By Dawn Ius
Tracey Devlyn doesn’t believe in the muse.
“I believe in me,” she says. “When the creative side of my brain is being stubborn and the words aren’t flowing, I get up, walk around, and sit back down and write—even if I only write three hard-earned words. Then I repeat until I have a sentence, a paragraph, a chapter, a manuscript.”
Her latest manuscript is A LADY’S SECRET WEAPON, which can be drilled down to this intriguing tweet-worthy synopsis: A boudoir spy joins forces with a notorious underworld informant to determine why boys are disappearing at one of London’s orphanages.
It’s the third novel in her series of historical romantic thrillers, a genre that provides her – and her lucky readers – the ultimate in escapism.
“Our modern world has become so complicated, immediate, and violent. It’s nice to spend some time in a period where the pace is a little slower and chivalry still exists,” she says.
That doesn’t mean it’s less exciting. Quite the contrary. As a historical writer, Devlyn walks the fine line between fact and fiction, a delicate balance of historic truths and modern suspense. Going back in time may seem daunting, but for Devlyn, it’s no more overwhelming than the research that goes into many thriller novels set in modern times.
“Thriller writers today have to research the ins and outs of corporate takeovers, pharmaceutical fraud, special ops, counter terrorism and courtroom procedures, to name a few,” she says. “Now that’s daunting.”
Though not quite enough to deter thoughts of taking her stories to the present. Devlyn is currently working on a thrilling new project and plans to connect it to a modern day series – a challenge that will give her quiet writing room a workout.
These days, she shares her creative space with a rescue Doberman who reminds her with a gentle nudge that it’s okay to take breaks, and even emerge from the writing cave for an occasional treat.
“I’m one of those authors who must have silence to write,” she says. “I’m easily distracted.”
To combat this, Devlyn keeps her social media to a minimum, and follows the same advice she’d offer to all new writers.
“Absorb everything and then weed out what doesn’t feel natural,” she says. “There are so many great approaches to writing. Learn them all. Never give up. No matter what. Persistence, determination and belief in yourself will lead you to publication and keep you there.”
Devlyn is co-founder of Romance University, a group blog dedicated to readers and writers or romance, and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, Chicagoland’s exciting new reading salon devoted to romantic fiction.
For more information on Devlyn, including her internet haunts, contest updates, and details on her upcoming novels, check out her website.
In the spirit of the month – what is your most thrilling Halloween memory?
When I was a little girl, we didn’t even start trick or treating until it got dark. I recall running all over the neighborhood with my brothers and their friends, knocking on doors, then dashing away. Great, good times.