By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ September 17, 2012
Today Tracy Krauss one of my fellow authors from the brand new e-book 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror, 52 Authors Look Back are doing a blog exchange today, so after you read Tracy’s interview here you can read min on her blog at http://ning.it/OxPZSt
If you enjoy magazine columns and Chicken Soup for the Soul books, then we're sure to enjoy our collection of essays, designed to warm your heart, raise your spirits and compel you to examine your own life. Read about school days, quirky jobs, romance, raising a family, hard times, the writing journey, and find out what makes your favorite characters tick.
Get a full listing of authors, essay titles and retailers here: http://ning.it/OknwVR
Follow the 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror Blog and Radio Tour schedule here: http://ning.it/NZpHrP And don't miss the chance to join the 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror Yahoo Group, a fun and inspirational group that discusses the past and will help you to stay on track for the future. Http://ning.it/O6vWdG
Tracy, welcome to “Deeds of Darkness; Deeds of Light”! I’m so excited to be doing a blog exchange with you, so let me say first off that after readers finish this interview you’re invited to go over to Tracy’s blog and read my interview with her. http://www.tracykraussexpressionexpress.com
Since we’re doing this exchange as part of the 25 YEARS IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR tour, tell us first about your essay in this collection where 52 authors write about what we were doing 25 years ago today. What were you doing, Tracy?
My article describes my early foray into writing when I was a new mother. My first child had just been born and I had to squeeze my writing time in while she napped.
Now, tell us about your new book WIND OVER MARSHDALE.
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.
That sounds like a truly gripping story, Tracy. Full of quirky characters, a clash of cultures, faiths and philosophies, a good romance— or two romances? Wow, never a dull moment, huh? Another thing that draws me to your books is the Canadian setting. Background is always one of the most important aspects of a book for me and since my daughter and her family live in Calgary I’m very interested in Canada. How does this setting influence your story?
The setting for this particular book is my own hometown in Saskatchewan. Although I changed the name and a few other small details, the landscape and even much of the background information Is authentic. Calgary is actually very similar in terms of setting, and I’ve been there many times. The setting in WIND OVER MARSHDALE is very important; the land has a profound influence on the characters and the way they react and much of the intrigue is based on the ancient history surrounding the area.
Tracy, we first met on a group called Edgy Christian Fiction. What’s edgy about your story?
My writing tends to include a lot of human frailty, and although most Christians agree that this is central to the gospel (we need Christ BECAUSE of our human weakness), many are not comfortable discussing these issues openly. This particular book includes racism, lust, pornographic addiction, and the occult, and some of the time it is Christian people who are involved. The sexual content is mild, in my view, and there is no questionable language, but the odd mild bit of profanity has slipped into some of my other books. (I’m talking ‘hell’ and ‘damn’ here, not anything worse.)
What kind of response do you get from readers? I’ve found that the fact that I don’t tow the expected line has put some readers off. Have you had that experience?
I have had the odd comment and one or two people have expressed their objections, but over all I have had very positive feedback. Like I said, I try not to be offensive, but of course, everyone has their own threshold in terms of what that means. You can’t please everyone, so I try to be true to what I feel the story needs and what I am comfortable with myself. I think there is a growing market for what some are calling ‘authentic’ or ‘realistic’ Christian fiction. Not everyone – Christian or otherwise – wants a story where everyone skips through the meadow with a picnic basket wearing a bonnet. (Metaphorically speaking, of course!) There is room for everyone.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?
I’m just really pleased to be part of this tour. It seems like a long time since my first book released in 2009. I had no idea about promoting or marketing and I floundered along for several months with very little effect. Now I’ve got four books and five plays out there, AND I’m here on your very esteemed site! Thanks for the privilege.
And for more about Tracy:
Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more.