Monday, April 14, 2014

Please welcome Tracy Leininger Craven to the BB!  She's the author of the children's historical fiction book Alone Yet Not Alone, which has been made into a movie (coming to theaters this June). She's here to tell us more about the book and movie - and there's a giveaway at the end, so read on!


Amber: Welcome to “The Borrowed Book,” Tracy! Could you share with us what inspired your love for history and historical fiction?

Tracy: Growing up, story time was a regular bedtime ritual. It turned into a great motivator for my siblings and myself to get our nightly chores done quickly so that we could read as long as possible. My dad read a variety of books covering everything from the Bible to poetry to biographies to fiction. Historical fiction was one of my favorites genres.

Writing children’s historical fiction combines my love of writing and discovering true stories from the past. My goal is to make history come alive for my readers. I have come to realize the importance of taking the time to learn from those who came before us. As a Christian, I see history as God’s story through time. Seeing His faithfulness in people’s lives and discovering their stories gives a fresh look at the past. It becomes personal and alive. History is so much more than dates and events. I love to find true stories of God’s love and hope in the midst of suffering or trials and share them with others. My hope is to cultivate a similar love for history and learning in my readers.

Amber: Love it. :) Which era of history is your favorite?

Tracy: Good question. There are so many eras that fascinate me. But I will narrow it down to American history during the Colonial period with the Pioneers and settlers at the top of my list. The Great Depression is a close second. I’ve come across so many amazing stories of men, women and children who worked hard to make ends meet and shared what little they had with their neighbors. It was a difficult time in our history, but the stories of survival are truly incredible.

Amber: Oh, I agree about the Depression! Movies like The Journey of Natty Gann and Kit Kittredge have really captured my imagination and inspired me with their stories of desperation and surviving hope.

So what drew you to write for children? What do you like best about writing for younger readers?

Tracy: I’ve wanted to write children’s books for as long as I can remember. It probably stems from my love for children and from my love of reading as a child. I enjoy the beauty, innocence and creativity of young minds; their simple faith, wonder, vibrant love of life and desire to learn and discover. If I, even in a small way, can cultivate that love of learning and inspire children with stories that give hope and share God’s love and grace, I am fulfilled in my purpose as an author.

Amber: That's a great mindset!

How involved were you in the making of the movie version of Alone Yet Not Alone? I noticed that it’s currently rated PG-13. Do you believe the movie is meant for a different audience than the book?

Tracy: I was not very involved with the script or production of the movie. I was able to be on set for part of the filming and I actually have a small cameo in the film. It was really fun to dress up in the colonial American dress and act in a small scene. In a way, it felt like I stepped back in history and into my book. That feeling is a personal highlight.

The story takes place during the French and Indian War and follows the dramatic events of the Leininger sisters’ capture and escape from the Indians. The book tends to focus more on relationships and I describe the intense scenes with a younger audience in mind. The movie spends more time on action and adventure and I think it is intended for a broader audience. But either way, I think it would have been nearly impossible to create a war story on screen without some level of violence.

Amber: How fun about the cameo! And those are some great things to note about the differences between the movie and the book.What’s next for you in publishing?

Tracy: I do have a few ideas I am considering. We’ll have to wait and see if those thoughts develop and take flight.

Amber: I understand. We'll all just have to stay tuned for more details. :) Thanks for joining us today!



Zondervan has put together a special movie edition of the book Alone Yet Not Alone, and the PR people at Media Connect wanted to offer a copy to one of our readers! Just leave a comment with your e-mail address (so we can get in touch with you if you win), and let us know what you think of YA (young adult) historical fiction, or if you're planning on seeing the movie this summer. You can learn more about the movie at

(Note: This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only. The winner will be announced next Monday, April 21st.)


  1. I would love to read this book! The movie was filmed in my hometown and I can't wait to see that as well.
    Thank you for the fabulous interview, post and giveaway!
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

  2. The book and movie sound fascinating! Can't wait to check them both out - and I'd love a copy of the book. :D meagan at firebin dot net is my email address!

  3. Amy: Oh, how neat that the movie was filmed in your hometown! That would make the viewing that much more interesting and exciting. You'll be able to say, "I know that spot! I've been there!" :)

    Glad you enjoyed the interview, and good luck in the giveaway!

    Meagan: Great to see you here! The premise for this story is really interesting, isn't it? Good luck in the giveaway! :)


  4. I'm looking forward to the movie, too, but of course, the book is always better! :) I thought it such a blessing when Joni was nominated for an Oscar, then disappointed a bit when they took it back (tsk tsk) BUT it gave the movie a lot more publicity! God uses ALL things to the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose :) Blessings from Texas! :)

  5. Caryl: I'll be curious to hear more about the movie! I had heard something about the Oscar thing, but I wasn't fully aware of what had happened. I'm glad that there's a positive side to the situation - appreciate you pointing that out! :) Blessings to you, as well, and thanks for stopping by!



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