Tracy Krauss teaches high school art, drama and English. Originally from a small town in Saskatchewan, she received her bachelor’s degree in Saskatoon. Her second novel releasing February 24th, MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER, was originally inspired when she was playing the Sims! The interesting back-stories and interaction that occurred soon mushroomed into the idea for this book—a forty something cougar on the quest for fulfillment.
Her debut novel AND THE BEAT GOES ON, also a romantic suspense, has an archeological and creationist twist and has met with very favorable reviews. She is also a playwright and has written and produced numerous plays. She currently lives in Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, and is working on several more works of fiction.
Loaded with humor, action, intrigue and romance, My Mother the Man- Eater is the story of a woman whose search for meaning in life finds an unexpected outlet. Joleen Allen is on the hunt for a man. Unfortunately, every time the mother of five meets one, he falls for one of her daughters instead! At forty-four, Joleen has lived a tough life. She became a mother at 16, and her five daughters are now grown. Her ex-husband, Harold, is out of prison and back in the picture, looking for revenge. He’ll stop at nothing – even murder – to ruin Joleen’s reputation as well as her relationship with their daughters. My Mother the Man-Eater makes for some truly tempting and redemptive reading.
Tracy, congratulations on the release of My Mother the Man-Eater! Your first novel, And The Beat Goes On, has a male Canadian born archeologist as the main character. Your second novel, My Mother the Man-Eater, has a mom looking for a guy as the main character. Two completely different main characters with completely different conflicts. Tell us how each novel came to be.
Despite what seem like differences on the surface, both novels could be classified as ‘Romantic Suspense’, (I prefer ‘Edgy Inspirational with a twist of romance’ but that’s a bit wordy!) and both have a very strong redemptive element. I like characters who are flawed, but can be used of God despite their humanity. Both books have a lot of action, intrigue, murder and mayhem, and both books have a healthy dose of romance. So, stylistically, they aren’t that dissimilar.
As far as the inspiration goes, And the Beat Goes On, came out of my interest in ‘Intelligent Design’ and the discrepancies I saw between evolutionary theory and what the Bible had to say about the origins of the universe. When I first got saved, this was a big issue for me because I had been ‘schooled’ into thinking that the evidence was actually in favor of evolution and that as a Christian, I was just supposed to blindly follow the Creation model without asking any questions. I didn’t do that and ended up reading anything I could get my hands on that had to do with the topic. I soon discovered that the so called ‘evidence’ for evolution was iffy at best and often skewed to fit the model – not something proponents want you to know. Anyway, I won’t get off on that tangent, because it’s just too broad.
My inspiration for My Mother the Man-Eater was no where near as altruistic. I was actually playing the ‘Sims’ (yes, you heard me correctly) and had created this household of women that I was busy marrying off. (My husband calls it Barbies for big girls.) Anyway, I was intrigued by the characters and the interaction that was taking place and I started making up a back story. From there it became apparent that I had an idea for a full-on novel and ‘Voila!’ Here it is.
Sounds like a good chick flick to me! I am fascinated that you direct an amateur theater group. Please tell us about that and how that funnels into your novel writing.
I’ve always loved live theater and took every opportunity to be involved at the local level, go to workshops, etc. About ten years ago I took a teaching position in my specialty, which is Fine Art, which also involved teaching a Drama class. Within a few months I knew I needed to do more so I started an after school group for teens. It totally mushroomed. Drama is so good for kids. It teaches team work, cooperation, self esteem, poise – the list of benefits is endless. I’ve had up to 50 kids aged ten to 18 practicing 5 to 6 hours a week. I also discovered that it was sometimes difficult to find material that suited my particular group, so I started writing plays. To date I’ve written and produced about 20 plays – some no more than skits, some 90 minute musicals. I’ve just started looking for publication and so far I have one original play published with ‘Pioneer Drama Services’ called ‘Ebenezer’s Christmas Carol’.
I’ve learned a lot from writing and producing plays that crosses over into writing novels. First of all, in a play there is no option to ‘tell’ instead of ‘show’. (Unless you use a narrator, which I don’t care for) So the old mantra ‘show – don’t tell’ is easily transferred. Also, I think I’m pretty good at writing dialogue – at least I’ve been told so by several agents and editors – and that probably comes from writing so much dialogue in plays. Finally, knowing what motivates a character is very important in acting. You’re always thinking about internal motivation and what makes a certain person act a certain way. This is key for me in my novel writing. I often create quite elaborate back stories for my characters – things that may never make it to the printed page, but that help in making that person come to life.
You are a very talented woman Tracy, thanks for stopping by to visit today. I’ve enjoyed our time together. Let’s take a break and finish our chat tomorrow. In the meantime, February 24th is the Amazon Best Sellers Launch of MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER. Buy the book tomorrow and get in on all kinds of other fantastic free gifts – everything from sample chapters, free editing, critiquing, and more!
For more about Tracy and her writing, visit:
Website – www.tracykrauss.com
Amazon link – www.kraussamazon.com
Filed under: Author Interview on February 23rd, 2011