Interview with Tracy Solheim, Author of All They Ever Wanted

01 Mar 2016
Tell us a little bit about your new release, All They Ever Wanted.

All They Ever Wanted is the second book in my small town series featuring the large McAllister clan. (Readers of my football series will recognize the town from my book Foolish Games.) This novel features the oldest brother, Miles, who when he was ten years old mapped out a life path that would hopefully land him in the White House. Now Miles is running for U.S. Congress, but he’s finding out that it’s not easy to be “Squeaky Clean” Miles McAllister and still get ahead in politics. (There was no way I could have foreseen today’s presidential campaign when I wrote this book, but you have to admit, it provides a GREAT backdrop!) His mother, Patricia, is recovering from a hip injury she sustained in the first book of the series, Back to Before. So while Miles is not only campaigning, he’s also lending a hand running Patricia’s famed B&B—and butting heads with the inn’s stubborn but beautiful cook, a woman with a mysterious past. Lori Hunt has come to the small coastal town to escape her former life. She quickly finds that Miles is too tempting to resist, even though she knows her secret could destroy his political aspirations. When Lori’s deception finally comes to light, Miles is forced to decide between following his heart or going after all he ever wanted.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

I’ve read A LOT of books so it’s hard to narrow it down, but I’ll try. From my youth, A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle. I’m a huge fan of historical fiction so definitely Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and Colleen McCullough’s The Thornbirds. I still read Richard Adam’s Watership Down once every few years. More recently, the book I stayed up all night to finish was JoJo Moyes’ Me Before You. As you can see, my reading tastes are eclectic. I’m glad you didn’t ask me what’s on my music playlist!

Where is your happy place? Why does it bring you joy?

The barn. I’ve been a horse girl all of my life. There’s something about being around a horse that makes me relax and appreciate the simple day-to-day moments. When I first started writing, I made a deal with my daughter that I’d buy her a horse if I ever sold a book. I figured she’d be in college before that ever happened and her love of horses would have faded. No such luck. I got published relatively early in my author journey. Now my daughter has a beautiful mare named after my first book, Game On. It’s been a joy to watch the two of them grow together as a team. My daughter leaves for college in the fall, and while I’ll miss her, I’m more upset about not having my daily dose of equine therapy.

What are you currently craving?

Chocolate. It’s a pretty constant craving from the moment I get up until the time I go to bed. My husband keeps a bag of Dove chocolate hidden and doles them out three per day to me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to fit in my chair.

You’re hosting a literary dinner party. Which three writers are invited?

Harper Lee because I have SO MANY questions to ask her, Dick Francis because his books about horse racing taught me everything I need to know about pacing, and Kristan Higgins because she’s so sweet on the page and in person. Plus, she always has great recipes in her newsletter and I know she’ll bring a fabulous baked good for dessert!

Who is your favorite fictional character from literature?

Johnny Tremain. Did I mention my love for historical fiction?

What’s your favorite quote or scene from All They Ever Wanted?

The McAllister family has such a fun dynamic among them. All the siblings are successful in their careers, yet they each seem to get pulled back to their hometown for a second chance at love. The banter and by-play between the brothers and sisters was great fun to write. One of my favorite scenes is when Kate, the oldest, is trying to explain to her brothers about the problems their mother is having with her love life . Her brothers definitely believe it’s TMI.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

“Live life with grace.” This business can be tough. I try to be as kind as I can and to pay it forward.

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Tracy Solheim is the author of the new book All They Ever Wanted.

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