Teganjaz Books Presents....

Join Our Mailing List

August 2010

  An Intimate Look 

at Author Tracy L. Darity
          Arlington Loft
"Anyone can write a book, it taks a storyteller to ignite the imagination"
                                                                                                              Tracy L. Darity
I hope life has been good to you since my last mailing.  It has been so hot here in Florida that at times it is hard to enjoy any outdoor activities.  For the July 4th weekend I joined family at a celebration party for my cousin Kenny who brought August Wilson's play "Fences" to Broadway.  The play was nominated for 10 Tony Awards and walked away with 3, including Best Male Actor (Denzel Washington) and Best Female Actress (Viola Davis).  What fun things have you been up to?
This month, if you will indulge me, I wanted to do something a little different.  After I send out my newsletters I receive emails from some of you wanting to know more about me.  While reviewing a questionnaire from an interviewer I came up with the idea for this months newsletter.   You can also, click here to listen to live interviews.   You can also email your questions and comments to Questions@TracyLDarity.com.
Much Love,
Find us on Facebook     Follow us on Twitter
Simple Beginnings
I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, a city located on the west coast of the state, southwest of Tampa.  We are home of the Tampa Bay Rays, baseball team and beautiful beaches not affected by the Gulf oil spill.  Growing up, I was probably the least likely of my siblings to have children, but here I am the proud mother of three beautiful daughters.  Although I have always been a writer (I 've been journaling since I was 14 and English and Literature were always my favorite subjects), the dreams of my youth were to become a model and eventually work in the fashion industry.  When I am not writing, I love gardening, walking, and simply experiencing life.
 To continue on this journey with me, I invite you to connect with me at www.TracyLDarity.com, www.TracyLDarity.ning.com, Facebook, and Twitter; or  Keyword:  TracyLDarity.
This Journey Has No GPS
 Arlington Loft
If you have ever logged onto my website you have probably read my bio and know that I was inspired to pen my first novel, He Loves Me He Loves Me Not!"  after attending the 1997 Essence Music Festival.  There I met three newbie's, Tananarive Due, Eric Jerome Dickey, and Michael Baisden.  However, if it had not been for the inspiring words of Political Activist Tavis Smiley, meeting those three probably would not have been as significant as it was.  Tavis stated, "We all have a God given talent but it's up to us to Determine, Define, and Distribute that talent...if not, we will always be in the audience and never on stage."  To this day, those words inspire me.


Although He Loves Me He Loves Me Not! was completed in late 1998, the road to publication took ten years, a ton of rejections, a lot of self-doubt, and a few detours.  I still remember the day I held my first proof in my hands.  I could not believe that was my name staring back at me on an actual book.  Once the awe wore off, the real work began.  Trust me, I had no clue what lay ahead. Things like, forming a readership, defining my true audience, promoting, marketing, and getting on the road are only a short list.  Here it is two years later and I am still learning, making adjustments, and so much more.  To get an idea, I invite you to read my on-line travel journal.


After the release of my first novel I thought this was a cool hobby but since then I have become one of the 15 million Americans who have found themselves amongst the nations unemployed.  The past seven months have been a period of self-discovery and renewal.  If I could find that perfect formula, and make that one connection; I would love to make writing my new career.  Until then, I must continue to pound the pavement for that next steady paycheck.

ABC's and 123's of My Writing Style
Arlington Loft 

When people learn I am a published author, they want to know if I am traditional published or self-published - I prefer the title Independent Artist, which means everything you see is my own creativity at work. 


Next they ask, how long does it take me to write a book - on average, about a year or so; how do I come up with the topic, title, do I research, etc? 


In the case of He Loves Me He Loves Me Not! I was inspired by a speech given by Dr. Gwendolyn Goldsby-Grant, at the same 97' Essence Festival.  She opened her dialog with the childhood game, by the same name.  Once I wrote down the excerpt from her speech the story just followed.  I thought it only natural to title the book after the game.  I believe life in general was the best research for the book, and not necessarily my life, as many have assumed; but the life of women in general who constantly say to me that this book is their life story.


The title, Love...Like Snow In Florida On A Hot Summer Day is somewhat of a metaphor.  It represents the awesomeness of falling in love, but under the wrong conditions it isn't destined to last.  The inspiration for this novel came from the influx of infidelity in the workplace, on television, the radio, and everywhere else you tune in.  It is a realistic approach to the topic, straight with no chaser, so to speak.


A lot of writers require an outline before they can begin writing, but I do not write from an outline.  Once I have my subject, the words begin to flow and I develop my outline as I go.  This has its downsides but it works for me.  I write best at night, once I get a good flow I can go for hours.  During the daytime, there is a favorite spot of mine off Tampa Bay that I love to venture to in order to get my thoughts in line.  The most challenging part of writing for me is adhering to self-imposed timelines.  Once I reach the last page of a manuscript I hope to have believable characters, an interesting plot, a storyline that flows smoothly and with resolution.  I prefer a full story that may take 400 pages to tell, to a 250 page book that turns into multiple sequels that simply rehash the same storyline.

You Can Lean On Me
Everyone, regardless of their career path, needs the support of family and friends.  I have been blessed with both.  I have had family members who have not only purchased both novels and anxiously await the third, but also tell any and everyone they can think of about my work.  Two of my biggest cheerleaders have been my close friends Tamela and Juanita.  When I hit the road for my very first book event, they were there with me.  When the event didn't pan out to meet our expectations, they continued to encourage me.  Whatever I ask of them, they do their best to oblige, and I am so grateful for their friendship.


Some people will tell you that your work is good because they don't want to hurt your feelings.  I believe my family and friends know me well enough to know that I expect nothing less than their honest opinions.  There are times when I feel that I am going on and on and wearing them down abut so far no one has told me to just "shut-up already!"

Motivating Factors

Oftentimes, I receive pre-interview questions and on the list they always ask what books have influenced my life the most, is there an author that I would consider a mentor or idol, and who are my favorite writers.


I really want to come up with a great piece of literature that is profound and everyone will want to run-out and purchase.  In most cases, the question is left blank, but as I think about it more and more I realize, the answer is the Holy Bible.  I read it often; it inspires me, encourages me, and contains the answers to the things that perplex me the most in life.  In terms of a mentor I draw a blank.  Every now and then I can catch someone on Facebook who will answer a question or two but so far, no one has offered to read my work or take me under their wings to show me the tricks of the trade.  It could be due to the competitive nature of the publishing industry.  Personally, I will help anyone I can. 


Now, for favorite authors, I could go on and on.  If you have written a book or two that I truly loved, then you are on my list.  When forced to name a name, I have to go with Eric Jerome Dickey.  I have a love-hate but mostly love relationship with Mr. Dickey.  I love his characters and the awesome flow of his stories.  His writing style pulls me into the characters, the scenes, and I can visualize myself in the story.  I appreciate books that take me on a journey and ignites my imagination.

What's On My Bookshelf?

My last two books read are Ghetto Resume' by Freddie Simmons, and Pleasure by Eric Jerome Dickey.  My current reads are The Last Juror by John Grishom, and Dream Merchant by Erroll J. Bailey.  In the past year I have read a lot of books by independent authors and new authors in general but find myself migrating back into mainstream fiction with those whose writing I am more familiar with. It's not that the talent isn't out there, it is more about learning what's out there. It is so important for avid readers, book clubs, and authors themselves to write reviews, create listmania's, and tell others about great books they have discovered.


Want to see more of my favorite things, including books, tv shows, music, etc,  just click here

A Look Ahead

Currently, I am working on my third novel, tentatively titled The Red Bear Circle.  The premise of the book deals with the HIV/AIDS epidemic facing youth ages 13 - 24.  This is turning out to be my most challenging work to-date but that is a good thing.  I believe to stay viable in this business I have to step out of the box and deliver stories that do not mirror everything else that is being written.  Someone told me that there are only 15 topics that a writer can write about but a million books are published every year.  So to stand-out and be noticed I must push my imagination to a whole other level.


While I am writing, I post my my random musings on my blog, and you can also follow my column, Tracy's Point, in the West Orlando News.

Precious Moments
 Arlington Loft



My brother once said to me that he was praying for my success but I would need to determine what success meant to me.  To-date I haven't sold a million books, nor have I made it to any best-seller lists.  However, I have received numerous accolades from people known and unknown who have taken a chance on an unknown writer and were pleasantly surprised by what they found.  It feels good to have your peers say they enjoy your work but when a complete stranger takes time out of their day to write an email stating they enjoyed my books or to share how the stories impacted their life, it takes me to a whole other level of gratitude. 


I love and appreciate all the kind words, the encouragement, prayers, and support that I have received along the way.  It only reaffirms what Tavis Smiley said that July day in 1997.  We must pursue our dreams and develop our talents; otherwise we'll never know our full potential.

This journey wouldn't be nearly as much fun if it weren't for those cheering me on along the way.  Click here to access my photo albums from various events.  Hopefully, one day I will have a picture of you.
A Special Offer
Teganjaz T-Shirts
Front -Teganjaz Books Logo
Back - "Read A Good Book Lately?"
Ladies Cap sleeve  t-shirts.
Purchase both He Loves Me He Loves Me Not! and Love...Like Snow In Florida On A Hot Summer Day and receive a hot new Teganjaz Books Presents t-shirt, absolutely free!
Our Price: $24.95
List Price: $36.94
S & H: $3.00
To take advantage of this offer while it lasts, click here.  Buy Now 
Until The Next Time
Arlington Loft 


 I hope  you enjoyed this little get to know me session.  The life of any independent artist consists of not only creating work people will enjoy, but also exposing their work to the world.  So even if Contemporary Fiction isn't your cup of tea or you currently aren't in the market for a few great books, please do not let it stop you from sharing this information with others or letting them know there is a new author on the block and she's looking to win them over.
 Until the next time.  Be Blessed!