The first time I met Tracie Peterson, she was just the lady who invited me to fill a slot at a writer's retreat back in February, 2011. I went even though I felt like an interloper because everyone else at the retreat was either published or under contract. I called it "The REAL Writers + Me" retreat. (My husband was deployed. What else was I going to do?)
You can't imagine how blessed I was to be welcomed into the group like I belonged. It was the first time I saw that authors were real people who just happened to love shaping words into stories. I still cherish the memories and friendships I made that weekend.
Then I found out she was THE Tracie Peterson, currently the author of over 100 books!!
Tracie was in Virginia back in January. I was able to chauffer her and Kim Woodhouse around to Mt. Vernon and Colonial Williamsburg (right) after their book tour promoting their latest co-authored project: Out of the Ashes.
Before putting them on the plane back home, I asked Tracie to be a guest on my blog.
Coffee or Tea: Coffee...with lots of cream.
Morning person or night owl: Both. I'm flexible like that ( said with a little giggle).
Mixed nuts or cashews: Cashews
Planner or go with the flow: Planner
Curling iron or flat iron: Neither. I'm low maintenance (**giggles again**).
1. How did you get into writing? I see stories everywhere. I'd look at old houses and wonder who lived in there, or I'd see antiques and wonder who used them. I have some beautiful Haviland china, and I wonder if this was someone's wedding china or if it was a special gift commemorating an event. Stories just jump to life from these kind of wonderings and they have to be told.
I love that! When my husband and I are driving across the country on one of our army moves, I always want to turn off the highway and take the side roads because the houses tell much better stories. He doesn't get it.
2. When you’re ready to throw in the towel, what motivates you to keep writing? My imagination and creativity pretty much demands that I keep writing. I love what I do!
I'm 98% certain that's why I loved the writing retreat you hosted. Even before I started to pursue publication, I made up stories based on nothing more than an item or news story that caught on my imagination like a fly on a spider's web. Most people don't take a small thing and blow it as far out of proportion as I can. But suddenly, at the retreat, I was surrounded by expert "mountain out of molehill" people. It was like coming home!
3. What deadline has been the hardest for you to keep? Why? The co-write with Kim Woodhouse for Out of the Ashes last year. She was very, very sick so she was late getting things to me. Then, just as I got the story, I found out that my nephew had suffered a grand mal seizure and probably wasn't going to live. It made it difficult to focus on writing but we got it done. We met our deadline.
I'm so sorry you lost your nephew. I read Out of the Ashes and was deeply moved by the heartbreak of the characters. I think the situations you and Kim faced while writing it bled onto the page in a beautiful sacrifice of praise.
4. Where has this writing journey taken you that you never expected? I've always known that my writing was going to be a ministry. I think what surprised my was the response of the readers...how God has used the books to touch their lives, draw them closer to Him, even to have some turn to Jesus for salvation. I expected the books to be primarily entertainment even though I knew I was going to have a strong Biblical message and the gospel message. To have those kinds of responses from the readers - to hear how powerfully they've been touched - that's great.
5. What have the characters from In Hidden Places taught you as you wrote their story? That it's sometimes hard to see our prejudices and idiosyncrasies that cause us to put up walls between us and others. We are often offensive and appear snobbish or off-putting because of things we were taught as children and never even realize how it's played out in our relationship with others. The characters in my story reminded me of that over and over.
What a great lesson. I can't wait to read this latest release!
Around here, we're all about "Love. History." I asked Tracie what lesson about love she'd tell her younger self if she could go back in her own history. Her answer reflects the wisdom of someone who's been married for many years. Be sure to sign up for my subscriber newsletter by Tuesday, April 10 to hear what she has to say.
In Hidden Places is the first book in a new three-book series from Tracie. It follows fictional characters in a Wild, Wild West show. (Note: click on the names of the books or picture to link to Amazon for ordering.)
Thank you to Tracie for taking the time to chat with us. I hope you can tell from this brief interview what a genuine delight she is.