Saturday, July 21, 2012

Interview with author Tracy Kauffman

Welcome, Tracy!

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
  I am a new author from North Alabama and love writing for young adults and children.  I am a Christian who is trying to make a difference in the world today.  I hope to inspire others, educate, and edify others in a positive way.
2. Tell us about your upcoming book(s).
My book, Gwendolyn's Wish is a children's fiction fantasy book about a young girl named Gwen.  She has no friends until she meets her neighbor, Zahara.  Zahara has a magical parrot.  She tells Gwen about how she can acquire her own special companion.  Soon, she receives her parrot who can grant wishes.  He tells her that he can grant one wish a year, so she must think hard, about what she wants her wish to be. She tells the parrot her wish and she receives more than she bargains for.
3. What else are you working on?
 I have another book, My Boyfriend the Squire that I am currently taking orders for.  I am writing a new story for teens that has a special twist.  I hope you will stay tuned.
4. What book(s) have inspired your writing?
The classics like Pride and Prejudice, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Little Women are great books that will inspire people for years to come.  My favorite book that I had read lately is African Ice by Jeff Buick.  It is an adventure and romance book about a strong woman that goes into Africa to find diamonds.
5. What do you do when you experience writer's block?
The only time I have experience writers block is when I am writing on something that I don't know a lot about, such as with this book that I have been working on that is a historical fiction.  I don't want to make the story too different than the way it was, therefore I try to be careful and watch what I say.  When I get writers block as far as that goes, I do research on the internet that relates to the storyline.
6. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
I am a new author and therefore haven't really had a lot of criticism and compliments yet, but my family have read what I've written and tried to compliment me regarding how I wrote.  It is hard for me to accept that, because they are afterall my family.
7. What advice do you have to aspiring writers?
Don't give up.  Watch what you write about, for people of all ages might read your books.  I do not want to write anything that might bring a negative influence to someone else.

My website:
To order Gwendolyn's Wish:
To order My Boyfriend the Squire:
My blog:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My favorite moments on The Andy Griffith Show

Growing up, whenever I was home for lunch, my mother, brother, sister, and I would park ourselves in front of our little living room TV and watch an episode of a black-and-white Andy Griffith show. By the time we were in our teens, we had nearly every episode memorized, and still they never grew old. I still watch them today whenever I get the chance (love that they're on netflix). And of course we make the trek out to Danville to visit the Mayberry Cafe, a little restaurant dedicated to the TV show, and it even shows episodes while you eat. Here are some of my favorite moments on the show. May Andy rest in peace in his final home with his beloved Savior.

Rafe Hollister Sings - hauntingly beautiful

Andy Discovers America - Andy tells the tale of Paul Revere

Darlings singin' - There is a Time

And this has got to be my favorite scene from the entire series. Just plain old hilarious. Definitely worth the watch.

Monday, July 2, 2012

10 things you probably didn't know about Going over Home

While I'm gearing up for the release of Going over Home (which has been delayed several times for different reasons), I thought I'd post a few little known things about the novel. Hope you enjoy.

1. The idea for the book came to me in January 2009 while my husband and I were visiting the graves of some of his ancestors in the Rogers Cemetery in Yellowwood State Forest in Brown County, Indiana. Maddox Cemetery in the book looks just how Rogers Cemetery looks.

2. The grandmother in the book is based loosely off of my great-great-great grandmother, Almira King Holsclaw.

3. I imagine the Fox house in the neighborhood off of River Road north of Main Street in Carmel, and the Ames house just up the road across from Prairie Trace Elementary School. The house I imagined the Ameses living in burned down in November 2010.

4. When I first started writing the book, the family looked nothing like they do now. Instead of being "different" in their lifestyle, they were "flat" and were just like everyone else, as I said because the parents were trying to hide how they were different. It didn't take me long to decide I didn't want them to be just like everyone else. It didn't fit who Mama's character was begging to be.

5. I listened to the different versions of the song Wayfaring Stranger hundreds, if not thousands, of times while writing and editing the book. I even got the word wayfaring tattooed on my foot.

6. At the time I was writing the book, I had a job that took me driving over 60-100 miles a day. The majority of the book was conceived on those drives.

7. The character of Olive is based loosely on my sister - her looks and her bubbly nature, especially.

8. My sister and I have dreamed of collaborating on a project like this since we were kids - I would write the story and she would illustrate it. (She's doing the cover.)

9. Papa's name was Wendell the entire time while I was writing the book, but when I went back to editing it, I couldn't take him seriously because Wendell is one of my dog's names. I had to change his name then!

10. Maddie's (Maddox) name came from a name on a gravestone I saw in a cemetery. Ellie's name came from my daughter's name (Eliana, or Ellie). Carrie's name came from Carrie Ingalls in the Little House books. Jackie's name came from my grandmother Jackie Mulry Lutz, and Lottie's name came from my great-great grandmother Lottie Ann Ash Oder.