Today we are joined by author Traci Hunter Abramson for an exclusive interview. Traci, thank you for stopping by today – let’s get right to your questions. First of all, I’m curious to know – how long have you been writing?
It feels like forever! I guess I started when I was a teenager writing journals, and it progressed from there. I tried writing novels when I was in college, but I never finished anything until the year I quit working to stay home with my kids. Since I had been employed by the Central Intelligence Agency, anything I wrote for publication had to be reviewed by their publications review committee regardless of the topic. I was too intimidated by having the CIA read my stuff that I didn’t even try to publish anything until after I left. (I actually still have to let them review anything that I write that has to do with intelligence.) The year I left the CIA, I managed to write three novels. Unfortunately, I found out that while I had the ability to put a story together, I wasn’t a very good writer. The stuff I was writing was young adult romance, and I found that nothing really worked until I started adding suspense to my stories and my characters found religion. Then, with the help of my sister-in-law, Rebecca Cummings, I learned how to edit and ultimately learned how to write well enough to finally compose yet another book. I probably spent a couple of years rewriting and editing it until I finally decided I couldn’t make it any better. I submitted it to Covenant and a short time later I got the phone call that every writer dreams of.
Wow – you worked for the CIA? That’s pretty cool!
So tell me — what are the names of your published novels?
And you had a book come out just recently. What is it about?
“The Deep End,” which was just released in August, is about a young woman named CJ who was placed in the Witness Protection Program after she saw her old boyfriend murdered. The tricky part is that she is a world-class swimmer who is trying to make the Olympic team. The people protecting her have a hard time letting her compete without anyone realizing who she is. Added to that is the fact that her husband, Matt Whitmore, is a professional baseball player. Because he is so well known, Matt and CJ have to pretend they don’t even know each other. Of course, as the trial that CJ has to testify in gets closer, the threats against her life continue to increase.
This novel is actually the final book in the trilogy that started with “Undercurrents.” Like all of my books, it can stand alone so that people don’t have to read the others to understand what is going on. I was fortunate that the editor I worked with on “The Deep End” had not read my first two books at the time we were revising this novel, so I’ve had several people say they read this one first without realizing that there were others that came before it.
I’ve noticed that all of your books have a swimming theme. What is your connection/interest with swimming?
I was a competitive swimmer throughout my childhood. I started when I was six and I didn’t stop competing until a knee injury slowed me down when I was eighteen. Now I coach the boys and girls swim team at one of the local high schools (North Stafford). This November I’ll start my 12th season.
I bet you’re a great coach, too.
We’ll continue our conversation with Traci Hunter Abramson tomorrow. In the meantime, be sure to visit her website and learn more about her.