I have always loved writing ever since I was a tiny tot scribbling on my bedroom wall with crayons. I was ecstatic to be published at the ripe age of twelve for my poetry which cemented my dream to write and gave me faith in my ability. Today my love for writing is channeled into my blogging and I am extremely honoured and proud to have touched over three million people worldwide. If I had a pound for every time somebody told me that I should write a book then I’d be pretty stinking rich right now; but in my eyes writing is more than just an occupation, it’s connecting people to an experience, to enlighten, inspire and bring meaning and reassurance to others.
At the age of twenty-seven this year I set myself the task to publish my first ebook as it’s something I’ve wanted to do for so long but I never knew where to start. Writing is something that doesn’t always come easily, despite it being my passion words can fail me too. I wanted to bring justice to this piece of me that I share with the world and get it just right, yet trying to connect your thoughts and emotions to a specific number of words, delivered in a way that will keep the pages turning and attract a wide audience is a humongous task.
I titled my first ebook Traces Of Me because I believe that no matter what we go through in life, the ups and the downs, highs and lows, love and heartbreak, each experience and relationship makes us the person we are, and likewise we touch the lives of those we meet and leave behind a trace of ourselves. I was a very shy and insecure child and suffered many years of bullying for my bland appearance and nervous disposition, yet at the age of eighteen I became a published glamour model for a host of mens magazines and newspapers; from ugly ducking to graceful swan in the blink of an eye. I wanted to use my transition in life to help and inspire others to understand that true beauty comes from within, and judging people based purely on appearances is a great shame.
I created the character of April to tell my story, a single girl approaching thirty and feeling that a piece of her life is still missing; true love. As well as dating she also explores her sensuality which is a huge part of forming relationships that we can all too often be too embarrassed or shy to talk about and assess. In my book I expand on the insecurities that men and women face about their bodies and appearance, the doubts and fears that you have when giving your heart, and how lust can become love. I guess Traces Of Me is a modern day Bridget Jones meets Fifty Shades Of Grey.
Taking the leap of self publishing has been a daunting yet eye-opening experience, and like everything else in life I had done it single-handed from writing 50,000 meaningful words to proof reading, publishing and marketing. Nobody can work as hard for you as you can yourself, and if something is worth doing then it’s worth putting your all into it. If you’re looking for a book that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page then visit Amazon or Smashwords where my ebook Traces Of Me by Tracy Kiss is just £1.99 or grab a paperback copy from Createspace.
I’m also giving one of my readers the chance to win a Skype chat with me to talk about their favourite scene from the book. Simply download your copy and leave a review and I could be calling you!
Blogging to me is far more important than watching an advert on a television screen or seeing a poster in a magazine because firstly with blogging no money changes hands to purposely push sales and secondly real people who are genuinely interested in a product give their honest opinion. It’s the difference between saying “Hey, buy this shiny boat because I’m an overpaid actor and look really good standing on it” and “I took this boat out for an afternoon with my kids and this is why they loved it so much!” As a blogger myself I would never recommend something that I didn’t like nor agree with; I wouldn’t eat something that I didn’t like the taste of and I wouldn’t wear something that I felt uncomfortable in just because somebody told me to, and that’s the difference between advertising and blogging; adverts will do anything to push a sale and blogging with respectfully recommend what is useful and I know which of the two I trust most.
The very beautiful Megan of Vintage Hearts is a blogger who reviewed my ebook, she writes:
“I have to admit a book like this is out of my comfort zone reading wise but I really did enjoy this book. The storyline was incredible and I was hooked once I had actually started reading it, I actually finished the book within 2 sittings which is not like me at all but I was just so drawn to the storyline I really needed to see what happened and the book just flew by and within a few hours I had finished it.”
I really want to push the boundaries with my writing, to take the subject of dating that we can all connect with and bring it into the adult arena for todays modern reader. I aim to captivate both men and women rather than creating yet another girls-only chick-flick because the best morals and messages are certainly delivered to an entire audience and not just a niche. I’m pleased to have achieved my aims.
The wonderful Caroline of Book Geek is a book reviewer who read my ebook and really connected with my main character April, she writes: “I live in April’s shoes and for the first time ever while reading a book I actually connected with the MC because everything she’s gone through and what she’s feeling struck a cord within my own heart and head that made me cry after chapter eleven. If like me you feel like an ugly duckling or your ex(s) hurt you so bad through words or actions then I’d def recommend this book. You may have times where you think little of yourself because it will feel like ‘hearng the words’ confirms it but by the end you will realise a lot more and if you’re like me will want to take the positives from the book and do some self creating. I’m looking forward to tomorrow for the first time in a long time and I can’t wait for it to start.”
Despite my heart having been put through its paces throughout my life, from heartbreak to losing a child, having a life saving operation and losing my trust and faith in humanity I have now found happiness and peace within myself. I want to show others that love and light does still exist, that there is always a future laying before you and tomorrow can be that better day that you’ve been so desperately waiting for when dealing with so much crap and hurt. Just stay strong, believe in yourself and realise your worth, we all deserve to be happy.
Fabulous mummy blogger Angela Hamilton has found time during her hectic schedule to have a read and says: “The thing that stood out most for me whilst reading this, was how the story taught us to love ourselves no matter what, we are the only ones who can make the changes. It looks at relationships, how they are fragile and how love doesn’t come easy. It is full of important life lessons so it is a must read. I can relate to the main character in the book. I looked at myself as a plain and nothing special most days being honest. When I met my now husband I was honestly surprised that he found me attractive and liked being with me. That is when I started looking at myself differently. I felt more confident and happy with just being myself. I am really looking forward to finding out more about April and after that ending I need to know what happens next”
I hope that I can show people how to appreciate the precious hearts that they hold, to be aware of how lucky and blessed they are and enjoy love for what it is. We live one life, we have just one body and the biggest freedom we can find is accepting ourselves and being kind to others. When you smile the world smiles with you, love is a dish best served warm and from the heart.
The very pretty Emma Jessica of Chatterbox is a blogger who reviewed my book and says “It took me approximately 3 days to finish this book, I was addicted, I even spent my lunch break with my nose stuck in it! I am now 23 and I wish I had read this book when I was 16 because it would of taught me so much. I would also encourage my little sister to read this book when she is older but just wouldn’t be happy with her reading the sex scenes because they are very rude and even made me blush! What I LOVED about this book is that it didn’t end how I thought it would, it wasn’t your typical love story, I shall stop there. I am disappointed that the book was so short, I want to know more about Aprils life and what happens after the end of the book! ”
I’m glad that you enjoyed Traces Of Me and am so thrilled that it has given you an insight into the meaning of inner beauty and self-confidence because I believe in empowering women by sharing my experiences in finding my feet in life. I felt the sex scenes were necessary in capturing the spirit of what I went through as a teenager as you truly come to understand a person by how they act at their most vulnerable. I know that going into great detail about reaching orgasm is a bit of a taboo subject and isn’t something that women often talk about nor are honest about with their partners, but I believe in breaking down barriers and encouraging communication in order to grow as a person in a healthy and happy way. With 53,000 words and three days of reading from start to finish I consider the book a fairly standard length as I did my research into how many words were required for a publication and didn’t want it to drag on or become laborious, but from seeing all of the amazing feedback and comments I am pleased to be half way through my second book of this trilogy and hope that you enjoy the other two just as soon as they’re finished. Please excuse me, I’d best get back to my desk!
The incredible Dyan of The Little Blog Of Everything writes: “Tracy Kiss very kindly sent me an eBook copy of her novel ‘Traces Of Me’ and I can honestly say it was a really great read! When I get really into a book, I can read it very quickly so I finished it within one day. It is quite a short read but it is well written, most compelling and enjoyable. I particularly liked how the chapters were short at 2-3 pages each as I hate stopping reading mid way through a chapter! I found April an extremely likeable character with a wicked sense of humour. More importantly she is a very relatable character and I found a lot of her qualities in myself. I was literally reading this thinking ‘Oh my god, this is actually me’ at various points at the book. I think anyone of age can feel insecure and I think April’s character taps into that common fear. I think Tracy Kiss did a fantastic job at evolving such an important and reassuring message in only 77 pages. ”
From hearing these wonderful reviews it has made me realise that the message in these pages can help many young girls across the world who are going through the same battles of insecurity that I faced when growing up. Therefore, after I have finished writing my second book I will be releasing an all-ages friendly version of Traces Of Me in the new year because of your incredible feedback, thank you all so much.
The natural beauty Beka of Little World Of Beka writes: “We’ve all got parts of ourselves that we’re not entirely happy with and that we wish we could change, wether this be with makeup, a new wardrobe, or more drastic measures. However, we all crave the love of another person and want to be happy with someone. I found April easy to relate to, she was a real character and I could definitely pick parts of myself out in her and I could definitely pick out the Bridget Jones vibe from her. It was refreshing to read a book with a main character who was so realistic and relatable.I think many books try to push the message of being happy in yourself before being happy in any other part of your life, but I think Traces Of Me just did this in such a realistic way and this quote ‘Because the beauty of time is our ability to heal, to forgive and forget, and today I am an entirely stronger person already than I was yesterday’ proves that perfectly.”
I’m pleased that you enjoyed the message of my writing and the sentiment that it involves as it is entirely from my heart and makes me so happy to know that so many people can connect with it. I actually wrote this book in different tenses because I wanted to use flashbacks to show how April’s character has strengthened with age, as in a first person narrative I didn’t want to have her telling the details in conversation because she is a solitary person who doesn’t open up so I wanted to take the reader back in time to see first-hand her experiences. The sex scenes were important for me to include because I am April, as you may have guessed, and the way that I realised I had found my confidence was in this aspect of my life. I appreciate that not everybody will view these chapters in the same way, nor have as much interest or desire to read them as I did to write them but I felt it created a brutally honest account of what I feel inside to allow others to feel the same way. When my age-appropriate version of Traces Of Me is released in early 2016 I hope that it may encompass all readers whilst still delivering the same positive message.
The gorgeous Aderonke of From Straight To Curly writes: “Though the book centers around an adult relationship, the thing I found most interesting about this book is it is about a love story with a twist e.g. surgery, accepting your inner beauty and finding love – this books deals with MODERN day issues and relationships. I was astonished by the key message in this book; the book teaches you to love yourselves for you and other important life lessons such as dealing with relationships, and that even the plain Janes of the world can and Will find love.”
I’m so pleased that you felt the meaning of this book so strongly and it fills me with such love and pride to know that my journey in life from shy to confident in my own skin will hopefully help others to find their inner strength and belief.
Online reviews can be seriously eye-opening as I’ve seen from the press when features are printed about me and the world suddenly has such mixed opinions. Complete strangers can see the very same picture and comment “You’re gorgeous, you’re so slim, you look incredible” whilst others say “You look haggard, why are you pouting, you dress like my Grandma!” I guess that’s the freedom of speech and personal opinion. Amazon is a selling platform that allows customers to provide honest feedback on their purchases as well as rating them on a scale of 1-5 stars, one being the lowest and five being the highest. If there’s something they dislike about the product they can uninhibitedly voice their disappointment or if there’s something they love they can shout it from the rooftops. Here are the Amazon reviews from people who have purchased my book worldwide:
“Not my usual genre, but quickly becomes clear this is smart, tight and humours writing. Yes, it’s sexy, but it’s very real, especially April. Give yourself a fun evening” 5*
“Put down your fifty shades and read Tracys first novel. Great read and very steamy! No good mind if you have a nerve disease like me. Can’t wait for your next book.” 5*
“Great read I couldn’t put it down once I started and I would recommend it to anyone, very sexy and hot. Congratulations Tracy kiss on such a great book” 5*
“Having just got this book, the first four chapters blew me away. Its hot. Looking forward to reading the rest and seeing what tracy kiss can do next” 5*
“A great book kept me entertained though out. Very well priced. Very well written by a very talented writer. Definitely worth a read.” 5*
The Mirror Online Have Featured My New Book
I am incredibly humbled to have the Mirror Online feature my new book and help me to spread my message of love and kindness. I am using my book sales to support charities close to my heart and change the lives of those in need. So far I have raised over £6,000 for disabled men, women and children, injured firefighters, a hospice, cancer patients, a special care baby unit and animal shelter and I’m hoping to reach my target of £10,000 very soon. Thank you for your kind support and for being a part of my journey and I hope that you will continue to enjoy my writing and share with me your thoughts on the trilogy.
Book Two Is Coming…!
Following the incredible reception of ‘Traces Of Me by Tracy Kiss’ I will be releasing the second book of the trilogy ‘Traces Of You by Tracy Kiss’ on 20th December 2015 so get the date in your diary and pre-order your copy now!
Traces Of You Hits The Shelves!
Traces Of I Is Now Available!I’m literally ecstatic to say that Traces Of I is now available for download and it’s received such wonderful reviews for a wider audience minus the naughty bits. I aim to donate the first £1,000.00 of my book sales to support an anti-bullying charity and hope that you will support me if you are able to; in purchasing this book you are helping me to help others just as I hope that I have helped you with my words.
If this has touched you in a positive way then I encourage you to please join me on social media to share this message by taking a selfie with your eyes closed, placing a finger over your lips and including the hashtags #TracesOfI and #IamApril. Closing your eyes is symbolic of beauty coming from within and not based purely on appearance, with a finger over the lips reminding people to consider the feelings of others rather than passing ill-informed judgement. Let us be considerate, kind and thoughtful and raise our children with peace and love. Bullying can have such devastating effects on a life but together we will overcome it.
I will also be releasing an all-ages-appropriate version for younger readers in the New Year – thank you all for your amazing feedback and I’m so pleased that you are enjoying it.