Meet Tracy Krauss, author of And the Beat Goes on, fiction with both feet in the real world.
When pterodactyl bones and giant human remains are found together on an archeological dig in Zimbabwe, the team working on the site can hardly believe their eyes. That and other evidence seems to verify Noah’s flood, creationist theory, and even point toward the existence of an ancient race mentioned in the Bible known as ‘Nephilim’. Head archeologist, Mark Graham, finds he may have uncovered an international conspiracy set on keeping the truth hidden. Suspense, mystery, romance and redemption — this action-packed story will keep your heart pounding to the end. Go to www.kraussamazon.com today for your very own copy of And the Beat Goes On.
I was thrilled for the opportunity to interview Tracy. Since I am on a boat anchored somewhere in Florida and Tracy Krauss is at home in Tumbler Ridge BC, we couldn’t very well literally sit down together. Thanks to the internet I was able to interview her recently as she was preparing to showcase her novel And the Beat Goes On. From startling discoveries at an archeological site in Zimbabwe to some startling discoveries in the depths of the human heart, this book is guaranteed to keep you turning pages into the wee hours. A sequel to Tracy’s recently-released bestseller Play It Again it explores questions that might have been pulled from the daily news. It was a real treat to interview an author whose imagination ranges so widely.
Katherine: When I cruised your blog, I was overwhelmed. You are truly an artist in the big sense of the word. Prints. Quilts. Books. And Drama! While continuing to be a teacher, a profession I consider to be an all-consuming job. How do you juggle all these sharp knives?
Tracy: I tend to go in spurts with all of my creative interests. When it’s close to a theater production for example, I focus more on that; or if I have a book launch or a book deadline coming up I focus on that. I’d like to say I have a wonderful formula worked out but that isn’t the case. I mostly just stand by my belief that if it’s important enough to you, you’ll make the time.
Katherine: Your site is so visual I want to grab it for my Pinterest site! Clearly color and shape and vectors and touch are all percolating in your head and heart at any moment. How do these factors work into the static black and white of written pages?
Tracy: First of all, thanks for the compliment! I am hardwired as a very visual person so I can clearly see everything I’m writing about in my head either before I write it or as I’m writing it. I also often like to paint or draw scenes from my written work which is just another way of getting the thoughts from my head into the open. I suppose its another reason I like working with drama as well. Its a way to take the written word and transform it into sometime visual and ‘real’.
Katherine: Everywhere I go on your site, I see the word “edgy.” Every word has a dictionary meaning, a commonly known connotation, and a personal facet. I can look up meaning and I can deduce connotation. Tell me what “edgy” means in your life and your work.
Tracy: In the context of my own writing, I’ve come to embrace ‘authentic’ as a good definition. Real life isn’t always rosy, for instance, and real Christians are rarely (read: never) perfect. I like to show the more ‘human’ side of my characters – the thoughts, feelings, and reactions that go deeper than the typical Christian facade. Actually, when I first started writing, I had no idea that my work would be considered ‘edgy’. I was trying to keep my stories ‘real’ but thought I was being fairly tame. I mean, my characters may use some mild expletives, but nothing over the top, at least in my estimation, and they may find themselves in certain situations (ie: sexual, abusive, violent, or other ‘hot’ topics) but I do not write anything explicit or graphic, so when I first was confronted with this term ‘edgy’ I was surprised. Put it this way: my stories are very redemptive in nature but they are not squeaky clean. However, this is how I feel I can best show God’s wonderful grace – by contrasting human nature and God’s nature.
Katherine: I read a short excerpt from your book Play It Again. I was intrigued by the character of the band leader. I didn’t see “musician” among your many artistic talents. Are you hiding some exposure to the world of traveling performer? I don’t mean that in a bad way. I just wonder if music performance is somewhere in the mix of your experience as well.
Tracy: My secret is out! Actually, it’s no secret, but yes, I do play both the piano and the guitar and I sing. I am the worship coordinator for my church and regularly lead worship services. I feel as if this is how God has called me to serve my church at this time, but since I don’t write my own music, I hesitate to call myself any more than that.
Katherine: You say on your site that you are a Christian, and I see numerous links to Christian writing groups. Why does being a Christian matter to a writer of edgy fiction?
Tracy: My faith is such an integral part of who I am that it comes out in my writing as well. However, I’m just not interested in reading or writing books that wrap everything up into a neat Christian package. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with that – it’s just not for me. I want something with some edge – some bite, if you will, where people are fallible and make wrong choices and get themselves in over their heads – but where God loves them anyway. This whole genre isn’t exactly new. Francine Rivers has been writing some pretty ‘edgy’ stuff for years, as has Frank Peretti, Ted Dekker and others. (These are three of my personal favorites, by the way.) But perhaps it’s a sub-genre that is just coming into its own. Part of that may be that some Christians, especially those in the millenial age group, are tired of what they perceive as hypocrisy in the church; tired of the status quo; tired of ‘playing church’. Again, I’m not pointing fingers – I’m just sayin’. I love my church, but I also recognize that it’s okay to do things differently. Much of what we do and the way we present the gospel message has more to do with our own traditions and perceptions of ‘how it should be done’. My husband is an ordained minister so I’ve lived and worked in ministry for a long time. I also never fit the good ‘pastor’s wife’ mold very well. I’m just doing my thing and hopefully someone out there will respond.
Katherine: If I met you on a bus riding across Vancouver sometime, what would you want me to remember from that brief encounter?
Tracy: I hope that I would come across as genuine and that I’d be a good listener. Like I said, I’m not really interested in fitting in, so to speak, but I do want to be approachable.
I found Tracy very approachable. It was a pleasure to get to know her, and you won’t want to miss this opportunity to get better acquainted by reading some of her books.
If you want to approach Tracy, visit the sites below. Be sure to comment on her blog and sign up for more of her wide-ranging comments on life as an edgy Christian writer.
You will want to visit www.kraussamazon.com