Tracey Hansen is a writer and the co-author of Write for the Fight: A Collection of Seasonal Essays (all author proceeds donated to fight breast cancer). She runs writing contests and comments about the bizarre nature of human existence at her blog, Tracey’s Tavern. She is also a fixture at her local Costco and has been banned from 47 bars up and down the Florida coast. She agreed to this interview because I do a really good Anderson Cooper impersonation over the phone.
So, you’re a drinker?
Only when I’m drunk. But that’s not often, just between 5pm and pass out Monday through Sunday. What you don’t have ‘pass out’ time at your house?
Wait… I meant to type ‘writer’ – but the drinking answer was good. I guess change gears and go on about the writing part now.
Oh, yeah. Sometimes I do that too. Sometimes I combine my two loves and drink while writing, I mean write while drinking. I have a sarcastic little blog where I get to curse and scare my future mother in law and I have two books coming out this year though Booktrope Publishing…suckers.
While we’re getting the author-bullshit out of the way, please expound on your many upcoming writing-type projects.
Even though I am a sarcastic sum-umma-bitch I actually have a very small serious side. I wrote a book with my friend who found out while she was pregnant that her unborn daughter would be born with both down syndrome and a major heart defect. It’s called NOT A PERFECT MOM. The book is about her agony of making the decision to keep her child. It warms my cold black heart every time I think about it. A portion of the proceeds will go towards helping American families adopt children with special needs from overseas. The other book is called Write For The Fight. The amazing author Tess Hardwick and I put it together from a blog post idea she had, it’s called Write For the Fight. We chose 11 other authors to compose essays about the stages of life. All the proceeds from the sale will go towards a foundation assisting in finding a cure for breast cancer. There I go being all helpful again. Okay okay here is my reputation saving one: IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY is a book I am working on based on my blog. I guarantee lots of swearing and political incorrectness. I envision the cover being me duct taped to my computer chair reaching for my lap top, otherwise known as my typical Tuesday afternoon.
You’re a fan of contests and short fiction guest-posts on your blog. You’ve been doing a contest every Wednesday for about as long as I’ve known ya. What attracts you to these word challenges?
Wow, I actually stumbled upon a 100 word story contest on twitter a long time ago. A big time lit agent was putting it on. I didn’t win but she told me I was really funny. I think it started from there. I’ve always been good at shorter stories. My senior year english teacher would always tell me to remove all words that don’t contribute to a story so I find that it’s in my nature to keep it short and simple. This is a struggle when I’m set to write a novel and I’m done in three paragraphs, but I’m working on it.
In keeping with the telling a story in a few words theme, you and I are the co-creators of the #tequilaANDcostco hashtag on Twitter. Aside from that, what are some of your favorite tags?
Jesse, it’s hard to top #tequilaANDcostco but here are some others I enjoy:
#NickandJessicashouldstillbetogether (referring to Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson naturally)
#SOAFX (sons of anarchy on FX, if you don’t know about it you should!)I’m hoping Charlie Hunnam notices so we can live happily ever after
#GoFYM (I’m not gonna go there)
#HumpDayChallenge (my contest on Wednesdays)
#Write4Fight (book of awesomeness)
#WTYM (my sign off for all my blogs, it stands for WORD TO YOUR MOTHER) It’s how I roll
Are you ready to reveal to the world the secret ingredients of your patented writer’s-cocktail?
OMG you want me to give away my secrets? Okay okay here we go. It involves the cheapest bottle of tequila you can purchase from your local bulk food shopping center and no name brand diet citrus green tea. It comes out to about 13 cents a drink. There now you know all my secrets!!!
Have you ever considered a Food Network show which is nothing but cocktail recipes derived from hashtags?
I would love to host it but I think you are supposed to be sober to be on tv. #dontqualify
We drink a lot, huh?
Nah, others don’t drink enough. See how I did that? It’s called LOWERING THE BAR.
Rumor has it that you live on a vast orange-grove farm in Florida worked by robots. Truth?
Yes, very true, except it’s not an orange grove, it’s a rocky mountain oyster farm. But the robot thing is legit.
How many dogs on this farm?
Three. Two pitbull like dogs and one ultra teacup chihuahua because I like to keep life interesting.
How many years have you been writing?
Forever, but I’ve only been pursuing it as a career for the last couple of years.
Do you remember the first thing you wrote where you said – “Fuck, I’m a real writer!”?
Sometimes I think it’s an article I wrote or the moment when someone told me I had actual talent. Other times I think it’s when I woke up with a pounding head drooling on my keyboard with 100 pages written.
You travel extensively – are these pleasure trips or are you still working for the KGB?
KGB just an’t what it used to be so it’s mostly for pleasure. I LOVE traveling. I make sure to go somewhere at least every couple of months. Whether it’s driving a few hours to disney or a short cruise or a weekend in NYC I am always planning something.
Does all this travel help you in researching the world and its people for your stories?
Oh yes. I see a character and story in every trip. I see my next hero or heroin walking next to me on the street or sipping wine in the bar. It’s pretty amazing. Stalker-ish, but amazing.
How does drinking around the country compare? Everyone holding their liquor alright?
I live in a city that was just classified as one of the top ten drunkest cities in america by MENS MAGAZINE so it’s hard to impress me drinking wise. By the way, I like to think I am a large contributing factor in the success of obtaining that title.
Tell us about your journalism career.
OMG you are really bringing that up?
What? Don’t know what I’m talking about?
Exhibit A! No counselor, YOU’RE out of order!
Journalism was my first love. It’s true. Unfortunately, the only people who wanted to hire me were stations far far away and I was too much of a pussy at the time to move away from my family. I regret it slightly, but at the same time I am happy where I am at.
Is that video what got you discovered?
No, I was discovered at Oktoberfest after an 85 year old woman wearing lederhosen beat me out of a beer pitcher drinking contest. My potential as a drinker, I mean writer, was apparent.
Tell us how you talked publishers into printing the gospel which is Tracey Hansen’s writing-topia!
Wow, well after you slip them a few rufies the world is your oyster. No no, Tess Hardwick, the amazing author of RIVERSONG, saw talent in my writing that I don’t think I saw at the time, and kind of put everything together for me. I really didn’t do much except die of shock when they said they wanted to publish my work. I’m still shocked.
Can you define your work within a particular genre?
Is sarcasm a genre? I really can’t because the two books I’ve written aren’t my personal style, although they are awesome. I write quirky shit. Is quirky shit a genre?
You’re very quick-witted online, does comedy always play into your writing to some extent?
Yes it does. I thought for a long time that my sister was the only one who thought I was funny, then I learned that this wan’t the case…my dad also thinks I’m funny. Boo-ya.
What’s a genre you’ve never tackled that interests you?
Science fiction for sure. I have a great alien/God tie in story that eats at me all the time, but I’m afraid I won’t do the vision justice.
Who do you read?
This question is very red carpet. Who are you wearing? lol Everyone. I read the tween shit to books like Middlesex by Jeffery Euginides. It depends on my mood. I also totally dig historical romances. I love reading about how the strong muscular man removed his cravat. I don’t even know what a cravat is, but it’s hot.
Are you an obsessive reader – or do you feel more like you’ve got so many stories to unleash upon the world that you should be writing instead?
Tough question. I go through stages where I read three books a week, to points in time where I read one book every six months. My kindle has over 20 books right now that I want to read so bad, but haven’t had the time. I will get to them though! Also, ever tried to read hammered? The words jump around on the page and it’s very hard to catch those little fuckers and put them in their place, even if you keep one eye shut and squint the other.
Write for the Fight: A Collection of Seasonal Essays is a Nook First exclusive and by reading this fantastic book you do something good to help in the fight against breast cancer!