Monday, October 3, 2011
Looking Out the Window: Author Tracy Krauss Talks About Her Books and Her Life as a Teacher
Hi Tracy. First, tell us a little about yourself.
I work as a high school teacher. I teach Art, Drama and English – all the things I love. My husband and I used to be in ministry but we are taking a sabbatical of sorts. Our four children are all grown up, but at one time I homeschooled them for several years. We dragged them around the countryside, moving about 15 times (I actually lost count) so it was a great solution. Besides writing, I paint, lead worship and play the piano at our church, and direct an amateur theatrical group. Life is full.
Full, indeed. Were you an avid reader as a child? If so, what did you read?
I loved reading as a child and I still do. I read all the ‘Anne’ books by Lucy Maude Montgomery, lots of Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and ‘The Adventures of ...’ Series by Thornton Burgess. Then I got seriously into Edgar Rice Burroughs and read all the ‘Tarzan’ books. (There are a ga-zillion …) My Star Trek addiction as a teen got me hooked on anything Sci-fi and to this day, Spec and Sci-fi are still my favorites.
Tell us about your latest book.
MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER is the story of a forty-something cougar whose life gets very complicated, indeed. Her search for fulfillment leads to multiple boyfriends, trouble with her grown daughters (each with their own quirks), and an ex fresh out of prison looking for revenge. Dark secrets from the past begin to resurface and she finds herself in a twisted web of love, lust, lies and danger.
In three words describe your style of writing.
Edgy inspirational suspense
How do you get to know your characters?
I use my training in theater to really dig into my character’s motivation. I develop elaborate back stories that often don’t see the page, but help me to understand who they are and why they do things.
It’s great that you have training in theater. What themes do you write about?
So far my books have a very strong redemptive quality. I like characters that are kind of ‘bad’ – as in naughty – but then come to God. I like the idea that God is not prejudice. He sees the potential where people see the failure.
I like that idea too, Tracy. Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?
This is much easier now that my children are grown. However, I still struggle to fit some writing time into each day. I try to keep a schedule for both my creative writing and my online activity, but of course, one has to be flexible.
Are you a plotter or a pantzer?
I start with a plot, but then I let the ‘pants’ take over! I find a framework keeps me from losing sight of the goal and I don’t get frustrated by writing in circles, so to speak. However, fresh ideas always surface. Characters say or do unexpected things, a new idea crops up . . . then I just go back and revise the framework.
What are you working on right now?
I’ve actually got a lot going on. My third novel PLAY IT AGAIN is currently in production and should be out in November. It’s the prequel to my first book AND THE BEAT GOES ON, and is the story of Mark Graham’s parents – an ex rock and roll junkie and a stuffy accountant. (Mark Graham is the main character from the first book – an archeologist that finds evidence for creation but is threatened when he tries to share the truth.)
I’m also pitching another book about a small prairie town where ancient medicine resurfaces in the form of generational curses. It’s called WIND OVER MARSHDALE. I have about six other WIPs, too.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
I love it when people stop by my blog or fanpage. My links are here:
Thanks for having me on your blog!
You’re most welcome, Tracy. It was fun.
About My Mother the Man-Eater
What’s a girl to do? Joleen Allen is on the hunt. For a man, that is. Unfortunately, every time the mother of five meets a prospect, he falls for one of her daughters instead!
Meanwhile, her ex-husband, Harold, is back in the picture after a stint in prison, and he’s looking for revenge. He’ll do anything to see Joleen’s reputation and her relationship with their children ruined. Harold has devised an elaborate plan to slander Joleen and ruin her financially, and will stop at nothing – even murder – to see it through.
At forty-four, Joleen has seen a thing or two. She became a mother at sixteen, and her five highly independent children are now grown. Jasmine is a successful ad executive, but has a drinking problem. Jill is a tough cop, while middle child Jennifer surprises them all with her tenacity. Jinger is a self-centered glamour girl, and the baby of the family, Jade, is utterly spoiled.
All the interesting men they meet get tossed around by this pack of barracudas. Adding to the mix are some drug deals, a kidnapping, insurance fraud, and secrets from the past, making life very complicated, indeed.
With grit, humor, action, intrigue and romance, My Mother the Man-Eater is a redemptive story about a woman whose search for meaning in life sends her straight into . . . the arms of God.
About Play It Again
Sparks fly when an ex rock and roll junkie and a stuffy accountant rendezvous at a local resort, but neither are prepared for the emotional entanglements, family complications, and a threat from the past that unexpectedly resurfaces. Set in the 1980′s, this story brings two opposing forces together in a clash of romance and danger, while its musical undertones highlight the theme that God can turn anything into beautiful music.
About the Author
Tracy Krauss is a high school teacher by profession, and a prolific author, artist, playwright and director by choice. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Saskatchewan and has gone on to teach Art, Drama and English – all the things she is passionate about. After raising four children, she and her husband now reside in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, BC where she continues to pursue all of her creative interests. Her first two books, AND THE BEAT GOES ON and MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER, were both nominated for the ‘Indie Excellence Book Awards’ for religious fiction in 2011. A third novel, PLAY IT AGAIN, the much anticipated prequel to her first book, is currently in production. Tracy also has one stage play in print.