Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Interview with author Tracey Bateman!

Captain's Log, Supplemental

I have the super-cool privilege of interviewing Tracey Bateman this month!

CT: You wrote for moms. What do you want to say to that demographic?

TB: You're not alone! Honestly, I'm not super mom. I forget about school assignments (and as I write this I just remembered my son has a pyramid due tomorrow that we haven't started on yet. SIGH. we need cardboard, box cutters, paints, all for the outside and we have to make all the inside stuff that went in a pyramid.), I dread awards ceremony day at the end of school because with four kids it takes HOURS. I want to scream when they fight, and often do. Moms on TV are so wise and even the bad ones turn out good by the end of the thirty minute sitcom. But hey, let's be real. Not all of us can multitask well. I've even left two of my kids (at different times) at church. I'm just glad they're all old enough to use the phone now. :) So basically I want to take the pressure of perfection off of moms. Sheesh. Let's give ourselves a break. My mom wasn't perfect (sorry mom, but you weren't) and look how I turned out. :)

CT: Where would you like to see your writing going, in terms of genre and scope, in the next several years?

TB: I like the idea of crossing to the ABA. I'm not sure it will happen any time soon. But I'd like to do something similar to Jan Karon and Charlene Baumbich. They effectively share the gospel as they entertain, but it's goodness and light wrapped up in entertainment. With my current publisher, I feel like there is that opportunity to eventually move in that direction. But mostly, I just want to stay on course and walk out my purpose. God is in charge. He is sovereign. My life isn't my own.

CT: Do your kids influence your writing at all? How? How about hubby?

TB: They do in some ways. For instance, the four kids in CLAIRE are all the ages and sexes of mine with very similar personalities. but there are a lot of things that are made up too. Situations are from my mind. They never happened. Just the personalities and character traits are similar.

CT: What was the funnest part of writing LEAVE IT TO CLAIRE?

TB: Claire is just so easy to write. Even when I get stumped, I can get right back on track. It's just the character and story that I've been given to write. I know the end before I start, so I'm working toward somethng. I would wake up with funny scenes in my head. It's like God just blessed the book. The second book wasn't as easy. But I am finding with the third book that my stride is back.

CT: How do you handle writing in the midst of your crazy-busy schedule?

TB: Drugs and alcohol. NOT REALLY!! You just have to do what you have to do. This is my job. ACFW is what I do for Jesus and for others right now in place of church ministry, and my family has to be fed. Deadlines have to be met or God only knows what might happen. :)

CT: What's your favorite scene from LEAVE IT TO CLAIRE?

TB: Her darkest moment that leads to her resolution. It involves a baby cradle, but I don't want to say anything beyond that in case someone is reading the interview that hasn't read the book. :)

CT: How did you choose your characters' names in LEAVE IT TO CLAIRE?

TB: I don't know. They just popped into my head. Except for Claire. We had a democratic candidate for state auditor who had all these signs up all over the roads. And her name is Claire. :) I was playing around with some first person jounaling of this character and realized when I decided to put a proposal together that her name couldn't be "I". CLaire was as good a name as any. And as soon as I wrote it, I knew that was her name. Just felt right.

CT: Is there going to be a sequel?

TB: Yep two more--you know CBA publishers do things in threes. I think it has something to do with the Trinity. Claire knows Best comes out in June and I Love Claire releases next January. There is a fourth optioned, but I don't know if we'll ever get around to it. I guess if the masses clamor for more, I'll do it. :)

CT: If you were a fast-food item, what would you be and why?

TB: Gimme a break

CT: What books do you like to read?

TB: I like lots of books. I love Gone With the Wind. ANYTHING by Angela Hunt. All of Francine Rivers' novel-length books. I love really good chicklit, but I've mainly read ABA. I love Kristin Billerbeck Chick. And Rachel Hauck's chick lit is fabulous.

CT: Confession time: what's your weirdest habit?

TB: I'd tell you but then I'd have to kill you.

CT: Do you cook and why or why not? What's your most famous (or infamous) dish?

TB: Oh yeah. I do. I love to cook for my family. Just my way of saying, "I love you, now go eat and let me work." I make great cajun food. Well, great for a yankee. My cajun family would say it's not the best. But we love it. And it beats restaurant Cajun. Gumbo. I also make great manicotti and homemade shrimp pizza.

More on the interview tomorrow!