Let's celebrate Veterans Day with Tracey Cramer-Kelly! She joins us today for a cozy chat ...
Kim: You are a woman of many talents! Where's your favorite ski hill? Place to indulge in whitewater rafting? Road to ride?
Tracey: My favorite ski resort is Big Sky, Montana. My dad has had a timeshare there since I was about 13. It’s where I learned to ski, and now my children are learning there too! I’d have to say the best whitewater we’ve run (so far - we try to go somewhere new every other year) is the Salmon River in Idaho. My favorite motorcycling road (hands-down) is along the Mississippi River on the border of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
|Salmon River, also known as River of No Return|
Image by Fredlyfish4, posted on Wikipedia
Kim: I am very curious about taiko drumming - what drew you to it? What do you get out of it?
Tracey: I first heard about taiko from a friend probably 15 years ago, and the first time I saw a performance it blew me away. There was this incredible raw energy that seemed to be rolling off the stage in waves. The rhythms were driving and the players looked like they were having a ball.
Taiko is a very physical activity, it’s a great workout … but it’s also an art. The movements are coordinated and can be precise. I tend to favor large, dramatic movements. Another aspect that I really like about taiko is that it’s a “team sport.” All players are working toward a common goal. I love collaborative projects like that.
Image by Chris 73, posted on Wikipedia
Kim: What inspired you to join the Army National Gaurd? What did you gain from your military service?
Tracey: I wanted to go to college but my family didn’t have the money, so my primary motivator to join the Army National Guard was the GI Bill. I’m sure I gained some measureable skills in my field, but I think, in the longer view of life, my experiences as a soldier medic were meant to be fodder for my writing. The dual experience of military training and medical training turned out to be a rich garden for a writer’s imagination!
Kim: Tell us about TRUE SURRENDER! How did you "research" for it?
Tracey: The research for True Surrender wasn’t as exciting as that for my first novel (for which I did fly-alongs with medevac and search-and-rescue). It was, however, just as compelling in a quieter way. I read a lot of Iraq and Afghanistan war memoirs while writing True Surrender. I joined chat groups for amputees. I mined my own relationships, particularly my military friends. I interviewed physical and occupational therapists and picked the brain of an ex-FBI agent. Ultimately, I think the characters in True Surrender were comprised of bits and pieces of many real-life people.
Kim: What's next for Tracey Cramer-Kelly?
Tracey: On September 29, we shot my second music video (which was my first acting “gig”). October was spent editing video (which I am learning to do) in hopes of releasing both the song and video in November. I hope to complete the rough draft of my next novel by the end of the year. Take Two is a Hollywood Romance with a Twist (the twist being my signature medical drama) that I expect to release in fall 2013. In fact, I will be blogging portions of Take Two, so please consider joining my blog, TraceyCramerKelly.com, and reading along. I’m also writing a taiko piece with a friend.
Mahalo, Tracey! Your bio (at this link) reminded me that veterans embrace life! To celebrate Veterans Day, I am giving away a ecopy of TRUE SURRENDER to one randomly selected commenter:
To enter the giveaway,
1. Leave a comment about something you do for fun - ski? whitewater raft? ride?
I walk around Oahu and take pictures!
2. This giveaway is open to all readers.
3. Comments are open through Saturday, November 17, 10 pm in Hawaii. I'll post the winner on Sunday, November 18.
Kim in Hawaii