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

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas…

It’s seventy degrees in South Florida this morning and the chill in the air really does change the mood toward something a bit more, well, festive. I love the holidays as much as the next person however, I am happy to enjoy them as they come and I’m not a November 1st Christmas tree prepper. Writing Christmas stories in July for the Authors’ Billboard series also helps get in the mood. There is something romantic about the holidays, and in Christmas on Misty Beach, my contribution to Unforgettable Christmas Promises, Crystal and Joe are center stage.

She’s a nursing student, and he’s a fireman. He’s had his heart destroyed before and she’s told herself that she has but in reality, has been protecting her heart. I love this couple—like, I could hang out with them and have beers and play darts. Go to the beach for bonfires and marshmallows. And the dogs. Oh my goodness, the dogs. You see, Crystal also works at a shelter so saving pups is hugely important.

As some of you know, our Pippa crossed the rainbow bridge back in June. I’m ready to find our next pet. So, I am on many adoption sites so that we can find our pup. There are so many wonderful puppies and dogs out there that could use a home and it is so hard to say no to a pair of soulful canine eyes. In fact, I’m the one that is searching because my CH would adopt them all lol.

Meet Joe Mallory and Crystal Bishop! He’s a fireman, she’s a hot mess. Add dogs, a sick dad, and the holidays, and you’ve got a romance for the ages.

When fireman Joe Mallory answers a Thanksgiving Day emergency at a local residence, his guarded heart skips a beat all because of Crystal Bishop, a hardworking nursing student who’s the perfect mix of bold and shy. Her lightheartedness makes him question the single life he’s chosen. While rushing into a burning building comes with the job, romancing Crystal offers a whole different kind of risk. Will her laughter, dogs, and family, challenge his beliefs about forever?

https://books2read.com/UCPromises

Thank you so much for reading–don’t forget to enter our monthly contest!!

Traci

www.tracihall.com

Motivation!

Hey reading friends—just a short and sweet note from a writing retreat with Insiders Tours in Santorini, Greece. I wasn’t sure that we were going to be allowed into the country, so I wasn’t excited until we got here a few days ago. And now? We’re here, and the island is as beautiful as I remembered!!

I just finished doing a workshop on keeping motivated, so I thought I’d share it now with you all too—just in case you are feeling blah. I hope this helps!

In case you don’t know, I’m Traci Hall, author of the Scottish Shire mysteries, and I’m half of Traci Wilton, author of the Salem B and B mysteries. I have two romances with Entangled, and 20 By the Sea indie romances that Christopher has done the covers and editing on. I am part of Community Authors and truly believe that together is better.

I write on average 6 books per year—at least one of those is a novella, around 20,000, but the majority are longer, around 85,000. This time includes edits and revisions from the publishers, and very limited social media.  I also edit for a small client base. When Christopher and I were in Greece in 2019, I think we were just beginning to take Sundays off for ourselves to avoid total burnout. We continue this practice and try not to even log onto the computer. When COVID hit and everything was canceled we were like—thank GOD lol—now we can catch up with ourselves.

So—how was I affected by the pandemic? A lot of writers couldn’t write. That wasn’t an option for me, because of DEADLINE. Def: the latest time or date by which something should be completed. How can a two-syllable word be so terrifying? That meant I had no choice but to tune out the news, and create my worlds. Not going to lie that it was tough. Writing for me has always been an escape—my characters are family, and it was great to be in their world rather than mine.

I am a big believer in self-care when it comes to keeping that motivation. Learn what you can do and still feel good. No numb hands, or sore backs. Working yourself to the ground is not a sign of success. This was a hard lesson I had to learn when Christopher was literally helping me up off the rug because I’d had to reach a deadline and worked too hard.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to say NO to a project. Repeat after me: No. Sure, be polite, but be honest with yourself too. For me, it was a scriptwriting project that tipped me over the edge. Learning another way to write is fine, and I did one script to prove I could, but I didn’t accept more because the aggravation quotient was too high for the money.

My time is valuable. That’s another mantra to practice. Whether writing is a hobby or a career, your time is valuable. Find like-minded folks who are focused on a similar path and make your way. Success is different for everyone and there is no one-size-fits-all. (Mimi’s Gang!)

When you are feeling out of touch or down, reach out to your team or critique partners and lift each other up with writing sprints. (Like the ladies in Authors’ Billboard!) You can choose to talk about how tough things are, or you can talk about how many awesome words you’re going to write. My suggestion is to find the positive. We have a friend who writes 2 pages a day—that’s it. He pumps out one 125,000 word book a year and his publisher loves him.

Find your own pace! Set goals. I set goals like a maniac from daily goals, to a five-year plan. There is so much out of our control that this helps me feel like I have a tiny bit 😊

I asked some friends for what they did during the pandemic, and one client told me about the tomato timer, which is also known as the Pomodoro Method. I don’t think the color or shape is that important but do whatever works for you. I’ve tried this myself—I write for an hour and my reward is checking out Facebook. Whatever carrot LOL –this was originally developed in 1980 by Francesco Cirillo.

Track page count or word counts—use an app, there are several free on your phones. You can use Word, like I do, or Scrivener. Scrivener also allows you to plot out your story, among other amazing tools that went over my head. Some people swear by it!

Text to dictation—you will have to check the document however, or you might end up with something really strange, other than what you meant to say.

White noise from YouTube videos—or amazon prime has music. When I am writing two different stories at a time, this allows me to switch my brain from one project to the other. Check out brain.fm.

Advice from Evan Marshall, agent extraordinaire: 

  1. Limit TV.
  2. Batch and consolidate tasks. For instance, save all of your errands for one day. Answer all your emails at one time.
  3. Deal with as much as possible instantly so things don’t pile up. For instance, if an email needs just a quick reply, do it now. Be terse if you need to—just say “pardon the quick answer but I’m on deadline!” Save the emails that need more considered replies, and batch them! See #2.
  4. Keep reading. For a writer, that could mean novels in your own area, as well as self-help books. I read for an hour or two before bed every night.
  5. Make lists. I make “visual lists” because I’m a visual-type person. I need to see something representing a task. So I line up sticky notes on my desk and label each one with a task; e.g., vet new contract, read new proposal, etc. Then I number them in order of priority, and rearrange the notes accordingly.
  6. Don’t drink too much. Not much good work gets done when one is even partially impaired.
  7. Take breaks and have fun. Tasks are always easier to tackle when you’re refreshed. Speaking of which, tackle the most onerous tasks in the morning when you’re well rested and ready to take on the world!
Thira, sunset

In closing, you are a creative being—so try and nurture that part of your life. For me, being in nature or by the sea gives me creative energy. Share any tips you might have—I would love to know!

Don’t forget to enter the monthly Authors’ Billboard contest—have a great day!

Traci

www.tracihall.com

Resilience for the Win!

Authors’ Billboard Blog Traci Hall Sept 6 2021

I want to talk about how resilient we amazing human beings are—yeah, you! And you, and me, too!

In 2020/2021, there was a pandemic, there were riots, there was political unrest and yet we have adapted with masks, and vaccinations, and saying NO to injustice. Because of the voice of the people, there has been change in our world. Every small step matters. The Olympics, and the Paralympics, just prove how strong we are—even when we face mental or physical challenges. I am so proud of the people who spoke up—not only for themselves, but for others. The spirit of these athletes humbles me. It doesn’t matter what life threw, there was adaptation and courage.

Dancers perform during the closing ceremony for the 2020 Paralympics at the National Stadium in Tokyo, Sunday, Sept. 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

https://www.cnn.com/2021/09/05/sport/tokyo-paralympics-closing-ceremony-spt-intl/index.html

This year in Tokyo was already hard because of Covid, and the athletes were unable to perform with an audience or family nearby—but they adapted and did their jobs. Mental health was put to the test, and the love that surrounded Simone Biles from all around the world for her choice to withdraw from an event that she knew could kill her if she did it wrong, despite the criticism, floored me. That is true victory—to know yourself and say NO. To stand up for what you believe is right.

As a writer I look for heroic traits to put in my characters—and it isn’t always about the physical strength, but the earnest inner work to be true to oneself that allows for growth as an individual as well as a couple.

Often, one of the characters is at a crossroads of change or growth—they’ve done the work, and that allows true love a chance. They have to be brave in order find happiness. In my By the Sea romances, I put my hero and heroine through the fire so that they can heal. They are resilient within themselves, which allows them to accept love, and commit to happily ever after.

There has been a lot of turmoil—but there’s also been beauty, and I choose to focus on that. Wherever you are in your journey, give yourself kudos for being an amazing human, doing your best in this craziness.

Xoxo

Traci

In Irresistible Christmas—Pets to the Rescue, all seven of these wonderful stories are about overcoming odds and finding happily ever after. My contribution is Snowy Seaside Christmas.

Please, take a second and enter our monthly contest! Good luck to you—and thanks for reading!

Maine–living life to the fullest!

Let me start the blog with the fact that Maine was gorgeous. Lush, green, beautiful—the people were great, and the food was awesome. The scenery was outstanding. We had a rental car which allowed us to see all the little towns from Portland to Bar Harbor, and Acadia National Park. I didn’t take this picture, but we were here.

Some of you know that I co-write a series called Sandpiper Bay with Patrice Wilton and it was so terrific to put sensory details to the stories we’d written.

This was a last-minute trip for us with Christopher’s family. His dad had always wanted to see the Friendship Sloop races in Rockland, so after he recovered from a difficult surgery, the family rallied together and made it happen for him. We benefited! For him it was all about the boats and the race but for me? How many ways could we eat lobster? Lobster rolls, lobster bisque, lobster tots, lobster mac and cheese…deep fried lobster! Oh yeah. I was in food heaven. The sloops were nice too.

It was a challenge travelling during these times, but it was worth it to knock something off of Larry’s bucket list. Life needs to be lived to the fullest, whenever possible. And when you aren’t able to travel, well, books are the next best thing. Do you have travel plans this summer? Even if you do, you might want something to read on the beach, or the plane…or at home in the shade. Check out Death in Sandpiper Bay:

Sixteen months ago, Police Officer Riley Harper and her partner were on surveillance in downtown Phoenix. The suspect rushed from his apartment building, hands raised, when her partner fired and shot the man in the chest. It was a bad kill and she’d had to testify against her former brother-in-arms. Labeled a snitch, Riley has been bombarded by the police, the media, and her former friends. Her reputation is in tatters and her career in Phoenix over. On leave since then, she’s only had one job offer…from a place called Sandpiper Bay, a remote island off the coast of Maine. Riley expects an uncomplicated life for her mother, and her daughter, who moved with her. Nothing more dangerous than settling feuds among the fishermen. She is dead wrong. 

We are working on book 2 right now, Danger in Sandpiper Bay.

If you prefer romance, the Authors’ Billboard boxed sets are the way to go for incredible value—Unforgettable Lovers https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091TNCB3W

 and Irresistible Christmas—Pets to the Rescue https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08HSBJGBW

Have a wonderful summer, whatever you choose to do <3

Traci