Interview with Tracy Garrett!

Today’s guest is the lovely Tracy Garrett, who writes one of my favorite genres…western historicals!  

Your books sound wonderful.  Please tell us about them.
Thank you – and thanks for inviting me to join you in the Zebra herd! 

tot.jpgTOUCH OF TEXAS, my debut western historical, is the story of Jake McCain, a burned out Texas Ranger who is sure he has no future to look forward to. Then he meets Rachel Hudson, the daughter of a prostitute, whose way of life depends on keeping where she came from a secret.

Jake stumbles onto Rachel’s cabin in a snowstorm–-and the bad guys aren’t far behind. When the snooty citizens of the little mining town she lives in reject her for saving Jake’s life, she’s left defenseless against the man who murdered her mother. Jake rides to the rescue (of course–this is a western!), but she ends up saving him instead. [Touch of Texas is available now! To read an excerpt, go to and choose BOOKS.]

TOUCH OF TEXAS has been nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best First Historical. I’m very honored and excited. 

TOUCHED BY LOVE comes out in November, 2008. The back cover blurb says it best:
Jaret Walker is a loner, a gun for hire with a heart of ice. He’s never had anyone to call his own, and he likes it that way. But when a promise made to a friend leads him on a ride through the desert and to remote Two Roses Ranch where he meets Isabel Bennett, the woman he’s supposed to protect, all he can think of is making her his. She’s the kind of woman a rough-riding cowboy like him can never have. But her hot gaze tempts him like no other woman has before…

The moment Isabel Bennett lays eyes on Jaret Walker, she remembers the dreams she’s denied for so long. She’s sworn never to marry. It’s the only way to protect her ranch. But when Walker rides into her life, she decides to let herself taste what she’s giving up—a passion that burns through her with each kiss—and a desire that won’t be denied… 

What inspired the story?
TOUCH OF TEXAS was inspired by a documentary I saw on prostitution in old-west El Paso, Texas. The show started me thinking (that what-if thing) about a baby born to one of the women who worked in a brothel: what would happen to her, what kind of life would she lead, what would happen if she were forced out into “polite society.” And Rachel Hudson was born. 

Looking for a clue as to her hero, I was doing research on The Texas Rangers in the same time period. I read an account of a small group of Rangers and a devastating fight with a group of Native Americans – and Jake grew out of that. Mind you, he was very stubborn about telling his story, so it took a while to coax him onto the pages. 

Western historicals are a fave of mine so I am thrilled you are writing them.  Why western historicals? What do you love about the genre?  Do you think it will make a comeback?
I love the whole white hat/black hat, good guys/bad guys, and justice wins in the end thing. I grew up on The Lone Ranger, Bonanza, and Gunsmoke – stories of men who were dedicated to doing the right thing. And I’ve always preferred a happily-ever-after. Add to that my love of history, and writing western historicals was a natural for me. 

I believe westerns are already making a comeback. A lot of new authors are selling in the genre, and as long as readers keep buying the books, westerns should be around for a long time. 

Describe the hero and heroine each with one sentence.
Texas Ranger Jake McCain vowed early in his life to do what was right, what was expected of him, and never to fail, regardless of what it cost him.  

Rachel Hudson is a gentle young woman with a secret that will destroy her unless she learns to be strong enough to survive. 

What is your favorite part of being a writer?  Least favorite?
Most Favorite: Being able to make up stories and entertain readers. 
Least Favorite: Spending every day at my computer, just like a “real” job – I’d rather be out playing. lol 

Who has inspired you as a writer?
A bunch of amazing, talented writers, of whom I am a big, buy-everything-they-write fan; my husband, who has never doubted my ability to be successful; and a special group of nine writer friends, without whom I would have lost my mind. 

What would you like to tell aspiring writers?
Write, write, write! Get the words on paper, every day, even if you only write a sentence. The best piece of advice I received as I started in this business was ‘if you don’t write it, they can’t buy it.’ 

Since becoming a published author what has been your favorite moment?
There have been so many wonderful moments on this journey: getting the email/call, seeing my first cover, holding my book in my hand, my first booksigning. Probably, though, it is the first sip of champagne after finding out I had sold my very first book. Those bubbles were extra special that day! 

Describe yourself in 3 words.
Intelligent, fun-loving and curious. 

If you could save one book from destruction, what would it be?
The Bible. Faith is what gets me through every day, and there is much to be learned between the covers of that book. 

What is next for you?
I’m writing Wolf’s story right now. Wolf Richards was a major secondary character in Touch of Texas, and I knew the moment he walked into my story that he had to have a happily-ever-after. 

Is there anything you’d like to ask readers?
What tempts you to buy a book by an author you’ve never heard of? 

Jennifer, thanks again for inviting me to share in the fun this month with the ‘herd’ of Zebra authors. I’ve had a great time! 

Tracy G. 

Thank you Tracy for being my guest! 

You can learn more about Tracy and her books by visiting her website: 

So how about it…
What tempts you to buy a book by an author you’ve never heard of?

Remember, every comment this month is an entry into the giveaway…details here!


48 Responses to Interview with Tracy Garrett!

  1. Minna says:

    The blurb in the backcover. If the story seems like one I might like, I’ll buy the book.

  2. JSL says:

    What gets me to buy a book is an excerpt of it. More than just 300 words – I want to be able to get a feel for the author’s writing style (many sites post a full chapter.) The back cover is interesting, but too often it has nothing to do with the book, or even is contradictory. I know it all happens on a different timeline, so that’s not a point against, but I don’t “trust” the back blurb, I suppose. Something else that’ll convince me to buy the book are reader reviews. Or, I check amazon a lot, and rate books, and amazon’ll make suggestions. If I think a book looks interesting I’ll check the reviews, and the author’s website, read the excerpt, and make a decision. I just realized… the cover is important too. I guess I’m shallow. If it’s too cheesy or really fake and computerized, I’m less inclined to look at the book. The title helps too – if it’s attention getting. But most of all? The excerpt is my decision maker.

  3. Danny says:

    Hi Tracy,

    for me is the back cover blurb important and recommendations from friends. When I am in a “real” bookstore I am also looking for covers.

  4. bluecat says:

    The cover is the first thing that I go by, then the blurb. Sometimes it’s the genre.

  5. Good morning! My word, you are early birds around here.

    Minna, thanks for the input. I also buy books based on the blurb.

    JSL, I post the first chapter on my website. [First chapters of both Touch of Texas and Touched by Love are there now.] I’m an excerp reader, too. When I get an ad for a new book by an author I’ve never read, the first thing I do is go to the website or Amazon and look for an excerpt.

    Danny, recommendations are so important. Its why you’ll hear – or read – authors asking readers to spread the word. I think word of mouth is vital to a new author’s success.

    Bluecat, choosing a book by its cover seems natural to me. A beautiful, eye-catching cover will draw me across the bookstore.

    Do you read ebooks? What catches your attention and gets you to buy?

    Thanks for dropping by!
    Tracy G.

  6. peggy says:

    the cover also excerpt.i myself do not read ebooks.i like to have a paperback
    i cant take with me at any time,i dont think i would buy an ebook

  7. Suzanne Welsh says:

    Good morning Tracy and Jennifer! Jennifer, you’ve found one of my favorite people to interview today. 🙂

    Tracy, you and I have a love of Westerns. Did you get to see 3:10 To Yuma yet? I thought it was both a boon for Westerns, both movies and books. It was also a great character sketch of the good guy and bad guy.

    Also, I know you’re working on Wolf’s story, but isn’t there another book coming out soon by you?


  8. fedora says:

    Hi, Tracy! (and Jennifer!) Tracy, I’m fairly new to Westerns but have loved the ones I’ve read! Can’t wait to read yours!

    As for new authors, I do love excerpts (for instance, I’ve definitely purchased books that were excerpted in the back of other books) and I’ve recently “met” tons of new-to-me authors via blogs and other guest “appearances” that have been added to my gotta-get list 🙂

    I do sometimes read e-books; I still have a preference for paper, but I can see the appeal of e-books, too. The “hook” for me is similar–if I read some and like it, I’ll have to get it!

  9. Morning, Suz! (You’re making me blush. lol)
    My second book, Touched by Love, will be released in November. Hero Jaret Walker is a gun-for-hire with a heart of ice—and ranch owner Isabel Bennet is just the woman to thaw him out! There’s an excerpt on my webpage, under BOOKS. I just got the cover – it is OMG gorgeous.

  10. Diana Cosby says:

    Wonderful interview! I love your passion for your characters, it definitly comes through in your writing. I look forward to reading Wolf’s story!

    Diana Cosby

  11. Hi Fedora, glad you dropped in!
    I share your preference for paper, but I must admit, after hauling around five or six books on my last vacation, I’m giving serious consideration to an e-reader.

  12. Hi Tracy and Jennifer! What a terrific interview — thank you!

    I try new authors based on word-of-mouth, the story blurb (not necessarily the one on the back cover, but the info on the author website), and on the cover … to some extent. Word-of-mouth is the most influential factor. Then again, sometimes I buy a new author on a whim, on instinct. Love it when that happens!

    I loved Jake and Rachel’s story, and can hardly wait for Wolf’s! And congratulations again on your RT honors — awesome!

    LA VIDA VAMPIRE, April 1, 2008

  13. Hello Nancy. How’s the beach? Bet you’re warmer than I am here in the Midwest.

    Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed Jake & Rachel’s happily-ever-after. The Romantic Times nomination for Best First Historical is such a thrill for me. I still want to turn cartwheels when I think about it. lol

  14. HI Tracy,

    I love westerns and the first thing to catch my ee is a cover-it shows it is a western. I read the back blurb and if I like the back blurb then I check out the first page. I was burned once when a story in Kentucky backwoods was labeled a western. Maybe it was in the early 1800s.

    I loved Touch of Texas and Touch of Love is on my reading list.

    Billie Warren Chai
    BRIDES OF THE WEST, February 2008

  15. Virginia H. says:

    For me the cover catches my eye, but I really go by the blurp on the back of the book. That is very important. I will also go for the historicals first. Touch of Texas fall right in there for me. I would love to read it. I will start looking for it in the book stores.

  16. Crystal B. says:

    The blurb on the back of the book and the excerpt inside the front cover. I loved Touch of Texas.

  17. Hi Billie! Good to see you. I just got the cover for Touched by Love – and I think it will definitely catch your eye. I’ll have it up on my website soon and you can judge for yourself.

    Reading the first few pages is a good idea, since authors don’t always write the back-cover copy.

  18. Greetings, Virginia!
    Covers draw me to a book, as well, if I don’t already know the author. Hope you enjoy Touch of Texas!

  19. Good morning, Crystal! Thanks for stopping by.
    I so glad to hear you enjoyed Jake & Rachel. I had such fun writing that book – and I really hated to see it end.

  20. Franny says:


    Fantastic interview! And Touch of Texas is such an awesome book, I’m anxiously awaiting Touched by Love!!!


  21. Hi Franny! Great to see you here.

    Touched by Love has an interesting beginning. It came from my own love of horses, combined with some reading I did about the King Ranch in south Texas. That part of the state is desert–harsh conditions, little water–the perfect spot for a story about the power of love to win out over everything.

  22. I sent the last reply too fast. I should have said….
    TTouched by Love has an interesting beginning. It came from my own love of horses, combined with some reading I did about the King Ranch in south Texas. That part of the state is desert–-harsh conditions, little water. At the time of my story, men would kill to control the only natural resources there were—the perfect conflict for a story about a man who feels honor-bound to protect a woman who doesn’t want protection, and the power of love to win out over everything.

  23. Teresa W. says:

    I’m always looking for new authors to read and if I come across an author that I’ve never heard of the book cover and back blurb help me decide if I will check it out!

  24. Hi Teresa!

    I’m glad to know the cover and blurb are important to so many of you in choosing a new author to try.

    What kind of cover attracts your attention? Is it color, or photo? What is most likely to make you pick the book up?

  25. Jane says:

    Hi Tracy,
    I’m one of those who gets sucked in by the blurb. If the book description grabs me, I’m in. Word of mouth by my favorite authors also influence me. I must admit that a hot, sexy cover pulls me in too.

  26. Maureen says:

    I’ve bought quite a few of Zebra’s special priced books for new authors because it’s not much money and I might find a great author.

  27. Helen says:

    Wonderful interview Tracy and Jennifer I love historical westerns and I have put your books on my must get list Tracy it has been while since I have read one but they have always been a favourite of my sisters and mine and my mother loved them as well. What makes me buy a new author places like this that talk to the authors and do such wonderful interviews. Thanks again guys

    Have Fun

  28. Jane, there’s just something about a fine looking man on a cover, isn’t there?!

    Maureen, I’m glad to hear you say that. I believe the special price Kensington puts on their debut authors encourages readers to try a new author. I’m honored to be part of the Zebra Debut program.

    Helen, I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. I’m having a great time here wth all of you! My mother and I also recommend new books to each other, and she often buys authors I haven’t had a chance to read yet.

  29. cathy M says:

    I discover lots of new authors on blogs like this one, or from a comment from one of my favorite authors. For the price, trying a new author in ebook format can save me a bit of money, too.

  30. Ruth Chesick says:

    TOUCH OF TEXAS and TOUCHED BY LOVE both sound so good.

    I also grew up watching The Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel and Maverick.

    I like learning about new authors – sometimes it is on the internet loops, aometimes on blogs, and sometimes by word-of-mouth.

    Then it is always a pleasure to discover one while browsing in the bookstore.

    Hope everyone has a WONDERFUL weekend.!!!!

    Ruth C.

  31. Welcome, Cathy. Thanks for stopping by. I’ve found lots of new friends here and on other blogs. I’m glad we have a spot to find each other and chat.

    Ruth, I’d forgotten all about Have Gun Will Travel. Ha!

    I’ll echo Ruth’s wish. Have a great weekend, everybody, and thanks for joining me here today!

    Jennifer, thanks again for inviting me!!

    Tracy G.
    TOUCH OF TEXAS, Available Now
    TOUCHED BY LOVE, Coming in November 2008, from Zebra Historical Romance

  32. Jennifer Y says:

    Thanks everyone for stopping by and thank you again Tracy for being a guest!

    Sorry I wasn’t around more…still battling my cold.

    I can’t wait to read the upcoming book Tracy!

  33. Jennifer, you have a great group of readers here. I had so much fun today!

    One last reply–I missed you, Diana Cosby! I didn’t see you come in. 😀 Thanks for your kind words. My characters are so real to me, it’s like someone complimented my children.

    Happy Weekend, everyone!

  34. ThatBrunette says:

    I’m also a buy-everything-they’ve-ever-written kinda reader. I attribute it to being a collector and needing to have a complete collection.

    Okay, there are a few things that get me to try a new book or author. The synopsis can grab me. I’m a big fan of ghost stories so, I am a little more likely to buy a book if there is a ghost floating around.

    Chats and blogs are becoming my latest reason for reading. I meet authors and enjoy their ‘company’ and want to try their books. Interviews like this also help me to appreciate the book a little more when I hear a bit of back story. (was that a sentence?)

    I don’t think Jennifer is sick. I think she found a new author and is hiding behind a stack of books.

  35. Jennifer Y says:

    I don’t think Jennifer is sick. I think she found a new author and is hiding behind a stack of books.

    Oh, if only that were the case!!!

  36. >>Interviews like this also help me to appreciate the book a little more when I hear a bit of back story. (was that a sentence?)<<

    ThatBrunette, I understood what you meant. As an author, I love having this chance to meet new readers. Without you, nothing I do makes much difference.

  37. Paula says:

    Blurbs and excerpts are a must and recommendations from friends count a lot. And the “topic” of the book, of course.

    If the book looks interesting, it’s possible I’ll mention it to friends even if I don’t plan to buy it yet myself. We like to keep ourselves “updated” with what’s coming. 🙂

    But of course, there’s nothing like reading an actual book to find out if you like an author’s writing or not.

  38. Good evening, Paula. I’m glad I’m not the only one to respond to the “buzz” on an upcoming release. lol

  39. Amelia says:

    To me would be first reading the blurb or excerpt. Then it would hearing it from word of mouth via the blogs and groups. 🙂

  40. Cherie J says:

    The first thing that will attract me is a great cover. Than I will read the blurb and the inside. If I like how it sounds then I will purchase it.

  41. Cindi Hoppes says:

    Hello! I have to admit that I look at covers on books. First, I find the genre that I love if I am on a website, and then start scanning. The first impression is the cover and then I look at the author and story line. Thanks,Cindi

  42. Angie-la says:

    Hi Tracy! I have Touch of Texas on the TBR pile. Can’t wai to read it!

  43. Cindy says:

    I LOVE western historicals and Touch of Texas sounds GREAT!

  44. Amelia,, Cheri, & Cindi – sounds like we agree. A great cover and a good blurb on the back will interest readers.

    Angie-la, I hope you enjoy it!

    Cindy, I’m glad you dropped by!

  45. Pam P says:

    For a new author, either friend’s recommendations, or finding an excerpt that interests me, getting there all sorts of ways – buzz, searching, contests, other author sites.

  46. Sue A. says:

    Excerpts really help to get me hooked on a book, once I’ve been introduced to it through word of mouth or blogs, suthor or book sites and other forms of promos.

  47. Cindi Hoppes says:

    I love Western historicals and yours are a favorite of mine! Author interviews, book covers and excerpts all play a part in interesting me in a book…..Cindi

  48. Nathalie says:

    I think it is the cover and what I hear about it on the Net.

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