Tracee de Hahn is the author of Swiss Vendetta, the first of the Agnes Lüthi mysteries published by St. Martins/Minotaur. Book two, A Well-Timed Murder, is scheduled for release in Feb 2018. She took a break from edits on her second book to talk with us about her inspirations.
BOOK CITY ★ Roanoke: Let’s start with your process. What fuels your creativity?
Tracee de Hahn: Travel. Without a doubt travel is my inspiration. My current mystery series is set in Switzerland where I lived for a time and where my husband and I return frequently (he’s Swiss). However, travel ANYWHERE fuels my creativity since it takes me outside daily life and helps me see everything and everyone differently. Plus, when I return I’m very happy to be home. There I sit and write!
BCR: Back home, what about Roanoke inspires your writing?
TdH: I’ve found great inspiration in the other writers I’ve met since moving to the area nearly three years ago. I am also very pleased to live in a place were the pace of daily live allows me the time to write (no more California traffic! which is where I lived for nearly a decade).
BCR: What challenge are you currently addressing in your writing?
TdH: I’m doing final edits on my second book right now, and everyone says that the second book is the hardest. Of course, it’s laden with expectations; you want it to be better than the first. And when you write the first one you simply write it! With the second you are suddenly dreaming of a third and fourth and starting to think about the long term future of your characters…when in fact you really should simply be writing the book you are writing (full stop!).
BCR: How is a favorite fictional character a model for how we might live today?
TdH: Oh this is hard since so many of my favorite fictional characters are tragic characters. I’ll discount the modern fictional characters, since they ARE living today….at least in my mind. I’ll say that I wish we could read about characters of the past and learn from them. But that is apparently impossible. Young girls shouldn’t be foolish like War and Peace’s Natasha Rostova is in her heartless treatment of Prince Andrei! I’m also reminded of Gus and Woodrow in Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove. They lived life like they wanted to with only a few emotional reservations. Perhaps that’s how we should live?
BCR: Perhaps so. It might be worth a try. ★