Author Q&A with Traci L. Jones

Author Q&A with Traci L. Jones

Traci L. Jones worked in marketing for two years in the Chicago area, before returning to Denver to work as an Account Executive at area advertising agencies. She met her husband, Tony Jones shortly after returning to Colorado and they married in 1995.  They have four children and live in the Denver metropolitan area. Traci is a mentor/instructor with the Masters in Fine Arts – Creative Writing Program at Regis University in Denver, Colorado. She also teaches writing at Lighthouse Writing Workshop in Denver, Colorado and literature for the honors program at University of Colorado at Denver.  Meet Traci….

You are an author, but is it your day job? If not, what does fill your days? My husband owns a compounding pharmacy and I handle the bookkeeping/HR duties for the business.  We have about 24 employees.  I also teach creative writing at the MFA in creative writing program at Regis University and at Lighthouse Writing Workshop.

Did you always want to be an author? Growing up I wanted to work in advertising as a copywriter. So not an author, but still writing and creating. 

What is your most recent book and what inspired you to write it? The most recent finished work is about a young girl who finds out she’s from a line of Seers who can see the souls of others.  With the explosion of superhero movies I was wondering what it would be like to have a  superpower, but not a superpower related to muscles, where you could save someone with strength or speed or being able to fly, but sort of a non-super superpower. 

How do you hope your book uplifts those who read it? I hope my books encourage young girls to value their God given talents–whether that talent is intelligence or a compacity for compassion and empathy. I want them to come away wanting to embrace their greatness.

What are you most excited about with this book? It’s a new genre for me.  I usually write realistic/contemporary fiction. The latest manuscript is more speculative fiction. 

How did writing a book help your career take off?It did allow me to be considered for teaching jobs.  I never considered being a teacher, but I have found I love it.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to succeed in your professional industry? Three important things: 1. Learn your craft.  Take writing lessons.  A lot of them, all the time. 2. Finish you book!  So many of my students have half finished work or they keep editing the first few chapters but never finish. 3. Expect rejection.  Even after you’ve published. A lot of rejection. Don’t expect to be able to feed yourself with the money you make.  Six figure deals are rare. 

How do you handle setbacks and criticism? Not well.  I usually pout. Then after I get over myself and my hurt feelings, I can go back and see that usually the critiques are valid.  Always keep in mind that there is a delicate balance between knowing the intent and vision of your own work and taking outside constructive criticism. 

How do you hold yourself accountable and achieve the goals that you set forth? I work best with deadlines set by others.  If it’s up to me, I’m a mess. My natural default is procrastination. 

How do you structure your day and make time for writing? I don’t.  I’m a hot mess when it comes to writing on a regular basis.  I used to write while I waited for my kids to practice (soccer/volleyball) then they started driving themselves and my structured writing time went out the window.

What do you find most fulfilling in the career that you’ve chosen? I like feeling that I’ve finished a project and I love the creative aspect of writing fiction. 

What book uplifts you? Any good writing feeds my soul. I read most genres of fiction. 

Connect with Traci L. Jones on her website and check out all her books and upcoming events.

Images courtesy of Traci L. Jones

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