Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Author Tracie Peterson - A Lady of Hidden Intent

I'm happy to introduce you to Tracie Peterson, in case you haven't read any of her books. She is multi-published and a very popular author. I first had Tracie as a copy editor on my second novel. Back then, I was intimidated by editors. It wasn't her fault. I just felt that I knew so little. Then I met her at a conference, and she was so warm and friendly. Her husband Jim attended with her, and since we're from Scandanavian families, a bond was formed. That bond has grown across the years. When Tracie was acquisition editor for Heartsong, she bought seven manuscripts of mine. I highly respect her as an editor, I love to read her writing, and I count her a friend.

Tracie, tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

I’m sure there is a moderate amount of what I’ve learned over the years – Bible applications, individual dramas that have played out and resolutions I’ve seen. I think every writer can’t help but put a little bit of themselves in their characters, but I find my best characters come when I think outside of my personal experience and ask, “How might someone else deal with this issue?”

Good advice. What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Hmmm, not really sure. I suppose the main one that comes to mind is attending the Glorietta Christian Writer’s conferences where I first met Jayce Oneal, a wonderful young man who has great writing potential. I thought he was so much fun and decided I’d use his name as a character in a book. Karen Ball was at the same conference and told me she was using it. We both ended up putting Jayce in several books – much to his amusement.

I have a T-shirt that says, "Careful or you'll end up in my novel." I wore it to work in the bookstore at one of the youth services and my granddaughter's very good friend asked me to put her in my next novel. When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I think a better question for me is when did I know I was a storyteller. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t like to entertain folks with stories.

I know what you mean. I was always telling stories to whomever would listen when I was young. Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

Just about anything. I read nonfiction and research books of course, but also read contemporary, science fiction, historicals, romance, children’s books, memoirs, etc. If it’s well-written, I love it. If it drags on and on with tons of purple prose or textbook/technical detail, I tend to skim it.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

I have written nearly 80 books total with 30 or so for Heartsong and Barbour Publishing and the rest in various contemporaries, non-fiction, historical and collaborations for Bethany House Publishers.

See, I told you she was multi-published. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

I write. :-) Writing is my escape and my passion. It keeps me even, along with prayer and a passionate relationship with God.

Yes, that relationship shines through your stories. How do you choose your characters’ names?

Sometimes I run across names while reading or doing booksignings. Recently I was doing multiple signings with Judith Miller and Cathy Marie Hake. We would get introduced to people with unusual names and one of us would say, “Oh, I’m taking that name.” Sometimes characters just seem to beckon you to call them a certain thing. I have actually changed a character’s name in the middle of a book, because they really seemed to be someone else.

My daughter, who is a hairdresser, called me last week with the name of a young man she'd met. She thought it would make a good name for the hero in one of my novels. I agree. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

If I can claim it as an accomplishment, it would be my 3 kids. They are awesome, and even with all their issues and problems, they are the very heart of me. I’m also thrilled to write books that spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. What a wonder to be able to share the Lord with people, and see lives changed.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

What a funny question. I’ve never honestly considered that question but I suppose it would have to be a rabbit, because my husband Jim loves rabbits just about more than any other animal and I would want him to keep loving me.

What is your favorite food?

Anything chocolate, crème brulee, steak, fried potatoes, man now I’m getting hungry.

What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Limiting myself to write in a box – or one single style. I talked to a lot of other authors, studied other writing and really focused on what I wanted most to do with each book as an individual project.

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

The same advice that was given to me. Write what you know. Learn what you don’t know, and never give up on the dream. I add to that to seek prayerfully the direction that God would have you go, and then head that direction.

What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

A LADY OF HIDDEN INTENT is book 2 in an independent series of 3 books called the Ladies of Liberty series. Each book stands completely alone with only the time period and setting of Philadelphia in common. Each shows a strong female lead character who battles against the injustices around her, while losing her heart to that special someone. Book one is titled A LADY OF HIGH REGARD and came out last July. Book 3 is titled A LADY OF SECRET DEVOTION and comes out next July.

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Answer: www.traciepeterson.com or www.bethanyhouse.com
Or at myspace.com or shoutlife.com

Thank you, Tracie, for spending this time with us. I'd love to have you back when book 3 comes out.

Readers, check out Tracie's web site to find out more about her and her books.

Want to win a free copy? Leave a comment.


Patty said...

Oh, yeah I'm first to post. I love Tracie's books. I would love to read her new series.

pleblanc_1 at charter dot net

Rachel Leigh Smith said...

I'm a costume geek and I bought A Lady of High Regard solely because the dress on the cover was so GORGEOUS. And of course I thoroughly enjoyed the book itself too. I really loved how you set it before the Civil War and brought in how influential Godey's Lady's Book was, and not just in fashion. Not many people know that Mrs. Hale was a pioneer in the women's movement. I really liked how you brought that out and showed Godey's to be the well rounded magazine that it really was.

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Tracie is one of my absolute favorite authors!! I wanna read this book! :-)
Really, really, really!!! She's helped me out with my writing career too, and I'm blessed for the contacts I've made through Tracie!

Unknown said...

Great!! Another series from Tracie Peterson. I'd love to win a book of hers.


Ausjenny said...

Oh Loved the interview Tracie is on of my favourite authors. I have most of her books on my shelf but i admit i still have quite a few to read. I would love to be entered to win this book Please.
When i read the yukon Quest series i became a fan for life.

Anonymous said...

Patty, I'm with you. I LOVE to read Tracie's books. I try not to read her series out of order, so have a few books on the shelf waiting for the missing ones! I'm writing my first novel (trying anyway). A friend who is a truck driver is helping me with one of my main characters (yep, truck driver). I promised to use his name as my character's middle name (couldn't change the first name). LOL. Please enter me to win.
Kay C.
kayscmalbums at tx dot rr dot com

Julie Lessman said...

Lena and Tracey, great interview! And great cover on that book ... I would LOVE to win it, so count me in.


gsus at charter dot net

stampedwithgrace said...

beautiful cover! please enter me, thanks :)

Anonymous said...

What a great interview. I would love to win a copy of this book.

ladijo40 at aol dot com

ChristyJan said...

Please enter me to win a copy of Tracie's book.

Wonderful interview ~ thanks!

Kathy said...

I'm drawn to books with strong female leads and I'd like to read this one. Thanks for the helpful interview. sumballo [at] gmail [dot]com

CherryBlossomMJ said...

I have to admit that Tracie Peterson is one of my favorite authors. I have loved almost every single one of her books that I have read, and the one that I didn't love I liked, but I couldn't love it because the substance was too real for me at the time (A Slender Thread). Her advice is exactly what I needed to hear at this time, as I have stories bursting but I'm terrified to share them. "Write what you know. Learn what you don’t know, and never give up on the dream." Basically sums me up! Please enter me and I really want this one!!!


Thanks for providing this chance Lena!

Stacey said...

Please include me in the drawing. If Tracie's sense of humor comes through in her writing, this book will be great! Thanks.


windycindy said...

Hello! What a wonderful book giveaway contest. The book cover is lovely! Thanks for another super author interview. I would love to read her book. Thanks,Cindi

Carolynn said...

I love historical fiction! Please enter me, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Oh, I'd love to win this book. Wonderful interview.

Cherie J said...

Ooh! This book is on my wish list so I definitely want to be entered in the drawing for this one. I enjoyed the interview! It was neat learning more about Tracie.

Mimi B said...

Lena, thanks so much for an interview with one of my all-time favorite authors. I don't believe there's a book I haven't read of hers. The Cheney series is one of the first I read. Her series with Judith Miller rank pretty high for me as well! I'd LOVE to win her book. I've been trying to find a blog that's up-to-date for her as well!

In Him,


Donna said...

I have had my eye on this book. It is a beautiful cover. Thank you Lena for the chance to win. You always have great interviews.

runninmama at sbcglobal dot net

Janet Spaeth said...

Tracie is not only a terrific writer and a terrific editor, she's also a terrific person! She's given Christian publishing so much in her writing as well as her guidance and encouragement of new writers.

Sign me up! I'd love this book!

Karin said...

Please enter me---thanks!

Janna said...

This looks so good (gorgeous cover!)
please include me in the drawing...


Stormi said...

I would like to read this book. Please enter me in the drawing.

ladystorm282001 at yahoo dot com

tetewa said...

Wow I can't believe how many books you've written! Include me in the draw. tWarner419@aol.com

Maureen said...

Tracie is a great author and Philadelphia sounds like a great setting.

Grateful Gramma said...

Please enter me in your drawing. Thanks!


pamela said...

Wow I would love too read this book(after I get the first one..lol)

It gives me great encouragement towards my writing as well :)

Carole said...

I love Tracie's books and would love to win this one. Thank you for the opportunity!

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Anonymous said...

I really loved 'A Lady of High Regard'. I couldn't put the book down. Now I can't wait to read the next one 'A Lady of Hidden Intent'. Thank you Tracie for writing such captivating stories!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tracie, i have been reading your books as well as Eugenia Price, you are a favorite of mine. i have just finished the series Alaskan Quest and i think it is a spin of from Yukon Quest so it was great to finish and enjoy them i am sharing the books with my daughter.someday i hope to have all your books but, i have bought and read and they take a walk so i am having a hard time keeping my collection. thanks i will try again to read and get them all.

Anonymous said...

I really love her books. I just finished reading A Lady of High Regard and thought it was awesome. I first got started when I saw A Lady with a Hidden Intent in Walmart and thought the cover was interesting. I loved the summary and bought it. Now, I'm hooked on her books for forever now.