It is my pleasure to have the opportunity to speak with Ms. Kauffman today. As she speaks about in the interview, her novels have a unique southern flair that provides a window into a rich segment of American history. Drawing from actual life experiences and events, she has crafted the novel, Southern Attraction.
I hope you all enjoy the interview as much as I did and check out Southern Attraction.
Q: Tell me a little about yourself, and how you got
interested in writing?
A: I’m a young
adult writer from North Alabama. It is hard to say how I got started writing. I’ve
enjoyed making up stories since I was young. After watching movies like Star
Wars, I would makeup my own stories and write them down. In school we would
read during a certain period and I really enjoyed it. I admired authors like
Judy Blume, Mark Twain and Lewis Carroll. I enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes books,
Boxcar Children, Alice in Wonderland, Tom Sawyer and many
more. When I was in second grade I won the title of editor in my school
newspaper. It wasn’t until my son left home for the Air Force that I thought
about trying to get one of my books published.
Q: What made you decide to write this novel?
Attraction was written as a dedication and remembrance to the survivors and those lost in the terrible
tornadoes that went through Alabama in April of 2011.
Q: What sort of research did you need to do while writing
A: I knew about some things that happened during the tornado
outbreak in Alabama. Several towns around us were affected in some way. Coworkers
and friends of mine lost their homes, family members, animals, businesses and
all of their possessions. Decatur, where I am from, was untouched but we had power
outages due to the surrounding towns being hit so hard. We did go without power for
a week. People don’t realize how important even the smallest things are until you lose them.
Imagine taking ice cold showers in the dark. Add to that, no hair dryers, washing machines, ice to keep food from spoiling or a way to even cook a meal. All of the stores were either destroyed or closed, including gas stations and Wal-mart. In addition, cell phones couldn't be charged and telephone lines were also down, which eliminated our ability to communicate with the outside world.
Q: Tell me about your experience writing this novel.
A: It brought
back all of these memories. It reinforced the need to store food, water,
flashlights, batteries and toiletries. Writing Southern Attraction helped me appreciate the
things that others might overlook or take for granted.
Q: What’s next on your plate?
A: I've started researching
for a book about Angels, but mostly I am marketing my other books for a while.
Q: Your novel has a southern theme to it. How does that
change the flavor of your novel from others out there?
A: This book is fiction but it does show a lot about true
life. A hallmark of southern people is that we look out for one another in tough times. This
book shows how neighbors help each other and what southern living is like compared to other parts of the world.
Q: What’s your inspiration for writing?
A: Southern Attraction, in particular, is a dedication. For the most
part, I am inspired daily about writing in some form from my own personal life
Q: How do you view publishing in this new technological age?
A: I wasn’t published when we didn’t have social media, but
I'm really glad that we do now. It makes things a lot easier. It helps us to
get the word out to people all around the world.
Q: How can readers and followers find out more about you and your other books?
A: Check out my other books at: Tracykauffman.com