Shades Of Romance Magazine: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.
Tracy Price-Thompson: Hmmm...Tracy Price-Thompson the person... Well, I am the wife of Greg and mother to his children, I'm Michelle's sister and a good friend to many. Those who know me describe me as driven and hardworking, someone who sets goals and then knocks down barriers to achieving them. The greatest enjoyment in my life comes from teaching and relating to my children, and keeping things as peaceful and balanced in my life as possible. I am very family-oriented and loyal to those whom I love, and oh yeah--my business partner, TaRessa Stovall, thinks I'm a workaholic!
SORM: Tell us about your current book?
PRICE-THOMPSON: My upcoming release (February 2003, Hardcover) is CHOCOLATE SANGRIA, a tale of sexuality and self-identity that puts a startling spin on the bonds of friendship and the devastating consequences of keeping secrets, telling lies, and the betrayal of those you love. My characters are young lovers who are battling sexual orientation stereotypes and skin and hair prejudices amongst people of color. They come of age at a time where the battle for limited resources in urban communities is raging, and must somehow find the strength to love and forgive inspite of the struggles in their lives.
SORM: Which scene in the book is your favorite?
PRICE-THOMPSON: My favorite scene in the book is where my main male and female characters, Conan and Juanita, begin to appreciate their budding new love, and embrace the differences in each other despite the misgivings of their families and friends.
SORM: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?
PRICE-THOMPSON: It is my hope that readers feel a sense of hope and promise at the conclusion of Chocolate Sangria. So much goes wrong for all of the characters, and not everything is resolved by tying things up in a neat little bow at the end. Readers should be satisfied that everyone has just about gotten their due, but left wondering about the ultimate fate of the characters long after they read the last page.
SORM: Tell us about your journey to publication.
PRICE-THOMPSON: My journey to publication was a bit atypical in that I self-published my first novel, BLACK COFFEE using Print-On-Demand technology at a time when it was in its infancy stages and was overrun with challenges. In addition to writing a solid and entertaining story, I was a very aggressive promoter of my work, without--I hope--being overly pushy or intrusive on others. I attended key events and was invited to sign with established authors, and three months after Black Coffee's release I was solicited by an agent. Two months later I had an unprecedented three-book contract with Random House imprint, Villard/Strivers Row.
SORM: If your book could be made into a movie, whom would you choose to play the lead characters?
PRICE-THOMPSON: Oh! Great question! I MUST start with Black Coffee. I would LOVE for Regina King to play Sandie. If not her, then Therese Marshall, the girl that played in Girl 6 and in New Jack City. Romulus would be Morris Chestnut! As for Chocolate Sangria, I have no idea!
SORM: Do you have a favorite historical book?
PRICE-THOMPSON: I love historical fiction, in particular I enjoy those novels written by Delores Thornton.
SORM: If you had known then what you know now, what would you have done differently in terms of your writing career?
PRICE-THOMPSON: No. I think a writing career is a process, and both the good and the bad experiences are necessary for growth and appreciation. I don't know if I would be nearly as grateful and humble as I am if things had come too easily for me. I enjoyed the struggles as well as the rewards of this career, and look forward to doing more for the industry by bringing quality collaborative works to the reading public through my co-owned company, TnT Explosions.
SORM: What was the best writing advice you received?
PRICE-THOMPSON: The best writing advice I ever received was from my husband. "Study writing, Tracy. You have to study writing." Of course I didn't follow that advice right away, and as a result I had a lot of rewriting and revising to do. This taught me to approach writing with respect as both an art and a craft.
SORM: What are your goals as a writer?
PRICE-THOMPSON: My goals are to bring quality works to my readership. Not to play my readers cheap or sell them short by writing books filled with commercial shock value but little literary merit. I encourage readers to read a variety of genres, but please, read up. Read on higher levels. Begin reading works from writers who have studied and taken the time to learn their craft, and who care about pouring their skills into their work in order to give you the best reading experience possible.
SORM: What advice would you give someone whose book is about to be published?
PRICE-THOMPSON: Promote your work, develop a contact list, immerse yourself in the industry, and network with other authors who might be able to help get you through doors that might otherwise remain closed.
SORM: What is the latest pager-turner you've read?
PRICE-THOMPSON: Hmm...that is difficult because I provide structural editing services and as I reader I am VERY hard to please. I like to be entertained in fiction, but not dummied up with careless plots and sloppy writing. The last books that actually entertained, challenged, and stimulated me were Discretions, by Elizabeth Nunez, and Hot Johnny by Sandra Jackson-Opoku. But I am a GLORIA NAYLOR NUT! I love that woman and her writings, Mama Day and Bailey's Cafe, in particular.
SORM: Do you have any advice for those aspiring writers?
PRICE-THOMPSON: Yes. Study the craft. Don't just sit down at your computer and begin typing. Respect this business and keep the bar high. Seek to tell stories that are unique and entertaining. Don't try to duplicate anyone else's voice or style. Be original and come up with your own storylines and themes. READ. You would be amazed at how many people who ask me for help with their writing don't read. Writers need to read as much as possible. And read critically. Don't be fooled by drama trying to pass itself off as good writing. Again, study the art and craft of writing. Take classes and read how-to books on writing. Stay encouraged and persevere! You can do it!
SORM: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
PRICE-THOMPSON: I can be reached at email@example.com and my website is tracypricethompson.com
SORM: Can you give us a sneak peek at your next book?
PRICE-THOMPSON: My next work will be Proverbs For The People, the first major anthology of completely original fiction since Terry McMillan's Breaking Ice. Proverbs features the best of mainstream, self-published, and unpublished authors, each of whom has selected either an African, African-American, or Biblical proverb and written a short story to bring that proverb to life. Contributors include, Pearl Cleage, Donna Hill, Sharon Ewell Foster, Timm McCann, Franklin White, Omar Tyree, Venise Berry, Robert Fleming, Tracy Grant, Travis Hunter, Parry Brown, and many many others. This is a collection you will not want to miss. Look for it in hardcover from Kensington Publishing in June 2003.
Thank you LaShaunda!
SHADES OF ROMANCE MAGAZINE WOULD LIKE TO THANK MS. PRICE-THOMPSON FOR THIS INTERVIEW. WE WISH YOU MANY BLESSINGS.