Tracy Ahrens Author Bio:
I have been a journalist and editor for newspapers, magazines and websites since 1992. Currently, my stories about raising my pets can be seen through websites and print publications, including: dogster.com, catster.com, Simply Pets magazine, wagthedogUK.com, American Pet Magazine, Russell Publications and Momence Progress Reporter.
As of 2020, I had earned 66 writing awards statewide, locally and nationally. I am a member of the Illinois Woman’s Press Association, National Federation of Press Women, the Cat Writers’ Association and Dog Writers Association of America.
For years I’ve volunteered for animal rescue groups. I am also an artist, creating graphite pet portraits and chalk illustrations. My illustrations have been showcased on note cards for the Kankakee County Animal Foundation in Kankakee, Ill. I have donated portraits for fundraising events at Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago, the University of Illinois Wildlife Veterinary Clinic in Champaign-Urbana, Ill.; Critter Corral guinea pig rescue in Steger, Ill.; Hospice Hearts rescue in Champaign-Urbana, Ill. and Crossroads Shih Tzu rescue based in Joliet, Ill. In the past I offered pet portraits through the University of Illinois Small Animal Veterinary Teaching Hospital to help raise funds for their Humane Connection Fund.
My portrait of a cat titled Jackson Brown is on display at the Cat Fanciers’ Association Foundation cat museum in Alliance, Ohio. My portrait of a rabbit named Bosley is on display in the House Rabbit Society’s Rabbit Center in Richmond, Calif.
I have also written four children’s books: Cloud Jumpers, What if the Moon, Sammy Sparrow’s First Flight and Come with Me. Aside from my children’s books, I have written two non-fiction books titled Giant Hero and Raising My Furry Children. Raising My Furry Children features a guest story by pet expert, Steve Dale. Proceeds from Sammy Sparrow’s First Flight assist several humane organizations within Illinois. Come with Me supports the Kate Amato Foundation for children’s cancer research based in Florida. I have also published two books of poetry through Finishing Line Press titled Nature will heal and I am.
Photos I have taken of my cats and dog have appeared in several calendars by Workman Publishing.
What inspires you to write?
I am inspired to write based on my dreams, nature, the antics of my pets and real life experiences.
Tell us about your writing process.
When I write poetry it is never forced. Something moves me and I try to put myself into that setting and play with words to weave a portrait that lasts.
My children’s books are based on dreams that I have had and using my imagination.
Stories that I write about real life events come to me naturally and flow smoothly. The stories I write about my pets also come from real life events we share. I write notes often on paper, enter them into computer files, and revisit them to craft final essays.
Who are your favorite authors?
I was an English major in college. I love Twain, Shakespeare, Bradbury, Hemingway.
What genres do you write?
I write and illustrate children’s fictional picture books, poetry, and non-fiction. I was a journalist and editor full time for over 25 years specializing in feature writing.
How did you choose the genre(s) you write?
I have been a journalist since my college years. I also have written poetry since high school. I have now chosen to focus on the areas I love to write the most.
What three things are on your writing desk at any given moment?
Photos of my pets, a pen I have had since I was a full time journalist, notes for future pet-related essays.
What hobbies do you have when you need a break from writing?
Gardening, cycling, volunteering in some way
What formats are your books in?
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