Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Love Triangle - Tracy Krauss

I sometimes think of myself as a writing chameleon because I write for two very distinct audiences. My first writing love is romantic suspense fiction, but I also dove into the role of playwright several years ago and found that I loved it almost as well. It's a bit of love triangle - me, secular comedy plays, and Christian fiction.

I started writing way back in 1985. I was a young mom and I found I needed a creative outlet when my daughter went down for her nap. I borrowed my mother's old typewriter and clacked away for an hour or so each day. I had no idea what, if anything, would come of these stories, but it was an outlet that soon became an obsession. Sixteen years later I had one full manuscript finished and several other works in progress. I started to think that maybe, just maybe, I could find a publisher. Little did I know that the road to publication was not as easy as I thought. Another seven years, many rejections, and much heartache later, I finally signed my first contract. It was a steep learning curve - one that I am still navigating.

Around the same time that I decided to seek publication, I also went back to work as a public school teacher. I have a fine art and theatre background so when I got offered the job as the sole art and drama teacher at our local secondary school, I was sure God had placed it right in my lap. My first drama class was a mixture of grades, experience, and enthusiasm and I just couldn't find the right material for some kind of show. I decided to let the students write their own short skits and I tied them together with a set of scenes featuring aliens watching the human activity from above. 'Look Who's Watching' was a hit with the audience and spurred me on to write more plays for my students, many of which have been published with various play publishing houses.

My eldest daughter is turning 29 this summer. I can't believe that so many years have flown by since I wrote those first tentative bits of narrative. A lot has happened since. My first book And the Beat Goes On came out in 2008. Since then My Mother the Man-Eater (2010), Play It Again (2011), and Wind Over Marshdale (2012) released. A serialized novel called Neighbors is currently coming out in separate instalments and I am working collaboratively on another serialized novel called Colony Zero.

I have also been privileged to see several stage plays in print. Ebenezer's Christmas Carol (2010), Dorothy's Road Trip (2012), The Western Tale (2012), Little Red in the Hood (2012), A Midterm Eve's Phantasm (2012), and Hook's Nemesis (2013).

Finally, I recently self published a devotional book called Life Is a Highway, based on several speaking engagements, and an illustrated children's book called The Sleepytown Express, based on a 1930s song by Haven Gillespie. I also signed a contract for the sequel to Wind Over Marshdale called Lone Wolf.

During this time I've moved fifteen times, lived and worked in five provinces and territories, raised four children, homeschooled for nine years, supported my family while my husband went back to school, and went into full time ministry. Phew! My head spins just thinking about it.

My writing journey had a slow start. Sometimes I wish I would have been more proactive about seeking publication sooner. I have so many more stories to tell and time is slipping away! I just need to stop and reflect on the goodness of God, however, and consider that everything happens according to His perfect timing. I would not have been ready any sooner for the demands of promotion and online marketing that now take a considerable amount of my time. Family, church and work responsibilities simply would not have allowed it. I am grateful for the small measure of success with which God has seen fit to bless me. And I look forward to the next leg of the journey...

Tracy Krauss is a best-selling author, playwright, artist and teacher. She is a member of 'American Christian Fiction Writers', 'Inscribe Christian Writers Fellowship', and ‘The Word Guild’ as well as several writing related social networking groups. An avid reader, she also reviews books and posts most of these reviews regularly on her blog ‘Expression Express’ as well as at other locations on the web. Originally from a small prairie town, Tracy received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Sask. with majors in Art, and minors in History and English. She teaches High School English, Drama and Art. Apart from her many personal creative pursuits, she also directs an amateur theatre group and leads worship at her local church. She and her husband, an ordained minister with the PAOC, have lived in many remote and unique places in Canada's north, including Churchill Manitoba - the 'polar bear capital of the world', the Yukon, and the NWT. They raised four children and were active advocates of the homeschooling movement for many years. They currently reside in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, BC, known for its waterfalls. Visit her website:


Kathleen Gibson said...

Wow, Tracy, your journey is full of fodder that God is using to feed others and fulfill you. (I had no intention to alliterate just now.)I love live theatre - what richness you share through others. May God continue to use your creativity and passion for his glory, whatever genre you write in.

Peter Black said...

Ah yes Tracy, it seems you're so crammed full of creativity it just cannot be contained! (Er, alliteration sort of intended :) )

Amen and Amen to Kathleen's hope and prayer for God's blessing and continued success on all your writing. ~~+~~

Tracy Krauss said...

Thank you for the good wishes Peter and Kathleen. I continue to remind myself that my writing isn't really about me - its about what God wants to do through me that counts.

Peter Black said...

Absolutely Tracy -- the way it should be for those of us who seek to honour Him and bless others! :)

Eleanor Shepherd said...

Thanks Tracy for sharing your story I was wondering about it Blessings on you.

Glynis said...

First of all you barely look 29 yourself - let alone having a 29 year old! Second, The Sleepytown Express? Seriously? I have been singing that song to my own children and my grandchildren and we adore it! Is Amazon the only place to buy a copy? I DEFINITELY want one. I am ecstatic that you have written this book. A great overview of your busy life - amazing! Thanks, Tracy.

Tracy Krauss said...

it is only available at Amazon at present. (The Sleepytown Express) It was a personal labour of love since my mother sang it to us as children. FYI - I was a child bride. just kidding.

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