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Meet author - Tracy Krauss

Today I have author Tracy Krauss on my blog, talking a little about her new novel My Mother the Man Eater and a lot about herself, due to my infamous interview :)

CR. How did you come up with your premise? Is there a story behind your book? How did the story evolve?

TK. This is almost embarrassing to admit, but the inspiration for this book actually came from playing the Sims. Yeah, I know ... all your serious readers have now logged off! I had created this household of women and corresponding ‘interesting’ males and was busy playing away when a story began forming in my head. It wasn’t long before I abandoned the game and started the ‘real’ interaction on paper!

CR. For those who are not familiar with this story, would you please give us the blurb?

TK. It’s the story of a forty-something ‘cougar’ whose search for meaning in life finds an unexpected outlet - God. Joleen Allen, the main character, has a penchant for attractive younger men, and is on the hunt. Unfortunately, every time she meets someone, he ends up falling for one of her grown daughters instead. We discover through the course of the story that Joleen has lived a pretty tough life. She became a mother at 16, and has a less than savory past. But with hard work and tenacity she’s put the past behind her – until her ex-husband, Harold, reappears looking for revenge. He’s out of prison and has devised an elaborate plan to slander Joleen and ruin her financially, and will stop at nothing – even murder – to ruin Joleen’s reputation as well as her relationship with their daughters.

The complex relationships and family dynamics of the book are an aspect of the story that I love. It’s not only Joleen’s story, but it is the story of her five daughters as well. Each one of them has been affected by their mother’s choices, and eventually each one has to come to terms with her own spiritual immortality. As far as Christian fiction goes, it definitely has a fair bit of ‘spice’ sprinkled in, if I can put it that way. I’m not one to beat around the bush, but it is not blatantly explicit either. There is definitely a lot of sexual tension, implied sexual activity, and other ‘worldly’ stuff, but I’m not ashamed for my eighty-something Dad to read it! Also, because I love suspense/thrillers, I have woven lots of action and intrigue throughout. Over all, I’m really proud of this novel. Hopefully, my readers will agree.

CR. Are there any tid-bits about this story you can share with us?

TK. As soon as I started writing, I realized the potential for a redemptive element. I immediately thought of the prophet Hosea and God’s instructions to marry a prostitute. God uses unlikely people for His purposes all the time. This was the premise for my heroine’s character – a promiscuous woman whom God could use despite herself. There are lots of other Biblical examples, as well - Rahab, Mary Magdelene – the list goes on. God is a God of miracles. There is no one whose past is too stained that they can’t be washed clean by God’s redeeming blood.

CR. When will it be released?

TK. It is currently already available at all the regular online sources, but my ‘official’ launch is on Feb. 24.

CR. Where were you born?

TK. I am from a very small farming community called Mossbank in Saskatchewan, one of the prairie provinces in Canada. (Try saying ‘Saskatchewan’ ten times fast!) But I have moved around a lot in my lifetime and currently live in a mountain town in British Columbia. It’s pretty quiet and very scenic.

CR. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

TK. I love New York, but I’m not sure I would want to live there. I’m not really sure. I have moved over thirty times in my life and I have found that ‘where ever you are that’s where you is ...” I’m pretty content anywhere.

CR. What are you most passionate about, other than writing?

TK. I am an artist, and a playwright and director. I’m pretty passionate about the arts in general, and I sincerely love everything about live theatre. For fun and to ‘de-stress’ I play the piano.

CR. Why did you begin writing? How long have you been writing?

TK. I have been writing for about twenty five years. I started my first manuscript right after my first child was born and she is 25. I just felt compelled to write and I suppose that is still true today. If I wasn’t writing back then, I was painting. I guess some of us just need an outlet. I never actually pursued publication, though, until about five or six years ago.

CR. What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?

TK. Examine your motivation. If you’re in it to get rich and famous, then you should probably just stop – now! Writing is a lot of work, and the reality of today’s publishing market does not bode well for get rich quick schemes. If, on the other hand, you are compelled to write, as many authors are, then hone your craft, seek criticism, and expect lots of rejection. In the end it makes you strong and your writing better.

CR. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

TK. I don’t get writers block because I just move to another project – a play, a painting, another work in progress... I don’t sit around waiting to get inspired. When I come back to a troublesome scene after focusing on something else, I usually find fresh inspiration to continue.

CR. Who is your favourite author and why?

TK. I still love, love, love Frank Peretti. He is my hero! This Present Darkness was such a breakthrough piece of writing, in my opinion. Along those same lines I enjoy Ted Dekker, and any other weird Sci-fi/fantasy. I don’t write in this genre myself, but it’s my favourite thing to read. The stranger the better. Not exactly the norm for a pastor’s wife, but ... I’m pretty versatile when it comes to reading, though. I like just about anything.

(I love Frank Peretti too )

CR. How do you develop your plots and characters?

TK.I do a lot of characterization beforehand. I like developing lengthy back stories for my characters, which helps me to understand their motivation for doing the things they do. Then I write out a fairly detailed plot outline. Of course, sometimes this totally changes as the characters ‘surprise’ me along the way.

CR. Are you working on anything at the present you’d like to share with us?

TK. Besides several plays, I am busy preparing pitches for two novels. One is called Wind Over Marshdale. The elevator pitch goes something like this: “Beneath the quaint facade of a small prairie town, hidden evil resurfaces as one man pits his faith against the ancient medicine of his ancestral roots.”

The other is the prequel to my first book (And The Beat Goes On) and it is called Play It Again. It’s pitch: “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 complications or the danger from the past that resurfaces.”

CR. What are you reading now?

TK. I just finished Sigmund Brouwer’s novel Flight of Shadows. Awesome. A crazy Sci-fi futuristic thriller. J

CR. How do you come up with the titles to your books?

TK. Strangely, my published work seems to have this musical thread. I mean, when you think of My Mother the Man-Eater can’t you just hear Hall and Oates in your head? And my first book, And the Beat Goes On gets the Sonny and Cher nod every time. Hm ... maybe it’s something in the water.

CR. What were you doing at midnight last night?

TK. I was reading until 1:00 AM. I’m a night owl and hate going to bed, but let me tell you, 6:00 AM came awfully early!

CR. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?

TK. I tried seal meat once. (I’ve lived in the Arctic.) It was horrible. I’ve also had muskox. Again, not recommended. Oh, and whale blubber. That’s called ‘Muktuk’. Just as rubbery as it sounds.

CR. What do you want to know about the future?

TK. Nothing. Knowing the future is too risky. (I’ve read and watched enough Sci-fi to know that!)

CR. What is your heritage?

TK. My father was of German descent, and my mother was a combination of Scottish, Irish and Micmac. (First Nation)

You can find Tracy at:
Amazon link:


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