Hi Tracey, congratulations on having Story of the Month! We'd all like to learn more about you, so would you tell us a little about yourself?
A: I weave my writing in between a busy family life with my husband and three children. I write many different types of works--both fiction and non-fiction. My humor column, “Suburban Diva,” on Backwash.com is my labor of love. I just signed a contract for a compilation book of many of my columns to be released for the holidays. http://www.backwash.com/content.php?id=274
Q. What would you like our readers to know about you?
A: I suppose that I am quite an eclectic writer, experimenting with different genres and different types of publications. And also with an equally eclectic mix of successes and failures, learning as I go. I enjoy these diverse journeys.
Q. How long have you been writing?
A: I wrote a lot as a kid, and then took about a 15 year hiatus--I started again about 4 years ago.
Q: What made you put that first story down on paper?
A: I discovered that after some particularly significant events in my life, new pieces of my soul opened up, and writing was the only way to keep them from closing.
Q. Do you write in a particular genre?
A: I tend to write humor pieces, I seem to feel most comfortable there.
Q. Who’s your favorite author and why?
A: I read quite a bit, so I have a favorite author of the day. I love authors who sing the language, whose every sentence serenades the reader. Scott Spencer, Louis De Bernieres, and Khaled Hosseini are just a few from recent memory.
Q. What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
A: I am a big fan of flow. Smooth transitions, and seemingly effortless, natural pace. When readers go back to re-read something, it should be to savor a particularly moving sentence, not to figure out what you are trying to say.
Q. How do you develop your plots and characters?
A: Oddly, I always start with a strong character and a loose idea of what I want to happen. I allow my characters to lead the way to the story. Sometimes, I get surprised by where I’ve been led.
Q. What is most frustrating about writing?
A: The submission process! There are many publications (like LSS) that respond in a reasonable amount of time, but there are others who seem to take pride in their prolonged, exhaustive silences…
Q. What is the most rewarding?
A: Feedback from the reader. Nothing inspires me more than to be quoted, or to be told that they laughed or cried after reading something I wrote. I think there is no higher compliment as a writer.
Q. What do you do to unwind and relax?
A. In addition to reading a lot, we are huge sports fans. Our family loves the beach and spending time with good friends.
Q. Is your family supportive?
A: Completely! My husband is not only a source of encouragement, but inspiration as well, as many of my columns feature him as the star. I have 3 children also, who think writing is pretty cool. They are all my favorite cheering squad.
Q. Any last comments?
A: Just to say that this story, “Time Bandit,” is based on, and dedicated to, my grandparents. They are two of the strongest, most intelligent and powerful people I have ever known, and I wanted to give him a small moment of peace with this story. Alzheimer's disease has taken its cruel toll on both of them. I love them both dearly and always will.
Thank you to everyone at LSS for allowing me to share this story.
Tracey Henry is a freelance writer and columnist. Her humor column, “Suburban Diva,” is featured on Backwash.com where she was recently named Editor-In-Chief. She also writes regular columns for a local print magazine.
Her works have been published in Chocolate For a Woman’s Soul, II, and A Cup of Comfort for Inspiration, as well as numerous online sites. Look for her upcoming book, Suburban Diva; Tales from the Lighter Side of the Picket Fence, from Ephemera Bound Publishing in late 2005.
She and her husband live in the Tampa area with their three small children.