Interview with Marsha Susan Tracy

What are your five favorite books, and why?
It was difficult to limit my answer to just five books, but here you go. I loved a Wrinkle in Time as a girl because the story created an alternate reality that I believed (at least while I read the book). I would like to read it again as an adult to find out if I can still allow myself to believe the unlikely.

As an adult, some of the stories that made the biggest impact on me have been A Million Little Pieces by James Frey, Angela's Ashes by Frank McCort, East of the Mountains by Dave Guterson, and Snow Falling on Cedars, also by Dave Guterson, and #6 Hungry for the World by Kim Barnes.

In each one of these books, the plot, the characters, and the conflict drew me in as if I were one of the characters. The prose was poetic. I savored each sentence like I would savor a piece of Belgium chocolate.
What do you read for pleasure?
Mainly memoirs, though I like to break it up with an engaging novel every few books.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I do not have an e-reader yet.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Probably Facebook and one-on-one encounters.
Describe your desk
My writing desk or my everything else desk? The everything else desk is a lovely oak roll top with many sections, which I love. I love organization, though you may not think so if you saw the desk in it's usual state, which is full of unattended to paperwork. My writing desk is an inexpensive wooden computer desk that we purchased used through
Craig's list. It has a shelf for the monitor, another shelf for the printer, a cubby hole for the hard drive, and a drawer where I store paper. I have a pile of scratch paper and, beneath the scratch paper, the less-used clean paper.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Flushing, Queens, New York, and yes, my childhood years have a huge influence on my writing. My memoir "Faith, Safe, Potatoes," began as a five-page essay, written in college, about my childhood on 162nd street.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing in the 5th grade when the teacher (Mrs. Matthis), introduced creative writing to the class. As a quiet, shy, insecure child, writing became an emotional outlet that gave me a voice. I was encouraged with good grades. I was hooked and have been writing ever since.
What's the story behind your latest book?
As mentioned above, my childhood neighborhood on 162nd was the catalyst for my latest book: Free, Safe, Potatoes. One of my English professors (Devan Cook) encouraged me to expand a five-page essay called "Home of the Gentiles" into a book. Naively, having no idea how challenging memoir writing is, I accepted her challenge.

The book began as a story about a shy and somewhat quirky Jewish girl, but took a turn about a year later when I left my church in Boise, Idaho after an excommunication I could not support. At that time, I read Toxic Faith: Understanding and Overcoming Religious Addiction by Stepen & Jack Felton, and recognized a pattern in my life.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Impatience
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. I could not have gotten this far without them and depend on them for the future success of my book.
What are you working on next?
Haven't decided.
Who are your favorite authors?
Ernest Hemingway, Dave Guterson, Kim Barnes, and Belva Plain.
Published 2014-05-08.
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Books by This Author

Finding, Faith, Finding Safe, Finding Potatoes: Trading Religion for Amazing Grace
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 63,820. Language: English. Published: June 14, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
Finding Faith, Finding Safe, Finding Potatoes is the story of a Jewish girl who struggles as a child to fit in with her peers and, as a woman, to find love, purpose, and a sense of belonging. In her early twenties, Marsha finds acceptance when she becomes a Christian during a trip to Idaho, but it comes with a price.