Q: So besides being a writer, you're also a drama teacher. That's awesome! How did you get into that?
A: I did my first degree in Fine Art Education and interned as an Art teacher. During that time I also volunteered in the Drama department and joined the Drama teacher's association. I had always loved drama when I was in high school, and my love for theater just continued to grow over the years as I got involved in various amateur theater and church theater projects. I took a sabbatical from teaching to raise my family, but in 2001 I got hired as an Art teacher at a local Secondary school. Since it was a small school, I was also asked to teach a Drama class. I was hooked. I threw myself into the role and teaching drama has become my primary focus.
Q: Was drama something you wanted to pursue before writing or did the two just follow each other seamlessly?
A: As I said, I always enjoyed getting involved in local theatrical projects, but I really came to writing plays by default. I started writing way back in the eighties when my eldest child was just a baby and I needed a creative outlet that wouldn't be too much hassle. (I had previously focused on my visual art, but our first tiny home was not conductive to an artist's mess.) I started clacking away on an old typewriter and have been compulsively writing ever since. (Mostly novels.) As far as plays go, other than a couple of church Christmas plays, I started writing plays for my students back in 2001 when I couldn't seem to find the right fit. Most were met with very positive audience response and good reviews in local media. In 2010 I decided to start pitching a few to various play publishing houses. To date I have seven plays in print (out of dozens I have written and produced).
Q: Wow! That's amazing. Although you really are an incredible writer, so it doesn't strike me at all that you would fit into any other writer's category such as playwright as well as you have. :-) So what are you working on now?
A: I am taking a bit of a breath and considering my options at this time. Last year (2014) was crazy for me in terms of releases. Counting all the installments in the various series I was involved in, as well as plays, a children's book, devotional book, and a novella, I had twenty new releases last year. Of course I do have a couple of works in progress, but no contracts at this time.
Q: What is your next work to be released? Tell us about it.
A: The next two volumes in the COLONY ZERO Series should be releasing soon. My story DUPLICITY comes after your NEW EARTH. It follows the story of the colonists after the natural disaster that has devastated the colony and is part of the second series. After that, I believe the backstories should be releasing. (Book III of the Series.) My [back]story is called LEGACY and focuses on Renata, the spiritual leader.
Q: Sometimes I feel like I'm writing for 20 different kinds of people. My audience, my publisher, my friends, my family, myself. Especially when you incorporate all the social media we have to keep up with, it can sometimes make it difficult to see where the center point is and what you're trying to say. How do you manage it all?
A: I have struggled with this dilemma, myself. Of course it is important to stick to a publisher's guidelines, and it is essential to know your audience, but if I'm not writing for myself then the whole endeavor is pointless. Perhaps it is my background in the visual arts that makes me more egocentric than I should be, but I'm just being honest. Artists approach their art from a place of inner inspirations -a quirky need to express themselves in a unique way. Of course there are a lot of painters selling lovely landscapes to hang over the sofas of the masses, too. I've had to ask myself about my motivation. Is it to sell a few books or to express a message? Writing, and all the other demands that go with it, is too much work for me to do for any other reason than the latter.
Q: Can I get that on a plaque? Those are words to live by. Wonderful answer. But onto some more light-hearted stuff....Which books are on your list to read?
A: I read a lot of mid-list authors -people I've come to meet online, etc. I have several by [Helping Hands Press] authors, Astraea authors (on of my other publishers), and others. I also plan to finish a Ted Dekker series I started a few years ago, and a few by Sigmund Brouwer that have been languishing on my shelf for a while. Oh, and Dana Pratola's latest offering in the Descended Series is coming soon and I've been looking forward to that.
Q: Do you have any book recommendations?
A: My top three fiction books from last year are: Descended Sebastian by Dana Pratola (a supernatural fallen angel-esque series); God's Daughter by Heather Day Gilbert (a Viking historical. She's an HHP author); and Tattered Innocence by Ann Lee Miller (she has become one of my favorite authors -very realistic but with a Christian message).
Q: What movies or TV shows (if any) do you like to kick back with?
A: A rather eclectic mix... I'm an HGTV addict. I'm a long-time Sci-Fi nerd as well. Last year I was following a show called Continuum, but it has gone off the air. I also really enjoyed Downton Abbey and am looking forward to the 5th season.
Q: Your caffeinated beverage of choice would be...?
A: Coffee straight up.
Q: Where can we find you on social media?
A: My website has links to everywhere: http://tracykrauss.com
Thanks so much for talking with me, Tracy. :-)
And to visit Tracy's Amazon author page for a list of her books on amazon, here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/Tracy-Krauss/e/B003J3QU7W/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1420299343&sr=8-1