Traci L. Slatton had her first book published five years back titled Immortal. This book became so popular that it had its Portuguese and Spanish versions printed in 2011 and 2012 respectively. After Immortal in 2008, there was no way back for Traci and one after the other she has more than half a dozen books to her credit. Many of them have been published in other languages. Traci did her graduation from Yale and Columbia. She resides in Manhattan but she has visited more countries than the books she has written.
Welcome, Traci on board!
Please share some of the best memories of your childhood
Christmas was always fun--the anticipation and then opening presents. We were a military family and we moved frequently, so I was always happy to be transferred back to a base where I had a lot of friends.
I went to Yale, and in those days, at the beginning of every semester, we were given a thick paperback book with a pale blue jacket. This 'blue book' held the course listings. It was dazzling--like going into a candy shop and being told to choose whatever I wanted! I was starving to learn. Every delicious course offered an array of fascinating possibilities. I wished there were more hours in the day to take more courses.
What career did you plan during your education days?
When I was 6, I decided to write novels. Then in high school, I thought I'd be a mathematician-poet living in Paris. I started college as a physics major. I was taking physics, astrophysics, calculus, English 129, and Ancient Near Eastern Literature from the Earliest Times to the Time of the Akkadian Conquest. I found that I was living for Homer and the Epic of Gilgamesh. I'd hole up on floor 7M of Sterling Library Stacks and feel like I was doing something naughty, I was enjoying the Iliad so much! So then I realized I was right when I was a little kid--I was meant to write stories.
What is your biggest source of inspiration in life?
My spiritual life. I have a spiritual practice that consists of yoga, prayer, and meditation. I also read the scriptures of many traditions. Sometimes, for weeks or months at a time, I forget about the deeper side of myself. Then something happens, or a friend reminds me, or I just spontaneously sit for meditation, and I remember: this is a nourishing and rewarding part of my life!
When spirit eludes me, there's always dark chocolate. And hugs from my children, and laughter with my friends. Or maybe those are all just facets of 'spirit.'
What hurts you most in this world?
Human inhumanity to humans. And there's a lot of it.
My family of origin was deeply troubled. I am of very modest origins. I was the first person to go to college in my family, and I went to Yale after my junior year of high school. I experienced a profound culture shock at Yale, where so many people had been born wealthy and privileged. Others had been born into an intellectual milieu and they had a lot of emotional support from their families. But the new opportunities and expectations for my life caused a gap between me and my family, who didn't understand my new life. I barely understood it myself.
How have I overcome it? I've done a lot of work on myself, in therapy and as a healer. I think that healing the wounds of childhood is a process. I've heard of a book called "Far from the Tree" by Andrew Solomon, about how children who are very unlike their parents find their own identity. It's on my to-read list of books.--I think the biggest part of this process of coming to terms is forgiving myself for being who I am, and forgiving my family for being who they are.
If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?
For one day, I think I'd enjoy being the biblical Sarah. She had a very adventurous life. She was so extraordinarily beautiful that Abraham was afraid to travel with her openly, so sometimes she cross-dressed, and sometimes she posed as his sister. While his 'sister,' she was briefly married to the King of Egypt. This was one interesting lady!
What is your favorite genre and why?
I like sci-fi and suspense because I enjoy imagining new possibilities, and I love suspense for the heightened tension. I enjoy reading Greg Iles, Sue Grafton, Daniel Silva, and sometimes Richard North Patterson.
What is the purpose of your writing?
The purpose of my writing is to entertain, to provoke soulful thought, and to uplift.
Which of your work published so far?
Poems, articles, short stories, non-fiction books, and novels have been published. Of books, there seven, with one forthcoming: IMMORTAL, a historical novel; FALLEN, COLD LIGHT, and the forthcoming FAR SHORE, which comprise the romantic dystopian AFTER trilogy; THE LOVE OF MY (OTHER) LIFE, a romantic sci-fi comedy; THE BOTTICELLI AFFAIR, a vampire art history mystery; PIERCING TIME AND SPACE, about the meeting ground of science and spirituality; THE ART OF LIFE, a photo-essay about classical figurative sculpture, from the earliest times through now; and DANCING IN THE TABERNACLE, a book of poetry.
I am about to release FAR SHORE (the conclusion of the After trilogy), and I am working on two WW2 novels.
What are your future plans?
Write, write, and write! Also, of course, raising my little one, who is 8 now.
What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?
Good question. Character development; plot points; diction; and suspense: keeping the stakes high.
Your dream destination on Earth?
Depends on the day. Sometimes it's the Italian sea coast. Sometimes it's Cape Cod. Sometimes Paris or Rome.
Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?
I am a true American mutt. My genetic origins come from people all over the planet, including Native American. I was born outside Chicago but have spent most of my life on the East Coast. I've visited France, England, Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, Mexico, Canada, Malaysia, Bali, and Hong Kong.
What is your zodiac?
Western: Leo sun, Virgo moon, Libra rising. Vedic: Virgo rising with Mars, Moon in Leo, Sun, and Mercury in Cancer, Venus-Rahu in Gemini.
What is the one thing in your life you wish had not happened?
I wish I had not married my first husband. Big mistake. Big big mistake.
Fear is the cold wrench in your gut that tells you can't do something, that it won't work out. I don't know how to overcome it, exactly; I use positive self-talk, and then I do what I need to anyway.
How would you define God in your words?
God is the boundless, all-encompassing, all-pervading spirit of loving intelligence.
What are your further/ future plans?
For the next few years, I plan to write more novels and travel. I also plan to expand my independent press, Parvati Press.
Thanks again for having me on!