Tracy Weber is the author of the award-winning Downward Dog Mysteries series. The first book in the series, Murder Strikes a Pose, won the Maxwell Award for Fiction and was nominated for the Agatha award for Best First Novel.
A certified yoga therapist, Tracy is the owner of Whole Life Yoga, a Seattle yoga studio, as well as the creator and director of Whole Life Yoga’s teacher training program. She loves sharing her passion for yoga and animals in any way possible.
Tracy and her husband Marc live in Seattle with their challenging yet amazing German shepherd, Tasha. When she’s not writing, Tracy spends her time teaching yoga, walking Tasha, and sipping Blackthorn cider at her favorite ale house.
Karma’s a Killer is her third novel. For more information on Tracy and the Downward Dog Mysteries, visit her author website: http://TracyWeberAuthor.com/
Find out more on Amazon.
Thanks for letting us interrogate you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
My pleasure, and thanks so much for having me!
The truth is, I didn’t know I wanted to be an author until shortly before I wrote my first mystery, Murder Strikes a Pose. The idea came to me on a rainy evening about five years ago, while in the middle of a brutal workout at my favorite health club. I was pedaling away, reading a Susan Conant novel to distract myself from the evil exercise bike, when a quote in Black Ribbon about crazy dog people made me burst out loud laughing. I knew I’d found my author soul mate. Someone who truly got me.
I went home, looked her up online, and stumbled across a site about cozy mysteries. As I read about hundreds of other wonderful cozy series, I began to wonder: What would happen if a yoga teacher with a crazy dog like mine got mixed up in murder? Kate Davidson and Bella popped into my head a few days later. The rest is history.
Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
The biggest perk is that you get to meet some of the most fabulous people—aka your readers—and hobnob with your favorite authors. The challenge is finding the time to write while still working at your day job. And believe me, there will always be a day job. Most authors I know make a very little from their writing.
Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
I’ve gone traditional so far, though I would certainly consider self-publishing. The nice part about having a traditional publisher is that my book has a presence in libraries, on shelves at Barnes & Noble, and in indie bookstores all over the country. I still do a lot of marketing on my own, however.
Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
My hubby is pretty darned good about it. I’ve always been a workaholic, so not all that much has changed, except that now I ignore him to write instead of ignoring him for a different job. I don’t have kids, so there’s no offspring to grumble. My dog always gets my full attention whenever she needs it, so she has no reason to complain.
This is for pet lovers. If you don’t own a pet, skip this question, but do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?
Tasha, my German shepherd, always gets what she wants, when she wants it. I’m her best-trained slave!
This is for plant lovers. If you don’t own a plant, skip this question, but if you do, are they actually still alive?
Yes, barely. All plants die of neglect in my home, but they thrive at my yoga studio, as long as I remember to water them. Unfortunately, they don’t complain nearly as loudly as Tasha when the service is too slow. I have an assistant at the yoga studio, and I have a feeling she’s at least partially responsible for the plants there still having more green than brown.
In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?
I don’t cook—ever—and I’m my own boss, so no one ever calls to say that I’m late. If they did, I wouldn’t answer. I’m an expert at ignoring the phone. Email and Facebook are my nemeses. I can’t ever seem to ignore a Facebook message. If my computer died, I get easily five times as much work done.
What was the craziest or most insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?
This one’s a toughie for me. Maybe that I made the evening news! I did a book signing in my hometown of Billings, Montana last year that got quite a bit of press coverage. I was shocked, however, when a local TV channel sent a reporter out to my signing. I was interviewed for both the six o’clock and ten o’clock news. I was even more shocked that I sounded reasonably intelligent when I watched the recording later.
How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
I love Facebook. It’s reconnected me with long-lost friends, introduced me to my readers, and helped me find cute puppy pictures. Does it help? If you mean does it sell books, maybe. But if that’s your goal in using it, don’t bother. People go to Facebook for connection, not advertising. If your readers would like to connect with me, they can friend me at https://www.facebook.com/tracywe. When it comes to twitter, I’m a Twidiot. I completely ignore the other fifty gazillion social media outlets.
Book sales. Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)? How are you making the sales happen for you?
Figuring out how to sell books is tough. I write for three blogs, I’m on social media, I book blog tours, I do signings, and I attend conferences. I’m out wherever I can be, however I can be. I’ve yet to see a correlation of any single activity with sales, so instead I focus on having fun with whatever I’m doing.
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
My newest book, Karma’s a Killer. I truly believe it’s something special, and by far my best book yet. I hope readers love it as much as I do.
Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
Honestly, I have a great time exercising my creative muscles, meeting my readers, and hanging out with my characters. I’d love to make The New York Times Bestseller list. It’s not likely to happen, so I try to have as much fun as I can along the way. Besides, a girl can still dream, can’t she?