Author Q & A: Tracie Barton Barrett – Buried Deep In Our Hearts @AnimalsConnect

It is my pleasure to welcome Tracie Barton Barrett to my blog today. Tracie and I connected during the initial stages of the pandemic. She contributed a piece about the impact of isolation in the anthology compilation, This Is Lockdown, which is available to buy on Amazon.

Since then, we have become friends, so I thought it would be nice to invite her over to my blog for a chit chat!

Here’s the Q and A:

What inspired you to write this particular story? As an animal lover, particularly a horse lover since birth, I’ve always wanted to write a book celebrating these magnificent beings. My hope in writing FINDING HER SPIRIT is to tell the story of Maren Markey while telling the story of many horse lovers. My blog entitled, “Why Did You Write a Horse Book,”https://whydidyouwriteahorsebook.blogspot.com/

My hope in creating BURIED DEEP IN OUR HEARTS was to celebrate our important bond with our animals and honor their memory. 

What advice would you give new authors? There is soooooo much to learn and this is a marathon, not a sprint. Marketing will make up a bigger part of what you do than you think (or want). Join a group of fellow authors. Writing can be isolating and connecting with others who understand can make all the difference! Know there will be ups and downs–times when you feel happy about your work and other times when you feel you couldn’t construct an even simple sentence. There will be people you think might buy your book who don’t. Conversely, there will be people who you never thought in a million years would be interested who will! And, I’ll say it again, there is sooooo much to learn and this is a marathon, not a sprint. 


Do you have any pets? Yes, we have two cats, Oliver Monkey and Bubby. They are our two furry boys and definitely run the household. We just pay the mortgage. 


Where do you write? Do you have any special routines? Sometimes I’m in my office, dining room table, and sometimes I’m outside or at the library. Sometimes I’m sitting in my chair in the bedroom, and sometimes on the floor. Just depends! I don’t write for a book everyday, but I’ve journaled every morning for about 29 years. I think it helps get the juices flowing. But, it’s amazing, it seems as though the day isn’t complete if I don’t journal, and I almost feel “backed up” when I don’t!  

Are you a plotter or a pantser? I’m more of a plotter. However, for FINDING HER SPIRIT, I began writing before I knew the ending. With BURIED DEEP IN OUR HEARTS, I knew the ending before any of the other parts of the book. Finish this sentence: This Igloo is something I built when I was young living in Michigan. Although I generally dislike the cold, I have good memories of building it. 😊

Email: TBartonBarrett@gmail.com

Website: www.TracieBartonBarrett.com

FaceBook: www.facebook.com/TBartonBarrett

Twitter: @AnimalsConnect        

Instagram: traciebartonbarrett

Reviews for FINDING HER SPIRIT: 

“Tracie Barton-Barrett has done something remarkable with this lovely book. She’s captured the essence of childhood dreams.1. “Which of us hasn’t had a dream of something that seemed unattainable as a child? Whether it was a pony or a puppy or just to have a best friend, we’ve all been there. Barton-Barrett’s Maren navigates a difficult childhood fraught with adult problems like divorce and mental illness and “normal” kid problems like loneliness and the school cafeteria. Yet Maren never gives up on her dream of owning a horse of her own and when one avenue fails her, she finds another one.This is a beautiful, heartening story of resilience for all ages, but especially horse-loving girls.”–Michelle Flye, author of HOURGLASS.


“Tracie Barton-Barrett, author of Buried Deep in our Hearts, has done it again. She reminds us of the gifts available when we open ourselves to the unconditional love of animals. In Finding Her Spirit, a beautiful coming of age story, Maren’s love of horses is a touchstone that helps her navigate her adolescent and teenage years. Not only does she have the normal challenges like a friend’s betrayal and young love, she’s also adjusting to a blended family and the mental illness of her father, whom she adores. Though all this, Maren finds solace and strength from her relationships with horses. Finding her Spirit reawakened my own childhood love of horses and had me cheering for Maren as she discovers her authenticity and resilience.” –Heather W. Cobham, award-winning author of THE MOTHER TREE  

Bio: Since I was en utero, animals have had my heart and my husband and I are currently owned by our two cats, Oliver Monkey and Bubby. As a Licensed Clinical Professional Mental Health Counselor with a specialty in pet loss, workshop facilitator, and former psychology instructor, my life’s work has been to honor this important bond with these fabulous beings. My first novel, BURIED DEEP IN OUR HEARTS, was written to help celebrate this bond and honor their memory. When not writing, I’m an advocate for other Indie authors, traveling, hiking, enjoying the outside, dancing, singing to music in the car, playing the piano, or watching movies and TV, particularly quoting “Friends,” and “The Golden Girls.”

Blurb for FINDING HER SPIRIT: Packing for college in 1991, Maren Markey stumbles upon her old diary. Reliving moments from her past, she remembers weekend visits with her Daddy after her parents’ divorce, struggles with her new stepfamily, a new friendship, romantic interests, and a strong connection with a special horse. Through it all, Maren’s deep love for horses serves as a constant lifeline in her ever-changing life. Join the ride as Maren finds her Spirit.

Amazon link to BURIED DEEP IN OUR HEARTShttps://www.amazon.com/Buried-Deep-Hearts-Tracie-Barton-Barrett/dp/0997025905

Amazon link to FINDING HER SPIRIT: https://www.amazon.com/FINDING-HER-SPIRIT-Tracie-Barton-Barrett/dp/0997025948/

Well, that was lovely finding out more about Tracie and her lovely books.

Authors Website: https://mjmallon.com
Authors Amazon Pagehttps://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L
Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon

#ABRSC – Authors Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1829166787333493/
Goodreads:https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17064826.M_J_Mallon

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/m-j-mallon 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mjmallonauthor/

Spiritual Sisters: https://www.facebook.com/5SpiritualSisters

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Isolation for Writers – Guest post: Tracie Barton-Barrett #COV1D19 #Isolation #Writers #Grieving

Photo by Egor Kamelev from Pexels

Welcome to author and counsellor Tracie Barton-Barrett, my next guest on my new feature – isolation for writers, creatives, artists and book bloggers.

As a counselor, Tracie wanted to give back and help others during this time. So, she wrote an article/blog entitled,

“We Are All Grieving,”  https://weareallgrieving.blogspot.com/

This is her article which I am sharing here:

We’re All Grieving–Support During This Uncertain Time

Welcome to 2020. We’re living in a time where there is uncertainty (which our brain dislikes), fear, mounting death and illness, lack of supplies, 24/7 social/news, and isolation, all to fight an invisible foe.
If you wanted to create a perfect storm, we’re living it.
So, yeah, it’s OK to grieve.
We’re all grieving something now…
…the loss of a job, financial security, loss of a family member due to the virus, loss of freedom to go where you want to go, when you want to go, the loss of being at home without every single family member there, loss of that trip you were going to go on, the inability to visit a loved one in the hospital, the inability to have neighbors, friends or family over, the loss of identity or purpose. 
Or, the issues you were dealing with before all of this came crashing down.
The list goes on. Although we’re all “in the same boat,” there are different areas and points of view from that boat.

This situation easily calls forth the entire spectrum and expression of human emotion. 


It’s OK if in the middle of the day, or late at night, you suddenly feel heart-broken, overwhelmed, or frustrated, or livid, and just want a hug.  As mammals, the sense of touch is extremely important, particularly to babies.

Same holds true for adults.
–Whatever feelings come up, see if you can really unpack them and get the core of them. If you’re “angry,” try and see if you can get as specific as possible. Does it remind you of any other times in your life you’re reliving from your past? This is a perfect time to dig deeper to prevent out of control emotional eating, drinking, drug use, porn, or anything else that is used as self-medication. My concern is the number of divorces, domestic violence incidents, and suicides that could increase. 
–If possible, try to limit the amount of social media and news you allow in. The kicker is that we need to be connected and a need to belong, which social media can provide. However, it can easily suck us down rabbit holes. Personally, I continue to walk the line between being informed and getting sucked in. It’s a tight-rope walk and sometimes I fall.
Think of social media/news as a very rich, high caloric dessert.A little bit is OK; too much will make you sick.
–Try to create structure in your life. I prefer the word “rhythm” to “routine,” but whatever works for you, try to find it. Otherwise, the days will just run into each other. If you have kids, they thrive in it, even if they say they don’t. Those boundaries create safety, which is at a premium now.
I’ve found it helpful to have 3 daily intentions:· Get outside and/or walk. Reach out to someone via email, text, phone call, etc. Work on my next novel, FINDING HER SPIRIT
–If you’re a position to do it, I also encourage you to use this time to do things that you normally wouldn’t have time for. Perhaps set a bigger intention…”By the end of April, I will…”
But, DO NOT JUDGE YOURSELF if you’re not there. Or, you don’t get there. Or, you find that you need to distract yourself by binging on that show. Or, it’s 5:00pm and you haven’t done squat. That’s OK. 
–Emotional/spiritual health needs to be fostered, too. Meditation, prayer, watching masses or church services online. Reaching out to others, particularly those who are alone, is important. If we don’t find the need for connection in healthy ways, we’ll find it in unhealthy ways. Channeling your energy into making masks, organizing Zoom gatherings, community virtual food drivers, anything to help others is a way to get out of our heads. Sometimes literally just texting someone and saying you’re thinking about them is enough.  
–Staying physically healthy is also important. Our bodies are meant to move, and if we’re dormant too long, it begin to affect us emotionally. Also, if you can get outside, even better. Nature and her beauty is so healing. Kids especially benefit from it.
–If you can, find some fun.

Whatever that looks like for you. I love to sing, dance, and play piano. I also make sure to try to laugh every day, too. Fortunately, there are so many creative videos and memes out there that help. My two cats and husband are fodder, as well. 


–Take this time to learn a new skill, language, or further develop one you already have. Or, clean out that basement or junk drawer that’s been calling your name. 
Again, be gentle with yourself if the only thing you can do is get up and maybe shower. Maybe not even that. 
In the same way with grief and/or trauma, not everyone is at the same place at the same time. The trick is to stagger our moments and meltdowns, so we can be there for each other when we fall. It’s happened to me when I had a bad day, people were there for me. 
Who knows what the next normal will look like? No one really knows. We’re all co-creating this as we go along. This experience brings out what it really means to be human, as the stories of kindness, compassion, and altruism are off the charts. My heart grows in leaps and bounds. My deepest thanks to the medical community, retail workers, truckers, any delivery workers for are keeping us afloat during this time.
I picture it as we’re all walking along a path. Sometimes one of us stumbles but doesn’t fall. There will be times, however, when we really do fall. Then, we will be there to lift each other up.
From six or more feet away, of course. 😊

Tracie Barton-Barrett, MS, NCC, LPC http://www.TracieBartonBarrett.com
TBartonBarrett@gmail.com www.FaceBook.com/TBartonBarrett Author of BURIED DEEP IN OUR HEARTS

Here is the link to my novel, BURIED DEEP IN OUR HEARTS, https://www.amazon.com/Buried-Deep-Hearts-Tracie-Barton-Barrett-ebook/dp/B01EARJ59A/   

Available on Kindle, paperback and now Audible. 

Thank you so much to Tracie for being my guest and offering such invaluable advice.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.TracieBartonBarrett.com

FaceBook:  https://www.facebook.com/TBartonBarrett 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnimalsConnect

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