Triskele Reviews presents an author interview with Tracy Sherwood. Ms. Sherwood is the author of the novel Death Grip.
Justine: Hi Tracy, thanks for sitting down to answer some questions. How are you doing today?
Tracy: It’s a good writing day so all is well.
Justine: That’s excellent, those types of days are my favorite. Well, why don’t you tell me about your book!
Tracy: Death Grip is the story of a female war hero home from the Middle East who returns to her life as a suburban wife and mother. She struggles with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after witnessing the death of her comrade. The fallen soldier was also her lover and…husband of her now-widowed sister.
Justine: What was the spark that started the inspiration for Death Grip?
Tracy: Years ago, I read an article about a woman veteran who returned from the war and had difficulty adjusting to her life as a mother. She also had suffered physical injuries that made the most mundane of household tasks very difficult. She could no longer even make a bed or fold laundry. She struggled most, however, in reconnecting with her young daughter. Her story really moved me. At the time, I was the parent of small children and knew the challenges of motherhood. I wondered what it would be like to serve your country abroad only to become a stranger in a strange land when you return. Home and family are the very things that should feel most familiar and secure. In Death Grip, I brought in the idea that sometimes what makes us feel most safe and comfortable can become a prison. Even though our military men and women fight for freedom, there is always a price they pay. As the saying goes, “Freedom isn’t free.”
Justine: Yes, that is very true. It’s truly awesome that you decided to base a book off of the experiences of one woman who represents thousands of men and women returned from war. What kept you going on the days that you were writing?
Tracy: Caffeine. Lots of it. That’s my only requirement besides a computer.
Justine: Did it take you a lot of time to write Death Grip?
Tracy: Because Death Grip was already in screenplay format, not very long. It took me about two months to write the story as a novel.
Justine: Are you a “Wait for the muse” kind of writer, or do you stick to a writing routine?
Tracy: If I waited for a muse to show up, probably nothing would ever be written. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had a muse unless I count my cat. But she is very undependable.
By and large, writers are procrastinators whose imaginations are active. There are days when I feel more motivated to write than on other days. I have a discipline of writing every day—even if it is only a few paragraphs. That way, I am always connected to my project. It is much harder to face the page after being away from it for too long. All kinds of insecurities and fears take root , and the dreaded Writer’s Block sprouts like suffocating weeds.
Justine: I agree. As a writer myself, I know exactly how that happens if I don’t write every day (or nearly every day). What were your emotions when the writing was finally done?
Tracy: Exhilarated. I’ve climbed my own Mount Everest. I take in the view and enjoy what I’ve accomplished before that trek back down to reality (editing, marketing, etc.).
Justine: When it was finally published, how did that affect you? Did you instantly share it with all your family and friends?
Tracy: I felt excited—and very nervous! Still, those butterflies are part of the thrill. Actually, it made me uncomfortable to sound my trumpet blast on social media. Yet, I also knew it was important to share the news with family and friends from a marketing perspective.
Justine: I can definitely see why any newly published author would have those butterflies. It’s very personal, sharing the product of your imagination, and a lot of hard work. Do you feel like it’s been a positive thing in your life? Both personally and as far as feedback from readers go?
Tracy: Absolutely! Readers with PTSD write to tell me that the book has been cathartic and made the subject less stigmatized for them. On a professional note, I have film producers who are interested in my screenplay to the book.
Justine: Oh, that’s amazing! That’s an accomplishment that not a lot of writers get to brag about! So, now the big question – are you currently working on another book?
Tracy: I’m writing a thriller novel inspired by a true story, centered on a female protagonist who uncovers a cold case murder with unexpected personal implications.
Thanks for answering questions, Tracy. I look forward to reading your book and getting some more reviews out there for you!
For more information on Tracy and her books, you can view her author page on Amazon.
Buy Death Grip (Kindle Edition) on Amazon today!