Interview with Tracy Wolff, Author of Lovegame

08 Jun 2016
What can you tell us about your new release, Lovegame?

I am so excited about Lovegame, I don’t even know where to start, to be honest. Every once in awhile in an author’s life, a book comes along that challenges them and tortures them and makes them love it more than anything. For me, Lovegame is that book. The storyline actually came to me almost three years ago—on my way to a speaking engagement, in fact—and I fell in love with it right away. It also scared me A LOT (it’s very dark and very complicated), which is why, even after selling it, I kept putting off writing it until Veronica and Ian wouldn’t let me anymore—their scenes started coming to me, fully formed, while I was driving my kids to school and cooking dinner and even when I was working on another book (which was a problem, if you can imagine, lol). So I buckled down and wrote it and I am absolutely thrilled with how it came out and the incredible response it is getting from reviewers and early readers. So that’s the long answer to your question. The short answer is, Lovegame is the story of Veronica Romero, Hollywood’s current big screen sex goddess, and what happens when she meets true crime writer, Ian Sharpe, who brings out all the deep, dark, painful secrets she’s worked so hard to keep hidden. It’s a dark, twisted erotic thriller that explores love, sex, insanity and the soul-deep connection that can form when two people who don’t trust themselves or anyone else learn to trust each other.

Which book from your childhood or teenage years has stuck with you as an adult?

There are a few, actually. I want to be original, but the truth is in high school I was a Beat girl through and through and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road shook my whole world. Tom Wolff’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid test is another one that I still have multiple copies of today. J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye is the greatest American novel ever written in my opinion and I have something like 23 different versions in my office upstairs (I collect different editions). All of these books have stayed with me and shaped how I think. But if you’re looking for the book that changed the course of my whole life, it’s Velvet Promise by Jude Deveraux. When I ran out of books to read in the classics and YA section of my bookstore when I was in junior high, my mom handed me that book and told me to give it a try. I’d always known I was going to be a writer, but by the time I was halfway through with that book, I knew absolutely that I was going to be a romance writer someday.

What’s rocking your world this month?

Oh my gosh, this is such a hard question. A lot of things rock my world on a regular basis, so in no particular order:
Hanging with my kids for summer vacation—I’ve got three boys and they are as fun as they are exhausting.
Urban Decay’s Alice Through the Looking Glass eyeshadow palette
Larry Stylinson fan fiction (yes, I’m a Larry shipper)
Me Before You (the book and the movie both turned me into a sniveling mess)
Silver Moon tea that one of my closest friends brought me back from Singapore
My latest belly dancing class
Adele’s video for Send My Love (to your new lover)

What’s on your writing desk?

I actually write either on my bed or on the loveseat in my family room. So I don’t really have a writing desk. I’ll tell you what’s on my writing nightstand next to my bed at the moment, though. A huge TBR pile, a cup of tea from this morning and a glass of La Croix from lunch, a bunch of pens in a One Direction cup (don’t judge, I LOVE THEM VERY MUCH), a pot of LUSH hand cream rainbow, my journal, rainbow index cards, a pair of sunglasses that I forgot to take off the top of my head when I got home, a bunch of bangle bracelets that I was wearing earlier but annoyed me when I was typing, a and a MAC Viva Glam Miley lipgloss.

What’s your favorite thing about being a teacher?

I love teaching college writing. So many of my students come to me with a mental block about writing and I love opening them up to the possibilities of what they can do. I also tend to teach in Socratic seminars, and I love guiding my students in discussions and watching their minds get blown when they look at something in a whole new way.

Are there any go-to books that you always assign to your students?

There is one book and one short story that I teach almost every semester—The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, which is absolutely brilliant. It’s told in a series of vignettes that seem totally unrelated but when read together form a beautiful, complete coming of age story for a young Chicana girl growing up in Chicago. The short story I love to teach is Where are You Going, Where Have You Been by Joyce Carol Oates. She wrote this in response to a story she’d seen about a serial killer in Phoenix who targeted teenage girls. It’s eerie and compelling and will stay with you long after you finish reading it.

What scene in Lovegame was your favorite to write?

That’s a hard question as that book was as much torture as it was joy to write. For pure, sexy fun, I love the scene where he storms into her on-set trailer. For dark and twisted angst, the scene where she wakes up after she is drugged. And for heart-wrenching, made-me-sob-while-I-was-writing- it, definitely the black moment. It nearly broke my heart, but at the same time was so cathartic and exciting to write.

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

I do, actually. It’s originally from Plato, but I’ve seen it written a million times in a million different ways since I first read him in college: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” Empathy and kindness can change the world and I try very hard to practice both.

Tracy Wolff is the author of the new book Lovegame.

Connect with Tracy
Author Website

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Sarah Pannenberg