Award-winning and USA Today best-selling author Traci E. Hall writes genre fiction for both adults and teens. Linda Abel of The Medieval Chronicle says, “Traci Hall is a gifted storyteller who never fails to deliver that different kind of medieval romance.” Traci joins us this month to discuss The Queen’s Guard: Rose, the third in the historical romance series featuring the female guards of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine.
What inspired you to write The Queen’s Guard series?
I was doing research for my first historical series (Boadicea) where I discovered Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine compared to the formidable legend of Boadicea. Riding white horses on the top of a mountain, the queen and her ladies wore crimson and white as they called the men of France to fight and save Jerusalem from the infidel. It was a very powerful scene! I knew I wanted to write about the women strong enough to stay at the queen’s side during hard times. What skills would they have? What wouldn’t they do for their queen?
Of all the characters in your series, which one has been the most fun to write?
Mamie of Rou is one of my very favorite heroines. Her carefree spirit appealed to me as I wrote the first two books in this series. It was hard not to let her take over. The adage that the person laughing the loudest hides the most pain describes her best. I hope I portrayed the depth of her character beneath the easy smile!
What is your basic writing process, from idea to final draft?
I am a plotter. I write historical romance, which means I have to stay within actual time perimeters. My characters are passing through real places and interacting around events that really happened. Plotting allows me to braid my romance through history, giving readers a feeling of familiarity even if a thousand years have gone by. I have Post-its and a white poster board blocked out into chapters, which I hang on the wall. Then I have a yellow tablet by my keyboard for daily changes, and did I mention my addiction to Post-its?
How do you push through writer’s block?
Writing is a business, and I was fortunate to have some amazing mentors from the very beginning. If I can’t write something, it is usually because the characters are not acting true to the story. My subconscious is trying to tell me something!
What’s one of your own tried-and-true writing rules?
I don’t believe that you have to write every day—but I do believe that you have to feel it when you do. Be in the moment with your character and the words will come. The story will come.
What are you working on now?
I’m writing a contemporary romance series, By the Sea. The world building is much easier than in medieval settings, and romance and happily-ever-afters are timeless!