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Monday, August 22, 2011

Interview with Tracy Krauss

photo of author tracy krauss

WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO BECOME A WRITER?

I started writing seriously about 25 years ago after the birth of my first child. I was a stay at home mom back then, so I had time in the afternoons while she napped. I started banging out a story on my mother’s old typewriter and was quickly addicted. After that I took every opportunity I could to write, write, write. Before that I had gotten some encouragement from a high school English teacher, but was more interested in pursuing my creativity through art, which I ended up majoring in at University.

HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU WRITTEN?

Hm… Do you want the short answer or the long one? I have two books in print, one releasing this fall, one more finished for which I am seeking an agent, and about six WIPs. I also write plays. I’ve written, directed and produced scores of plays – about 15 full length ones at my last count, but so far only one has been picked up and published by a major dramatic publishing house. (I’m still working on that angle!)

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO START WRITING?

It’s less of a decision and more of a compulsion.

WHAT OBSTACLES HAVE YOU FACED AND OVERCOME ON THE PATH TO BECOMING A WRITER?

Time to write is always an obstacle. I’ve written while raising four kids, homeschooling, being a pastor’s wife, and working full time. I always think, “If I just had more time to write…” but even then, life continues and it’s a challenge to fit constructive writing time into every day.

YOU WRITE, “…MY DREAM IS TO SOMEDAY HAVE THE FREEDOM TO WRITE FULL TIME. AS A CHRISTIAN AND THE WIFE OF A FORMER PASTOR, I ALSO REALIZE THAT MY DREAM IS ULTIMATELY IN GOD'S HANDS.” (I LOVE YOUR QUOTE, BY THE WAY.) WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR ASPIRING WRITERS?

Study your craft. (You might not be as good as you think you are!) I made the mistake of getting stuck in my own head for so many years without the benefit of good criticism that when my first rejections came I was shocked. However, rejection and criticism are two of the best teachers. I don’t think any of us ever stop learning.

YOU DO EVERYTHING—SERIOUSLY, YOU TEACH, YOU WRITE, AND YOU PAINT. HOW DO YOU FIND THE TIME?

Refer to question four. Seriously, I don’t sit around much and I don’t like wasting time. I also have come to a place where I understand myself and my own quirks. I’m at my best when I’m busy, productive and creative, so I go with that. I don’t bother trying to be what other people expect. When we were in ministry, for example, I just told the congregation right off, “I don’t bake, I’m not good a sending cards and gifts, and I’m not really big on entertaining. But I can put on a spectacular drama production!” If you’re doing what you’re meant to be doing – a.k.a. what you love – it’s not hard to do. It’s about knowing yourself and having realistic expectations.

TELL ME MORE ABOUT YOUR LATEST RELEASE. WHAT’S THE STORY ABOUT?
photo of book cover for My mother the man eater
MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER is about a forty something ‘cougar’ who is looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places. It’s quite a complex story in that it involves her multiple boyfriends, her grown daughters and a vengeful ex who is out to ruin her through any means possible. It’s a fairly long book, and is quite a twisted ride! I love it (naturally!) and am pleased that it’s receiving such good reviews from readers. It was nominated for an Indie Excellence Book Award, and was on Amazon’s best seller list in February in the ‘Contemporary Romance’ category.

I also can’t resist plugging my third book, releasing this fall called PLAY IT AGAIN. It’s the prequel to my debut novel and I’m pretty stoked about it. It’s about an ex rock and roll junkie and an accountant who rendezvous with disastrous (but God ordained) results. It’s actually the story of Mark Graham’s parents, the archeologist and main character in my first book AND THE BEAT GOES ON.

IS THERE A MESSAGE IN YOUR LATEST STORY THAT YOU HOPE STICKS WITH YOUR READERS?

So far all of my work has been redemptive in nature. I would say ‘Man-eater’ is mostly about not judging people based on their past or even their present activities. God can and does use everybody.

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS?

Hands down Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker. I’m a twisted spec and sci-fi fan and both these guys deliver. I also like Sigmund Brouwer’s spec fiction and of course I love lots of the classics: George Orwell, Jane Austen, John Wyndham … I just like reading! I’m not much for anything too sentimental, though. (Except for Jane!)

Tracy's contact info:

Website: http://www.tracykrauss.com
Blog: http://www.tracykraussexpressionexpress.com
FB: http://tinyurl.com/Tracy-Krauss-Author-Fanpage
Amazon: http://www.kraussamazon.com

Friday, August 19, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

icon of Liebster blog http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifaward

I feel honored to be awarded a Liebster blog award by friend and fellow writer, Jackie Layton.

The Liebster award is designed for blogs with less than 200 followers. The purpose of the award is to recognize smaller blogs. The following blogs I have listed, though smaller, are well worth reading.

Here are the rules:

1. Thank the giver of the award and link back to them.

2. Give the Liebster to five bloggers and let them know with a comment to their blog.

3. Copy and paste the award onto your blog.

4. Have faith your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.

5. Have blogging fun!

Here are my five Liebster Awards:
http://kattscribbles.blogspot.com/
http://www.edgyinspirationalromance.com/
http://janalynvoigt.com/
http://www.jordynredwood.com/
http://www.michellelevigne.blogspot.com/

Interview with Alice J. Wisler

photo of author, Alice Wisler


YOU WERE BORN IN JAPAN. WHAT WAS IT LIKE LIVING THERE?

That's a question that takes hours to answer. But to minimize, I'll just say that growing up in Japan and living there for twenty years as a missionary kid and later as an English-as-a-second language teacher, helped to shape who I am today. Not only do I love Japanese food, but I think I have a pretty good world view. I went to school with kids from all over the globe and learned from them. When my senior class ate lunch out on the front lawn, it was like a mini-United Nations.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO START WRITING?

I'm not sure. I've been forming stories on stapled pages since I was six. I always hoped to become published one day.

WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS?

I like Elizabeth Berg's novels for the way she writes and immediately gets me to feel like I know her main character. I also like Anne Lamott for her humor. And Rick Bragg warms me with his Southern style.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ASPIRING AUTHORS?

Don't give up. You will be defeated only if you choose to give up.

image from front cover of novel, A Wedding Invitation, by author, Alice Wisler, in which a girl holds a pink flower in front of her face.

TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LATEST RELEASE, A WEDDING INVITATION.

After returning home from teaching in a refugee camp in the Philippines, Samantha Bravencourt enjoys her quiet life working at her mother's clothing boutique near Washington, D.C. When she receives an invitation to her friend's wedding in Winston-Salem, NC, she's excited to reconnect with her college pals.

But the wedding turns out quite differently than Sam expects. A chance encounter leads to a reunion with Carson Brylie, a fellow teacher and the man who once broke her heart, and Lien, a young Amerasian girl who desperately needs Sam and Carson's help.

But working with Carson might put Sam's tender heart at risk once again. Is she willing to forgive the past and take another chance on love?

IS THERE A MESSAGE IN YOUR LATEST STORY THAT YOU HOPE STICKS WITH YOUR READERS?

Yes! A Wedding Invitation is about forgiveness and second chances. And rhubarb pie is good. Really.

HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE YOU PUBLISHED?

I self-published two cookbooks in memory of kids who died. My son Daniel was the inspiration for those. He died from cancer treatments at the age of four in 1997. With Bethany House, I have four novels out---Rain Song, How Sweet It Is, Hatteras Girl, and now A Wedding Invitation. All my novels are stand-alones and take place in God's Country, a.k.a. North Carolina.

HOW DO YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOUR TIME WHEN http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifYOU'RE NOT WRITING?

We have a roundabout boat named after my novel Rain Song. I love going out on it with my husband and kids. I also enjoy spending time in my kitchen, cooking Asian dishes. And while I cook, I'm often thinking about new novel ideas, hoping one of them will make me rich and famous.


http://www.alicewisler.com


Link to Alice's book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Wedding-Invitation-Alice-J-Wisler/dp/0764207334

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Interview with Kathy Cretsinger

I recently interviewed Kathy Cretsinger. Kathy moved from the mountains of Eastern Tennessee to the flat lands of Western Kentucky almost two years ago to be close to her children. She writes as Katt Anderson.

HOW MUCH TIME DID YOU SPEND RESEARCHING YOUR STORY?

It feels like it’s taken forever, but I know it hasn't. I lived in the area where the story is written, so I had a lot of people to talk to. I would write and talk to someone if something felt wrong. I can't say exactly how long I researched. I did it during the writing of the story.

HOW DID YOUR RESEARCH YOUR STORY (ONLINE, READING BOOKS, ETC.)?

I talked to historians, researched online, through books, and historical meetings.

DID YOU VISIT ANY PLACES AS PART OF YOUR RESEARCH?

I had visited the places in the past, and I lived in the area. Seeing it is so much better.

DID ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR RESEARCH SURPRISE YOU?

Yes. I found out about an archaeological dig in South Carolina. It told me a lot about the people I was writing about. I had been to the town before and loved it. It was interesting that a place I loved was where my ancestors lived in the late 1500s.

WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS?

That's a hard one because I have so many friends who are authors. My favorite is my crit partner, Susan Page Davis. Not only does she write wonderful books, but she is a wonderful person. I love Kaye Dacus and DiAnn Mills. Then, who can't love Mary Connealy? For suspense, I dearly love Stephen James, such a crazy person. A new writer I have so much respect for, and her books are wonderful, is Sandi Rog. She has been fighting a battle with cancer for the last nine months. She has so much strength in her writing.

WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO START WRITING?

I always told stories to my children, and I do have a vivid imagination. I must have been pretty good, because my daughter went to school and told her teacher her mommy had a dinosaur for a pet and grew up in a cave. But seriously, I began when I retired to care for my parents. My dad passed away soon after I retired and my mom was diagnosed with dementia. I wrote to help with the grieving process and to escape the pressure that was on me. I loved it so much that I'm still writing. I encourage anyone who has any depression to write.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

HOW DO YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOUR TIME WHEN YOU’RE NOT WRITING?

When I'm not writing, I'm at a soccer or softball game watching my grandchildren. My oldest is in her high school band, and we get to see her band performances some. She lives about two hours away from us. The other grands live close by.

I love to read, and I do a lot of that. I'm active in church, and we have a very active congregation. I teach a class of 5th and 6th graders, and I also oversee a website that the church sponsors, www.forchristiangirls.org. That takes a good deal of time, but some of the teen girls are helping me now. They are wonderful writers. I enjoy sewing and cooking. I used to scrapbook, but writing has taken its place.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

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