Welcome, Tracey. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
A good bit – mostly in what they wrestle with. I make them ask the questions I want answered, and I make them go through experiences I’ve never been through but wonder how I would handle if I were to experience it. I suppose in that way I am a selfish writer, one who writes to flesh out truths in my own life. Hopefully, if I’m wondering about these truths, others are too; and maybe through the pages I write, the reader and I can learn together.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I don’t really consider myself a quirky person; mostly I’m practical (just ask my husband!). So, in order to answer this question, I enlisted the aid of my children. They were more than happy to enlighten me! Apparently, they think it’s quirky that I like to talk in different accents – usually in accordance with the flavor of tea I’m drinking. For example, if I’m drinking English breakfast tea, I talk in a British accent, Irish breakfast means an Irish accent, French vanilla means French, Russian tea. . . . well, I think you get the picture. For the record, I never do this in public – only in the privacy of my own home.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve never taken a creative writing class; and I never thought much about writing except for college assignments. Then I wrote a Christmas play for church. Since then I’ve written several plays and skits, as well as lyrics for my husband’s songs. I love to communicate the Truth about God and the Scriptures; that’s my motivation. That’s what gets me excited and now compels me to write.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Right now I’m reading the classics because that’s what I’m teaching my kids (I’m a home-schooling mom of quadruplets). This year we’ve studied The Scarlet Letter, The Great Gatsby, and Hamlet. Romeo and Juliet is next. Apart from school, I love good Christian fiction that communicates Truth. I love to be challenged on a spiritual level. (It’s hard to beat a good Francine Rivers novel.) Being the girl that I am, I love for there to be an element of romance as well, as long as it’s plausible. (I told you I was practical! See question #2.) I get angry sometimes if a story is so unrealistic you can’t identify with it in any way. And if I read a mystery, I hate to be able to figure it out before the end! I’m not a huge fan of science fiction or fantasy – although my kids love fantasy. They’re trying to convert me! We’ll see!
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I’m not sure I do! Actually, I guard my time very closely. I am very selective about what I say “yes” to. Having four teenagers tends to keep me hopping more than I’d like, but it’s certainly for a good cause and won’t last forever. They are fifteen now, so it won’t be long until they’re out the door. That gives me motivation to keep going.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
It just depends. Sometimes I’ll base a name on a person from the Bible if my character exhibits the same traits, or I may pick a currently popular name if I want the character to be representative of “every man” or “every woman.” The phone book really comes in handy for those times when you’re drawing a blank.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Well, I’m inclined to say my kids. They were and are gifts from God, though, so I can’t really claim them as an accomplishment, can I? The next thing that comes to mind is actually completing the writing of Katie’s Choice. It took two years, but I just kept plugging along until it was done. I look back and wonder how I did it with four toddlers at home, but it was such a good time for me. Writing it was a form of worship for me.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
The first animal that popped into my head was the sloth – seriously! Even though I am always busy working at home (like a beaver) and rarely sit down, I absolutely love to veg out with a good book or a good movie. I really look forward to those times!
What is your favorite food?
Pretty much anything anyone else cooks for me! I cook all the time, and enjoy it for the most part, but it is a wonderful treat for someone else to do the cooking once in a while. But I do admit to being partial to either a medium rare steak or anything Italian. And the Maple Butter Blondie at Applebee’s is always a hit!
I have a plaque on my kitchen wall that says My favorite meal is whatever my cooks or going out to eat. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest roadblock was myself. I honestly didn’t know if I could do it or not. I tend to pick subjects that fascinate me but that I have no first-hand knowledge of. I get concerned that I’m not going to handle it accurately, so I do a lot of research. With Katie’s Choice, I didn’t rest easy until I had someone who worked in abortion counseling read the first manuscript. When she gave it a thumbs-up, I finally felt confident about it.
Tell us about the featured book.
Katie’s Choice is the extended version of a song my husband and I wrote about a young girl who experiences an unwanted pregnancy and the choices that follow. I wanted to explore, in a gentle manner, this topic that is so often thrown around in political debates. I wanted to get personal about it and flesh it out. The character Katie in the book asks the questions that I wanted answered. And, of course, there’s some romance in there, too!
Please give us the first page of the book.
The wind blew gently and leaves fell steadily from the trees lining
Jamison Street. The brisk air was a stark
reminder that football season had rolled around once again, that the holidays
loomed right around the corner, and that life kept repeating itself over and
over. Stoughton, Wisconsin,
just outside ,
was nothing more than a cycle, like a Ferris wheel going round and round.
Sometimes you found yourself on the top looking out over your life thinking, This
is good; I could go on like this forever. But as soon as you’d get really
comfortable with that thought, you’d feel yourself slowly slipping over the edge,
descending toward some unknown yet familiar pit that consumed you until you
felt the wheel slowly ascending to the top again. Madison
These were the feelings of the young girl getting out of the black Camaro that pulled up to the curb. An enshrouding restlessness came over her without warning until she thought she couldn’t breathe. But, just when she was about to finally suffocate, ever so gently the feeling disappeared, leaving her to wonder if she’d really experienced it.
Katie Montgomery had learned to ride out these emotional storms so gracefully that no one ever knew of the battle that raged within. She leveled her emotions day in and day out, causing no waves and bringing no attention to herself.
“Hey, I’ll be back to pick you up around 6:30 for the game, okay?” said the guy in the driver’s seat of the car.
Katie leaned through the open window and gave Eric a quick kiss on the lips. “Thanks for the ride.”
“For you, baby, any time.”
With that, Katie turned and started up the walk to the front door of her apartment building, an old, three-story Victorian home converted into separate apartment units.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
They can reach me through Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003127751471
or through Cladach Publishing: http://cladach.com/Langford.html.
Thank you, Tracey, for stopping by today.
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Katie's Choice : A Novel - Kindle
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