Writer’s Desk with Tracy Fredrychowski
Tracy Fredrychowski is a country girl, author, homesteader, and everything simple living. She has a passion for writing about the simpler side of life, much like the life she lived growing up in rural Pennsylvania.
Her life has always been intertwined with the Amish, and it’s only fitting that she has a genuine passion for their simplicity, sense of community, and God-centered lives.
Growing up in Northwest Pennsylvania she spent her childhood immersed deep in Amish Country. The clip-clop of horse and buggy woke her each morning as Amish men drove past her childhood home on their way to work. As a young woman, she was traumatized by an Amish murder that involved a family member and changed her life forever.
Even though she currently lives in South Carolina her travels take her through Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin’s Amish Country every year. During those stops, she researches the communities she visits and prides herself on writing Amish fiction that truly represents the Amish culture. She considers herself very fortunate to have made friends in those communities and values the information they share and wants nothing more than to represent their lifestyle as accurately as possible. Be sure to visit Tracy on her website, Instagram, Facebook, her private Facebook group, Bookbub, listen to her podcast, and sign up for her newsletter.
Q&A with Tracy Fredrychowski
TG: Everyone always asks for an interesting fact, we’re going to flip the question. What is one boring fact about yourself?
TF: That’s a tricky question … I’d say the fact that I am in bed by 9:00 is pretty boring. I work hard, get up early, and by the time I sit down for the day, I typically fall asleep in my chair.
TG: Where did you get the inspiration for (insert featured book)?
TF: I have a passion for real stories that I can relate to. I felt the need to write a series that touched on some of the issues women face. Regardless of my Amish characters, they still face some of the same challenges we face. A loss of a child, depression, bitterness, pride, and so many more that this new series will touch on.
TG: Do you have any habits or rituals as a writer?
TF: Besides my intake of coffee, I always start my writing sessions with a prayer. Most days, my stories write themselves, and that is because I let God and the message, He wants to share fall on the pages. Next, I keep a pretty rigid writing schedule. I block out periods during the year when I do nothing else but write. No marketing, no podcasts, or interruptions would prevent me from knocking out that first draft.
TG: What habits would you encourage others to take up to be a more productive writer?
TF: Trust God in the process and keep to a schedule. Make writing a priority in your day and get something on paper, even if it’s a few hundred words. I am a left-brain, right-brain kind of person. I can only do one task at a time. Lastly, I am a firm believer if you take care of God’s business first, he’ll then take care of yours.
TG: What do you snack on or drink while writing?
TF: Coffee and smoothies. I’m not much of a snacker, but I reach for something salty if I do.
TG: How do you overcome writer’s block?
TF: I write in blocks of six weeks, just a few times during the year. Typically have a good idea of how I want the story to go before I sit down to write. Still, on those occasions when a scene isn’t working for me, I go for a walk or change my scenery. I may go to my favorite coffee shop or to the library. Nothing like finding inspiration by being surrounded by thousands of books.
TG: Are you an “edit-as-you-go” writer, or do you wait until the very end before you do any editing?
TF: I go chapter by chapter. When a chapter comes together, I stop and flesh out scenes or conversations until I feel it flows smoothly.
TG: What would you say is the most common mistake new writers make?
TF: Trying to do it all and comparing their success to someone else’s. Nothing will discourage a writer more than comparing their journey to someone else’s. You don’t have to do it all. Don’t compare yourself to any other writer and stay in your own lane. I know successful writers only do a few things, but they do them well. You don’t have to do all the social media platforms; pick one and do it well. Then choose a couple of other things (newsletter, blogging, speaking events) and put your all into it. Be consistent in whatever you choose!
TG: What is the best piece of writing advice you’re ever received?
TF: First, don’t read your reviews all the time. You might often scan them to see if anything negative jumps out that can be addressed, but don’t fixate yourself on them. You’ll never make everyone happy or be the right fit for all readers. Second, don’t take your readers for granted. Respond to their emails, answer their questions, and make them feel like you have a vested interest in them. Third, don’t sweat those minor typos or edits that slipped through the cracks in editing. It happens to the best of them.
TG: What is coming up next for you?
TF: Book 3 in the Amish Women of Lawrence County Series. Ann’s story releases in August. Also, An Amish Christmas at the Apple Blossom Inn comes out in November. That story I am co-authoring with Debra Torres. Our worlds both revolve around Northwestern Pennsylvania, so it was only filly we collaborated on a Christmas story for our readers.
Click on the graphic below to watch my interview with Tracy Fredrychowski on Emma’s Amish Faith Tested
Enter for a chance to win one in three copies of Emma’s Amish Faith Tested and an Amish quilted bookmark*.
*Due to shipping costs, the giveaway for the physical copy is open to US mailing addresses only.
More about Emma’s Amish Faith Tested
Her trust in the Lord has been tested beyond all strength. Can this grieving believer reclaim the way back to enlightenment?
Emma Yoder is struggling to cope. While the young Amish mother is devastated after her only child dies in the womb, she and her husband gain little comfort from the Old Order’s rigid ways. And whispers among her people lead her to suspect the truth has been concealed from her for years.
Still fighting internally to forgive God for her tragedy, Emma sets out on a journey to discover the deep healing she craves. But her discovery of a newfound secret love of Jesus’s teachings puts her at direct odds with the traditions of her community.
Can this woman of conviction find the courage to seek grace from the Almighty?
Emma’s Amish Faith Tested is the inspirational first book in The Amish Women of Lawrence County series of Amish women’s fiction novels. If you like spiritual explorations, real-life challenges of emotional bravery, and basking in God’s light, then you’ll adore Tracy Fredrychowski’s exploration of hope.