Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Tracy Krauss Interview!!!
Sure. Besides being an author, I am also an artist, playwright and director, and high school teacher of Art, Drama and English. I’m actually pretty passionate about the creative process in general, so most of my time is spent on one of these pursuits.
Your book becomes very religious at the end. Was this something you knew you wanted to do or did it come to you while writing?
I like to classify my writing as ‘edgy inspirational’, although it has been called ‘Romantic suspense’ and ‘inspirational suspense’. My novels to date are all ‘Religious’, as you say, in that redemption through Christ is a major theme. In fact, when it comes down to it, that is really the whole point. In this book, I wanted to show that God does not care about a person’s past, or even expect them to be a perfect role model in order to use them. The fact that all the daughters also come to a saving knowledge of Christ did not seem far-fetched to me, either, since this was my own experience. Although my family were probably not quite as dysfunctional as the one in the book, we were not raised in a ‘Christian’ home and experienced quite a bit of trauma and dysfunction through the divorce of our parents, among other things. However, every single one of my five siblings and I have come to Christ as adults, along with all our spouses (except one) and our parents. To me it speaks about the power of prayer and the fact that nothing is impossible with God.
Do you yourself enjoy reading Christian Fiction and why?
Yes, I enjoy ‘Christian’ fiction if it is well written and has a story that grips me. However, there is a lot of ‘Christian’ fiction out there that is not worth the paper (or electronic formatting) that it’s printed on. Just because something has a Christian story line does not make it good.
Conversely, I also enjoy non-Christian fiction if it is well written and has a gripping story. My favourite genre is Sci-fi, fantasy, and suspense thrillers, although I’ll read almost anything. I’m not afraid to read outside the ‘Christian’ box, so to speak.
At the beginning of the book you’re not quite sure as to whether the mother is lying or the father. Did you intentionally try to get the reader to almost liking the father and then shocking them by the revelations at the end??
I love a good twist and I love surprises – in both what I read and what I write. I’m glad you had that sense at the beginning of the book, because that is exactly what I was going for.
All the daughters have very different characters. Where did you get the inspiration for them?
Part of what I do as a playwright and director is focus my actors’ attention on the motivation behind their characters’ actions. This transfers into my other writing as well. I spend a lot of time developing back-stories and bios for all my characters – some of which never sees the actual page – in order to understand them better.
How did you come up with the concept for this story?
Embarrassing as it is to admit, I first developed these characters while playing the Sims. I made a whole household of females and a bunch of corresponding males and then let the relationships happen! Of course, that changed substantially when I started writing the book (it became a mother and five daughters) but that’s where it all hatched.
How do you approach writing?
Once I have that initial inspiration, I develop my characters, as I said, and I write out a basic plot map. Then I gradually expand this as i map out the action for each scene or chapter. Once I know where I’m headed I begin the actual writing. I find the story line often changes as the characters surprise me with their dialogue etc., but at least I have a basic framework from which to work.
What was/is your favourite book?
I have too many all time favourites, but I still love Monster by Frank Peretti, and Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. These are two great examples of what i was talking about before. Peretti’s book has a definite Christian message, while Atwood’s is far from it – believe me. But I love the mastery and surprise that both authors are able to achieve.
So what did you think? Leave your comments below!!