Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Guest Blogger---Traci Hunter Abramson

I am so thrilled to be able to introduce you to one of my favorite authors--Traci Hunter Abramson. Her new book is titled Freefall and it is well worth the read.

Like many authors, I live in a fictional world as often as not. A few weeks ago, my reality was strange enough that I was beginning to wonder if reality and fiction had somehow crossed paths.

At the end of March, I had the opportunity to visit Arizona for my sister’s wedding and to do a couple of book signings. I walked into the Seagull Books in Mesa and was completely shocked to find a couple of people waiting to meet me. My response was an incredulous, “You’re waiting to see me?” Sure, I had hoped people might be interested in my new book, but I never expected anyone to make a special trip to come to my signing. After all, I’m just a normal, everyday person.

Throughout the morning I was treated like royalty by the staff. I had the added bonus of meeting the incredibly talented Kerry Blair who was also there to sign books. I was having so much fun, I stayed longer than I had planned and barely allowed myself enough to time to make it to my next scheduled appearance.

My second signing was overwhelming in a different way. I walked into the Chandler Deseret Bookstore to find the front shelves completely dominated by my four books and a woman was standing next to the display holding a copy of my latest novel. A little further into the store there was a six-foot-tall poster of Freefall hanging behind the table where my signing would take place.

Again the staff was wonderful and I had a lot of fun meeting them and the people who came into the store. At one point, a woman approached the table and pointed to my first novel, Undercurrents, and said, “I just finished reading this. I loved it!” Talk about making my day…again!

After my two signings, I then went to my step-sister’s wedding and was surprised to have many long time family friends approach and ask me to tell them about my new book. Little did I know at the time that my step-dad had been reading Freefall to keep him distracted before the wedding and he had been raving to everyone about it. Now, I realize that parents are always a bit biased, but I’ll admit that it was great hearing how much he was enjoying my book. By the end of the day I had received so much attention my head was spinning.

You see, here in Virginia, I’m not well known as an author. In fact, a lot more people recognize me as a high school swim coach than as a writer so it’s difficult to know what to answer when someone asks me what I do for a living.

Try to imagine for a moment what it’s like to be in my shoes. (I wear sandals all of the time, so they’ll fit most of you.) My previous profession was working for the CIA. When I admit this, most people wonder if I’m telling the truth or just pulling their leg, especially when I get very far away from the nation’s capital. Then when it comes up in conversation that I’m a published author, they think I truly do live in a fictional world, but not necessarily a published version of one. Throw swim coach into the equation and people realize that I’m probably never going to grow up. Then we have the profession that lasts throughout the entire year: housewife. I probably shouldn’t admit that I’m really bad at this one, although if you want to see my “reasons not to clean list” they can be found here.

Knowing that my real life is nothing like the one I had lived on my sister’s wedding day, I did the only thing I could do. I brought home the huge poster from Deseret Book so my family would believe that I wasn’t living in my fictional world…again.


At 4/17/2008 11:06 AM, Blogger Annette Lyon said...

What a great day for you! Definitely one to remember. I'm glad you got to keep the poster.

In spite of the parental bias, I was a bit excited to hear that I've made my dad cry with some of my books. (I think writers are sadistic that way.)

At 4/17/2008 11:51 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

I'm so glad you were able to have such a wonderful trip to Arizona! And I hope you hung that poster on the wall right next to your computer to remind you of how many adoring fans you have!

At 4/17/2008 12:16 PM, Blogger Jennie said...

Fun blog, Traci. We all need a day like that once in awhile to keep us going. You certainly deserved it.

At 4/17/2008 2:11 PM, Blogger Marcia Mickelson said...

I was enjoying Freefall and right in the middle of it during my trip to Utah last month. Sadly, I haven't been able to find it since I came back. I double checked my suitcases. I fear I may have left it on the plane in the seat in front of me. Darn. I'm still looking around; it might be tucked in somewhere. After 5 days away, all my stuff just kind of got mixed up with the mess in the house. If I did happen to leave it on the plane, hopefully someone picked it up and is enjoying it. I'll have to find some way to finish it up. It was getting good.

At 4/17/2008 4:27 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

Traci, you're an awesome writer and you deserve all the good that comes your way.

At 4/17/2008 7:29 PM, Blogger Traci Hunter Abramson said...

Thanks everyone! And Marcia, I hope you find your copy of Freefall!

At 4/17/2008 8:25 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

Well, the obvious question to me is: what did you do at the CIA? (Or, is it classified?) Hey, Jack Ryan was "just" an analyst, right? ;)

Very nice blog, Traci. I'm sure you have a royal heart. =)

At 4/17/2008 10:03 PM, Blogger Sariah S. Wilson said...

Traci, thank you for the list. Unfortunately, I do not need any reason whatsoever not to clean. But it's nice to have just in case a reason ever becomes necessary.

At 4/18/2008 8:48 AM, Blogger Traci Hunter Abramson said...

What did I do for the CIA? Hmmm. What can I tell you without getting into trouble? I actually held three different positions during my time there, all somehow related to finance.

The one that probably helped me the most in my writing was working as a liaison officer where I dealt with people in other government agencies (mostly in the intelligence community.)

My last couple of years I worked with facilities, logistics and security among other things. I was fortunate that my administrative role gave me a bird's eye view of a lot of activities. This helped me have a better understanding of how the intelligence community works than had I been "just an analyst." Beyond that, I probably can't say much or else...well, you know.

At 4/18/2008 9:36 AM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

Traci, it seems every Seagull book I go to, I see people walking out of the store with a copy of FREEFALL in their hands. Virginia might not recognize you as an author, but Utah certainly does!

At 4/18/2008 11:25 AM, Blogger Traci Hunter Abramson said...

Heather, you just made my day! Thanks!

At 4/18/2008 12:05 PM, Blogger Josi said...

I got to do a ladies night signing a couple years ago and they had a ten foot banner hanging in the window. I sent an e-mail the next monday and a few months later, when they changed out the displays, they sent it to me. I haven't figured out where to hang it yet, but one of these days I'll do it.

I'm so glad you got to be a princess for a day--it's a wonderful feeling!

At 4/22/2008 3:45 PM, Blogger Nancy said...


I read Freefall recently and really enjoyed it! I loved that you depicted such a smart heroine. She was great.

It's funny- my husband has a huge banner of my 2nd Civil War book hanging in his office at work. He's a school counselor for the youth in custody program. My banner hangs next to posters of Rocky and Mohammad Ali. I'm in good company. Isn't it so much fun to see your own book as a huge poster? What a feeling.

Nancy Allen

At 4/24/2008 9:30 AM, Blogger Traci Hunter Abramson said...


So glad to hear you enjoyed Freefall. As for my oversized poster, I have no idea where it's going to go. I'm just excited to have it in my possession!


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