Sunday, October 3, 2010

Interview and Giveaway for "And the Beat Goes On" by Tracy Krauss

I'm excited to host Tracy L. Krauss on my blog this month. She has been gracious enough to take the time to answer some questions for me. Please take the time to get to know Tracy better. Her website is


Outside of writing, I am a high school teacher of English, Art and Drama. I am very enthusiastic about the creative process, and love to paint, draw, printmake, quilt, direct and produce plays, and of course write, write, write! I have four grown children and have lived in many places in northern Canada, including the polar bear capital of the world. (No kidding). I currently live with my husband in beautiful Tumber Ridge, BC. I am also a woman of faith, which is often a theme that runs through my work. My husband and I pastored a church in the Yukon under the PAOC for ten years.



Canadian born archaeologist Mark Graham unearths a remarkable discovery while at a dig site in the mountains of Zimbabwe. Fossilized remains of a pterodactyl are found carefully buried alongside those of gigantic human bones. Speculation leads to the possible existence of a mythical race known as Nephilim, a pre-flood people alleged to have descended from both gods and men.

But skepticism and sabotage delay Mark and his fellow archaeologist as the dig site is compromised, putting their discovery -- as well as his very life -- in grave danger. Deceived and framed by trusted friends and colleagues, Mark struggles to safeguard his findings and protect his reputation in order to her on earth the mystery behind the Nephilim.


Tracy thank you so much for taking the time to meet with us.

1. Tracy would you tell us a little about your writing background? is this your first book or have you had other books before this published? Was your writing journey a long one?

I am a High School English teacher, so I guess that means I have 'head knowledge' when it comes to writing and pretty much know the conventions backwards and sideways. Following the rules doesn't always make for good writing, however, does it? (I tell my students that the difference between a B and an A is 'Sparkle' - style always trumps mechanics, but you have to know the rules before you can break them...) Enough with the English lesson already!
I have always been a lover of good books and I have been writing for pleasure for more than 25 years. Writing 'obsessively' is probably more accurate. Most of my author friends report the same compulsive need to write. AND THE BEAT GOES ON is my first published work, but I'm pleased to report I have several others in the works. My next release, MY MOTHER THE MAN EATER, is coming out before Christmas. The prequel to AND THE BEAT GOES ON, which is called PLAY IT AGAIN, is still in production

2.(a) "And the Beat Goes On" is different from any other Christian fiction I've read. Could you tell me what genre this book fits under. Also, what made you decide to write this particular book and on this particular subject? What were the challenges and rewards during your writing journey?

This book is classed as 'Romantic Suspense' although I'm not sure if that genre really fits perfectly. Sometimes I say "Archeological Thriller' and sometimes I prefer the emerging genre 'Edgy Christian'. As for my motivation, I was very early in my Christian walk struck by the seeming incongruity between the generally accepted theory of evolution and the 'Old Earth' timeline and what the Bible said about creation. Especially problematic for me was the subject of dinosaurs. Thus my interest led to research which then led to the idea for this novel. I also must admit that I love fantasy and sci-fi, so although I don't write in that genre myself, I wanted to include some tiny reference to the 'fantastic' - the Nephilim. The jury is definitely still out among Christians on that one, but I've been fascinated with the possibilites and thought I'd throw in my own twist. I don't pretend to be an expert on any of these topics, but hopefully I raise enough questions in my book that people will want to delve in themselves.
My biggest challenge when writing is always finding enough time to write. I also work full time, have raised four kids, been a Pastor's wife, volunteer at my church, and run an after school Theatre group for teens. My days (and nights) are pretty full.

(b) Would you tell us what edgy Christian fiction means and do you consider 'And the Beat Goes On" edgy Christian fiction?

There is no one definition for 'Edgy Christian Fiction', but it is a phrase that is getting tossed about a lot these days. To me it is fiction that includes a Christian element (either straight up 'gospel' references, or at least a redemptive message ...) but also pushes the envelope in terms of what most traditional Christian reading material has included up until this point. Examples might be 'risque' content, (realistic use of language, violence, sexuality etc.) protagonists that aren't perfect - even if they are Christians, or dealing with other hot topics within the church (infidelity, divorce, abuse etc.) When I say this, I don't mean to imply that 'Edgy' means grotesque or overly graphic. Good writing includes only what is necessary to get the story across, not gratuitous sex, swearing etc. just so one can get labeled 'Edgy'. Having said that, I have read some pretty heavy 'Edgy' Christian fiction. AND THE BEAT GOES ON is not overly graphic, in my opinion, but there is some mild 'cussing' and some reference to pre-marital sex.

3. What is your next project?

MY MOTHER THE MAN EATER is another Romantic Suspense about a forty something 'cougar' who is juggling five men simultaneously while also dealing with an ex con husband who is back for revenge. Things get complicated when her male prospects start falling for her grown daughters instead. It is fantastically fun (in my opinion) with lots of intrigue, humor, and edge of your seat suspense. Of course, it is also a redemptive story about facng one's past and letting God take control.

4. As an aspiring writer I always like to ask my visiting authors what advice they have to give those of us who are still plugging a way on our manuscript.

Tenacity. To me that is the one thing that you need as an author. You just have to keep plugging away at your craft and revise, revise, revise. Just when you think the manuscript is perfect, it probably still needs more work. Also, learning to get beyond the hurt feelings of criticism and rejection and actually learning from these experiences is essential. Sometimes we get so close to our own work that we can't really see the flaws objectively. Agents, editors and reviewers usually know what they're talking about. Finally, one needs tenacity in terms of sending out queries. Some rejection is based on a numbers game rather than the quality of your writing. So persevere.


Here are a couple things you need to know to sign-up for the giveaway.

1. You need to be a follower or sign up as a new follower. Be sure and leave your e-mail address so I will have a way to contact you if you win.

2. Tell me if you've heard the term "edgy Christian fiction". If so what are your thoughts about this. Have you read anything that would be considered "edgy Christian fiction"?
Here is a website to learn more:

3. Giveaway will end Sunday, October 17th.

Happy Reading!


  1. "Edgy Christian fiction" refers to stories that portray Christians struggling through messy lives, complete with missteps and unvarnished attitudes. Like Christa Allan's Walking On Broken Glass (Abingdon Press, 2010) about a recovering alcoholic with a dry wit, these books delve deeper than the Sunday morning smile.

    I'm a follower.

  2. I's a follower. And the Beat Goes On sounds definitely intriguing.

    I've heard of 'edgy Christian fiction,' and I'm for it as long as it doesn't get explicit and titillating. Yes, I have read 'edge Christian fiction' and so far have been clean according to my definition, except for one book. I won't tell you its demise.

    Please enter me.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  3. The first Edgy Christian Fiction I think I read was Courting Trouble by Deeanne Gist. I liked the story and thought it was certainly true to life for many women. I'm a follower of your blog.
    I'm in for the drawing!


  4. I am a new follower.
    I have heard the term of Edgy Christian Fiction.
    I have tried to read a book that had too much sex and sexual thoughts by characters that were shared. I couldn't read it as I kept thinking of the passage to be careful what you expose yourself to and that was not a healthy thing for me to be reading.

  5. I have heard the term Edgy Christian Fiction before.
    I have read a few, and sometimes wonder where the message is? I've also enjoyed some!
    I am a follower!


  6. A great start. Thank you for all of your comments. I think these are very interesting. You are voicing what you like to see in Christian Fiction.

    Deborah M.

  7. I've heard of "edgy Christian fiction" before, probably from CFOM (Christian Fiction Online Magazine). I like it. One problem I have with too many "Christian fiction" novels is that they are too "perfect" - or to unrealistic. To me, edgy Christian fiction just reflects the fallen world we live in.

  8. Okay, I'd become a follower, but for reason my Internet browser isn't opening that portion of your blog tonight. I'll try to come back later to check your blog again... and thanks for the great interview, too. :)

  9. I have heard of and read edgy fiction. I also think sometimes we "sanitize" Christian fiction too much. It starts to feel a little like a Disney cartoon and then it really isn't much use in outreach or as an example to people about the life Christians lead - or about the redemptive power of Christ. I do agree that we don't need to be ugly or excessive just to "feel" realistic though.

    I think this sounds like a great book and I enjoyed the interview. I'd love to be entered and I'm a follower.

    Oh - and I have awards for you on my blog.

  10. Carman sent me, and I just became a GFC follower of your blog. I'd love a chance to win this book . . . reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com . . .

    In my opinion, we have to use "edgy" to describe some great stories because years back folks picked up "Christian" books expecting Little House on the Prairie type stories to while away a few hours.

    Nowadays, many want to see protagonists with real problems going to the Lord for forgiveness, redemption, guidance, a second chance . . . kind of like the people we read about in the Bible . . . or maybe like what happened in the lives of some of us!

  11. I am a follower and would love to be entered into this contest please.

    I have heard "edgy christian fiction" but I haven't really read anything along that genre...however I think there can be such thing as "edgy" christian fiction....Have God in the middle of a story but still not "preaching" makes a little more engaging I suppose.

    Mollydedwards AT yahoo DOT com

  12. I am a new follower b/c I would love to win Tracy's book. :)

    I have definitely heard of the term 'edgy Christian fiction.'

    I really like what Renee Ann had to say above. I think we use the word edgy to distinguish these stories from the extremely sanitized Christian fiction.

    What I'm noticing lately though, is the lines are beginning to blur. I have read a few Christian fiction novels lately that were not advertised as edgy Christian fiction and had edgier content.

    But like Tracy, I always feel like I have to qualify what edgy does not mean graphic and titillating (or it should not, imo).

    Edgy in Christian fiction is nowhere near what "edgy" is in mainstream novels.

  13. Hi! I am a new follower and would love to be entered for the giveaway!

    I only recently heard of "Edgy Christian fiction".
    I have read all of Julie Lessman's books which some might consider edgy because of the passion within, but they are Christ-centered reads unlike Harlequin Romances.

    charsaltz (at) yahoo (dot) come

  14. I'm a follower.
    I have never heard the term Edgy Christian Fiction before. Sounds like good people dealing with real life issues.
    bkhabel at gmail dot com

  15. Sounds like a very interesting book. Would love to win a copy. Thank you for the chance.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  16. I'm a new follower.
    I have never heard the term Edgy Christian Fiction before.
    Thanks for the interview and giveaway.
    Oh, almost forgot, Carman sent me.
    cjwallace43 at gmail dot com

  17. This book sounds really good. Looking forward to reading it. Thanks for giving away a copy.
    Carmen sent me.

  18. I have really enjoyed reading all of the comments. I think that most people are in agreement on edgy Christian fiction. As long as it is not too detailed it shows the real day to day lives of people/Christians. Nobody is perfect or lives perfect lives. If that were so, then there would have been no need for Jesus to die on the cross.

    Thanks again for all of your support!
    Deborah M.

  19. I'm a follower

    I've heard the term edgy Christian fiction. I always thought it to be a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat. UP beat, suspenseful.

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  20. Tracy is a fantastic writer and a wonderful person! shawnawilliams(at)allegiance(dot)tv

  21. I am a follower.
    Edgy Christian Fiction is where an author writes about Christians and others who fall from grace and sin and when writing a sex scene, leaving that to the readers imagination.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  22. Such wonderful comments! Thanks again, Deborah for hosting me. As always, I'm looking forward to see who wins and would love to hear back from her as well. (Since I noticed most comments were females :) Just as a side note to that, a number of males have read the book as well and liked it.

  23. I am a follower of Butterfly Journey. Great interview.I have never heard the term Edgy Christian Fiction before.
    AND THE BEAT GOES ON sound wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway. augustlily06(AT)aim(DOT)com.Thank you.

  24. I am a follower via GFC

    Thank you for this giveaway and the chance to win.

    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  25. I've heard of Edgy Christian Fiction. I book I feel best describes that is "Never Without Hope" by Michelle Sutton. To me it is writing about women's problems, true problems of today that aren't faced realistically in the secular writings. Problem best described is temptations being given into, suffering the consequences after the fall, and the rebuilding and healing of that person through prayer and God's guidance. I feel this "Edgy" writing can reach troubled women, let them know they are not alone, and offer answers through Christ.
    Thanks for the question and the chance to answer it in our own way.

    Sharing God's Love,
    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  26. I am a follower.
    I have heard of "Edgy Christian Fiction" but didn't know exactly what that entailed until reading the description above. I'm not quite sure if I have ever read any books that would be considered "edgy". I don't always categorize the books I read. If it sounds like a good book then I will read it. I have always been willing to give a book a try.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  27. Hello Supporters,
    Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments. I am going to be drawing the name for the winner tonight. I wish every one could be a winner. Please take the time to try and read this book. Very Interesting!
    Deborah (Debbie) M.