I'm delighted to welcome Tracy Krauss to Sleuths and Suspects this week. Tracy has graciously offered a free download of her book "Wind Over Marshdale" from Kindle or Smashwords. Don't forget to leave a comment and your email address. Just for fun let us know if you've ever visited Canada. Without further ado lets get on with the show. Welcome Tracy!
Interview Questions/Sleuths and Suspects Blog
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Besides an author, I am an artist, drama director, worship leader and teacher. I’m all about the creative process, so everything I do has that bent to it. When I’m ‘making’ something – be it a painting, directing my vision for a play on the stage, playing an instrument, or writing a book – I feel energized. Sometimes I tend to burn myself out because I don’t rest much, but I like to be busy and I love all my creative pursuits, so it’s hard to drop anything. I currently live in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, Canada, known for its many waterfalls. However, my husband and I have moved around a lot in our thirty years of marriage, and many of the places we’ve lived have been in the far north. This has given me lots of fodder for my stories.
2. Tell us about your most recent book/or the book we are focusing on.
WIND OVER MARSHDALE takes place in a small prairie town where, on the surface, everything seems quaint and happy. Underneath there are some serious 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.
3. Why did you choose this particular genre?
So far my novels are categorized as ‘Romantic Suspense’. Some are heavier on the romance and others heavier on the suspense. I’m not sure I chose the genre so much as it chose me. I write what I feel like writing.
4. What was your journey to publication like?
I first started writing when my eldest was just a baby. I could hardly wait for her to go down for her nap so that I could pound away at my mother’s old typewriter. That was more than a quarter century ago. Four kids, plus homeschooling for nine years, plus going back to work as a public school teacher full time, and I finally signed my first contract in 2008. This was after many, many rejections and a lot of hard work revising, querying, and revising some more. My first book AND THE BEAT GOES ON released in 2009, followed by MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER in 2010, PLAY IT AGAIN in 2011, and WIND OVER MARSHDALE in 2012. I’ve also written and directed dozens of plays in my time as a Drama teacher and currently five of them have found homes with various play publishing houses and are enjoying a measure of success on small stages across the continent.
5. What are a couple of your favorite books and what are you reading now?
Frank Peretti is still my favorite author, without a doubt, so anything by him is a hit with me. I also like Ted Dekker and Francine Rivers. They both write about controversial topics and have characters that are believable; in other words, they aren’t perfect. It’s what I strive for in my own writing. My tastes are eclectic in that I also love Jane Austin, pretty much anything science fiction, Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake, (crazy good!) and Edgar Rice Burrows. I know what you’re thinking… weird. I read a lot of books by mid and low list authors, too, and recently I read and LOVED Naomi Munsh’s ‘Empire In Pine’ Series, Nike Chillemi’s ‘Sanctuary Point’ Series, and a book called Art of My Life by Ann Lee Miller. Awesome.
6. What are you working on now and can you give us a little peek inside it?
My agent is currently shopping a book called THREE STRAND CORD, which I am rather stoked about. It’s about three women who have been friends since grade school. One of them runs off to Europe after her current flame, and soon all three get sucked into a web of lies and danger fraught with drug dealers, FBI agents, and international espionage. (And romance, of course.) I’m also working on a sequel called Blood Ties. Fun, fun, fun!
7. What advice would you give authors who are on their own journey to publication?
Be patient. If you are going the traditional route, expect and even embrace rejection. Take the time necessary to get feedback from critique partners and get professional editing. Even if you decide to self publish, don’t rush publication. I still see many things I’d like to change in my books, but once a contract is signed, you can’t go back.
8. Do you have any books or websites that have helped you with your writing that you could share with us?
There are so many resources out there I almost don’t know where to start. Joining a group like ACFW, the Word Guild, or some other writer’s group is probably the first thing you should do. These are places where you can find like-minded writers, get feedback, ask all the dumb questions, and find the resources that meet your particular needs.
9. Please let us know where we can find you on the web.
Deborah has worked as a freelance writer and photographer, since 2001, for the historical magazine “Georgia Backroads.” She has had many articles and photographs published during this time. Her writing is featured in “Tales of the Rails” edited by Olin Jackson. She has also had a showing of her photographs at Floyd Medical Center Art Gallery as well as winning several awards. Her debut cozy mystery "Death in Dahlonega", a winner in the ACFW Category Five Writer's Contest, is now available.
She is a current member of the Georgia Writers Association, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. Deborah has been nominated for Georgia Author of the Year 2012. She has an established blog, Butterfly Journey, where she reviews Christian Fiction. You can also catch her at
Sleuths and Suspects, where she reviews mysteries. She also contributes to the Cozy Mystery Magazine every other Tuesday.