Katy Lee here with my fellow John 3:16 Author Network member and fellow Romantic-Suspense author, Tracy Krauss. Tracy has a new book out that just screams, “Read me!” Whenever I find a book or author that I enjoy, I like to share the find with you. So today, I have invited Tracy Krauss to tell us a little bit about herself. Sit back and relax and grab a mini buffalo burger to celebrate her latest release, WIND OVER MARSHDALE
Tell us, Tracy, how do you battle the doubt monster? We define the Doubt Monster as: the nagging feeling while writing, that your prose is terrible, you plot is silly, your characters are insipid and no-one in their right mind would read this drivel, let alone buy it.
Ha-Ha! They are a beast all their own, for sure. But we need them. And talk about a beast …these burgers are great! And apparently good for you.
So, have you thought about writing something that is completely different for you? Perhaps writing in a new genre or just taking a story someplace that you haven’t done before.
Sure. I am a huge Science fiction fan and I’ve often thought about writing something more speculative since it is my favourite genre to read. I’m not sure if I’m imaginative enough or have enough technological savvy to pull it off, though. Maybe because I love reading it so much, I feel as if I couldn’t do the genre justice… Besides romantic suspense novels, I do write comedy stage plays, so I suppose I’m already stretching myself in two very different directions as it is.
But what would you do if you couldn’t be a writer any longer?
I’ve already had a taste of what this is like. A few years ago I underwent eye surgery for a congenital eye disorder and I was blind for about two months with another three months recovering where I couldn’t read anything or use a computer. Once I was able, I installed a disability app which allowed me to view things in a huge format – about three words per screen, but I found this too difficult, so I just didn’t write for five months. If this ever happened again, I would get ‘dragonspeak’ or some kind of voice activated software. It was just too hard.
I’ve heard great things about the voice software. Glad you are healed, though.
They say that every author has a partially completed, quite-possibly-terrible half a story shoved in a drawer somewhere. What is yours? What is it about? What makes it terrible? Would you ever consider picking it up and finishing it?
I don’t know if it’s terrible, but I just lost interest in it. It’s called ‘Spirit’s Call’ and it’s about a modern native woman who is grappling with her identity, including her interest in native spirituality. I actually used some of the same themes in my latest release WIND OVER MARSHDALE, so I’m not sure I want to write another story about this. If I ever feel fresh inspiration to finish it, I might, but right now I’ve got too many other things on the go that actually interest me.
It’s hard to keep that interest up to keep going. You definitely have to care about the story or your lack of caring will come through on the page. I think that would be worse than forcing the book just to get it done. So good for you for recognizing that.
How do you come up with your shtick? By shtick I mean your voice. That thing that identifies the story as belonging to only you …something that says these are the type of stories that are your brand.
I think it’s what some people call ‘edgy Christian’ or ‘edgy inspirational’. My work definitely has a redemptive slant, and I write from a Christian worldview, but I don’t shy away from topics that some might consider taboo. I write what I think is relevant in today’s post-modern society. As well, I certainly do not want my characters to come across as wishy-washy. You know the kind – Mr. or Miss Perfect. I prefer what I call ‘authentic’ characters that make mistakes; that sometimes think lustful thoughts; that don’t always pray or do the right thing. This to me is much more believable. It’s honest. This isn’t always easy to pitch to typical Christian markets. I have found that there is a market for this type of writing, though, and it is growing.
And I love that the market for this kind of inspirational is growing. I think more people will give a Christian book a try if they can relate to it.
Now, what’s the most dangerous or risky thing that you’ve done?
You must be kidding. I have actually done way too many dangerous and risky things, but not by choice. I am naturally rather passive. I prefer sitting on the couch. Really. However, God in His sense of humour put me with a man who loves adventure – and unfortunately for me I often get dragged along. Let’s see … stranded on the tundra in a polar bear denning area for the night; chased by a stampeding herd of wild buffalo – on foot; caught in ten foot waves out of sight of land in sub-zero water in a tiny aluminum boat with no life jacket; canoe nearly tipped over by whales – again no life jacket… I always tease him that someday I’m going to write a book called ‘Life With Gerald’, and believe me, it might not be pretty! We’ve moved umpteen times in our married life, many of the places north of the 60th parallel in the far north. (Not some namby-pamby idea of ‘north’ – I’m talking the real deal, as in ARCTIC!) It has given me lots of fodder for writing and it has made me very resilient.
Yowza! You COULD write a book, even if it is a book filled with little research tidbits for us writers who are too afraid to “go there” for their books.
And speaking of writing a book … Tell us about your latest book!
WIND OVER MARSHDALE is my fourth novel and the first that I’ve published with Astraea Press. My other three novels, AND THE BEAT GOES ON, MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER, and PLAY IT AGAIN, were all published by Strategic Book Publishing. I enjoyed working with SBP, but my agent found a contract for this latest book with Astraea and I have had a very good experience with them so far. WIND OVER MARSHDALE is about a small prairie town that looks peaceful and quaint on the outside, but underneath there are all kind of issues, especially with racism, sexual promiscuity, and the occult. Thomas Lone Wolf is a Cree man on a mission to build a heritage site near the town based on some ancient archaeological evidence. He and his children aren’t prepared for the level of prejudice they begin to face. Rachel Bosworth is the new Kindergarten teacher, fresh from the big city and running away from a hurtful past. Con McKinley is a local farmer, who also happens to be single and good looking. A love triangle of sorts develops, with the two men unwitting participants. As well, eccentric twin sisters bombard the town; one with her legalistic religious views and the other as a practicing witch. The local pastor has little effect trying to keep his parishioners in line since he is involved in some unsavoury business of his own. The lives of these and many other unusual characters weave together into a surprising climax. Beneath it all is a thread linking everyone’s problems to the spirit realm; an ancient curse from the past that must be dealt with once and for all.
Like I said, it just screams, “Read me!”
Tracy, tell our readers how they can find you after today?
Publisher : Astraea press http://astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=662245&mode=product&product=12328252
Marshdale. Just a small farming community where nothing special happens. A perfect place to start over… or get lost. There is definitely more to this prairie town than meets the eye. Once the meeting place of aboriginal tribes for miles around, some say the land itself was cursed because of the people’s sin. But its history goes farther back than even indigenous oral history can trace and there is still a direct descendant who has been handed the truth, like it or not. Exactly what ties does the land have to the medicine of the ancients? Is it cursed, or is it all superstition?
Wind Over Marshdale is the story of the struggles within a small prairie town when hidden evil and ancient medicine resurface. Caught in the crossfire, new teacher Rachel Bosworth finds herself in love with two men at once. First, there is Thomas Lone Wolf, a Cree man whose blood lines run back to the days of ancient medicine but who has chosen to live as a Christian and faces prejudice from every side as he tries to expose the truth. Then there is Con McKinley, local farmer who has to face some demons of his own. Add to the mix a wayward minister seeking anonymity in the obscurity of the town; eccentric twin sisters – one heavily involved in the occult and the other a fundamentalist zealot; and a host of other ‘characters’ whose lives weave together unexpectedly for the final climax. This suspenseful story is one of human frailty – prejudice, cowardice, jealousy, and greed – magnified by powerful spiritual forces that have remained hidden for centuries, only to be broken in triumph by grace.
Link to an excerpt: http://tracykrauss.yolasite.com/wind-over-marshdale-first-chapters.php
QUESTION: Readers, Tracy is here today to answer any of your questions and comments. So give her some love! And how were your burgers????