Welcome, Friends! Each day is a blessing, but today we’re truly blessed to connect with Tracie Peterson.
Tracie is the best-selling, award winning author of over 100 books. Her work in historical romance garnered her the Best Western Romance Author of 2013 by True West Magazine. She was given the Life Time Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers in 2011 and the Career Achievement Award in 2007 from Romantic Times, as well as multiple best book awards.
Tracie has been married to Jim for over 35 years and enjoys working with him on historical research for each of her books. They make their home in the mountains of Montana. They have three grown children and three grandchildren, one collie dog and three cats.
JK: Thank you for joining us, Tracie. Congratulations on your latest release, Steadfast Heart!
TP: Thank you. I’m really excited about this new book which starts a brand new series.
JK: Tell us where you grew up. Do you feel your formative years shaped your writing?
TP: I grew up in Kansas. My mother used to give me a piece of paper and a pencil at church in order to keep me quiet. She urged me to write a story and then after church she would listen to my story. I believe this really helped my creative process. I knew I’d get my mother’s undivided attention if I had a story to tell. Then when I got to high school I wanted to take creative writing, but it was a class you had to apply for with a sample of your work. The teacher rejected me as not showing enough talent or creativity. That only served to make me more determined to write, so I started studying books about writing and paying close attention to what I loved or hated about a specific story. It served me well and helped me to hone my skills.
JK: We’re so thankful you persevered. Did you know you were an author, or did it surprise you?
TP: I knew I was a storyteller. I loved to tell stories to my friends, to write stories and to share them wherever I could. I really didn’t hold out a lot of hope that I could write full-time, but then God opened the doors for this to be a ministry. I still find myself amazed that I get to do something I love so much and serve God all at the same time.
JK: You could write any genre. Why do you write Christian Fiction?
TP: It’s a ministry, as I said. I want my books to do three things. My 3E’s. I want the story to entertain. I also want it to educate, so I do all sorts of research to make the historical aspect as accurate as possible. Third, I want the story to encourage the reader in God’s love and hope. I share the Gospel message in each book and try to offer Biblical application for daily living, all while weaving it into the lives of my characters. The letters I get from the readers have proven to me that the books are changing lives. I’ve received letters that talk about the reader finding God or finding their way back to their faith. I’ve even had readers tell me that the books have given them the courage to face life and their problems. It’s amazing to me how God has used this passion of mine to better the lives of others, as well as my own.
JK: What a powerful testimony of God’s grace. He’s faithful. Tell us about your latest release, Steadfast Heart.
TP: Steadfast Heart is book one in the Brides of Seattle series. I wanted to create a story that dealt with a sort of mail-order bride, but with a twist. This series deals with three zany old ladies who run a bridal finishing school. The story focuses on Lenore who has a love at first sight experience with a man whose come looking for his sister. Kolbein Booth arrives in Seattle almost certain that the advertisement for young women to come to the bridal school is just a cover for a brothel. He ends up enlisting the help of Abrianna Cunningham, an on-going character in the series who happens to be the ward of the 3 old ladies. Through twists and turns Lenore and Kolbein manage to realize their love for each other, but not without great obstacles.
JK: What a predicament! Is Lenore an introvert or extrovert?
TP: She’s more of an introvert while her best friend Abrianna is definitely an extrovert and often drives her crazy. Lenore has been raised in a wealthy family and taught all the finer arts of being a woman of society. Being such she’s been talk to be quiet and obedient, but there’s a fire deep inside of her that won’t allow her to be passed over or taken for granted.
JK: Kolbein sounds impulsive. Is he?
TP: He’s not really impulsive. In fact, when he finds himself in love with Lenore, he doesn’t see the logic in it. He’s a lawyer so he likes the facts laid out and for everything to make sense. Falling in love at first sight is rather impulsive and doesn’t make any sense. It perplexes him to have come with one purpose to Seattle, only to find a entirely different situation to consider.
JK: Poor Kolbein! You’ve hooked us, Tracie. Where can we find Steadfast Heart?
TP: You can get this book from any local bookstore or online.
JK: What else is up and coming in this series?
TP: Refining Fire is book two in the series and will be out next June. Book three, Love Everlasting, is slated to come out in October. The entire series is set in Seattle and will deal with the Great Fire that destroyed most of downtown Seattle in 1889, as well as follow the romances of three very special ladies.
JK: Where may readers find other books you’ve written?
JK: One final question: Please tell us your favorite hobby.
TP: Reading is my favorite hobby and mainstay. I’ve always been a strong reader which I believe has definitely lent itself to stimulating my desire to write. I always appreciate a great story in both non-fiction and fiction. I hope heaven has a massive library and we get time to read.
JK: So do I, Tracie. Thank you for being my guest! I wish you continued success. God bless you!