The Prolitfic team’s excited to share with you our author interview with Traci Andrighetti, USA Today bestselling writer and wearer of many hats. For eleven years, she served as a University of Texas at Austin lecturer in the Italian department before working at Apple, Inc. Traci’s publications range from mystery novels, articles about translation, foreign language education and linguistics. She is also an editor, translator, and mentor to aspiring and established writers whom she takes on intensive writing retreats to Italy with her company, LemonLit. We were honored to ask Traci some questions about her writing journey in the Q&A below.
How’d you get to where you are today?
My journey to writing genre fiction was kind of crazy. About a year and a half after writing my dissertation, I realized that I wanted to be immersed in another big writing project—one without the scholarly research. I signed up for an online writing class called Intro to Chick Lit because it sounded like the least academic thing I could do. On the recommendation of the teacher, I joined a writer association. Before I’d even completed the sign-up process, the president of the association suggested I enter a contest to win a month of mentoring from a New York Times bestselling author. But instead I ended up with a two-book contract.
Most helpful writing advice you’ve imparted/been given?
Writing is less about talent and more about discipline. That gets me to sit down at my desk every day.
What surprised you most about writing? Publishing?
What surprised me the most about writing is that you get better just by doing it. The process is kind of magical, really. And it definitely follows the old adage practice makes perfect (or, at least a lot better). In terms of publishing, the most shocking thing about the industry is the overwhelming amount of marketing that authors need to do, whether they’re traditionally published or doing it on their own.
Describe a day in the life.
Every day starts with a latte that I make in my kitchen. And after that I write for four to six hours and try to stop compulsively checking my email and social media. Because I plot and outline, I don’t have writer’s block—one of the many benefits of planning out your projects in advance.
What distinguishes your work from others in the industry?
As much as I would like to tell you that my work in somehow different or unique, the truth is that there are a lot of humorous mystery writers in the profession. And thank goodness! Because it means that there are lots of readers buying the genre.
What do you think is the future of publishing? Where do you see it going in the next few years?
The future of publishing is tough to call. There are so many stories and books out there that it’s getting harder to get noticed (and remembered) by the day. Even if you have an agent and a traditional publisher, they can’t make people find your books. But, just as a guess, I’d say that there might be more subscription services like Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited because of our tendency to binge-consume media.
What are you working on?
I write two series, and I’m hard at work on the third. The first is the Franki Amato mysteries about an Italian-American PI in New Orleans, which is a character in itself. And the other, which I recently completed, is the Danger Cove Hair Salon mysteries, a series within a series written by multiple authors. THAT was a writing adventure!
Which author do you most admire?
I also read in Italian, and I’m a huge fan of Andrea Camilleri, the author of the Inspector Salvo Montalbano series set in Sicily. He’s a maestro of giving you a feel for the region with his plots, characters, and language.
Yes! Read Tarquin Hall’s Inspector Vish Puri series, and you will be immediately transported to India. The man is an amazing writer. Truly.
We’re so glad to have had the opportunity to interview Traci--let us know if you have more questions for Traci or future guest interviewees! We’d love your input.