cynthia-kraack-featureWhether writing speculative fiction, contemporary fiction or short stories, the complexity of relationships owns central stage in my writing. Even if the characters live in 2050, you will know people like them. You work with them, live next door, have relatives just like the family members in The High Cost of Flowers, winner of the 2015 Midwest Book Award for Literary Fiction as well as Contemporary Fiction. The many roles of women, the pressure of work, and the influence of an individual’s roots frequently add to the fictional world.

My first years were spent in a house on Main Street in a small Wisconsin farm town. We played in an old barn across the street when our parents thought we were at the playground. My mother-in-law taught in an Indiana grade school where cornfields touched the playground’s edge. Something still draws me to that part of America. Minnesota Cold, winner of the 2009 Northeastern Minnesota Book Award and the entire Ashwood trilogy take place on nontraditional future farms that are managed by nontraditional women.

At Marquette University I hoped to become a sports journalist. That didn’t happen although I did work in print journalism and corporate communications. In 2010 I graduated from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast M.F.A. in Creative Writing program. Access to The Loft Literary Center and summer programs at the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop, helped me write my first short stories and novel.

In 2013 I joined a small group to form Write On, Door County, a non-profit regional writing center offering residence space for writers, educational programming and support for developing reading and writing skills across all ages and skill levels. It is a wonderful organization with a grand future.