Author FEATURE QUESTIONS – Tracie E. Christian Book Title: The Comfort Zone
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- Where are you from?
Answer: Detroit (northeast side)
Tell Us your latest news?
Answer: I have a new release coming out October 5,2019 – The Comfort Zone which is the follow-up to my last novel, If I Had No Loot in my Motor City Survival series. I also am happy to announce the debut of my first book, The Black College Sabbatical – FALL Quarter on Audible, ITunes and Amazon.
When and why did you begin writing?
Answer: I began writing seriously in 2003. I had a story on my heart I needed to tell. I had been writing secretly as a child, teen and young adult so overcoming the fear of rejection was huge for me. I published my first novel in 2007.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Answer: I don’t think I fully considered myself to be a writer until I started my second book. That’s when I became a lot more confident in what I could do in my writing. With the first book , I was trying to create every image for the reader. By the second book, I was more strategic in the way I told the story so the reader could create their own image.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Answer: My experiences attending a historically black college in the 1990’s, was the direct motivation for my first book. I wanted to tell an H.B.C.U. that demonstrated the vitality and necessity for these institutions of higher learning through a dramatic fiction story with characters everyone could relate to.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Answer: I’ve been told my books read like screen plays but I just aim to tell an honest, enjoyable and relatable story every time I put pen to paper.
How did you come up with the title?
Answer: In an effort to gel my writing with my love for retro R&B music, I decided to title all my books after the Black College Sabbatical trilogy, after song titles of yester-year according to their subject matter. That’s how we got Toast to the Fool (a song by the Dramatics), If I Had No Loot (A song from Tony, Toni, Tone), my 2 non-fiction titles, (This One’s For Me and You 1 & 2 – Menatal Meal Interpretations form the Motor City Sis (a song title by Johnny Gill ft. New Edition) and now The Comfort Zone (a song title by Vanessa Williams)
Is there a message in your title that you want readers to grasp?
Answer: Yes. In the Motor City Survival series books, If I Had No Loot & The Comfort Zone, I want people to read a story of hardworking, creative, honest people building businesses in a major city that suffered a lot of corruption, financial woes, and urban decay. Even in the wake of destruction people living in cities like Detroit, MI are still working and building their success stories and not all of them consist of illegal activity. I hope people see the struggles of men working together to help each other make it to their next level.
How much of the book is realistic?
Answer: All of it 100%
Are experiences based on someone you know or events in your own life?
Answer: A little of both
What books have most influenced your life most?
Answer: Married Men by Carl Weber, The Coldest Winter Ever by Sistah Soldier & Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillian
If you had to choose? Which writer would you consider a mentor?
Answer: I’d have to say Carl Weber and Terry McMillian. They both made me want to write stories that talked to readers like their stories spoke to me.
What book are you reading now?
Answer: I am reading, From the Projects to the Promised Land by Tonya Latney
Are there any new authors that have grabbed your interest?
Answer: Yes, Tonya Latney & Janay Balderas
What are your current projects?
Answer: Currently I am working on editing the audio files for my second novel’s, The Black College Sabbatical – WINTER Quarter Audible debut. I am also voicing the novel, He wasn’t Good Enough For Me by Janay Balderas and releasing my eight novel, The Comfort Zone
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Answer: My alma mater, Central State University (HBCU in Wilberforce, OH) provides me with Speaker and Vendor opportunities and has archived the entire Black College Sabbatical trilogy series in their Hallie Q. Brown Memorial Library and also Motown Writers Network always offers helpful resources and information that always comes in handy for new and seasoned authors.
Do you see writing as a career?
Answer: Yes absolutely
If you had it to do all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Answer: No. I think my mission was accomplished in this book, to Entertain, Inform and Incite thought and conversation.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Answer: As an avid reader as I child, I always wanted to write stories after reading a good one.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Answer: Chapter 1 – The Morning After
Broken glass everywhere, torn drapery, smashed up instruments; spilled wine spots all over Xavier’s once beautiful, flawless mural and a giant size hole in the middle of the living room’s picture window are the images that surround Chris when he turns the lights on in his business establishment/home. It is deathly quiet now which is a large improvement from last night’s may lay at the soft grand opening gone terribly wrong. He may not have gone to jail last night but, his happiness was straight up arrested against his will by the woman of his dreams. And as much as he hates to admit it, he knows deep down while there is plenty of blame to go around, this dream turned nightmare is mostly his fault. It’s a helluva hard pill to swallow, but he knows it’s true as he breaks more glass with every step he takes around the room, surveying the damage up close, because its personal.
Snapping out of the fog of the mess before him, Chris rushes to the kitchen just knowing Max is in there. He’s sure Max will know what to say to help him arrange his thoughts about this business and his woman. Only when Chris bursts through the door leading into the kitchen he does find Max, but he’s not alone when Chris comes in. The sight of Angel sitting at the island on a stool, chillin’ back with Max, sipping tea like everything good in both their lives didn’t just fall the fuck apart just a few short hours ago sickens him. It sends a sharp pain straight to the center of his ass and instantly his anger returns at the sight of them. When he first woke up, Chris’ feelings were jumbled up and disappointment won the top spot in his thoughts. Yet, seeing Angel before he has a chance to sort out all his other feelings send anger and rage forging ahead at warped speed to the forefront of his mind, right past his mere disappointment. He storms right back out the door and Angel jumps up, storming out right behind him.
“Chris wait!” Angel shouts as Chris keeps walking down the hallway and the set of stairs that lead to the basement.
“Go away Angel!” He demands without even looking back, keeping up his fast pace to make it hard for her to catch up to him.
“No! I’m not going anywhere until we work through this!” She shouts right back. Once he makes his way to the workout room, he tries to close the door to block her from getting in, but she pushes it back open before the latch connects. Chris just slumps down on the weight bench.
“What the fuck is there for us to talk about?” Chris spits back at her as he stares her up and down like she has lost her mind.
“Are you serious right now?” She replies visibly confused.
“Yeah I am! We don’t have anything to talk about because we both know what you did! You ruined my business and busted up my dreams and hard work in about 20 minutes flat! I know we’re both clear on that shit!”
“Oh so that’s what you’re doing now? You’re acting like the shit you did didn’t set this entire ball of fire in motion! You took money from me Chris! Then, when I tried to see what was going on here with you I got nothing! What the fuck was I supposed to think?” Angel shouts at the top of her lungs before Chris promptly interrupts her.
“Anything, other than I stole from you! That money I took was in our joint account! It was OUR money Angel, not just yours!”
“Chris it was majority mines, and if it did belong to us then I deserved to know what you were doing with the money before you did it, not after!”
“It was supposed to be a surprise Angel! I wanted to wow you with what I knew I could do. The plan was to hand you the money I spent back, and to show you how much I had done while you were gone! I wanted you to see the proof that I could take good care of us!”
“I know that now, thanks to Max, but I should have heard all that from you! You left last night while I was held up by the police so I waited around so we could talk.” Angel says with less anger and more sincerity as she calms the tone of her voice all the way down. She walks over to him, lifting his head to look up at her as she continues. “On the way here all I wanted to do was kiss you! I missed you so much and I really was hoping that you’d have a valid reason for me not being able to contact you and for the money being gone. But when I got here I…”
“You saw shit and immediately jumped to fucked-up conclusions and went house quake first!” He yells turning his head away from her before standing to put space between them. He walks over to the punching bag standing with his back to her. There is deafening silence in the room as Angel finally walks up to Chris. She speaks no words as she stands so close behind him that her breasts press up against his back. She then begins to slowly rub her fingers through his soft, wavy hair as she plants soft, sensual kisses to his neck and shoulders. He stands as still as his arousal will let him as she attempts to break down his defenses. When she whispers in his ears, she can feel the rate of his breathing change.
“Baby I am so sorry for what happened. I just want to get back to loving you. I need you Chris and you need me.” She hisses as she continues kissing his shoulders.
“Stop Angel,” he says with staggered breath as he refuses to turn and face her.
“Stop what Chris? Stop loving you? You want me to stop wanting you?” She whispers seductively as she works her hands around his waist to the front of his jogging pants. As she caresses his manhood from behind she continues. “I missed you so much Chris please let’s just end this.”
Angel is making it her business to tear down Chris’ anger with the passion that always erupts like a volcano between them and Chris is getting closer to losing this battle with every stroke, kiss and caress. Not able to fight her off any longer, Chris turns around and snatches Angel up into his arms and plants a super sensual, hard kiss on her. She’s caught totally off guard as he takes all her breath away. Her inner cave was craving him already so when he kissed her, she didn’t hesitate to wrap one leg around his.
Passionately kissing, Chis picks Angel up and makes his way over to the nearest wall. Planting her back against it after putting her back on her feet, he grabs the sides of her fitted maxi dress and raises it over her head to reveal her naked body underneath. Kissing her bare breasts first, he flicks his tongue furiously over her hard nipples and now she’s the one with the staggered breathing as she enjoys every second of his surrender
Wrapping both legs around him after he picks her up again, Angel doesn’t resist as Chris reaches down, pulls out his rod and eases himself into her warm, wet womanhood. She holds on for dear life as he slams into her, pleasing her with a constant, strong stoke. He makes her legs shake as he rolls, and pumps with no mercy. When his grip on her ass intensifies, she motions her body up and down on him faster until they both explode in sheer ecstasy at the same time.
For a moment the pair are frozen in the euphoria of what just happened. Once they catch their breath, Angel looks for the forgiveness in Chris’ eyes that the sex between them just now solidified. As Chris puts Angel back down to her feet, He doesn’t say a word, but never breaks their stare. Angel is the first to speak.
“I missed you so much baby. That was amazing.” She confesses as she picks her dress up off the floor and puts it back on.
“Yes it was, but it doesn’t change anything Angel.” He replies emotionless as he readjusts himself in those jogging pants.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Angel asks in obvious confusion.
“It means that after last night, you proved to me that no matter how much I’ve done for you, and with you, you still don’t trust me. So you’re right Angel. This thing between us has to end. I’m sorry. You can let yourself out.” He says to her sadly before turning around and leaving her in the basement with her mouth dropped open all alone.
Angel actually thought he was joking until she heard the side door open and close. Then a car door open and close before an engine revved up. It’s at that moment when she hears a car drive away that she realizes her issues with Chris go far beyond just what happened last night, or that money being gone. She had fucked up royally and lost her man in the process.
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Who is your favorite author and what is it about them that really strikes you about their work?
Answer: For me it has to be Car Weber. I just love how he tells stories for a realistic point of view and how his books and characters all connect somehow. I think that’s cool.
Do you have to travel much concerning your books?
Answer: More than I did when I first started. Having readers in Cleveland and Atlanta makes me move outside of the city more often. I say the more the merrier.
Who designed your cover?
Answer: The Comfort Zone = Selfpubbookcovers/LaLimaDesign
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Answer: Having Patience is the hardest part because once I feel like I’ve got a good story I am on fire until it is released. Then, I calm down a bit. I have come to learn over the years that I’ve got to keep the fire burning 24-7 before, during, and after a book is released.
Do you have any advice for other authors?
Answer: I encourage authors to trust themselves and their ideas that lie within because that is the only way they will reach their true level as a writer. We are not all supposed to sound alike, so it’s okay to allow yourself to be your-kind-of different in your writing. Also it is okay to acknowledge yourself as a writer/artist. No matter how tardy you think you are to the party, once your book comes out, it’s on.
Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers!
Answer: Yes. First, thank you for supporting my writing efforts up to this point. If you like any of my books, or those of other authors, please READ, REVIEW & SHARE their links, pages, websites, etc. The word of mouth from a reader is really the BEST form of Promotion and Inspiration for all writers indeed.
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