About Traci Hall

With an impressive bibliography in an array of genres, USA Today bestselling author Traci Hall has garnered a notable fan base. She pens stories guaranteed to touch the heart while transporting the reader to another time and place. Her belief in happily ever after shines through, whether it's a romantic glimpse into history or a love affair for today.

Only March and ready to hunker down!

Just, wow. March 6, 2020

There is so much going on in our world right now that I find it overwhelming. It’s a great time to read, or binge TV shows, or watch movies. All good things to do in your own house if you are worried about the coronavirus—and don’t want people in paper suits and masks saying things like, “self-quarantine”.  For some reason this phrase is frightening. When I was younger I used to devour books like The Plague and this is far too close to fiction.

I am not watching the news (local or otherwise), but I’m searching specific things in bite-sized chunks. California has declared a state of emergency. My daughter and granddaughter live in San Diego. I can’t just hop in the car and go get them. My mom lives in Washington state, and holy crap, there are more cases there than Florida. People have died. I worry about my family. I worry about my friends. I have people I love that aren’t well, and I really worry about them. Greece has a surge of folks ill with the CV. Will our Greece writer’s event be cancelled? Will our flights be refunded? Money is truly the least of my concerns, and considering we live on a writer’s budget, that’s saying a lot.

Racism toward China has reared its very ugly head. It’s not right—and it’s not the fault of the guy on the street who ended up in the hospital with bone fractures to his face because thugs bullied him out of fear and ignorance.

Racism and diversity have been a theme this year as Romance Writers of America has been turned inside out. It’s been a rough ride for the organization and I thought about resigning but chose to stay. I hope that RWA will be stronger at the end of all this. The incident that sparked things a few months ago could have been avoided if people had been kind and not provoking, in my opinion. From the beginning it was a cluster. Don’t say things on social media that you wouldn’t say to someone’s face.

As if that’s not enough, it’s the time of year for politics. I have one eye open as I scroll Facebook—politics are everywhere, and people forget that basic rule of kindness.

When things are so out of sync, it’s hard to remember that simple rule: be kind.

So, because I don’t want to be truly unaware of what’s happening, and yet I truly don’t want to get pulled into all of the OMG out there, I have signed up for CNN’s five things you should know every day.

That’s manageable.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/06/us/five-things-march-6-trnd/index.html

How are you coping with everything? Share your tips in the comments below!

Please enter our Authors’ Billboard contest, and take advantage of the fabulous boxed sets in our collection. Hours and hours of escape for less than a buck. And you don’t have to leave your house xoxoxo

Traci

Tossed goals for 2020—it’s only February!

February 6  2020

In January I’d blogged on the subject of the ergonomic keyboard. I want to be healthy in 2020. My writing schedule can be intense, and I’d like to avoid carpel tunnel—makes logical sense to be preventative. At the time of writing, I’d had my laptop up on an elevated shelf on my desk so I wasn’t hunched over. I sat in a chair that helped my back. I had a semi-ergonomic keyboard that I’d worn some of the keys off but was at least at the proper angle for my hands.

I couldn’t quite commit to the other keyboard.

So…I am typing on my laptop at the kitchen table which is not in any way ergonomic, but it is fast and I’m trying to do writing sprints to keep myself from being overwhelmed. Don’t even ask about the kitchen chair. Think IKEA and you’ll understand.

Also, as I’m typing, lol, I’m feeling a little bit embarrassed. It’s like the diet that you say you’re going to be on, but then there’s a round of birthdays and everyone knows you have to eat at least one bite of cake or the birthday person will have bad luck.

Or quitting smoking! Sometimes it takes a few tries before actually kicking the habit—which for me might be going on fifteen years now.

The new keyboard is at my desk, along with the elevated shelf. I can see it from the kitchen table.  On that note of epic fail, I haven’t learned Scrivener either. I read it all. There are pages and pages of instructions. I watched the tutorial. I watched another YouTube tutorial, for people who just wanted to write a story. I asked friends about it.

I then said screw it, and went back to my familiar post-its to plot both books because at this point writing out the names in Sharpie and sticking them on a white paper is just part of the creative process. I don’t have the stories plotted out that way—I have the victim up, and the suspects, and hang it on the wall for a reminder. Then I use my outline, and lists for daily chapter goals. Kind of a hybrid jumbled mess but it’s my mess.

I can see where Scrivener would allow me to type in the descriptions of recurring characters, which is cool, and maybe I can use it for my round two edit to make sure the plot points are all there, but it didn’t help with my creative part  that helps me connect with the characters and story. YET.

I am not giving up…I say as I glare at the keyboard that has taken over my desk.

What goals have you already tossed for 2020?

Happy reading, everyone…don’t forget to enter the Authors’ Billboard monthly contest!

Hugs!!!

Traci

New Year, new stuff—ergonomic keyboard, anyone?

I’m tempted to give you mine before I toss it out the window of our fifth floor apartment. We have a lot of Fed Ex traffic and it should be pulverized within the hour.

**head thunk**

What’s wrong with it?

Well, the keys are at a slope and my fingers keep hitting the wrong ones, so it’s a lot of backup and deleting and cursing. I feel like I’m just learning to type again!!!

I don’t have time for this. With all the writing that I do, I don’t have time to look down at the keyboard—and isn’t that bad for my posture? Which defeats the purpose of having the darn thing!? It just took me forever to type this paragraph without typos.

Ready? I’ll show you one sentence so you see what I mean:

I really7 watnted to haee this jkeyboard so that my writst don’t hurt after a ten hour da at te hethoard.

ARGH!!!

So. I’m going to look down so that I can make progress otherwise this will take all day lol. I don’t mind the shape of the board, and I need something because last year I wore off the popular letters of the semi-ergonomic keyboard I had, and I still had problems with aching hands. I love telling stories, and for me that requires typing. The older I get the worse my handwriting gets, no lie.

I am using a Microsoft ergonomic keyboard that does feel good on my palms and wrists. I have my monitor lifted so that I don’t look down (normally lol) and I sit in a chair with wonderful back support.

This keyboard has a lot of other bells and whistles that I will probably never use…I just want to get my stories out. On that note, I also installed Scrivener on my laptop to use for all the books I’ve got coming up. My post-its, while wonderful, were not up to some of the rewriting I had to do, and as I just mentioned, my handwriting keeps getting more atrocious. Like, I could be a doctor, kind of bad.

So. New keyboard. New organizational program. Next month I’ll blog about Scrivener, but for now, I’d love to know what keyboards you all like? This one will be lucky to make it the month.

XOXO

Traci

Make sure to check out our monthly contest, and you’re sure to fall in love with our boxed sets of romances. There is something for everyone!

Manifesting your Dreams

I’d like for this very personal blog to offer hope and encouragement.

In December 2012, my marriage of 25 years ended. There was no discussion, there was no reasoning…and no way there could be a reconciliation. I worked at Starbucks at the time for medical insurance for our family, part-time allowed full benefits. I was told by my ex that he didn’t want the marriage, or the dogs, or the cat, the house, or any responsibilities. I didn’t have (and still don’t) a college education or a career. I was a writer trying to create a career. To have the net yanked away?

I was terrified to say the least. With the help of friends—thank heaven for friends—I left, with the dogs. I had no idea what I was doing but I refused to be a victim. My pride stung…yes, our marriage had ups and downs, but I thought we would make it. I thought we would be the lucky ones to be surrounded by our kids and grandkids.

I am surprised by the tightening in my heart as I write this seven years later…but this is what is most important—here is what I’d love for you to take away. I didn’t allow my circumstances to keep me in that awful place of being discarded, unwanted, and betrayed. That place sucked 🙂

I could not fix what had happened; I could only move forward. And who was I? I was no longer a wife. I was still a mom but our kids were grown. They didn’t need me. I had to take stock of my life. What did I have?

My mother—biggest ally. Amazing friends, definitely. My stories, yes. I couldn’t give them up. But I didn’t have a house. A husband.  Children at home.

There was something very freeing in getting a furnished apartment by the beach. Taking care of myself and figuring out who I was. My dogs were great companions. I had never in my life lived alone. The beach saved my sanity. I’d walk, and cry, and dream—I was determined to figure out a way to succeed. Though it was very hard, I tried to be fair, to be open, to not be afraid. I wrote a list of what was important to me as a human being. Love, family, friends…I would write. Because of the indie publishing market at the time, in order to make a living, that meant writing romance. I poured a lot of angst into those stories of women healing by the sea, and it helped me heal too. Believing in happily ever after allowed me to be open to love when it came unexpectedly into my life…giving me a partner in all ways.

In December 2013, my divorce was final. I’d visualized writing success, and steps to get there. I had my goals all around the apartment. Every day I made an effort to move forward—with open-ended expectations for what might come. When we “need” something, we chase it away…when we “choose” something, in joy, in love, we create more joy and love.

Now, December 2019…I have hit the USA Today list three times with my ladies at Authors’ Billboard. I have multiple writing contracts for both romance and mystery. Between writing and editing, I can pay the bills…doing something I love. I am not going to lie, there have been plenty of peanut butter sandwiches, lol—but there has also been champagne. Keep dreaming!

XO

Traci

PS Speaking of Authors’ Billboard—be sure to enter the December contest!! We are having a party on December 10th and 11th on Facebook—we would love to see you there! You know we are all about amazing romances for a steal, but we like to give away prizes too 🙂