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LETTING GO AND MOVING ON BY JAMES OH

LETTING GO AND MOVING ON BY JAMES OH
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MINDSET SHIFT: EMPLOYEE TO ENTREPRENEUR

MINDSET SHIFT: EMPLOYEE TO ENTREPRENEUR
BY JAMES OH

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

INTERVIEW WITH BEST SELLING AUTHOR - TRACY KRAUSS





About the author

Tracy Krauss is a best-selling author, artist, playwright, director, worship leader, and teacher. Originally from a small prairie town, she received her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Saskatchewan. She has lived in many places in northern Canada with her husband, a pastor, and their children. They currently live in Tumbler Ridge, BC.

She currently has four romantic suspense novels and several stage plays in print. Visit her website for more details. http://www.tracykrauss.com


Now, onto the interview.



When did you begin to write?

I started writing shortly after I had my first child. (She’s 27 now.) I could hardly wait for her nap time so that I could pound away at my mother’s old typewriter. What started out as mere fun soon became a compulsion which has lasted all these years.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I was one of those kids that enjoyed making up stories, even at a young age. I wrote my first stage play while in grade four at school and convinced my friends to practice during recess. When our teacher saw what was going on she arranged for us to perform it in front of the entire school. It was my first ‘written’ work and my first time as a director.

How much did you write before you were published?

I wrote on a daily basis. I finished four full length novels before I even started submitting. It took some courage to finally share those early works with anyone, and then even more courage to keep doing so since they were soundly rejected multiple times. The candid criticism did me good and I learned from it, though. I’m thankful for it now, although it hurt at the time.


What is your favorite part of writing?

There is something exciting about starting something new – the freshness of it. I also love it when the words just seem to flow, and then the best is that feeling of accomplishment when you finally finish the first draft.


What made you think of publishing a book to share with others and at the same time encourage others to share their faith?

I guess my faith is an important part of who I am so it makes sense for me to write from this worldview. I remember being influenced early in my writing career by a Christian rock group that I liked. (DC Talk – this was the 90s, remember!) I was impressed that they were so blatant and unapologetic about their faith. I wanted to be like that with my writing.

Tell us about your latest release.

Here is the back cover blurb:

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.

Wow! This book sounds really good. Are you planning on writing more in the years to come?

Writing has been such an integral part of my life for so many years that I can’t imagine NOT writing. I currently have two more novels ready for revision which I plan to submit to my agent soon. Beyond that I have several works in progress. New ideas keep popping up all the time.
So far what is your worst criticism/attacks, and how have you overcome it?
I haven’t really been attacked, per se, since getting published. My worst criticism came before publication and all of that was justified, as I already said. I have had a few less than glowing reviews, but I’ve decided that any publicity is good publicity, so I don’t let it bother me. In fact, a few lower reviews might even add credibility. Not everyone likes the same things, so this just shows that people are actually reading my work and being honest about it.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Besides raising four kids who are now great adults, I guess I am proud of the fact that I reached my goal to become a published author by the time I reached a‘certain’ magic age. I’m zeroing in on that age and I’m happy to say I have four books and five stage plays in print.
What does your writing process look like?

After I get an idea, I write a brief outline. Simultaneously, I create detailed character sketches that help me to understand each person’s motivation. Then I write a chapter by chapter outline. It’s at this point that I actually start writing the book, and of course, it usually changes quite dramatically. The outline helps me to have a sense of where I’m going, but I don’t let it dictate to me. If something interesting crops up, I go with it.

How did you get published?

I started sending out a few tentative submissions in the early 2000s, and as I already said, met with a lot of rejection. I took all the criticism to heart, however, and finally, in 2008 I decided I was going to do a submission blitz once and for all. I sent out a ton of submissions and after a few months I ended up with three requests for more. Out of those I signed a contract for my first book AND THE BEAT GOES ON with Strategic Book, New York, NY. I was quite happy to continue my relationship with them for my next two books. Then my agent found me a deal for my fourth book WIND OVER MARSHDALE, with Astraea Press. At the same time, I regularly submit to a variety of play publishing houses and, much the same as with my novels, I’ve had lots of rejection, but also some success. I have plays published with Pioneer Drama Services, JAC Publishing, and Big Dog Publishing.

How do you come up with title of your books?

MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER came to me in the shower. (True story) In a couple of cases, I thought of the title before I even started writing. Other than that I just toss different ideas around as I’m writing the thing.

Can you enlighten us a little more about your books?
My novels are: AND THE BEAT GOES ON, where archaeological evidence for creation comes at a heavy cost; MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER, the story of a ‘cougar’ who takes on more than she bargained for; PLAY IT AGAIN, about an unlikely match during the 1980s rock n’ roll scene; and WIND OVER MARSHDALE, where strong spiritual forces rock a seemingly peaceful prairie town. All of them have a redemptive element and are sometimes called ‘edgy Christian’, although they are not graphic by any means.


Tell us your guiding principle that governs your life? How have you cultivated these values?

Strive for excellence in whatever you do. This comes from a verse in Ecclesiastics which says, ‘Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord’.

Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?

Number one, hone your craft. Take classes, read books, get others to critique your work - do what it takes to get good at writing. Number two, always get fresh eyes to look at your work. I suppose I said this in number one already, but I can’t stress enough how important this is. We can become too emotionally attached to our own work and not see it objectively. Number three, be persistent. Submit, submit, submit is my motto.

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