Thank you for joining us today, Tracy. At Readers’ Realm, we believe that writers must first be readers. Do you enjoy reading? What genres and authors do you read most?
I do enjoy reading. My favorite genre is Sci-fi and speculative fiction, hands down. This has always been my first love in terms of reading. I have been reading a lot of other stuff recently, though, as I’ve been connecting more with other fledgling writers. I’ve probably read more romance in the last two years than in the rest of my life! Not that this has been a bad thing. It’s been good for me to expand my horizons, so to speak.
I am a long time Frank Peretti fan. He is still a favorite author. I also like Ted Dekker, Sigmund Brouwer’s spec fiction, and Francine Rivers because of the way she can tackle a taboo topic with taste. I also like Margaret Atwood for the same reasons.
When did you decide you wanted to write?
I started writing seriously when I was in my early twenties. I’d just had my first child and I’d had a story swirling around my head for quite some time, so I started banging it out on my mother’s borrowed typewriter while my daughter was down for her nap. It became a compulsion that has lasted for more than twenty-five years.
How many books have you written, and how many of them have been published?
I have three published novels and another one that is in production as we speak. It will be out this fall. I’ve got four more in various stages of development and another dozen or so outlines. I am also a playwright and have written somewhere around fifteen full length plays. Three of them have been published by various play houses so far.
So far my novels have been contemporary romance or romantic suspense. I’m not sure if it’s more correct to say romance with a twist of suspense, or suspense with a twist of romance. Either way, they are set in the modern era.
Because you say your favorite read is speculative fiction, what made you choose your genre?
I just write the stories that come to me. That sounds cliché, but it’s true, and so far they have all been suspenseful romances. Although I love reading sci-fi and speculative fiction, I do not write it. Maybe some day …
You say the stories come to you, so how do you find an idea for a book?
I get ideas from all kinds of random places. Nature, music, art, watching people … even playing games! (As in the case of my book MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER which was inspired by the “Sims”) The ideas just pop into my head and, if they are intriguing enough, I jot them down and they develop from there.
Can you tell us a little about your latest book?
PLAY IT AGAIN is set in the 1980s amid the rock and roll music scene. It’s the story of a free-spirited musician and an older, conservative man who get entangled in an unlikely love affair. Add a cast of ragtag musicians, a manipulative family, dangerous exes, and other past baggage, and their relationship seems destined to failure. However, when God takes the stage, he can turn anything into beautiful music.
Before we finish, do you have one piece of advice you would give to a beginning writer? Or an inspirational quote?
Find a support group, a critique group, or someone who can give you constructive criticism – even if you have to pay someone to do it. Too many people think their ‘baby’ is ready for publication when it isn’t. In other words, become a student of writing and learn to take criticism. It’s for your own good.
“Even if you fall on your face you’re still moving forward.” ~Robert Gallagher
Tracy Krauss is an author, playwright, artist, director, and teacher. She grew up in small town Saskatchewan and received her Bachelor of Education Degree in Saskatoon with majors in Art, English and History. She has lived in many interesting places in northern Canada, many of them north of the 60th parallel.