Wednesday, October 6, 2010
"And The Beat Goes On" by Tracy Krauss
How long have you been writing and when was your first book published?
I have been writing for about 25 years. Most of my author friends report a similar ‘obsession’. However, AND THE BEAT GOES ON is my first published novel. It released in the fall of 2009. I have another book about to release called MY MOTHER THE MAN EATER. I’m also a playwright and have had a number of plays produced and subsequently published.
What advice or tips do you have for writers who are just getting started?
Persevere. Sometimes one’s dream to be an author takes a lot of tenacity. (As in my case.) However, as I already said, writing is ‘in my blood’. I can’t NOT write, so it’s just a matter of honing your craft, learning to accept rejection, learning from criticism, and persevering.
Where do you get ideas for stories?
I get ideas from very random places. I’d love to say ‘nature’, ‘music’ or some other such ethereal source. I have been inspired by nature and music, but more often it is from the mundane – little slices of life, or random thoughts that just pop up unannounced.
Has anything surprised you about being an author?
Back when I completed my first novel, I was naïve enough to think I could send out a couple of manuscripts to a few publishers and ‘Viola!’ someone would recognize my genius and I’d never have to work in the ‘real’ world again. Hm … hasn’t exactly worked out that way. Getting published was a much longer and more difficult journey than I had expected. Also, I am amazed at the hard work that is necessary AFTER publication – all the marketing and promoting.
Tell us how you come up with characters.
Characterization is one thing I spend a lot of time on. I like to develop very elaborate back stories for all my characters – even fairly minor ones. Perhaps this comes from my work as a theatre director and playwright. I am always very aware of internal motivation. For me, my stories often evolve out of these character sketches.
What is a typical writing day like for you?
I am very much a ‘spurts’ writer. What I mean by that is, I write in spurts where I lose track of time, forget to eat, or realize I really have to go to the bathroom, but forgot to do so! There is no ‘typical’ day, unfortunately. Naturally, I also have a lot of other writing related activities that take my time, like blogging, promoting, queries to editors etc., but as far as creative writing goes, it is very much about inspiration. I always have many projects on the go at one time, as well, so if I get bored, or have ‘writers block’, I just switch to a different story or play.
How long does it normally take you to write a book?
Ha! AND THE BEAT GOES ON took me four years to write, but that was in between working full time as a teacher, raising four kids, volunteering in various capacities etc. etc. My very first novel took me sixteen years! LOL! However, as I said, I usually have four or five projects on the go at once, so it’s difficult to tell exactly how long one would take on its own.
Where is your favorite place to write?
My office, I guess, although I have been known to write out on the deck, or while riding in the car. I have the ability to ‘tune out’ other stuff, so if I’m ‘in the zone’ it doesn’t really matter where I am. I’m in my own little world.
What is your favorite genre of Christian fiction?
I love suspense/thriller and fantasy Sci-fi. Frank Peretti is my all time favorite Christian author with Ted Dekker coming in a close second. I also admire Francine Rivers for her honesty and realism.
What are you reading right now?
I just finished the Circle series by Dekker, and I’m currently reading “One Smooth Stone” by a Canadian author named Marcia Laycock, and “Flight of Shadows” by Sigmund Brower. (I like reading multiple books at the same time, too.)
What is your favorite thing to do to relax?
Relax? Oh, that. I’m an artist as well, so I paint. I also enjoy playing the piano. Or I read. Writing is also relaxing for me. Actually, I don’t relax much.
What is your favorite movie?
There are lots, but I’d have to say my all time favorite is still ‘The Matrix’. I love that movie and could watch it over and over.
What 3 things would you rather not be without?
My computer and indoor plumbing. I can’t think of anything else.
If you had the time and the money, what would you like to do?
Write full time.
How can readers and fans contact you?
I maintain two blogs;
I’m also on Facebook, twitter, and a ton of other places!
Here is the back cover blurb:
Canadian born archeologist Mark Graham unearths a remarkable discovery while at a dig in the mountains of Zimbabwe – pterodactyl remains and giant human bones buried together. Speculation leads to the possible existence of a mythical race known as ‘Nephilim’, a pre-flood people alleged to have descended from both gods and men.
But skepticism and sabotage delay Mark and his team as the dig site is compromised, putting their discovery – as well as his very life – in grave danger. Deceived and framed by trusted friends and colleagues, Mark struggles to safeguard his findings and protect his reputation in order to unearth the mystery behind the Nephilim.
As an archeologist, Mark Graham has spent his professional life trying to make what he learned growing up in a Christian family “jive” with what he knows as a scientist. On this latest dig, evidence is being discovered that just might bring him back to the truth.
The romance aspect of this book is a little edgy. Mark and Laura, a fellow archeologist, spend some their off time “together”. Nothing too descriptive, thank you Tracy! When Mark goes back home to his parents for a visit, he sees an old family friend who has suddenly “grown up“. There is an attraction there but that is all I’m going to say. Read the book to find out what happens!
Mark has many colleagues that have their own agendas. Who can he trust? Who is really his friend? Answers you will only get when you read this awesome book! Tracy has given us very defined characters and a well developed plot. I was surprised several times throughout the book trying to guess who was doing what. That is the kind of stories I love. The type that keep you guessing, at least most of the way through! If you can figure it out in the first two chapters, why finish it right?