Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.
This week we are featuring Tracie Peterson! To enter to win a copy of her book, A Sensible Arrangement (Bethany House), leave a comment on this post.
Tell us a little about your new book . . .
A Sensible Arrangement is a story that brings together characters from two previous series. The story is set in 1893 and starts in Texas and moves to Colorado. This is book 1 in a 3-book Lone Star Bride series, which will end up in Texas. Marty is a widow who just wants out of Texas and when she sees an ad for a mail order bride from a Colorado banker, she answers it. Her hope is that this will take her away from Texas forever. Jake is the banker who wants to return to Texas ranch life and thinks that if he marries a Texas bride she will eventually help him leave banking behind and return to ranching in Texas. With two very different life goals, the conflicts will drive a wedge between them and create problems they didn’t expect.
How can readers find you and your books?
My website is www.traciepeterson.com, and I’m on facebook as well. My books can be found just about everywhere online and in the major bookstores
Anything new for you on the book horizon?
Hoping to do a booktour in Alaska this fall. It’s still in the planning phase, but that’s what I hope to do. Book 2, A Moment in Time, is due out in June 2014 and book 3, A Matter of Heart, is due out in October 2014.
Why do you write?
My writing is a ministry for me. I believe God has given me this gift of storytelling in order to entertain, educate, and encourage for Him.
What are you best known for . . . writing or otherwise?
Writing and somewhat for teaching new authors.
Best author moment?
A letter from a runaway who told me that my book sent her back to her family and God.
Worst author moment?
Every time weather or health or anything else interferes to keep me from being able to share my heart, sign books, or honor appearances.
If you weren’t able to write, what would you do?
Probably become a professional Bible study student. I’m really loving Precept studies and Bible Study Fellowship studies.
Describe your ideal circumstances to write.
A quiet house, bills paid, my health good, my office in order, a glass of ice water and chocolate on the desk, and my weight down another 20 lbs.
Right this moment, what does your office look like?
Funny you should ask. I just redid my office and here’s what it looks like—new acacia wood floors, cherry desk, and new curtains.
How would you describe your writing style to a reader?
Character-driven adventure plots with strong setting influence on the content.
If you could write any book–on any topic–and be guaranteed a publishing contract, what topic would it be?
I’m writing them. 🙂
Ever had a bad review? How did you handle it?
I really pay little attention to reviews. I’m grateful that people like to do them—bad or good, but I find them distracting and pretty much avoid them. I do pay attention to fan letters and their thoughts, but again I try to take it in stride and give the good and bad to God.
I think the biggest thing has been the attraction and demands for ebooks and self-publishing. I appreciate the desire for writers to be published, but truly pray they will do what they can to make their work the best it can be. I don’t want new authors to get bad reputations and ruined careers because they didn’t bother to get their work edited. I also don’t want to see authors get into bad situations where they pay out big bucks for self-published books and then have no means to distribute.
How do you solve a grammar dilemma?
Ask my editor.
Are you an introvert? Extrovert? In between?
Introverted, except when I’m talking about Jesus.
Do you enjoy public speaking as an author? Why or why not?
It’s not what I would pick for my first choice in jobs, but when God brings those events to me, I honor Him and take them because I feel confident that He has brought me to this place for a purpose.
Can a person make a living as a writer?
Absolutely. It’s not the norm, but I’ve been the sole support of my family since 1996 on a writer’s salary alone. It requires discipline and budgeting, but it can be done.
What are you working on now? Newest release?
Right now I’m working on a new series that is set in Seattle during the late 1880’s. It will deal with the fire that destroyed most of downtown.
Any last thoughts to share?
For writers, I would encourage that they constantly put themselves in a position to learn. I still find I learn things every time I teach beginning writing. We should never think that “we’ve arrived and have no need of review” just because we’re published. For readers, keep reading and holding publishers accountable for quality books. If there are things you would like to see in print–let the publishing houses know it. It doesn’t mean that they will necessarily take up the idea, but they won’t know your thoughts if you don’t tell them. For non-readers—you don’t know what you’re missing, so start reading.