More than fourteen years ago, my momma and our good friend and mentor Mrs. Tracie Peterson met, and God has blessed us abundantly since. Mrs. Tracie and Mr. Jim Peterson are two of my favorite people in the entire world, and I’m blessed to have done this interview with Mrs. Tracie. She’s definitely an inspiration and a blessing.
Tracie Peterson is the author of ninety-plus books and is an award-winning, best-selling author. She’s an amazing person and loves to help other authors. She and Mr. Jim have both served as editors, in addition to Mrs. Tracie earning the 2011 ACFW Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2007 RT Career Achievement Award for Inspirational Fiction. Her love for the Lord and persevering spirit is—and always will be—inspiring to all those around her.
I hope you enjoy this interview, and pick up a few of her books. Believe me, they’re beyond fantastic! J
To find out more about the amazing Tracie Peterson – visit her website:
KAYLA: How did you begin writing?
TRACIE: I’ve always loved to write and tell stories. When I was little, my mother would give me a piece of paper and pencil when we were in church. She did this to keep me quiet. She’d tell me to write a story and I would, even before I knew my letters. After church she would ask me to tell her my story. I credit her with helping me become a storyteller. I knew I would have her attention while I told my story and that gave me incentive to create.
KAYLA: What was your first published thing?
TRACIE: The first thing I had published was a short piece for a magazine. Then I did a volunteer column for a Christian newspaper, and finally, in 1992, I received my first book contract from Heartsong Presents, Barbour Publishing. It was published in 1993.
KAYLA: What do you like most about writing?
TRACIE: I love telling stories that help people know God better. My writing is a ministry, and for me it’s all about helping people to fall more passionately in love with God.
KAYLA: Is there anything you dislike about writing?
TRACIE: Hmmm, that’s tough. I like just about everything. Writing is such a neat journey and I love the places God takes me on these little trips. I learn a lot with each book I write. Just as I hope the reader will grow closer to God, I hope to grow closer to Him as well.
KAYLA: What helps you write (I.e. Chocolate, hugs from family, your favorite black and white TV show, cooking a big meal, wearing mismatched socks, singing your favorite praise song, etc.)?
TRACIE: I can write just about anywhere, but I love to have it quiet and have everything in order. I always work better in a peaceful environment. I have a back deck writing porch during the summer months. There’s a canopy over it and a nice view of the mountains. It’s a great place to write.
KAYLA: Have you ever had Writer’s Block, and if so, how did you get through it?
TRACIE: I can honestly say that I haven’t had true writer’s block. There have been times when I didn’t feel like writing because of things that were going on in my life, but I pray and push through it because I feel called of God to do just that.
KAYLA: Who has helped you the most in your writing journey?
TRACIE: God has given me the interest, talent and drive. My husband Jim is always supportive and helps me with research. Other friends and family are on my prayer team and help encourage me and pray for each of my books.
KAYLA: Where is your favorite place to write?
TRACIE: As I mentioned above, I love my outdoor writing room. I like to write in my bedroom and office, too.
KAYLA: When do you write the most: on a deadline or not?
TRACIE: I’m pretty much always on deadline. I try to write most every day. If I’m not writing, I’m researching and planning the next book.
KAYLA: Why do you write?
TRACIE: I’m very flexible and write most anytime. I like to get my writing done first thing in the morning, but it doesn’t always work out that way, so I try not to worry about the exact time I work.
KAYLA: Is there anything you would like to say to old/new writer’s?
TRACIE: To old writers I would say: 1) never stop learning – read, talk to others, watch documentaries, whatever it takes – learn, 2) remember where you came from and why you write – knowing why you write is critical to your peace of mind, and 3) Trust God for His direction – spend time in the Word and pray.
KAYLA: Is there anything you would like to say to Tweens/Teens?
TRACIE: To Tweens and Teens I would say, I know how hard it can be to be your age and in the place where you are. You’re not really children, but people will treat you that way. You’re not really adults, but you feel like you should have more say in your life. It’s a hard place to be, but time will pass and you will come out on the other side, hopefully stronger and wiser. I encourage you to enjoy the journey, put your focus on the Lord and trust that He truly has a plan for your life—because He does. Let the joy of the Lord be your strength and learn to laugh at yourself. There’s nothing in this life that is more important than a relationship with Jesus and the love of family and friends.
Fourteen-year-old Kayla Woodhouse’s zest for writing comes not only from her natural ability, but also from her love of the written word as witnessed by her voracious reading appetite. One of only a few dozen cases in the world, Kayla was born with HSAN, Hereditary Sensory Autonomic Neuropathy, an extremely rare nerve disorder. Unable to sweat, or feel pain, she’s also been through brain surgery. But even through a life of extreme hardships, her ever-present smile encourages others to pursue their dreams, no matter the obstacles. In addition to being homeschooled and writing with her mom, she’s an amazing swimmer, and spends up to thirty hours a week in training. She has appeared on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Montel Williams Show, Mystery ER, and numerous other national programs. No Safe Haven, her first release from B&H Publishers in 2011, written with mother, Kimberley, makes her the youngest author to have a full-length novel published by a royalty paying publisher. You can find Kayla at http://kimberleyandkaylawoodhouse.com and http://kaylawoodhouse.com