This morning, it is my privilege to introduce Tracy Krauss to you. Besides an author, Tracy is an artist, drama director, worship leader and teacher.She’s all about the creative process, so everything she does has that bent to it. When she’s ‘making’ something – be it a painting, directing her vision for a play on the stage, playing an instrument, or writing a book – she feels energized. Sometimes she tends to burn herself out because she doesn’t rest much, but she likes to be busy and she loves all her creative pursuits, so she finds it hard to drop anything.
Barbara: Good morning Tracy. Can you tell us a little about the environment you work in?
Tracy: I currently live in beautiful Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia, Canada, known for its many waterfalls. However, my husband and I have moved around a lot in our nearly thirty years of marriage, and many of the places we’ve lived have been in the far north. Places like Churchill, Manitoba – the ‘polar bear capital of the world’; the Yukon, which is next door to Alaska; and the North West Territories – all north of the 60th parallel. This has given me lots of fodder for my stories.
Barbara: When did you start writing?
Tracy: I first started writing when my eldest was just a baby. I could hardly wait for her to go down for her nap so that I could pound away at my mother’s old typewriter. That was more than a quarter century ago. Four kids, plus homeschooling for nine years, plus going back to work as a public school teacher full-time, and I finally signed my first contract in 2008. (This was after many, many rejections and a lot of hard work revising, querying, and revising some more.) My first book AND THE BEAT GOES ON released in 2009, followed by MY MOTHER THE MAN-EATER in 2010, PLAY IT AGAIN in 2011, and now, WIND OVER MARSHDALE in 2012. I’ve also had five plays published or contracted in that time with various play publishing houses.
Barbara: What authors have inspired your own writing?
Tracy: Frank Peretti is still my favourite author. To me he is a groundbreaker. He’s tackled subjects that were previously considered taboo within Christian circles in such a compelling and thought-provoking way that his writing is almost revered as truth. For instance, THIS PRESENT DARKNESS has almost become a manual on spiritual warfare, even though it’s fiction. I try to include some of this ‘edge’ in my own writing. Francine Rivers is another that comes to mind. She has written about some pretty controversial topics as well, and her characters are always believable; they aren’t perfect in other words. Again, this is what I strive for with my characters.
Barbara: Tell us about your current novel.
Tracy: WIND OVER MARSHDALE takes place in a small prairie town where, on the surface, everything seems quaint and happy. Underneath there are some serious issues, especially with racism, sexual promiscuity, and the occult. Thomas Lone Wolf is a Cree man on a mission to build a heritage site near the town based on some ancient archaeological evidence. He and his children aren’t prepared for the level of prejudice they begin to face. Rachel Bosworth is the new Kindergarten teacher, fresh from the big city and running away from a hurtful past. Con McKinley is a local farmer, who also happens to be single and good-looking. A love triangle of sorts develops, with the two men unwitting participants. As well, eccentric twin sisters bombard the town; one with her legalistic religious views and the other as a practicing witch. The local pastor has little effect trying to keep his parishioners in line since he is involved in some unsavoury business of his own. The lives of these and many other unusual characters weave together into a surprising climax. Beneath it all is a thread linking everyone’s problems to the spirit realm; an ancient curse from the past that must be dealt with once and for all.
Barbara: What’s next?
Tracy: I have two more finished novels and several works in progress. I’m just in the process of polishing up CZECH OUT, about a hockey player who defects to North America during the cold war, and THREE STRAND CORD, a romantic mystery about three friends. Once they’re ready for submission I’ll be pitching them to my agent. I’m also always pitching plays as well, since I write most of my own material for my drama troupe. Finally, I’m publishing an illustrated children’s book. I just finished all the artwork and it should be ready fairly soon.
About Wind Over Marshdale
Marshdale. Just a small farming community where nothing special happens. A perfect place to start over… or get lost. There is definitely more to this prairie town than meets the eye. Once the meeting place of aboriginal tribes for miles around, some say the land itself was cursed because of the people’s sin. But its history goes farther back than even indigenous oral history can trace and there is still a direct descendant who has been handed the truth, like it or not. Exactly what ties does the land have to the medicine of the ancients? Is it cursed, or is it all superstition?
Wind Over Marshdale is the story of the struggles within a small prairie town when hidden evil and ancient medicine resurface. Caught in the crossfire, new teacher Rachel Bosworth finds herself in love with two men at once. First, there is Thomas Lone Wolf, a Cree man whose blood lines run back to the days of ancient medicine but who has chosen to live as a Christian and faces prejudice from every side as he tries to expose the truth. Then there is Con McKinley, local farmer who has to face some demons of his own. Add to the mix a wayward minister seeking anonymity in the obscurity of the town; eccentric twin sisters – one heavily involved in the occult and the other a fundamentalist zealot; and a host of other ‘characters’ whose lives weave together unexpectedly for the final climax. This suspenseful story is one of human frailty – prejudice, cowardice, jealousy, and greed – magnified by powerful spiritual forces that have remained hidden for centuries, only to be broken in triumph by grace.
You Can purchase Tracy book:
Publisher : Astraea press http://astraeapress.com/#ecwid:category=662245&mode=product&product=12328252
Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Wind-Over-Marshdale-ebook/dp/B008ARYQPA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339803471&sr=8-1&keywords=wind+over+marshdale
By Tracy Krauss
A whispered breath skimmed across the long prairie grass like a giant invisible hand stroking the fur of a silken feline. The screech of an eagle echoed through the valley as it dipped and glided above the river. The rounded slopes of the bank rose above the swiftly flowing water while small clumps of trees clustered nearby but for the most part the land stretched uninterrupted toward the horizon.
In the distance, a faint rumbling could be heard. It began to shake the earth as it drew nearer. A cloud of dust accompanied the approaching
mass. Hooves pounded. Nostrils dilated. Eyes reddened with fear. The musky stench of sweat mixed with the heat and dust.
The huge beasts moved en masse toward the precipice. Thousands of shaggy heads bobbed in unison as the herd of bison stampeded forward.
As if in slow motion, they continued on, up and over the sharp bank of the river into the ravine below. One by one, they hurtled forward, oblivious to
the fate that awaited them, as they toppled headlong to their deaths. Thomas shot up in bed, panting. The T-shirt he wore clung
to his body with sweat. It was not the first time the dream had come to wake him.
He took a deep breath, disentangled himself from the sheets, and rose to get a drink of water. No point going back to bed now.
He wouldn’t sleep anyway. He padded down the narrow hallway, passing the half closed doorways that sheltered his sleeping
children. Ducking to avoid hitting his head as he entered the tiny kitchen, he paused for a moment to look at the expanse of
landscape beyond the window. Mostly flat, with a rise of gently rolling hills in the distance, it was clothed with a carpet of rippling
grass except for the odd patch of dry fallow. Just like in the dream.
The early morning sunrise was just beginning to filter in, reaching to shed some light in the shadowed corners of the room.
Thomas had managed to rent a house near the outskirts of town. Correction. It wasn’t exactly a house. The realtor called it a “double
wide.” Okay, it was a trailer, but it was the only property for rent in Marshdale at the moment. At least, that was what the realtor had
said. It wasn’t the nicest place—rather dingy if truth be told—and it was farther from school than Thomas would have liked, but it was
still within walking distance. Better than the overcrowded and dilapidated homes he’d been used to as a child.
But that was another time. Another life.
He was here now, for better or for worse, and the people of Marshdale would just have to accept it. He was Thomas Lone Wolf,
proud of his Cree ancestry, and determined to do something about it. As a community liaison, he’d worked with dozens of indigenous
groups all over the western provinces trying to set up business propositions. This time was different, though. It was personal.
With practiced fingers he undid his nighttime braid and shook out his hair, which fell well past his shoulders. Even at forty,
there was no sign of graying or hair loss. It was straight, coarse and black, just like his ancestors’ – he was the perfect picture of a Cree
Now that he was awake, he allowed himself to replay the dream in his mind – at least the parts that he could remember. Like
most dreams, the initial clarity soon faded after just a few waking moments. There were buffalo – always buffalo. And they seemed
bent on suicide, careening to their deaths before he could stop them somehow.
He was going to start writing it down. The theme was too familiar; the mixture of fear and power too real. Some people said
you dreamt in black and white. Thomas wasn’t sure about that. He knew there was blood in his dream – and lots of it. The redness of it
stood out in stark contrast to the muted prairie landscape. And the stench. That unmistakable metallic scent filled his nostrils to such a
degree that he could almost swear he still smelled it. Almost. But that was ridiculous and he pushed the memory of the coagulating
stains out of his mind.
With a sigh he turned back to the cupboards and started readying the coffee. It would soon be time to wake the children and
get ready for work himself. Another grueling day of lobbying for something that should be rightfully his to begin with. Reality didn’t
stop for dreams.by