Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Debut Authors Bash- Tracy Clark

We're thrilled to have had the opportunity of participating in the Debut Authors Bash hosted over at YA Reads for a second time

Today we get to highlight Tracy Clark, the author of Scintillate. 

Tracy Clark is a young-adult writer because she believes teens deserve to know how much they matter and that regardless of what they’re going through, they aren’t alone. In other words, she writes books for her teen self. 

She grew up a “Valley Girl” in Southern California but now lives in her home state of Nevada, in a small town at the base of the Sierra Foothills. Her two children teach her the art of distraction and are a continuous source of great dialogue. She’s an unapologetic dog person who is currently owned by a cat. 

Tracy was the recipient of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Progress Grant. A two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program where she was lucky enough to be mentored by bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins, who taught her so much about the art of writing and cured her of her ellipsis addiction.

Her debut novel was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life. Tracy is a part-time college student, a private pilot, and an irredeemable dreamer.

What inspired you to write?

I did a writing assignment in 8th grade that made my best friend’s mother cry. I felt sort of voiceless in my childhood and suddenly I realized I had a voice, could be “heard” through my stories, and I could make people feel. It was like a superpower! But it wasn’t until my kids went to school full time (many moons later) that I began writing in earnest. Honestly, it was my seven year-old daughter who challenged me at the time with, “So, what are you waiting for?”

How did you come up with the awesome concept for Scintillate?

I’m so glad you think the concept is awesome! Thanks! I’ve always been into the ideas of metaphysics and wanted to explore something I think we all feel—the give and take of energy between people. Having Cora see auras was a natural choice because it’s a visual way of sensing energy.

Ireland plays a big part in this story. Have you ever been?

I have! I loved it so much that I had actual heartache when I left. I went in 2010 with my besties and many of the scenes in the book were born from notes I took on that trip. It’s a mystical, lovely place.

What can we expect in the next installment of this trilogy?

I’m still working on the flap copy for DEVIATE but here’s a first peek at my attempt:

Learning the truth about herself was just the beginning.

Tormented after a daring escape and too many goodbyes, Cora must find a way to stop the supernatural race known as Arrazi from murdering innocent humans and from violating, using, and killing the Scintilla for their powers.

On the run with two others like her, they’ve relied on each other for survival. But their alliance of three means they’re even more sought after by those who would do anything to see them die. They are determined to find out why.

It’s not just the Arrazi who chase them. There’s madness among races and deadly competition in the hunt for the trio. The Scintilla will soon be extinct if they don’t solve the mystery of The Light Key. If they fail, the truth will stay buried forever and mankind will pay the ultimate price.
Describe Scintillate in three words.

Mysterious. Thrilling. Lush.

I have to ask… are you team Giovanni or team Finn?

I’m team Cora! I know that sounds evasive. It’s not meant to be. It’s why I smile evilly when people assume The Light Key Trilogy is a typical love triangle. I adore Finn and Giovanni for different reasons, as does Cora. Ultimately, I think her choice will shock everyone.

Which 3 fictional characters would you like to be paired up with during a zombie Apocalypse?

Katniss Everdeen, Hermione Granger, and Katsa from Graceling. An all-female quadrawesome! Yes, I just made up that word.

If you could only keep one book for the rest of your life which one would it be and why?

The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. It’s one of the best books for personal peace. I don’t always live up to the four agreements, but it’s a great reminder of how much control we have over our own happiness.

Think fast questions:

Favorite genre to read? YA Contemporary

Favorite female character in a book. In recent memory, Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games

Favorite male character in a book. Will Herondale, The Infernal Devices series by Cassie Clare

Favorite book or series? Favorite series, hands down, is Harry Potter

Coffee or tea? Coffee with LOTS of chocolate in it

Physical copy or e-book? Physical

Check out Betsy's review of Scintillate here.

A mighty flame follows a tiny spark.

Cora Sandoval’s mother disappeared when she was five and they were living in Ireland. Since then, her dad has been more than overprotective, and Cora is beginning to chafe under his confines. But even more troubling is the colorful light she suddenly sees around people. Everyone, that is, except herself—instead, she glows a brilliant, sparkling silver.

As she realizes the danger associated with these strange auras, Cora is inexplicably drawn to Finn, a gorgeous Irish exchange student who makes her feel safe. Their attraction is instant, magnetic, and primal—but her father disapproves, and Finn’s mother orders him home to Ireland upon hearing he’s fallen in love. After a fight with her father, Cora flees to Ireland, both to follow Finn and to look for her missing mother.

There she meets another silver-haloed person and discovers the meaning of her newfound powers and their role in a conspiracy spanning centuries—one that could change mankind forever…and end her life.

Scintillate is the first book in this lush and exciting new trilogy, full of romance, adventure and metaphysical mystery.

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