Friday Author Spotlight: NYT Best Selling Author Tracey Garvis Graves + Giveaway

Friday Author SPOTLIGHT! We will feature a Young Adult, New Adult or Adult Author. These post will contain interviews, author posts, book blasts, fill in the blanks, etc... This is just our way to get authors noticed and out there as much as possible. So we hope you enjoy and stay tuned Fridays to see who we have on and what they shared. To see previous posts click here.

Today we share with you the awesome New York Times best selling author Tracey Garvis Graves. Tracey's novels are On the Island (available now), Covet (release date of 9/17/13) and Uncharted: An On the Island Novella (release date of 7/2/13). Here on the site we LOVED reading On the Island. Tracey took time out of her busy schedule to answer some fun questions for us. Click HERE to read reviews of On The Island on the site by Yara and Deitre. 

Author Tracey Garvis Graves

About the author: Author of the USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and New York Times bestseller On the Island. Represented by Jane Dystel and Lauren Abramo of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.

Tracey Garvis-Graves is the author of On the Island and Covet. She lives in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, two children, and hyper dog Chloe. She blogs at using colorful language and a snarky sense of humor to write about pop culture, silly television shows, and her suburban neighborhood. You can e-mail her at She’d love to hear from you.


OUaT: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 
I'm married and I have two children. I live in a suburb of Des Moines, Iowa. A lot of people confuse Iowa with Idaho.

OUaT: What do you do when you are not writing? 
Family time is very important to me and I enjoy hanging out with my husband and kids. I love to read and I also spend a fair amount of time on social media.

OUaT: Do you have a day job as well? 
Not anymore. I feel very fortunate that I can write full-time.

OUaT: When did you first start writing and when did you finish your book? 
I started writing On the Island in the spring of 2010 and published it in the fall of 2011.

OUaT: How did you choose the genre you write in? 
I love women's fiction and contemporary romance. On the Island is often categorized as both.

OUaT: Where do you get your ideas? 
They usually just come to me when I'm doing something mundane like folding clothes.

OUaT: Do you ever experience writer’s block? 
Sometimes. But it usually means I need to open up my subconscious a bit and let the problem work itself out.

OUaT: Do you work with an outline, or just write? 
I'm sort of an outliner in that I need to have a general idea of the beginning, middle, and end. But I change things as I go along.

OUaT: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult? 
Stephen King's The Stand is the first book I remember reading and thinking, "Wow. I'd love to be able to write like that someday." It's one of my favorite books of all time. 

OUaT: Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published? 
I received nothing but form rejections from every agent I queried. If self-publishing hadn't been an option, On the Island would still be sitting on my hard drive.

OUaT: If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you would change?
I don't think so. Even though the rejections were discouraging, I almost think they were a blessing in disguise and I couldn't be happier with the way everything turned out.

OUaT: How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for you genre? 
I used a combination of social media and paid advertising (I ran ads on Pixel of Ink and Kindle Nation Daily). But it was the word-of-mouth advertising from readers that really made On the Island successful. I'm eternally grateful.

OUaT: Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published? No.

OUaT: Can you tell us about your upcoming book? 
Covet is my next full-length novel. It's women's fiction and it will be released on 9/3/13. I love women's fiction and I wanted to try my hand at it. Here's the blurb from Amazon: What if the life you wanted, and the woman you fell in love with, belonged to someone else?

Chris and Claire Canton's marriage is on life support. Downsized during the recession and out of work for a year, Chris copes by retreating to a dark place where no one can reach him, not even Claire. When he's offered a position that will keep him away from home four nights a week, he dismisses Claire's concern that time apart could be the one thing their fragile union can't weather. Their suburban life may look idyllic on the outside, but Claire has never felt so disconnected from Chris, or so lonely.

Local police officer Daniel Rush used to have it all, but now he goes home to an empty house every night. He pulls Claire over during a routine traffic stop, and they run into each other again at the 4th of July parade. When Claire is hired to do some graphic design work for the police department, her friendship with Daniel grows, and soon they're spending hours together.

Claire loves the way Daniel makes her feel, and the way his face lights up when she walks into the room. Daniel knows that Claire's marital status means their relationship will never be anything other than platonic. But it doesn't take long before Claire and Daniel are in way over their heads, and skating close to the line that Claire has sworn she'll never cross.

OUaT: Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination? 
Writers are often told to "write what they know." My advice is to write using your imagination because if you only write what you've experienced personally, you'll eventually run out of ideas. If you use your imagination, you'll always have something to draw from. That said, all of my books are a combination of things I've come across, whether it's something I've seen on T.V. or read about, or something that happened to a friend of a friend. I'm always paying attention to what's going on around me because you never know what might inspire a character or idea.

OUaT: What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? 
I love to write epilogues and endings.

OUaT: How did you come up with the title? 
For On the Island, I really wanted to make it clear that this was a desert island book. For Covet, I wanted a word that perfectly captured the main conflict of the book.

OUaT: Did you design the cover? 
I selected the cover art for the self-published version of On the Island. Penguin chose the new cover when they re-issued the book. Covet's cover will be handled by Penguin's in-house design department.

OUaT: What project are you working on now? 
I am currently hard at work on an On the Island companion novella. Readers will have a chance to meet another character from the book, and Anna and T.J. will be in it, too!

OUaT: Will you have a new book coming out soon? 
The On the Island companion novella will be released on 6/4/13.

  • My wedding day and the day both of my children were born : is my most favorite memory.
  • The hardest, but most worthwhile thing I've ever done was : write a novel.
  • The best part of my day is: early morning, when it's just me and my coffee and my computer.
  • Something I like that most people don't is: Snow! I love it.
  • Something you might not know about me is: I have a twin sister named Trish. She is five minutes older than me.
  • Something I have been challenged with lately is: balancing writing deadlines, social media, personal appearances, and book signings with family time.
  • Best cure for a bad day is: wine and a book.
  • My favorite thing to do on a Friday is: get a mani/pedi or meet a friend for lunch.
  • Happy ever after is: my favorite way to end a book.

We also have a signed copy of On the Island to gift one winner. Enter below.


  1. Love that book dearly! Thanks for the chance to win! Great interview too!

  2. Great interview! Can I cheat and say that I'd want a suitcase like Anna and T.J. had? If I have to narrow it to one thing, I guess I'd go with matches.

  3. My kindle! But then I would need a solar charger or something too....I loved this book, but only borrowed it from my sis on my kindle when I read it, and am dying for a copy!!!!!

  4. Thanks for the awesome interview! I've been dying to read this book! Ummm... deodorant!

  5. Probably my makeup! Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

  6. this was my favorite book of the year! Would love a signed copy! Books!!

  7. Great summer read! I don't think I could make it with out sunscreen.

  8. I would need a book to read! Honestly, otherwise how would I pass the time?

  9. Great Interview! I would need books of course!

  10. I would totally bring my favorite book! ;D

  11. Thank you for this amazing interview and the post every friday ! I think I can't live without my smartphone, because it does almost everything, so I'd bring it with me on a deserted island, but on second thought, there's no elctricity on an island, and we all now a smartphone battery only last at least one and half day ;)

  12. Loved the interview!!! This book was so awesome! Couldn't put it down. Definitely can't wait for Covet to come out! If I was stranded on a desert island the one thing I'd probably need would be either sunscreen, my Ipod or books :)

  13. Great interview...And if I were stranded on an island, I'd have to have my lip balm.

  14. Loved the interview! And I think family time is very important! One thing I cannot live without... a companion that I trust. Thank you!

  15. I love Tracey and the interview. I can't live without music, something that charges with the sun and with lots of music.


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