Author Interview: Tracey Enerson Wood / The War Nurse



JMR-Welcome to the Books Delight, Sue Tracey. Tell our readers where you live, what you do for fun and what does the perfect day look like?

TEW- I am fortunate to live in the beautiful Tampa Bay area of Florida. We have a small citrus farm, and I enjoy picking fruit, bottling juice and learning all about growing and selling it. We have a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever (Toller) and I enjoy playing with her and training, although it seems like the training is more for me than her!

JMR-What’s your favorite historical time period? Why?

TEW- I like to read and write about the “Gilded Age” from about 1870 to 1900 in U.S. or late Victorian and Early Edwardian Eras in Britain, up until the 1920’s. I also enjoy  the WWII era, and the 60’s. Oh, how I loved the TV series “Mad Men!”

JMR-Who is your favorite historical figure? Why? If you could ask them one question, what would it be?

TEW- Abraham Lincoln. I so admire his strength of character, his eloquence, his deep caring for our country. He was brave and honest and brilliant, yet humble. What’s not to love?

JMR- How did you come to be a writer of historical fiction?

TEW- I’ve been a reader of HF for a long time. But when I couldn’t  find a novel about an amazing historical character (Emily Warren Roebling) whom I wanted to read about,  I knew I had to write it.

JMR- We have a lot in common! I am a registered nurse and was in the U.S. Air Force and then married a military man who dragged me around the world! How do you think your experience affected you and has it influenced your writing?

TEW- I relied heavily on my experience as a registered nurse while writing The War Nurse. Not so much for the technical things like illness and treatments and such, as you can look all that up. But for the sensory experiences, and  the deep emotional and physical challenges the profession presents. I think working as a nurse bestows a unique strength, which I hope I was able to convey through my characters.

My experience as a military spouse taught me about living in foreign countries, and with maintaining a long-distance marriage under stressful situations. I could empathize with both Julia Stimson and Emily Roebling!

JMR- Did you visit anyone of the places in your book? Where did you feel closest to your characters?

TEW- I grew up in northern New Jersey, so NYC is familiar to me. My hometown is Ringwood, so of course I had to set a scene there! I also walked across the Brooklyn Bridge while writing the book, which was an incredible experience. I definitely felt closest to Emily while there, and as I looked at the water far below, I could feel the daisy chain in my hand, and see the ghosts of the workers above and below.

I was fortunate to be living in Europe while researching The War Nurse. I was able to do battlefield tours in France and Belgium, and toured Rouen, France, both the city and the former racetrack where the  WW1 base hospitals were located. I felt closest to Julia as I walked the cobblestones and gazed at the astronomical clock in downtown Rouen.

JMR- Tracey, tell us about your new book, The War Nurse.

TEW- I’ll defer to other authors:

"Tracey Enerson Wood achieves two particularly difficult things with this novel: a fictionalization of a real person’s life, which is always a challenge--and the feat of writing a character from a century past who is accessible to a modern audience but still entirely of her era. In The War Nurse, based on the true story of pioneering WWI nurse Julia Stimson, we are transported to early 20th century France, where a band of medical professionals struggles to meet the ever-changing demands of a war zone. You will smile, shed a few tears, and learn alongside Julia in this impeccably researched, well-drawn, based-on-a-true-story tale, written by a former RN. As our collective interest in WWI is reawakened, The War Nurse shines an important light on a woman whose story was, until now, lost to time."

 -- Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Lost Names


The War Nurse is a vividly rendered, moving tribute to one woman’s determination to make a difference in the world. Tracey Enerson Wood sets us down in war-ravaged France and immerses us in the lives of a band of courageous nurses braving battles both physical and moral. A riveting and surprisingly timely story of courage, sacrifice, and friendship forged at the front lines.”

—Kelly Mustian, author of The Girls in the Stilt House 


JMR-What projects do you have in the pipeline?

TEW- I’m bouncing between several stories, trying to decide which one will be my next book. Two of them center on political wives, who must overcome huge obstacles, both in support of their husbands, and for their own destinies.

On the back burner is a story based on real life story about a family thrown into crisis by a legal kidnapping. This will be a difficult story to tell, but it must be told.

JMR- Tell our readers how to find you on social media and the web.

TEW- my website is I’m on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @traceyenerson.

JMR- What question were you hoping I’d ask but didn’t?

TEW- I can’t think of any. Thanks for the interview!

JMR- Thank you, Tracey, for stopping by and chatting with us today. Readers, I have included a link to Tracey's book on Amazon. Be sure to give it a look! 


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