Welcome to Reflections, Jenness and Tracy!
Tell us about your epiphany moment when you decided you were going to seriously pursue writing and eventually publication.
Tracy: I have always known that I wanted to write a book. Wanting and doing are two different things. When Jenness approached me and asked if I was interested in co-authoring, I knew that it was something that I was going to go for.
Jenness: There really was no epiphany. As a preteen, I told my dad I’d be in the CBD catalog someday. In my eighth grade yearbook, “author” is listed as my choice career. But it wasn’t until I was a senior in college that I really buckled down to see if I was capable of writing an entire novel. That was a little scary. It’s a great thing to know what you want to do…but if that’s the main thing you’ve ever wanted to do, that’s quite a bit of pressure to see if you can actually pull it off.
Which of your books (published or upcoming) has been the most fun for you to write and which character is your favorite?
Jenness: I can’t choose. Both of my published books are so different. I loved interacting with a co-author on Bliss (Tracy is SO much fun to work with), and all of the characters in the story were quirky and fun. I think Granny may have been my favorite, depending on the day. But I also loved Double Take and the intensity of some of the scenes. It was a challenge in many ways, and I loved writing it.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Tracy: Time. My life is full with a husband, four sons, college courses, a care-giving job, and multiple writing projects. To get writing done I have to let some things go, and realize that for certain stretches of time there is just no way that I can do it all. In other words, please do not look under my couch…a dust bunny the size of Texas may attack you.
Jenness: I have to agree. Finding the time, and then making that time count.
Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
Tracy: I loved the main character, Indie. She is just so quirky and fun.
Jenness: It was an eye-opener for me to see horoscopes through Indie’s eyes—to realize why she thought she needed them and then to show her journey toward finding all she really needed in the Maker of the Stars.
What is your strangest habit?
Tracy: I am OCD about checking the doors at night to make sure that they are locked. I do it several times. Yes, I realize how weird that sounds.
Jenness: Strange? Me?
Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Tracy: I usually like to get things that I dread out of the way first so that I can get it over with and move on to something more enjoyable.
Jenness: And I, of course, have to do things the hard way and put off those things. Then I dread them more.
What would a perfect day for you look like?
Tracy: A book and the beach.
Jenness: I’d say a shopping day, but, not wanting Tracy to turn up her nose at my perfect day, I’ll stick with a comfy couch, loud music, a fantastic book, a notebook and my favorite pen which miraculously doesn’t bleed all over me or the furniture, and a Sobe Energy. That should about cover it.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
Tracy: I really could read anything. I can even find things I like in a Popular Mechanics magazine.
Jenness: Just about anything but Amish/prairie-type romances or end times stuff.
Are there certain foods or snacks keeps the words flowing for you?
Tracy: Water and cranberry juice are my drinks of choice. And I love chocolate.
Jenness: My indulgence is a Sobe Citrus Energy. Or a fountain root beer. Or a cold Mountain Dew in a can. Or sweet tea. Or… I don’t snack much while writing, but bring on the sugared drinks!
Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
Jenness: I find myself coming back to the themes of forgiveness and redemption. Especially that grace is nothing we can ever deserve, but it’s a gift freely given.
What lesson is the Lord teaching you right now or recently taught you?
Tracy: This entire past year has been a huge learning experience for me in so many ways. One of the most important lessons I have learned is that we never truly know what is going on underneath the surface in people’s lives. We are all so good at perfecting a façade, but God is sensitive to what lies beneath. He is teaching me to look beyond the surface. I realize that I have so far to go, but I am grateful that He is patient.
When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
Jenness: We haven’t signed a new contract yet, but we have a few projects that are under consideration. We hope to have good news to share soon!
You can purchase Bliss from Amazon.
Jenness and Tracy are giving away a copy of Bliss. To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment by Monday, January 10th and check back on Tuesday, January 11th to see if you’ve won. You can enter twice–once on this post and once on yesterday’s spotlight with Jenness and Tracy. If you want to guarantee that you’re notified if you win, then leave your email address in the comment, otherwise, you can just check back and email me through the button in my sidebar.
**Annoying little disclaimer: This giveaway is open only to U.S. addresses.