Talkshow Thursday: Meet Tamera Lynn Kraft
Linda: Thanks for joining me today. You’ve got a brand new novel out called Alice’s Notions about a WWII widow. That is my favorite time period. Where did you find your inspiration for this story?
Tamera Lynn Kraft
Tamera: I’ve always been fascinated by the 1940s. I love the culture of that era: the classic movies, big band music, and fashion. I also love the character of the people then, an entire generation who knew what it was to sacrifice because of the Great Depression and did whatever it took to defeat the Third Reich. It became a generation of heroes. I also wanted to do a story set in rural West Virginia where my mother was born and raised during the 1940s and 1950s. When an author friend of mine suggested co-writing a story involving quilting, I had an idea about how to put these elements together. When my friend dropped out of the project, I finished it. The project became my new novel, Alice’s Notions.
LM: The age old question for writers – are you a planner or a “panster,” and what is your favorite part of the writing process?
Tamera: I’m neither a full on planner or panster. I plan out my characters, setting, research, and a few major plot points before I start writing, I use James Scott Bell’s signpost plotting in the planning stages, but I don’t really know what’s going to happen until I write it, and many times those planned signposts change by the middle of the novel. That being said, I do plot some novels more than others. Alice’s Notions was not one of those novels. I love history, so one of my favorite parts of the writing process is the intense historical research I do. I always learn interesting things that I include in my stories.
LM: Your historical novels don’t center around one particular era. When you write, how do you go about choosing which time period to use, and do you have a favorite?
Tamera: I don’t write in a particular era, but so far, all my stories center around the history of the United States, before and after it became a nation. I find the history of my country so fascinating and adventurous. I don’t really choose a time period. It chooses me. My stories come out of my reading about history. I start wondering what it was like for the people living through that time period. Usually my favorite time period is whatever I’m writing about at the time. I do have a special fondness for the Revolutionary War, the Old West in the late 1800s, and the World War II era.
LM: How did you get started as a writer, and how did you decide to seek publication?
Tamera: I never remember not writing. I always loved to read and to write stories I made up. I wrote my first novel when I was ten years old. I still have it. It was horrible, really cringe worthy. When I was growing up, I always wanted to be a writer. Then life happened. I married and had children at a young age, then I was called to be a children’s pastor and didn’t have time to write fiction. I did still write children’s ministry materials and curriculum. Some of them were published. Ten years ago, I resigned from my church as children’s pastor and started a ministry called Revival Fire for Kids where I go to other churches and do kid’s revivals and crusades and children’s ministry consultations. When I did that, I had time for writing again. The stories started flowing again. There has been a learning curve to get to the place where my writing was good enough for publication, but I’ve always planned to seek publication.
LM: If money were no object, what is your idea of the ultimate vacation?
Tamera: That’s a hard one. My husband and I love to travel and see new sights. One of my favorite vacations was an Alaskan cruise. There are still some places I look forward to seeing. I want to see all 50 states before I travel overseas. On my list is to go to Yellowstone National Park (North Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho), drive down the coast of California and Oregon, go to Bryce Canyon in Utah, Hawaii, and Maine. That will take care of all 50 states. After that, I want to visit Israel and take a European cruise.
LM: What is your next project?
Tamera: I am currently writing a series called Jamestown Brides about women who sailed to Jamestown colony and faced many hardships settling the new land. These women were as much adventurers and founders of America as the men they married.
Word Sharpeners Blog: http://tameralynnkraft.com