I have been married for 40 years to the wonderful man that God sent to me. He has spoiled me and put up with me when no one else could have. I have three children, two wonderful sons, one beautiful daughter, four grandsons, one grandaughter, and one soon-to-arrive grandaughter. I am now retired from teaching high-ability students in grades kindergarten through sixth and also served eight years as an elected member of the school board. I play the bassoon, clarinet, and the oboe and have performed in various symphony orchestras, concert bands, operas, community bands, and churches. I am currently working on a children's book and a Christian suspense novel.
Now that I have finally posted my review of Tracy's book, And the Beat Goes On, she has joined us today to tell us a bit more about herself. Welcome to Write About Now, Tracy! I truly enjoyed reading your book and it is a pleasure and a privilege to have you here today. Can you give us a bit of biographical background to get us started?
I am a teacher, writer, artist, theater director, worship leader – pretty much everything I do revolves around the creative process. I have three daughters and one son who are all grown up. My husband, a chronic adventurer, was also a pastor for ten years, so I have also worn the ‘Pastor’s Wife’ hat. I grew up in a small prairie town in Saskatchewan, Canada, but I have moved over thirty times in my life. Many of these moves were to remote northern locations where all kinds of improbable (and sometimes unbelievable) situations arose, usually to do with nature!
Wow! Over thirty times! And I thought that I had moved around a lot but you certainly have me beat! What were your favorite subjects in school?
I loved Art, History, English and Drama. I now teach Art, History, English and Drama. Coincidence? I don’t think so!
Do you have a favorite comfort food that you consume when you are under pressure to meet a deadline or are you one of those people who forgets about eating at such times?
I’m one of those people that forget to eat when ‘in the zone’, so I don’t have a writing comfort food. (Or any comfort food. I just like FOOD!)
I think a lot of us can agree with that statement! What is your least favorite part of the writing process?
If it counts, it is all the marketing and self promotion. Oh, for the days when someone else did it all and you could just sit back and be creative!
It counts all right! I am not yet to that point with my writing but, from all I hear from other writers, I am definitely NOT looking forward to it! How do you cope with writer's block?
I honestly don’t suffer from writer’s block. This is probably because I always have several projects on the go at once. If I get tired of one, or stall out, I just switch to something else. I’ve currently got three novels finished and in various stages of revision (this is not counting the two I either have published or in the production phase), eleven plays, three WIPs, and about 10 outlines.
That is quite an impressive resume! If you were not writing, what would you rather be doing?
Another easy question! As an artist, I often struggle to maintain some balance between my writing life and my painting and printmaking. I am also heavily involved in local theater, either directing or doing tech work. I love all of these creative pursuits.
How do you go about approaching the beginning process of a new book? Are you a plotter or a panster?
I usually start with a brief outline – kind of a rambling synopsis of the basic storyline. Then I get into characterization. I am really big on this aspect, perhaps because of my involvement in drama. I usually construct quite elaborate biographies for all my characters, even minor ones, which of course may change with the writing. Then I go back and do a more thorough plot map of the sequence of events. Sometimes I will insert bits of dialogue or description into this as I am inspired to do so. Then, it’s back to the beginning where I just start hammering out the story itself. Naturally, things evolve and change as I go along and often I need to go back and revise or change things many times. Once the first draft is finished, I’ve found it takes about five rewrites (approx) to get it where I want it before I will then give it to a critique partner for suggestions and editing. No wonder it takes me so long to finish anything!
What's up next for you, Tracy?
I am very excited about my soon to be released novel called MY MOTHER THE MAN EATER. It is a redemptive story about a forty-something cougar whose life is a mix up of men, mayhem and the mafia. The book is full of great characters and I am super pumped. I’ve already had quite a bit of interested feedback. I think the book is just as engaging as the title.
That sounds very interesting, Tracy. I will be watching for it, and I am sure that many of your fans are eagerly awaiting its release. On a parting note, do you have any words of wisdom for those of us who are still among the ranks of aspiring but as yet unpublished?
For people that are truly writers (ie: those of us that are driven to write no matter what) don’t get discouraged when it seems like nobody is listening. I have been writing for over twenty-five years, and the satisfaction I get from expressing myself through the written word is enough to keep me going, whether anyone actually reads it or not. Having said that, I believe that as a Christian my entire life (which includes my writing life) is in the sovereign care of God’s mighty hands. Therefore, I must also release that aspect of my life to Him, knowing that my success as a writer is not dependant on sales, but on obedience to what He has placed in my heart to write and on what He has gifted me to do.
There is so much wisdom in those remarks - thank you for sharing them with us. Thanks for joining us today, Tracy. It was a real pleasure to have you on Write About Now. Readers, don't forget to click on the review of Tracy's book to enter the giveaway that is currently ongoing. The giveaway will end on November 1st, so get your comments posted for a chance to win this terrific book.
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