Welcome to the Open House interview and this week my guest is Traci Kenworth who is currently hoping to publish the first of the eleven books that she has written. I am very grateful for her support of the posts on here, mine and my guests.
Traci lives in Northeast Ohio with her son and daughter and four cats. She writes YA Fantasy, Scary, and Historical Romances and is a a member of YAFF (Young Adult Fiction Fantatics). As you will see from Traci’s interview, there have been some dark and challenging times in her life, and she credits writing and her faith as being instrumental in giving her purpose and helping her move forward.
The heroines that she writes about are created from those times and are survivors surrounded by those that they love.
“ I want to give others hope, and a way back when they think everything is lost.”
Very importantly for many of us, Traci generously shares our blog links on a regular basis on her blog, Where Genres Collide.
Here is the most recent link to one of Traci’s treasure troves of blog links: https://tracikenworth.wordpress.com/2018/03/06/reading-links-3-6-18/
Traci has many favourite authors including Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, J.K. Rowling, J.R.R. Tolkien, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Robin McKinley, Terry Goodkind. Tanith Lee, Dean Koontz, Ramsey Campbell, Brian Lumley.
Traci writes detailed reviews on Goodreads and here is a link to her latest: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/651732.Your_Wish_Is_My_Command
Time to find out more about Traci’s life, her favourite television shows that have inspired her, the most useful invention and an adventure she would like to experience.
Where were you born, and can you tell us something about the history of your place of birth or any interesting historical fact.
I was born in the 18th century village of Burton in Ohio. We were the first permanent settlement in Geauga County in 1798. We were also the first in Ohio to have the telephone available. If it weren’t for the local Native Americans, the first residents would’ve starved to death that first winter. Today, we have many of the original settler’s homes in the Geauga County Museum grounds. This is where I played as a child and I even attended church there. Every summer, there are tours through the old homes and they have Civil War reenactments. The inside of one of the houses is like a log cabin that Laura Ingalls Wilder might’ve lived in. There’s a sheriff’s station, a dress shop, a tack shop, a barbershop, a train, and an old-time store that’s still open today. It has a lot of old candies that are favorites of the children.
All these lands were part of The Western Reserve lands owned by Connecticut originally. We were named after one of the pioneer’s sons. In Ohio, we have trees called Buckeyes. People can also be called Buckeyes. These were favorites for me to collect as a child as they’re said to bring good luck. They were also good wood to build with when the settlers arrived. Our State bird is a Cardinal. Our state flag resembles the country flag, but it has a diamond and two circles within instead of the square. The state tree is the buckeye. Ohio is known as the mother of presidents as Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, William Howard Taft and Warren G. Harding are from here. We also have the third largest Amish settlement in the United States.
What is your favorite all time television series?
This is a hard one to pick. There have been a lot of favorites over the years. If I had to choose one though, I’d say: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I had just gotten married when it came on and I used to sneak and watch it as much as I could. I liked that it was scary. I marveled that it had a girl at its center and she could kick some serious butt. More the point, it was like the high school years I remembered: dark and mysterious and hard to maneuver through. I became secretly obsessed with the show.
At the point when Angel turns into Angelus and begins killing everyone, I had discovered some darker things in my marriage than just the abuse. I felt like we shared that time, the pain, the horror, and when she began to fight back, to find her strength in all of that, I discovered that I could do the same in real life. Each step along the way of finding myself after and during the court days, I have to say was inspired by her. Her struggles, her hope, it all began to bleed into me and give me a reason to think I might survive. Not only survive, but conquer.
When the series ended, I cried but in that final episode, watching the survivors leave the hellhole, I felt I could finally put my past behind me and move on. And I did, slowly, learning every step of the way that I, too, was a fighter and stronger than I ever believed. Not only that, the kids began to see my strength and find it in themselves to step off the eggshells and live again.
In your lifetime what event or invention has most impacted your own life or work?
I would say the biggest impact in my life has been the computer. I started off writing with a typewriter like most then when I started bringing in some money, I switched to the word processor. I remember how those three-to-four lines frustrated me. I wanted to see more of my story. I didn’t get a computer until after I was divorced. It was a desktop and I treasured the thing. It was my salvation for all the anger and poison that was within me. It gave me a way to get all the pain down and out of me. It helped to free me to move on. I got my first laptop in 2009 and I’ve been through a couple of those now. They were nice to have but viruses plagued them and the blue screen signaled death for them. I write with a desktop now and boy have desktops come a long way!
My monitor is almost the size of our TV screen. I LOVE it! It lets me see quite a bit more than those three-to-four lines I started with. My desk is kind of broke at the moment. I use an old model kit for a dollhouse from the fifties or sixties to hold it up or rather the section that comes out for my keyboard tray. I have a second desk but it’s mostly storage for my files and what I’m working on. I can’t put my pc on this desk as it’s a rolled- drawer top one and the monitor won’t fit there.
Anyway, I’m happy that files have switched from disks to flash drives. Although I’ve lost a lot of work because of it. I did have two external hard drives, but they got corrupted. Lost a lot of work there too. I love that the computer allows me to store things, though I don’t leave it just to flash drives anymore. I email my stories and such to myself as well. Yes, the computer is probably the single biggest invention that’s impacted my life. I couldn’t bring my stories to submission-ready without it.
What is the one big adventure that you would like to experience?
I would like to visit the castles around the world. I’ve been fascinated by them since I was about ten or eleven and Princess Diana and Prince Charles got married. I’ve read many historical novels with castles in them. I’m curious to know what they’re like, how many rooms are in them, what one of those towers actually looks like on the inside and how steep their staircases must be to climb up into them. I wouldn’t want to be locked away in one, mind you. Just experience what castle life was like once upon a time and then what its like in the present time to live in one.
I watched a video recently about Kincaid Castle and how it was almost in ruins when the present owners took it over. What it takes to restore it to former glory. I don’t want to live in a castle. I just would like to know about life within their walls. I’ve been researching them as much as I can and listening to videos about them since I can’t afford to visit yet. What must princesses and knights etc. been like in real life? I’m sure some were downright brutish. Even the princesses but still, castles are on my list of things to experience firsthand.
Tell us about your work in progress, plans for your blog in the next year any special events that are coming up that are very special to you.
This is going to be hard. I’ve read you shouldn’t reveal too much about your work if you plan to traditional publish. I’ve had trouble before when I put the blurb up for one of my former stories and the agent I queried said that I’d self-published. I hadn’t, and I couldn’t figure out why she would say such. All I’d done like I said, was post the blurb. Other friends who traditional publish told me not to relay too much info until I have a book deal so forgive me if I seem vague to you. My work in progress is set in biblical times. It’s a YA Fantasy where the boy is shunned in his home town and is befriended by a girl of legendary fame. Together, they battle to save her people.
Plans for my blog for the next year are to continue to grow it and hopefully, hold on to my established readers. I want to provide better info for all so that they can come and see the links to fabulous blogs that are a worth a read. I want to review more books this year. I don’t usually keep track of the number I read a year. I probably should. Maybe I should make that a goal. That way I can measure where to improve. I also want to add more of a variety this year, not just all one genre.
Please let me know what your favorite piece of music is so that I can include in the interview if possible.
This is hard too! Lol. I like all kinds of music. Country. Christian. 80s rock. Movie tracks. I like something haunted. Maybe “The Dance,” by Garth Brooks.
Connect to Traci.
My thanks to Traci for sharing more about her life and her hopes and ambitions for the future… and for her generous support of my blog and so many others. Please head over and follow her on social media. Thanks Sally