Failsafe by Traci Hunter Abramson – Author Interview & Giveaway


Failsafe CoverFailsafe by Traci Hunter Abramson

In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Charlotte Martin and her father live a peaceful life on their farm . . . or so it seems. In truth, the rural locale provides the perfect front for the father-daughter NSA operatives as they expertly carry out their mission: using a high-tech computer system, they protect a team of undercover agents. Some would kill to have access to this system, and it makes Charlotte and her father prime targets. It’s only a matter of time was only a matter of time before this nightmare unexpectedly crashes on them and only Charlotte escapes with her life. Before Dwight Martin dies. though, he initiates the failsafe lockdown, and now she’s the only one who can access the system.

Writer Jake Bradford left Virginia for New York to pursue his dreams and never looked back. Until now. Entrusted with his ailing grandmother’s care, Jake knows he needs help—and he can’t believe his luck when a lovely young woman providentially appears on his doorstep. Charlotte creates a new persona for herself and quickly develops a bond with Jake’s grandmother. But it’s the connection she feels with Jake that makes it almost too easy to lose sight of her reality: she is being hunted by men who will stop at nothing to access the intelligence she protects. With time running out, can the couple find a future together, or will Charlotte’s secrets tear them apart?


TraciAuthor Traci Hunter Abramson

Traci Hunter Abramson was born in Arizona, where she lived until moving to Venezuela for a study-abroad program. After graduating from Brigham Young University, she worked for the Central Intelligence Agency for several years, eventually resigning in order to raise her family. She credits the CIA with giving her a wealth of ideas for suspense novels as well as the skills needed to survive her children’s teenage years. She has gone on to write a number of bestselling suspense novels that have consistently been nominated as Whitney Award finalists. She considers shoes an optional accessory which became evident when she won her first two Whitney Awards in 2013 and 2014 for her novels Code Word and Deep Cover. She currently lives in Virginia with her family where she enjoys sports, travel, writing, and coaching high school swimming.


Author Interview

What is one book everyone should read?
If I were an English or History teacher, I would make Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington required reading. I love how the author uses his own life to demonstrate his passion for education and his firm belief that all of us should strive to become contributing members of our society.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
Right now I’m working on another Saint Squad book which should be coming out in October 2015. After that, my next two will likely be a companion novel to Failsafe and another book in my Royal series.
What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?
Author Lynn Gardner gave me a piece of advice when I was starting out that has been priceless: Edit, edit, edit.

 What is your favorite Quote?

I’ve never been able to limit myself to one, but here are a few of my top choices:
“Character, not circumstance, makes the person.”
― Booker T. Washington
“No matter where we begin, if we pursue knowledge diligently and honestly, our quest will inevitably lead us from the things of the earth to the things of heaven.”
― Hugh Nibley
“Charity never faileth.” Moroni 7:46 and 1 Corinthians 13:8
 When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
Oh, the list was long and constantly changing. A horse jockey, an author, a journalist (because being an author was too unrealistic), an Olympic swimmer, a spy, and a veterinarian all were top choices at one point or another. By the age of twelve, I was too tall and weighed too much to be a jockey and when I realized I don’t like blood, I gave up the vet idea. Most of the others I have done a variation of at one time or another. After working for the CIA, I started coaching the high school swim team. I also spent a couple years for the local newspaper when I was beginning my writing career. And, of course, author is now my primary occupation outside of being a wife and mother/aunt.

 How did you know you should become an author?

As a child, I loved to read and this was one of my dream jobs. I didn’t start writing fiction until my senior year of college and even then it was as a hobby. In my early twenties, while working with a group of twelve and thirteen year old girls, I discovered a huge gap in the fiction market between young adult and adult. These girls wanted to read adult plot lines, but didn’t want to expose themselves to content that challenged their moral standards. I decided then and there that I was going to try to fill that gap. I’ve been trying ever since.

How do you react to a bad review?

The only true bad review is one that doesn’t give any insight as to what could have made the book better. Typically, reviewers make some reference to what they didn’t like and I use those comments as a learning tool just as if my editor gave me a suggestion on how to improve. Of course, my favorite bad review was one in which the reviewer said I didn’t use profanity, sex or graphic violence. All true.
Favorite sport?
Swimming, of course, since I enjoyed participating in it throughout my youth and I’ve now coached it for nearly twenty years. As a spectator, I love almost all sports, but lately my favorite has been baseball.
Where do you write?
Everywhere! Much of this book was written when I was making weekly trips to visit a friend in the hospital three hours away from my home. My digital recorder and I became well acquainted during those drives through the beautiful Virginia countryside. The setting in this book was often described when I was in the middle of it. I also am content to write in a quiet parking lot, a restaurant, on my bed, in my office, on the sidelines of various sports fields, at the swimming pool and any place else I can find a spot to sit while still holding some kind of writing instrument.
 How do you go about revising/editing?
Sadly, this is about to change. The first person I ever shared my writing with was my sister-in-law, Rebecca Cummings. She literally taught me how to write, gently helping me improve and then hone my skills until I finally decided to pursue publication. For every novel, I have turned it over to her and she has been my first line editor and my sounding board on everything from plot lines to character development. Failsafe was the last book she edited for me before passing away recently after a decade-long struggle with cancer.
 Do you write as you go or do you have the book all planned out from page 1?
I am definitely a write as you go kind of author. I’d love to have everything planned out, but typically I start with a general story idea and let the characters show me what is going to happen next.
Titles: do you write the books first and the title comes next or does the title come to you as you write?
Titles have always been a challenge for me. For years, I was convinced it was harder to write the title than the novel itself. Thankfully over the years I have gotten a little better at this, but most of the time I finish the book and don’t come up with a title until it’s absolutely necessary.
 If you were not a writer, what would you like to do?
I always seem to have too many plans for the time I have, but when I’m not writing, I already coach a high school swim team and I love that. Working with teenagers and with my own children, I think if I had to choose a fulltime career outside of my home, I would want to be a college counselor. I love helping people figure out what majors to explore and piecing together the puzzle of which classes to take to help someone along the path to graduation and their future.
Do your characters really talk to you?
The definitely keep me up at night…and wake me up early in the morning! I don’t know that they talk to me as much as they demand my attention until I get their story right.
Are you for or against books being made into movies?
I have to say I’m for books being made into movies. When I write, I visualize my stories as though I’m watching a movie. The idea of having that story brought to life in 3D is something I’ve had many fans ask for, one that I would love to see happen one day. Generally, I believe those who enjoy books will read regardless of what is made into a movie, but those who don’t particularly like to read fiction may very well love seeing a story adapted to the big screen.
What made you decide to write in this genre?
I’ve always loved reading romance so I think that’s where the romantic elements come from. My suspense side was a natural fit because of my background working for the Central Intelligence Agency. This truly is a case of writing what you know.
What is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process?
Until recently, my favorite part was receiving a physical copy of my book and knowing I could curl up with a book I loved creating. A few months ago, my eleven-year-old son needed something to read and wasn’t excited about anything we had in the house. On a whim, I grabbed Freefall off the shelf and began reading it to him. Seeing him giggle in the same spots I do and speculate on what is going to happen next has been a true delight.

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