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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Spotlight on Tracie Peterson and Dawn's Prelude

I'm honored and privileged to host one of my all-time favorite authors and friends on my blog today. Can't believe it took this long for me to actually request the interview. :) After all, Tracie and her husband, Jim, are the reason I'm published today, and they had quite the influence in my first book being sold to Barbour Publishing. And it all started with an email back in 1998 to say how much I loved her books. Today, I count them among my treasured friends.

Now, you see why having Tracie here is such an honor!

This is a 2-part spotlight, with the CFBA feature coming next week. The free book giveaway will be drawn from the names of those who post on both spotlights, but you need only post in one or the other to be entered. Good luck!


TRACIE PETERSON is a best-selling author of over 80 books and a popular speaker at writer's conferences. She is one of the 8 original founders of ACFW (at the time ACRW, American Christian Romance Writers) and at one point served as one of the organization's founders. Today, she and her husband make their home in Montana, with children and grandchildren in Kansas and Massachusetts. Jim is a historian who helps Tracie, and often other authors, with historical research.

by Tracie Peterson
Published by Bethany House Publishers


Newly widowed Lydia Sellers discovers that through an unforeseen fluke, she is the sole recipient of her husband's fortune. But instead of granting her security, it only causes strife as her adult stepchildren battle to regain the inheritance for themselves. Lydia, longing to put the memories of a painful marriage behind her, determines to travel to Alaska to join her aunt.

Lydia's arrival in Sitka, however, brings two things she didn't expect. One is the acquaintance of Kjell Bjorklund, the handsome owner of the sawmill. Second is the discovery that she is pregnant with her dead husband's child. What will this mean for her budding relationship with Kjell? And to what lengths will her stepchildren go to reclaim their father's fortune? Lydia soon finds her life--and that of her child's--on the line.

Readers, buy your copy of Dawn's Prelude today!


1. What gave you the inspiration for this story?

Sitka, on Baranof Island is a fascinating place. I've been there on many occasions and the history is so stimulating and intriguing. While there, I learned so much about the Tlingit people who were first to the island, the Russians and their influence, and of course early Americans and their contributions. It's a wonderful place with incredible people and stories of hardship and endurance. It seemed the perfect place to set a series.

2. How much of your own experiences influenced your characters? What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?

I try to create characters that can appeal universally to the reader. I want each of the readers to see themselves in the story. I utilize experiences like walking through a mossy spruce sheltered cemetery. I want to talk about the misty rain that fell, the smell of the earth and moss and spruce. I want to share the feeling of silence and awe at this quiet burial ground. Those are the kind of experiences that I use to influence the characters and hopefully the reader. I also work hard to let the character lead. In that, I mean that as the story develops I often find my characters wanting to do something I hadn't planned. That might sound strange, but it happens a lot. When it does, I go with it, because that's when I know the character and not just my outline, is directing the story.

3. If your hero/heroine were an ice cream flavor, what would he/she be and why?

What a fun question. In this story, I would have to say my heroine is a rocky road, because that's exactly the life she's had. She's got a past that fulls of nuts and marshmallows. My hero is a rich butter pecan. He is simple, yet complex and rich. He surprises the heroine with his strength in gentleness.

4. Are there any themes in Dawn's Prelude that you hope the reader sees? Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the stories progressed?

Dawn's Prelude deals with some of the issues related to "Where is God when bad things happen to the innocent?" I think it's a question we all ask at one time or another. We look at a bad situation and find ourselves confused as to why God would allow it, and if He really loves us - why didn't He stop it. The issue of learning to trust after betrayal is also another important issue. I try to find themes that work well for the storyline, but also are a universal issue for people today. I want to share the Gospel message in my stories, but also to offer good sound Bible application for issues and events that are sometimes overwhelming.

5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?

I loved doing the research in Sitka and exploring the possibilities for my characters. It was great fun to learn about the army's control of the city and how the people lived in coordination with them. It was sad to see how the Tlingit were treated, but easy to recognize the fear of those in charge. I found that often difficult. Difficult also to see how the missionaries, in keeping with the attitudes and beliefs of the day, treated the Tlingits. It caused a lot of division and sorrow. My prayer is that we've learned from some of those mistakes. Over all, I also enjoyed developing characters who loved music. I had music in my background and so my love of music gets to have an outlet in my characters.

6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?

The next book out is book #2 in this series Song of Alaska. It's titled MORNING'S REFRAIN and picks up about 19 years later and deals with the next generation of people. The old characters from book one will reappear, and issues that take place in book one will have consequences and complications for book 2. Book 3 TWILIGHT'S SERENADE will conclude the series and come out in summer 2010.

* * * * *

Thank you, Tracie, for being in the spotlight with us.

Readers, leave a comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of Dawn's Prelude.

Make sure you also leave your email address (name at domainname You won't be entered in the drawing without it. If you wish to comment but don't want to be entered, say so when you post.

And if you want to make certain you don't miss anything, check the box that says 'email follow-up comments to:' when you leave a comment and they'll be sent to the email address associated with your blogging account. That way you'll be notified of any comments and will know when the winners are announced each time.

This week, the contest is open to anyone worldwide.


Renee (BlacknGoldGirlsBookSpot) said...

I am SOOOO excited for this book! My birthday is soming up on 9/21 so I'm hoping to get it, since it's numero uno on my wishlist! I love Tracie's Alaska based series' so I'm sure this will be awesome too! I already have Morning's Refrain on my wishlist too! Yay can't wait to read these books!!!!

XOXO~ Renee

Lori (sugarandgrits) said...

I would love to win this book for my sister! She has most of Tracie's books, and she always shares them with me. :)


~ Lori

Rebecca Herman said...

please enter me in this contest! I have read several books by this author and really enjoyed them.

rebecca191 at aol dot com

Merry said...

Tracie is one of my favorite authors and I love her series set in Alaska. Please add me for this giveaway. Thanks, Tiff!


Jblanton said...

Love Tracie's books- they are wonderful and I am sure this one is too. I always love the covers too.
Thanks for the chance to win.

ejxd95 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Tracie Peterson is one of my favorite authors. And this book sounds really good. Please enter me in the drawing, Abby


Cherie J said...

I love Tracie's books. I have been a fan for many years so I am loving this spotlight. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of her book.


Aaron McCarver said...

One of the best authors today, anything by Tracie is fantastic! I'm sure this book is no different. A wonderful person who uses her talents to glorify the Lord. Thanks, Tracie!
Aaron McCarver

Tracie Peterson said...

You are all just the sweetest readers in the world. And Aaron - getting high praise from you (a fantastic author folks if you haven't already read him) is indeed a blessing to my heart.
Tracie Peterson

Anonymous said...

would love to read Tracie's latest book...thanks for the opportunity.

karen k

Emma said...

Great interview. Dawn's Prelude sounds wonderful.Please enter me in the giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

Edna said...

Beauiful book, would love to win it, I love to read and do so every night, I am retired so I have plenty of time.


Lady Araujo said...

I'd love to read this book. Enter me, please.


Molly said...

Please enter me in this fantastic contest! Tracie is a WONDERFUL author and I LOVE her books!!!


Carolynn said...

Please enter me, the book sounds wonderful. Thanks!

Mark said...

please enter me

Michelle said...

Thank you for the opportunity to win this book!!!

scraphappy71 at sbcglobal dot net

JJ said...

Thanks again! I would be happy to win a copy of Dawn's Prelude.


Erin said...

Count me in please, sounds like a wonderful book!

ellybean (at) connected2christ (dot) com