About Traci Hall

From cozy mysteries to seaside romance, USA Today bestselling author Traci Hall writes stories that captivate her readers. As a hybrid author with over sixty published works, Ms. Hall has a favorite tale for everyone. Mystery lovers, check out her Scottish Shire series, set in the seaside town of Nairn, or the Salem B&B Mystery series, co-written as Traci Wilton. Her latest project is an Irish Castle cozy as Ellie Brannigan. Whether it's her ever-popular By the Sea romances, an Appletree Cove sweet romance, or a fun who-done-it, Traci finds her inspiration in sunny South Florida, living right near the ocean. Traci wants to hear from you! Traci@TraciHall.com

Writing Journey

Authors’ Billboard Blog December 6th

A long and winding road…

My journey as a writer/author/story creator hasn’t been put tab A into slot B and success will rain down in the form of money and accolades. I wish 😉

Instead, it was more of a squiggly line and now here I am with 62 published novels. The last fourteen have been in the cozy mystery/mystery genre. I am grateful for the romance community, one of generosity from my first ever Florida Romance Conference when I was, gulp, 34. What does one know at 34?? Well, I always knew I wanted to be a writer, so that part never changed. The genres of my stories were more flexible. As it turned out, that meant that I was writing all over the board rather than choosing a lane, which isn’t the recommended route for “success”. Oops.

After my divorce in 2013, I found, thanks to my dear friend Patrice Wilton, contemporary romance, and Authors’ Billboard. I’d previously been published by small presses in medieval romance and young adult novels. It seemed the YA market didn’t flourish in the ebook market in 2008/2009 and at the time the one thing that was going strong with ebooks was romance. Especially contemporary romance! Readers devoured those stories. The small press that my medieval romances were with went bankrupt in 2014 (I think) so I focused on writing contemporary romances about women who healed their broken hearts by the sea, that I could indie publish with Authors’ Billboard. We hit the USA Today several times!! I was part of my local RWA chapter and Patrice and I co-wrote our first book, a romance titled: Soccer Studs, Brody. Well, we found out that we were compatible writing partners (I plot, she is a pantser who wrote a steady number of pages per day, which is reliable and wonderful) On one FRW cruise, we met our agent and pitched Brody. He didn’t sell the romance but asked us (separately) if we’d be interested in cozies. Patrice answered the call before I did (she’s always been a few steps ahead lol) but she included me when she accepted, and this new direction of our careers was born. That was five years ago, and we have six books together in the Salem B and B series, and two indie Sandpiper Bay mysteries, with a third to come.

I have branched out from my Lauderdale by the Sea contemporaries to the West Coast, which are grittier romances. I do one per year as I focus on the cozies. My Scottish Shire series has been put in large print for libraries and was picked up by a German publisher. I have a new Irish Castle series that will debut as Ellie Brannigan in February. I never could have imagined being here. When I was first published in 2008, I thought that within ten years I’d be making six figures and living a life of champagne and lobster. The publishing industry was knocked on its butt, but we never gave up. We adapted. The truth is that people love stories, whether it’s reading or watching or gaming, the heart is a story of some kind. My journey has had ups and downs, but here I am, twenty years later. I have books in the one remaining bookstore LOL—or so it seems, but Barnes and Noble has been kind. My champagne is bought at Total Wine. I have the privilege of writing stories for my modest but independent living. There are times when the road is rocky, and times when it seems to fly. It’s crazy to be on this particular hilltop and look back to where I’ve come from, appreciate it, and then continue on the journey!

Thanks so much to my writing community! Thanks to the gang at Authors’ Billboard. As I close this, thanks to my nineteen-year-long critique partner, Patrice 😊

Wishing everyone an amazing holiday season, with love,

Traci

Rent or buy?

Authors’ Billboard Blog Traci Hall October 6th

Carving out time this morning on the balcony with coffee, enjoying the cooler temperatures that Floridians wait all year for. We’ve had so many people move to Florida that rent prices are astronomical. Pulled from the web: Net migration to Florida appears to have peaked at more than 404,000 people in 2020, and it’s expected to be only about two-thirds of that by 2032 — or more than 262,000 people—per year.

Buying a home is also hard, and now because of Hurricane Ian and the 47 billion in projected losses (I’ve also read 75 billion!) we will lose more companies willing to insure the property. After my divorce (ten years ago this December!) I rented, and I love the freedom of that. If something breaks, you call the owner, and they fix it.  I turned 55 this year and my new husband and I go round and round over buying or renting. In this market? I think renting is the safer bet.

That said, the rent prices are climbing so high that we are considering staying in a place where the elevators breaking is a common occurrence and the dog upstairs barks nonstop. To move is a pain, and expensive, and I think of the expression: better the devil you know than the one you don’t. Florida had one of the most dramatic rent increases in the nation, with no wage increase to back it up. My dream has always been to live on the beach, where I write my stories. Family have warned that Florida is sinking, so when I finally buy, to be inland.

If we buy lol. I am seeing a lot of plusses in the rent column. And maybe being exactly on the beach might not be so wise. Florida homes built to withstand hurricanes seemed to do all right in this latest storm!

As a reader as well as a writer, I was pleased to get an email from the Southern Bookseller Review—they posted updates on bookstores around the area hardest hit by Hurricane Ian. The best thing we can do for these guys is to buy books from them and keep business going.  https://thesouthernbooksellerreview.org/southern-bookseller-directory/

Reading is an escape, and what we do matters! I am writing the third book in my Misty Beach series, Mistletoe on Misty Beach. Book one can be found in Irresistible Christmas: Pets to the Rescue

I hope wherever you are, you are safe and happy <3

Traci

Rescue Pet Update!

September 6 Blog Authors’ Billboard Traci Hall

Rescue pet update:

So, our dog bit the mobile groomer. Since taking out her teeth is not an option—and we do love her—I need a solution.

One of the few times CH was able to hold her, when we first got her, and it was just for a minute at the airport

Pazia is not friendly. She is scared of everything but me, and if I move too fast, then even I am suspect. We have had her for nine months. We are making progress, but it is slow going. I bought anti-stress treats to make car rides less of a thing. Christopher can pet Pazia now, but still can’t pick her up. She will jump out of anybody’s arms and twist to get down, but biting the groomer was a new OMG moment. I was shocked, felt terrible, and literally threatened to have her teeth removed if she ever did it again, mostly joking, but she gets a mix of soft and kibble for breakfast so she can have soft. I can’t have a dog that bites.

Now, I was just in California for three weeks and she and Kennedi got along great. Not a nip, not a growl, I think she was so glad to have a human her size lol.

There were two other big dogs there and not a single freaking bite! I was careful of course to keep her in her own space in the back bedroom and she had her own crate. It wasn’t a problem.

This would have been the second time to use this mobile groomer. It was a woman rather than the man last time—last time, she still tried to twist out, but I had brought her into the van and he hooked her collar to the bar.

This woman might have been new. She didn’t speak English. She tried to take her from my arms, but I kept repeating that Pazia is skittish and afraid and a rescue. That language was in every text and email. So, she tried to take Pazia from my arms and my little 6 pounder twisted and bit the poor woman. She dropped Pazia so it was a good thing that we still had her leash on, or she could have darted off.  I thought it was a scratch, but she was speaking Spanish and showed me her finger—which was bleeding!! And I asked if it had been a scratch and she nodded but I don’t think she understood my question. She called her boss, and they had a long conversation that I couldn’t understand and then the boss was like, do you know your dog bit the groomer? I was like, no, I thought it was a scratch—I felt awful, but I was also very glad to have had the emails repeating over and over that she is a skittish dog, a rescue, and scared. The man who had bathed her before, who I had requested but he was off, didn’t say a word about Pazia biting and I think he would have mentioned it. Long story short, Pazia still needs her nails clipped and a bath because she sheds like crazy, and CH is allergic. The owner said that they would give Pazia a bath again if she wore a muzzle.

I have two that I bought that very afternoon. Pink, and black.

Should we change her name her to Cujo instead of Golden Peace? We wanted a dog that would fit in our apartment/travel lifestyle. For the most part, she is great for that. She doesn’t bark, she is great in the crate and sleeps all night, she doesn’t have accidents. She walks on the leash. She uses the grass on the balcony.

She doesn’t let anybody but me pick her up or hold her. It’s been nine months. She no longer fears Christopher and they have a wonderful relationship built off of his patience and treats—but he still can’t hold her in his arms.

I think writing this blog was therapeutic for me lol. We thought, rescue is the way to go. Pazia was so broken that maybe next time, I’d get a puppy. Whatever happened to her during her first year must have been so traumatic that it will take even more time and patience, and there is no guarantee that she will be “fixed.” There is way more good than bad—and now we have two muzzles to choose from so that she can still be groomed.

I am currently writing a dog rescue romance called Mistletoe on Misty Beach for our Unforgettable holiday boxed set about a female firefighter and a retired chief from the navy. Kara and Antonio already have their issues and I won’t be giving them a chihuahua mix who bites. A nice golden lab maybe who wants to cuddle and take long walks on the beach😊

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Traci

http://tracihall.com

I believe in magic <3 Post brought on by a south Florida sun shower 😊

Warning: kind of personal. This is not my normal post, but here is a sneak peek into who I am.

I believe we choose our happiness, and that includes searching for joy in the shitshow life sometimes feels like. If things were always on an even keel, this ride might get monotonous with being too perfect. Food to eat, a place to live, dreams to dream, lol. I believe in a higher power of some kind—not sure who/what exactly so I am not tied to religious beliefs. I think we need to be kind not only to others, but ourselves. Especially ourselves. Because I saw my father, and my stepdad, and my dear uncle, pass at an early age, I understand that death happens to everyone at any time. I believe there is more to this existence and that there is an after. It makes the loss on this side of the veil easier to accept, knowing we will all meet again. I believe we are connected. I believe that we choose the lessons we want to learn while on this earth, and we choose to learn them with trusted loved ones beforehand. I believe we are supported in our endeavors.

I believe, I know, that we are loved and not alone. If we want something, we have the power within us to make it happen. It feels an awful lot like magic to step into the air not certain there will be a road.

the magic is in you <3

In the past nine years especially, I have experienced a lot of paths beneath my feet that I wasn’t certain would be there. My marriage of 25 years had exploded on a single night, and I was left wondering how I would make it. I’d gone to business college for a degree in floral design. Not exactly practical. During my marriage I started with an in-home daycare as our kids were born and followed their school schedule by also working in the school system as a para pro with the behavior-challenged children. My ex was the main bread winner, especially once we relocated to Florida—gulp—22 years ago. That fateful New Year’s Eve, he wanted a divorce and was like a broken record in all he would say was that he wanted to be happy and didn’t want any responsibilities. No counseling, just out. Of course, there are a million threads to this story that aren’t part of this blog—this is about believing in yourself and finding the magic. If I’d looked at things logically and practically, I would have been afraid. I surrounded myself with great friends. They also believed that I could do it. A friend gave me AND THE DOGS shelter. My manager at Starbucks offered to train me to be a manager and potentially earn forty thousand a year. To someone who didn’t have a steady salary, that was tempting, but it meant giving up on writing as I knew it. At that time, I thought I was on the cusp of hitting it big, lolol, with my medieval romances and YA books. (palm to forehead)

So, I moved from Jupiter to Lauderdale by the Sea, somehow, without a real job, or a salary, got an apartment. I will remember to my dying day being in the passenger seat with my dear friend who grabbed the steering wheel and asked that we find an apartment. We drove to the end of the block as the rental guy was putting a for rent sign in the window. That’s magical. Another friend who I critiqued with for years told me I could be an editor. She learned with me and gave me a chance. Now, I have several clients and get to choose based on my own writing schedule. More magic. Here is the secret to growing that power: you cannot dwell in negativity. Really crappy things had happened. I thought I would never stop crying. My heart was broken in so many pieces. And yet, I got myself out of my bed and went to the ocean with coffee, with wine, with friends, or alone, and I healed. The ocean is magic for me. I had no answers from my ex, lots of denials on what was happening, so I had to let go of expecting answers and understand that it didn’t matter. What mattered was how I reacted to this situation, and damn it, I am a happy person inside.

As time passed, I cried less and focused more on what I could do. There is serious magic in celebrating paying your own rent for the first time in your life. Yeah. I’d never lived alone. It’s pretty powerful to know that you can do it. Thanks to another awesome friend, I started to write indie romances, and was introduced to the ladies here at ABB—they welcomed me with open arms. With them, I’ve made the USA Today three times. I quit Starbucks and edited freelance while writing books. I met Christopher and fell in love. There have been times when things have been uncomfortably tight, but the rent has been paid, groceries bought, soul sustained by doing what I love. I now write mysteries as well as romance. What a long post to say that this is why I believe in magic. You can too! If you’re uncertain, take even a tiny step in the direction you want to go, and the path will appear.

our wedding

I’ve been reading more this summer as I enjoy a slower pace. I highly recommend the authors in these boxed sets who are so talented and guarantee a wonderful, magical, escape.

Happy summer,

Traci