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Interview With Tracey Bateman

Meet Tracey Bateman
Interview by Sandra Moore

1) Tell us a little about yourself. (Name, age, married/single, children, how many books authored, etc.)

I've been married for 13 years to Rusty. He's a prison guard (corrections officer as they prefer to be called.) I'm a stay at home mom. My kids are 12, 10, 7,and 3 and all but one goes to school. My oldest is a girl, the rest are boys. I have one book, DARLING CASSIDY published with Heartsong. The sequel, TARAH'S LESSONS is coming out in January. They are historicals. I wrote a novella A LENGTH OF SILK (my mom gave me the title from a short story she wrote years ago) coming out in the CHINA TAPESTRY anthology from Barbour in February. I'm very excited about the novella. It was soooo hard to write. I knew nothing about China or the era (1700s) when I proposed it and I really had to work hard to get the flavor of the era. God went to bat for me big time!! But it was hard work. I think it paid off. You'll have to buy the book and let me know. :) This story was harder to birth than ANY of my kids. :)

2) How did you become interested in/start writing?

When I was about 11 years old, I read Gone With the Wind and decided they COULD NOT leave it there. SO I wrote the sequel -- all 5 pages of it. :) Of course Rhett realized before he was a block away that he actually did give a . . . darn. After I had reunited my all time favorite hero and heroine, I put my career on hold to concentrate on the important things in life such as music, pep club, know. My interest was revived when I was 25 years old. With three little ones at home, I decided to go to college. I wrote a short story in my freshman comp class and liked it so much I turned it into a novel. Which actually wasn't any good. But it got me started.

3) What was your biggest obstacle in regard to writing/getting published?

In the beginning...lack of knowledge. I didn't start out with ACRW or writer helps, etc. I was new to the internet and didn't have a clue. But once I found a critique group, God began to gently mold me and teach me how to take criticism, and learn from it, then I found some other groups and friends. And met a pubbed author. Little by little God put me in the right place at the right time. I don't think there were really any major obstacles to husband is very supportive. I had to learn to balance life and family with writing. But God dealt with me about priorities and now I have certain times that I write and try not to be on the computer too much when the kids are home. Unless they're ignoring me anyway. :) I didn't have too many obstacles to getting published. Probably no more or less than most authors. I think it's just a process.... Except for the few who hit it the first time, I think we all have to deal with rejections.

4) What has been the highest moment of your career?

When I got the call from Rebecca Germany that she wanted to buy DARLING CASSIDY! I was on a high every time the next step happened....getting the contract in the mail, getting the check, seeing the cover flat, the first galleys, etc. It's an amazing thing. Really. I was totally shocked, thrilled, amazed, disbelieving, you name it, I went through the emotions. God is good.

5) Who/What is your greatest inspiration to write?

I don't have any inspiration to write other than that I like doing it. And I believe God said I could. I guess he does inspire me with story ideas and spiritual themes (usually things I'm going through myself at the time) I'm not one of those people who have to write or else I die. I know people say you're not really a writer unless you have to write or you aren't fulfilled. But that's not me. I enjoy it. I also love singing and movies and reading. I can go weeks without writing anything. Then I go on a writing bender, of course.

6) Are you a seat-of-the-pants writer, or do you plot extensively before your fingers hit the keyboard?

Well, when I first started I was totally seat-of-the-pants. But usually now I plot (but not extensively--just major points) then I write and let the characters go where they want to unless it's way too far off the beaten path...then I rein them in. I guess I'm both.

7) What's the nicest thing anyone ever said about your writing?

There have been so many nice things said. Readers have been really supportive of DARLING CASSIDY. One woman said she stayed up late to finish it and she had never read a book that fast before. I'm thrilled when readers mention they were encouraged spiritually. And when they "get" the point of the spiritual theme of the book.

8) Who is your favorite character in your books and how did you come up with that character?

Laney Jenkins -- a little 10 year old girl I introduce as a secondary character in TARAH'S LESSONS (coming in January :) She's mouthy and rough and wears jeans and has a heart of gold. God gave me her character to steer my heroine back in the right direction. I didn't mean for her to be what she turned out to be. She was supposed to be a timid sweet little thing. I'm working on her story now. I love her. I just couldn't let her go without giving her a happily ever after.

9)How do you balance a writing career, being a mother/wife (or both) and working a full time/part time job outside the home?

Well, thankfully I don't work outside the home. My career isn't in such hot demand right now that I have to juggle too much either. But when I am on a deadline or something, my sweet husband takes over the other stuff and sends me off to work in peace. He's a peach (and a pain, but mostly a peach.)

10) I you could tell a beginner one thing, what would it be?

Well, everyone is so different it's hard to know what to say. Basically, I decided that I wasn't going to ever quit anything until I could go out with a bang. Right now, if I quit writing, I'd feel ok. I have three books sold. Not a lot, but enough to validate my choice to write for five years. There were so many times discouragement almost sent me packing before I was published. And I pulled back for a few months while God dealt with me on priorities, but once I made that decision that I knew for sure I wanted to work hard and be published, I decided I wouldn't let discouragement make me quit EVER. I might quit for other reasons--like if I make a CD and have to go on the road But not because of discouragement. I mean, could you imagine Michael Jordan having a fabulous career and then quitting because he lost a few games? No way. He went out on top. I think we have to make a decision that we don't let rejections or discouragement make our decisions for us. Keep writing and some day you WILL be published. I don't why some people hit on the right publisher and story at the right time and others who are just as good or better seem to write for years and years without any success, but the Word is pretty clear that if we knock the door will be opened. The amplified Bible says "Knock and keep on knocking..." So this is a long way for me to say to beginners or not-yet-published authors who have been writing a long time. Knock and keep on knocking...God is faithful. He truly is.

11) Care to share the most embarrassing moment of your writing career?

I'm too simple to get embarrassed. Now if I ever walk out of the ladies room with my dress tucked into my pantyhose...I'll let you know. That would definitely embarrass me.


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