Tracey Cramer-Kelly was nice enough to stop by and answer some questions. So grab a cup of coffe and come sit with me while we read her answers. Please leave Tracey a comment or ask Tracey a question, she loves to hear from her readers.
I think it’s good to dream about doing or being many different things—and its okay when those dreams change! When I was little I wanted to be a veterinarian. By the time I started college I wanted to be a physical therapist. During college I daydreamed about making singing my career! In the end, I got a business management degree and within a few years I had discovered my true calling as an entrepreneur (I’m on my third business, www.LeaderMotorcycle.com). Although I wrote during high school, I never considered it a “career opportunity” (and frankly, I still have no interest in writing full-time or trying to make a living at it!)
Some of the scenes in Last Chance Rescue were written in 1998-99 (after I ran into an old acquaintance at my high school reunion, just as Brad does in my book!). But still it took another ten years for me to settle down to write seriously. By that time I had four novels in progress. Last Chance really came together after I did some ride-alongs with medevac and search-and-rescue. From the time I really honed in on Last Chance to actual publication was two years (my daughter was born 16 months into that time frame!).
3.When you sit down to write, is there a ritual you have to do before you start?
I don’t have a particular ritual, but I do need QUIET (easier said than done since I have two young children aged 2 and 6) and no distractions (i.e., no internet!).
I might have the main characters pretty well ‘cast’ in my head before I start writing, but the ‘contributing’ characters (and sub-plots) often develop as I write. Perhaps I end up writing more this way (and cutting!) but there’s no wrong or right way to write!
I’m currently working on my next novel, which is about a military officer’s harrowing experience at the hand of terrorists, and his personal journey to learn what is truly worth fighting for, and what True Surrender means. In a fun twist, the main character in this novel is actually Last Chance heroine Jessie’s ex-husband!
Because of my hobbies and my military background, I’ve had the fortune of meeting, working and playing with some very interesting people, and there are bits and pieces of them in my writing. Yes, there’s a healthy dose of imagination and plenty of creative license, but a seed has to be sown somewhere, and for me it is often a ‘human’ interchange. I made the heroine of Last Chance Rescue (Jessie) an Iraq war veteran and gave her some of the qualities I saw in my fellow soldiers/medics (and perhaps myself).
7. When you have a moment to sit down and breathe, what kinds of books do you read?
Lately I’ve been reading military memoir (as it pertains to the subject of my next novel) and the “Left Behind” series. I try to read, um…widely!
8. What author or authors inspire you to write the way you do?
I like books with complex, more adult characters (Nicolas Sparks comes to mind); I am particularly fascinated by how a male character may change/be changed by events/situations (a major theme in Last Chance Rescue as well). I like unusual settings, but not to the point of unbelievability (which is why I did ride-alongs with a medevac team before I finished writing Last Chance Rescue). My ‘pet peeve’ is a book with too much ‘headhopping’ (constantly changing points of view).
9. Do you have any tips for those aspiring authors out there?
Forget about writing what you know (that would be so boring for most of us!), but do your homework to make it as real as possible (but don’t get too carried away—it is fiction, after all!. Don’t write for a particular goal or market; write what makes your heart sing.
10. Do you have any links of where we can find you on the internet?
Yes, I’m on the Web!