Tracy Groot: Discover more…and a giveaway

Tracy GrootDiscover more about

Tracy Groot

and her World War II novel

Maggie Bright

Tyndale House


A book character that sticks in my mind is… Why?

Mattie Ross, from True Grit, because Charles Portis was some kind of genius with that pen. A guy said of Portis that he “captures the naïve elegance of the American voice.” Mattie is one of the most original characters in literature.

The last book that made me cry was…

The Sentinels of Andersonville. I didn’t know if one of the characters was going to make it. (So then…maybe those tears were frustration. Ha ha…)The Big Over Easy

The last book that made me laugh out loud was…

Any book by Jasper Fforde. Guy cracks me up. [Example: on the back cover of The Big Over Easy, there’s a drawing of a crime scene: Humpty Dumpty didn’t just fall off the wall, he was offed. Smoking gun and everything. Cracks me up.]

I’m completely immersed in their storytelling, whenever I read a book by…

Not gonna lie, Charles Dickens. Takes me a bit to actually get in to his stuff, but once I’m there, I’m there. Wait, one more—Patrick O’Brian. Wait—J.K. Rowling. I pick up a Harry book, and I’m gone. Wait…been into a new guy lately, Patrick Rothfuss. Wait…  (Rel, you realize this is an unfair question…)

The first person who encouraged me to pursue my writing was…

My 9th grade creative writing teacher, Ms. Lyons. She handed back a story I’d written, and at the top was this amazing word: “Superior.” Sent my heart to the stars.

If I wasn’t a writer, I would be…

An actress. Or a forest ranger. Wait…

I write stories because…

I like to find things out. Writing stories helps me get to the bottom of things. Like, Why did Jonah really run away from Nineveh? And what was it like to be incarcerated at Andersonville Prison, but more than that, what was it like to helplessly look on—from the perspective of a prison guard—and you’re forbidden give aid to the misery you see each day? Writing stories answers questions—but not before they actually conjure a million more along the way.

Maggie BrightMaggie Bright

England, 1940. Clare Childs knew life would change when she unexpectedly inherited the Maggie Bright—a noble fifty-two-foot yacht. In fact, she’s counting on it. But the boat harbors secrets. When a stranger arrives, searching for documents hidden onboard, Clare is pulled into a Scotland Yard investigation that could shed light on Hitler’s darkest schemes and prompt America to action.

Across the Channel, Hitler’s Blitzkrieg has the entire British army in retreat with little hope for rescue at the shallow beaches of Dunkirk. With time running out, Churchill recruits civilian watercraft to help. Hitler is attacking from land, air, and sea, and any boat that goes might not return. Yet Clare knows Maggie Bright must answer the call—piloted by an American who has refused to join the war effort until now and a detective with a very personal motive for exposing the truth.

The fate of the war hinges on this rescue. While two men join the desperate fight, a nation prays for a miracle.

My latest novel can be described by these 5 adjectives…

Perilous, pensive, plight-filled, prayer-provoking, possible. (Got on a roll with the Ps…)

My main character is… 

Clare is a young woman freshly freed from the emotional cage her nasty uncle put her in, William is a pragmatic detective ready to tear down the world on behalf of his little sister, Jamie is a solider who just wants to get home and doesn’t want to be bothered with taking care of Milton, and Milton is…Milton.

My main characters resemble….

I usually write by what I feel. I feel my characters, I don’t really see them. I didn’t have a working inner image of anyone except for William. William is Benedict Cumberbatch. Wait—Milton, in my mind, looks like the guy who played Captain Speirs in Band of Brothers. (Matthew Settle.) Dark, moody, strange, with a streak of indefinable and ironclad good that outshines the weird.

My story’s spiritual theme is…

Pray, people, pray.

The most recent movie or tv show I loved was… Why?

Agents of Shield, because I love superhero themes, and so far, the writing, directing, storyline, and acting is great.

The story I’m currently working on is…

About Jonah, told from the point of view of the men he sailed with. (Mostly. Jonah sneaks in a cameo POV as well.) I want to get down to the bottom of a guy who actually ran physically from God. Like he thought he had a chance.

You may not know this about me, but I…

Make a pretty darned good Sticky Toffee Pudding. I dedicated my life to finding The Best Recipe after trying it in England. I found it. Tweaked it. Happy ever since.

One more wild fact: I’m on a training video made for search and rescue at sea. I went to the Med to research the Jonah book, made arrangements with the sailing outfit I’d hired to jump off the ship while at full sail (so I could understand what Jonah felt when he took the plunge), and they decided to multitask the operation by filming a training video. There I am, way in the background, jumping off a boat while the words MAN OVERBOARD come up on the video. Then the searchers/rescuers are supposed to point and keep on pointing until the man overboard is rescued. So this guy’s finger is pointing at this bobbing American woman in the water, (who, meanwhile, is hacking up her lungs because she snorted sea water) while rescue instructions are spelled out on the screen. Ha ha! That indistinct bobbing woman is me. :) Thankfully, it’s too far away to see me snorting. It was not elegant.

I might go all fan girl if I met…

Benedict Cumberbatch. I’m a Sherlockian. Wait—and Clark Gregg, who plays Agent Coulson in Agents of Shield. If I met either one, I’d say something like, “Hi. I can’t feel my legs.”

If I could travel back in time, I’d go to…

Joppa, so I could catch Jonah before he got on the ship and interview him. I’d take him out for coffee, set him down, and say, “Go.” Then I’d write like a maniac with my stylus and papyrus (unless circa 750 B.C. predates papyrus) and come away with inside knowledge instead of plausible insights. Talk about the scoop of an entirely different century.

I get lost in the music when I listen to…

“Lament”, by Patrick Cassidy. Or The Last of the Mohicans soundtrack.

A long held dream of mine is…

To see one of my books made into a movie. In particular, The Sentinels of Andersonville. I’d like Barry Pepper to play Dr. Stiles. And I’d like John Lee Hancock to direct it, because the guy knows how to tell a story. (Or Bobby Downes or Angelina Jolie, if John Lee is busy…) And if Maggie Bright is ever made into a movie, you know who I’ll be campaigning to get to play William—my Sherlock, of course.

Thanks Tracy ~ fabulous responses :)

Thank you, Rel!

Relz Reviewz Extras
Review of Flame of Resistance
Visit Tracy’s website and blog
Buy from Amazon: Maggie Bright or Koorong

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34 Responses to Tracy Groot: Discover more…and a giveaway

  1. Don’t judge, but I don’t even know who Benedict Cumberbatch is…….

  2. Great interview Rel! Tracy is an amazing storyteller. I am about 45 pages into Maggie Bright and can tell this will be a favorite of mine. The characters are GREAT!!

  3. I will have to admit that I don’t know who Benedict Cumberbatch is . . . . but I would love to read the amazing story.

  4. I am a big fan. He just carries himself so well, strong, likable, wise . . . he has that look! Great interview! What an adventurer you are! Geesh! I can’t wait to read this one too!

  5. Sorry to say I am not familiar with Benedict Cumberbatch!

  6. okay! Patrick O’Brian, DICKENS!, Benedict Cumberbatch and Patrick Rothfuss? This is probably my favourite interview of all time.

    Carry on.

  7. OK your story about your English teacher is nearly identical to mine except it was Mrs. Caron with an A++.:) Gotta love those 9th grade English teachers! And while I respectfully admit Benedict is hot, it’s a toss-up between Richard Armitage and David Tennant for me. Maggie Bright sounds wonderful. The Dunkirk story has always inspired me.

    • Oh, Jen – a girl after my own heart! It’s Richard all the way for me, closely followed by dear Benedict. David…hmmm…not so much! Loved him in Broadchurch, though.

  8. Brittany Keating

    I’m actually not very familiar with him. I did watch one episode of Sherlock Holmes, but I never got into it enough to keep watching, haha! He is handsome though…

  9. I’ve not “met” Benedict Cumberbatch….

  10. I must admit I had to look him up. Once I saw him, I recognized his face, but I don’t think I have seen him in anything. I enjoyed the interview.

    Thank you,
    Stephanie C.

  11. This one sounds intriguing , hope I win!

  12. Benedict Cumberbatch could read from a PHONE BOOK and I would drool lol. Does that answer the question? 😛

  13. Thank you Rel for the interview with Tracy.I would love to win her book.I’m a big fan of WWII historical novels.
    Tracy, sorry I don’t know who Benedict Cumberbatch is either. I don’t watch BBC.It looks like I need to do some research. I do like mysteries.

  14. I don’t regularly watch Benedict Cumberbatch’s shows but have seen and heard him enough to see his charm. I wouldn’t say I’m a great fan though.

  15. Not a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch. Like several others, I’ve not heard of him before this post. Look forward to reading Maggie Bright. Love WWII Fiction!

  16. Love his voice. But then, the men in my family all sing bass . . .

    I’m impressed! Someone else who’s read Jasper Fforde! His Nursery Crimes are really cleverly written – a great combination of hardboiled detective fiction and twisted nursery tales (with tons of allusions to nursery stories and other traditional, literary, and popular tales).

    “Run run as fast as you can, you can’t get away from the Gingerbread Man.”

  17. Though I haven’t watched Sherlock in awhile, I loved it! That’s about all I’ve seen of Benedict Cumberbatch . Also, I had a 9th grade creative writing teacher named Mrs. Lyons!! That’s so funny! And I love Band of Brothers–Speirs is a great character look-alike in my mind. Great interview!! This book looks so promising!

  18. I have only seen him in 2 movies, so I don’t know if I can form too much of an opinion. But, I’m willing to be open minded.(o:

  19. I am a fan of Benedict (although I didn’t realize that was his name). I love him in the Sherlock Holmes series. This was such a fun interview to read and now I am adding this book to my TBR list! Thanks for the interview and giveaway!

  20. Deanne Patterson

    I have never heard of him. I had to Google him. I don’t watch the BBC shows so no I am not familiar with him or his shows. I do know one thing though and that is that I enjoy reading WW II historical fiction.

  21. Thanks for the review!

    I am a huge fan of anything Sherlock Holmes, so Benedict is a nice adding to my “Sherlock collection” :) And I love his voice as a Smaugh in Hobbit :) Otherwise, not so much of a fan, to be honest, I love some British actors more.

  22. Thanks so much for the great interview and giveaway! I am eager to read MAGGIE BRIGHT! I’m sorry to say I am not familiar with Benedict Cumberbatch.

  23. I’ve seen his face but not anything he’s in!:)

  24. I unfortunately am not a fan of Benedict Cumberpatch. I don’t watch many movies or TV shows. I read books :)

  25. I’m with you, Tracy. Benedict Cumberbatch def has that certain presence to buckle the knees… 😉

  26. I didn’t know who he was until this…. So, no, aI’m not a current fan, but maybe now I will be! 😉

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