Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tracy Leininger Craven Author Interview

Photo Content from Tracy Leininger Craven

Tracy Leininger loves history and the people whose lives have left an indelible impression on our country's heritage. She is also inspired by the testimony of God's faithfulness through seemingly impossible circumstances. Her stories of real people come alive and serve to inspire a new generation of readers. Her vision of encouraging young people to become men and women of God has led her to mentor by teaching literature, a providential view of history and the art of hospitality.

Tracy has been active in various political arenas motivated by her commitment to our nation's godly heritage. She has hosted large formal functions alongside her family as well as ministered to children in remote areas of the world through foreign missions. More recently, however, her time has been devoted to writing. When not at her desk, Tracy can be found outside enjoying God's creation and participating in outdoor sports and activities.


Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
I wanted to be an author before I knew how to read or write. I remember sitting in the kitchen with my mother when I was four or five years old and I had a story I wanted to turn into a picture book. I went on to describe a Beatrix Potter style story about a dog on a farm. Since I was too young to write, my mother pulled out a pen and paper and wrote the story as I dictated. I just knew it was worth publishing and that someday I would be an author.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
It stimulates the imagination and cultivates creativity. There is value in retelling true stories because it keeps history alive for future generations. Barbara Leininger and her fellow captive Marie wrote and published their personal narrative, recording in detail their entire captivity and escape. They wrote the names of all the Indian villages, major landmarks, the names of the Indians and other captives that they met along the way. They stated that their goal in writing their own story was not to bring fame to themselves for managing a seemingly impossible heroic escape, but to help and bring hope to other families who had lost children during the Indian raids. Their records that were published in Philadelphia shortly after their return also turned out to be a great piece of historical documentation. It gave me, as the author an incredible glimpse into their life with the Indians, their struggles during captivity, their personal faith in God and how it helped give them the courage to defy all odds and attempt escape. They knew that if they were caught they would be tortured and burned at the stake, an incident they had witnessed when one of their friends attempted escape.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
As a child, I loved the Little House on the Prairie and other books in that series. I always pretended to be Laura.

The Bible as it is the foundation for my faith and a continued inspirational guidance in my spiritual life.

In your book; Alone Yet Not Alone, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it?
The book is based on the true story of the Leininger sisters, ages 9 and 12, who are captured by Indians during the French and Indian War. Barbara cares for and watches over her little sister the best she can until they are separated and given as slaves to separate Indian tribes. The story follows the extreme trials and adventures of Barbara’s life with the Indians and her desperate attempts to escape and find her little sister. All the while, Barbara wonders if Regina will remember the promise she made the night before they were separated.

What part of Regina did you enjoy writing the most?
I enjoyed describing Regina before her captivity as a carefree, spunky nine-year-old that loved life.

For those who are unfamiliar with Barbara, how would you introduce her?
Barbara is a beautiful teenager that is extremely loyal to her sister, confident in her beliefs, knows what she wants and demonstrated bravery and determination to get it.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
As a mom of three and soon to be four, I have enjoyed getting daily inspiration as we discover together the triumphs and trials of life on our little six acre urban farm. Today, my daughter and I worked on our compost pile and dreamed and talked about the garden we are planning to plant in the spring. This evening I watched a baby chick hatch out of its shell…the miracle of new life. Amazing. My children are a constant inspiration and I love getting ideas from our daily adventures and the funny little quotes they come up with. Though I am currently taking a “maternity leave” from writing, my next project will most likely encourage children’s involvement in urban farming and greener living through fun, interactive, tangible stories.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
Regina never married and I always thought that was sad considering the era that she lived in. So, if I had to pick, I would find a male character for her to live happily ever after with. Probably the noble and kindhearted knight, Myles Falworth, from the classic by Howard Pyle, Men of Iron. They may not have lived in the same era, but while we are using our imagination, this problem could be easily fixed.

Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
My husband or one of my best friends from childhood.

What is your favorite room in your home and outside environment?
The family room with our rows of book shelves that frame our fireplace. I love to sit and read with our children in front of the fire during the cold winter evenings.

Which is the hardest thing you ever had to do?
Trying to help someone very dear to me out of an abusive relationship.

Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
My daughter’s first grade teacher.

Who was your first boyfriend?
I was in kindergarten and I guess he didn’t make too big of an impression on me because I don’t even remember his name.

Who was the last person you hugged?
David, the love of my life and husband of 9 years this March.

What is the one, single food that you would never give up?
Chocolate, I think it is definitely an essential in life.

The Leininger family settled deep within America's new frontier in the Blue Mountains of Pennsylvania. A sudden Indian raid changed their lives forever. This story retells the heroic and daring escape of Barbara Leininger, and the touching reunion with her sister, Regina, after nine years. It also gives us an endearing portrayal of the love between family members and the strength of childhood memories. Father and Mother Leininger's commitment to 'hide' God's Word in the hearts of their children

Tracy Leininger Craven’s Alone Yet Not Alone is the uplifting story of survival during the beginning of the French and Indian War in the autumn of 1755. The lives of the young Leiningers sisters, Barbara and Regina, would be forever changed when a band of Indians captures them. They are separated and the story focuses on the older sister, Barbara, who becomes like a daughter to one of the Indians. Although she is kept safe and cared by the tribe, escape remains on her mind. Knowing that an escape would mean having to overcome impediments like getting lost in the wilderness, she is still determined to find her little sister. With a very painful and lonely life she’s been living, she firmly held onto the belief that she was never alone. She then learns of a God Who would carry her through the adversities she has suffered.

This true story of Barbara and Regina is encouraging and inspiring. The important lesson that even if it seems all is lost, your faith will always be there. The thought of leaving or abandoning is not even considered an option. Even where there was no hope, Barbara firmly stood her ground and her determination was the driving force in trying to reunite with her little sister. Author Tracy provides us with a vivid imagery of a time when life was simple, yet hostile. Her style of storytelling is stunningly beautiful and brings all emotions to the forefront to be felt. It reminds readers that no matter what predicament life may present or how lonely you are, believing in your faith will remind you that you are truly never alone. Alone Yet Not Alone is a moving and tearful true story about how God works in mysterious ways, as described in the events of the sisters’ darkest hour. 

You can purchase Alone Yet Not Alone at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you TRACY LEININGER CRAVEN for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a copy of Alone Yet Not Alone by Tracy Leininger Craven.


  1. I think Id eat Chicken! I could cook it different ways :)

  2. Chocolate covered macadamia. :)

  3. Macaroni and Cheese (not the Kraft style) with REAL cheese!

    mestith at gmail dot com

  4. Can I just live in Starbucks? I don't think I would make it very long without coffee. :-)

  5. Avacados!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! XD I dont think I can ever get sick of them!

  6. I think I would choose Curry Chicken over white rice. YUM!! My kids LOVE It and always wants me to make it. We can eat this meal like everyday!! Thank you so much for a chance at winning in your awesome giveaway!!

  7. I think it would be fruit salad...could do it a bunch of different ways, and it's something I always crave :)
    oddball2003 at hotmail dot com