Monday, August 22, 2011
Interview with 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?
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!)
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