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.

The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with Sarah Sundin is Marie Anne! Please email my assistant Christen with your mailing address. (ckrumm@litfusegroup.com)

This week Tracie Peterson is in the spotlight! To win a copy of her Taming the Wind, leave a comment on this post! 

Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in?

I’ve been married to Jim for over 33 years. I have 3 children all grown – one in Boston, one in Topeka (married with 3 pretty cool grandkids) and our 23 year old son who just moved back in with us. I write full time and try to write a chapter every day.

And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…

I love to write inspirational historical series with a strong romantic theme. Once in a while I like to write contemporary romance and non-fiction. My writing is a ministry to me and I love serving God in this way. I get to read and research, travel and talk to really neat people, all while sharing God’s love and hope.

How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?

I’ve been writing since I was very young. My mother would give me a pencil and paper in church to keep me quiet when I was quite small. After church she would ask me to tell her my story. I credit her with helping me develop my imagination. I loved writing throughout my school days and as I grew older I dreamed of creating books that other people would love.

After you started writing seriously–how long was it before you were published?

Years and years. ☺ Seriously, I wrote several manuscripts (that have since been destroyed) and tried my best to get them published from the time I was twenty or so. It was until many years later I finally decided to write a few Sunday School take-home articles and volunteered as a columnist for a Christian newspaper. That’s when I really saw how I could use my writing for Jesus. In 1992 I received my first contract and now am approaching my 100th book just 20 years later.

Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing?

Coffee makes me jittery so that isn’t the direction I take unless I load it with protein. However, I try to write every day whether I feel “the muse upon me” or not. It’s important to me to be disciplined and in order to do that I write using a chapter by chapter outline. This outline helps me to keep my story pacing moving, my character issues resolved and so forth. I try to write a chapter every day and that sometimes takes a couple of hours and sometimes takes all day. When my chapter is done, I do research reading and look for additional stories, answer fan mail and plot out new ideas.

What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?

My family has always been super supportive. They were the ones who encouraged me to keep trying when those rejection letters came. My husband Jim was great about encouraging me to go to writing conferences where I could connect to other authors, editors and agents. I always, always recommend writer’s conferences. In fact, I helped to found American Christian Fiction Writers so that new and established authors could have the help they needed online and in person.

What advice would you give to new writers?

Read as many books as you can get your hands on. Read all kinds of genres and see what fits your interests best. Read what’s on the best-sellers list and then tear into them and see what you think makes them a best-seller – is it the plot action, the character development, the pacing, the setting? Get connected to a writer’s organization and learn all you can. Don’t be a diva thinking you know everything and that you can’t learn from reviewing old standard classes. And, above all, pray for direction and guidance.

Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.

Are you looking for an entertaining read that will educate and encourage you, share God’s hope and treat you to a romantic encounter? Then Tracie Peterson novels are for you!

What’s on the book horizon for you?

Next spring I have a new series starting. Book one – The Icecutter’s Daughter will start a 3 book series set in Minnesota. Each book is a standalone historical that will touch on a different slice of life in 1890’s Minnesota.

Last question, how can readers find you and your books?

Readers can find me at www.traciepeterson.com and http://www.facebook.com/TraciePetersonAuthor. My books are available at bookstores everywhere, as well as online. Also, in conjunction with Litfuse Publicity Group, I’ll be hosting a Facebook party celebrating the release of Taming the Wind on 9/26 (this coming Wendesday). I would love it if you were able to stop by and say hi. Just click the photo below for all the details and to RSVP!

Good Things are Coming!

Find out first when you sign up for my email newsletter.

Consider yourself invited to sign up for my newsletter and get the behind-the-scenes scoop, info on freebies and giveaways, and more. Also, by signing up, you will receive the first chapters of some bestselling books. A small way to say I’m glad we’ve connected!

You have Successfully Subscribed!