ABOUT Traci L. Slatton
When I was six years old, I made a giant leap in reading. Within a few months, I went from reading ‘See Spot Run’ to reading novels. I read my first novel, a heart-warming tale about a child in Heaven watching his family. Thunderstruck, I thought, “I want to do this! I want to write stories that make people feel so intensely!”
My father was an enlisted man in the Navy, and we moved around the
country between bases. Our means were modest. I delivered papers, shoveled snow, and raked leaves to earn money. An allowance of a dollar a week was used to buy precious paperback novels: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Madeleine L’Engle, Frank Yerby, Pierre Boulle, Jules Verne, H. Rider Haggard, and of course Nancy Drew, Hardy Boy, and Trixie Belden mysteries. I especially loved romances.
As a teenager, I wrote poetry and essays and worked as a Museum Interpreter at the Mystic Seaport Museum. My poetry was published prominently in our high school literary magazine—which I really enjoyed!
By sophomore year, I dated a very cool boy who was a super-genius. In math class, he’d sit in the back and derive Leibnitz’s calculus for himself, for fun. The rest of us would be sweating pre-cal. He had a telescope and we went out at night hunting Messier objects, astronomical objects catalogued by French astronomer Charles Messier.
One day he said, “I’m taking the PSAT’s this weekend. You will too, Traci.”
“Why?” I asked. My future, other than a burning desire to write novels, was a mystery to me.
“We’re going to college early,” he said. And thus the path was revealed.
So I took the PSAT’s in 10th grade and then the SAT’s as a junior. I scored well both times. Standardized tests tend to measure focus. I can focus. The test-taking resulted in admission to Yale after my junior year of high school.
found myself devouring the Iliad and the Odyssey. I switched majors to English, with a focus on breadth—which meant I could read everything, all the literature I could wrap my hungry mind around. At Yale I also dated the man would become my first husband.
After graduation, I lived in LA with my boyfriend, who was attending the UCLA Anderson School of Business. I worked in a coffee shop and wrote and wrote and wrote. I despaired of getting anywhere and applied to graduate school for creative writing.
In graduate school at Columbia, I bought my first computer, a Macintosh, and my writing was liberated. Something about the keyboard and the ease of editing as I composed worked for me—rather magically.
During grad school, I taught freshman composition, which was called ‘Logic and Rhetoric,’ for tuition exemption and a small stipend. I started writing novels and sending out poems for publication. My college boyfriend proposed and we married.
As a young bride and mom, I penned some really bad novels. The best I can say is that they will never see the light of publication, and that I slowly inculcated my craft. I wrote articles, short stories, and poems that found homes in journals and magazines. I also trained as a hands-on healer. I soon had a busy practice.
In 2000, it was clear that my first marriage was over. I met classical figurative sculptor Sabin Howard and I was swept away by his art. Real art, great art, is a beautiful revelation, an awakening of the soul, and I had that with Sabin.
The break-through year was 2004. Two book contracts arrived: one from BantamDell for
IMMORTAL, a historical novel, and one for PIERCING TIME & SPACE, about science and spirituality, from the ARE Press. My healing practice fell away.
In 2008 IMMORTAL was released to worldwide acclaim. It was a bestseller in Italy, Brazil, and Russia. Film rights sold.
In the fall of 2008, the market crashed. Every industry felt the shockwaves. At the same time, the print-on-demand and ePublishing industries opened up publishing as never before: a seachange as big as the invention of the Guttenberg Press. Telemachus Press saw the opportunities and pounced, which brought them to my attention.
By 2011, I had written
THE BOTTICELLI AFFAIR, a vampire romp through art history, and FALLEN, the first in the romantic dystopian AFTER trilogy. My agent, a famous NY literary fixture, wanted to ePublish me. However, I’d written a sculpture book, THE ART OF LIFE, with Sabin. I’d researched the field. I knew her company wasn’t my best option. I looked for people I could trust for total quality. My name goes on my books—they have to look perfect. I also want to retain all rights. I selected Telemachus Press.
FALLEN and THE BOTTICELLI AFFAIR garnered foreign and audio sales with my new agent; FALLEN won First Place in the Reviewers Choice Award Best Read of 2011 at The Paranormal Romance Guild.
After putting out two books, I was ready to make the move to being an independent publisher. With support and advice from Telemachus, I started Parvati Press. This year I published COLD LIGHT, the sequel to FALLEN. Going forward, Parvati Press will publish fiction and non-fiction works on a variety of subjects. I am currently working on THE MISSION
, which is a love story set during WWII. I am also writing the third book in the AFTER trilogy—readers are demanding it.