you like about writing cozy mysteries?
I love delving into a character’s motivation and backstory, and hiding clues from my readers in plain sight.
I can understand why you like that.
Can you share a short excerpt from your latest title or upcoming release?
Excerpt from Knitted & Knifed.
Around us, people had begun to notice Officer Austin’s marked police vehicle parked outside the store. A few bolder locals wandered over to ask what was going on. I kept my gaze locked onto my phone screen, feigning sudden interest in social media posts of funny cat memes and updates on the mundane things people did on a beautiful summer’s morning.
One of Sean’s talents was people skills, which he successfully employed to evade any direct questions about what was going on inside. As the youngest, he’d learned from his older siblings how to circumvent Mum and Dad’s rules and the consequences of breaking them: with charm and misdirection.
However, by the time two more police cars cruised down Cape Street toward us, even Sean’s cheeky banter couldn’t keep the curious onlookers at bay. Quite a few people now milled around outside the store, and the lead vehicle had to double-park next to a ute and order its driver to move along. As uniformed officers poured onto the sidewalk and immediately began issuing instructions, I caught a glimpse of one man in the second car. He remained in place until the crowd had been ushered aside.
Then, and only then, did he unfold his sizable bulk from the car. And by bulk, I mean six foot something of broad-shouldered, rugby-player-thighed, hands-that-could-crush-a-fistful-of-unshelled-walnuts big. He cut an imposing figure in his charcoal-colored suit, totally out of place in this small seaside town where tidy-casual was considered business attire.
With precision-cut black hair, dark shades, and what might have been a sexy mouth if it wasn’t curved downward in a scowl, he strode toward us, his long legs eating up the sidewalk. I didn’t need to see behind those shades to know he was sizing up my brother and me because he immediately struck me as a size ’em up kind of guy.
He stopped in front of us, arms folded across his chest. “Good morning. I’m Detective Sergeant Mana.”
His voice was as deep as a gravel pit and equally as abrasive.
“Hey,” Sean said.
I kept my lips zipped. Did he expect a polite greeting in return or an impressed gasp in recognition of his authority?
His gaze slowly swept from Sean’s face to mine. “Tell me. Which one of you brought a cat to a crime scene?”
Excellent excerpt. Thanks for sharing.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or your books?
My books are set in a fictional town in a very real and beautiful region of New Zealand, the Hawke’s Bay. As a New Zealander, I love introducing my readers to our stunning country.
Setting is very important to readers.
Thanks for the great interview. I’m sharing your blog tour and giveaway below. Best wishes on your new release and forthcoming books.
Knitted and Knifed: A Humorous & Heartwarming Cozy Mystery
(A Knitty Kitties Mystery) by Tracey Drew
About Knitted and Knifed
Knitted and Knifed: A Humorous & Heartwarming Cozy Mystery (A Knitty Kitties Mystery)
1st in Series
Publisher: Independently published (January 5, 2021)
Paperback: 224 pages
Digital – ASIN: B08GL9XM2Q
Wanted: Cat mum to manage a yarn store, corral two curious cats, all the while being tangled up in murderous mayhem and mystery.
A smart woman would dump her cheating ex, move from the city, and give herself a chance for a well-deserved do-over. A smarter woman—smarter than me, anyway—wouldn’t jump out of that same frying pan and return to Cape Discovery, a seaside village where her family is the nuttiest of all the nut-ball residents.
I’m a former high school counselor, middle-child peacemaker, and current curator of lots of squishy/fuzzy goodness at my granddad’s little yarn store. Temporary assistant. Until I decide what to do with the rest my life. There’s only one knotty problem to untangle first. The knife sticking out of the most unpopular man in town, and the police detective trying to pin the murder on the donkey—otherwise known as my younger brother. With a pair mischievous cats determined to be underfoot and a craft group of Serial Knitters and Happy Hookers wanting the inside scoop, a girl could lose her mind. And if the killer has their way, maybe even my life…
Tessa Wakefield has her hands full juggling a cozy craft store, her crazy family, and two men who’d rather poke out their eyes than describe themselves as cute. Which they totally are. Cute, charismatic, and occasionally on her mind when she’s not stumbling over dead bodies and using her newfound sleuthing skills to track down murderers. Lucky she’s an excellent multi-tasker because digging beneath Cape Discovery’s surface can unearth secrets that kill.
About Tracey Drew
Tracey Drew lives Down Under with her husband—who’s given up complaining about her yarn addiction–and two madcap tabby cats called Kevin and Alfie. The feline brothers constantly battle with her while she’s trying to write her books by demanding lap-time, but they also provide constant inspiration for her fun & quirky cozy mysteries.
Social Media links:
Newsletter sign up (Free prequel e-book for signing up): http://eepurl.com/haZpPz
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/Tracey-Drew/e/B08GMCH74Q
Goodreads Author: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20705014.Tracey_Drew
Goodreads Title: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55355231-knitted-and-knifed
BookBub profile: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/tracey-drew
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