Monday, September 1, 2008

Contest: What is your first memory?

This week, I'm pleased to welcome author Patti Lacy as our special guest judge for a very fun contest. I'll let her introduce herself:

Hi! I’m Patti Lacy, debut author of An Irishwoman’s Tale. It’s great to guest on Tracy’s blog and get you to scratching your heads, then tapping your computer keys with her cool contest question. But first I’d like to tell you a bit about myself.

When I left the Louisiana swamps for college in 1972, I actually returned to the site of my first home, Baylor University in Waco, Texas, where from 1958 to 1962, I lived with my parents in Martin Hall, the boys’ athletic dormitory. My two hundred big brothers entertained me with magic tricks and tales of wild escapades, planting the love of oral narratives deep in my Southern heart.

Five years later, I graduated with an Education degree and shortly thereafter married Alan, an English teacher/coach. We moved to Arizona, then Texas, and eventually settled in the Midwestern town of Normal, Illinois. Along the way we had two lovely children, Sarah and Thomas.

The inspiration for An Irishwoman’s Tale was born after a book discussion group meeting at my house in Terre Haute. We’d just finished the meeting, and Mary offered to help me clean up. I thought she just wanted to pick through the remains of the taste Southern treats I’d made, but apparently she had another agenda.

We made small talk, something women with busy husbands and talented children do well. Then Mary interrupted one of my long rambles about the South.

“What is your first memory?” The words slapped me in the face, so intense was her tone.

“I don’t know. I’ve never had to think about it,” I shrugged.
“How pretty, not to have to think about it.”

When I pressed her for details, words and secrets spewed all over the room. Four hours later, I’d been gifted a wonderful story, which I made into a novel. In 2007 Kregel offered me a contract for my first writing venture, An Irishwoman’s Tale.

Just recently, Kregel purchased my second novel, which takes the reader on a quest with Sally, Mary’s gregarious friend in An Irishwoman’s Tale. My work in progress is a three-book series, “Spanning Seas and Secrets.” The first story, My Name is Sheba, takes the readers on a wild journey that begins in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter and ends in a Thai brothel.

Besides writing, I’m passionate about Ministry& More, an organization that provides food and hope, through Jesus, the true Bread of Life, to our clients. I also serve as the ACFW Midwest Zone director.

If the budget allows, Alan and I love exploring out-of-the-way places. Last summer, he surprised me with a 30th anniversary trip to Seattle via Amtrak’s Empire Builder route. Then we boarded a ship and sailed to the San Juan Islands for an unforgettable adventure.

I hope through my stories I can take you to faraway places and reveal God’s truth as my protagonists allow Him to take control of their lives, their lies, their secrets. And I pray that you’ll search your hearts and share your own precious narratives with your families, friends, and readers. God bless!

Now for the contest:

We want to know your first memory! Share it with us, 500-words or less, by midnight Friday, September 5th, and you'll have a chance to win an autographed copy of An Irishwoman's Tale.

Submit your entry to tracyruckman[at]gmail[dot]com. I'll post entries as they arrive.

An Irishwoman's Tale is a very unique book, with a powerful setting, and strong characters. The story is fresh and original, at times painful, but I highly recommend it. Thanks, Patti, for a fun contest, and a great book!

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