Lori Ryan

Rachel Thompson

Aicha Zoubair

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Author Interview – Tracy Sweeney

Can you share a little of your current work with us? This is from something called “Floorboards”:

I loved our old house from the very first moment that we crossed the threshold.  My mother always told me that old houses have character.  And ours was certainly no exception.  The floorboards creaked as we climbed the stairs, the windows rattled with every gust of wind and the radiator hissed angry bursts of squealing steam.  In the winter, I wore scratchy wool socks to bed and in the summer, I blew out the circuit breakers running both an air conditioner and a fan to keep cool.  Our old house had character—it was just really pissed off.

How did you come up with the title? The concept of “living backwards” comes from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass.  The White Queen isn’t one of the more well known Wonderland residents because clearly Walt Disney just wasn’t into her but she’s fascinating.  She knows what will happen before it comes to pass.  I thought that it fit the story so perfectly.  What if you’re able to go back and stop the crime from being committed?  What if in the process you committed an even bigger one?

Who designed the cover? My friend Liz Jaeger did an absolutely amazing job on the cover.  I swear she made me a hundred different versions – each one prettier than the next.  It was miserable picking just one.   I’m thrilled with the final product.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book? Unfortunately never back in time.  That would be awesome. I’m not Jillian. I’d tear the place up.

If you could go back in time what would or wouldn’t you change? Other than seeing to it that Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake never break up? (Sorry, Jessica Biel, but we’re all thinking it.) Well, I’m not Jillian but we do share some similarities.  I was ridiculously shy and quiet when I was in high school.  I’m so outspoken now, it’s hard to reconcile the two personalities.  It would be a totally different experience.  And I own a flask.

Are you reading any interesting books at the moment? I just fininshed The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater which is just so lovely.  I just started The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and it’s beyond amazing.  It’s probably going to gut me but the two main characters are killing me with cute.  I’m dying to jump on Laini Taylor’s sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone.

Are there any new authors that have sparked your interest and why? I tend gravitate toward New YA so I’m a big fan of Laini Taylor and Stephanie Perkins.  I have such a crush on Etienne from Stephanie’s Anna and the French Kiss.

Who is your favorite author and why? I’ve never been good picking one favorite but I can tell you that right now that Gillian Flynn owns me.  I’ll read anything she writes.  She can take the most unlikable, unredeemable character and actually make you pull for them, even when you don’t even like them.  That’s ridiculously hard to do.  She’s amazing and evil.  I would be remiss if I didn’t add that both Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth are geniuses.

What do you do to unwind and relax? I wish I knew how to unwind and relax!  I’m always doing three things at once.  If I’m catching up on Dexter, I have my laptop, iPad and iPhone next to me where I’m probably working on marketing the book, posting a picture on Instagram, texting six people and on AIM with my best friend.  I’m probably folding clothes too.  I’m always folding clothes.

What inspires you to write and why? I live in my head.  I script conversations.  I daydream.  I run through plots.  There’s a lot going on up there.  My imagination is vivid.  I love developing characters and delving into their brains.  I love drama and a big sopping HEA.  Sometimes the simplest things inspire me.  A creek in the floorboard in the middle of the night spurred my most recent piece.

Can you tell us about your main character? I think people identify with Jillian because she’s like so many of us.  When we’re young and insecure, sometimes we just need a gentle nudge out of our shell.  In Jillian’s case, the nudge was more like a push. She went from one extreme to the other.  She has no happy medium.  Finding that is part of her journey.

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it? I’ve always written but not professionally—not for anyone to see other than myself or my friends or a professor.  I was pretty green when I started writing LIVING BACKWARDS but I had a really clear vision for the story that I wanted to tell.  That’s great but you need to be disciplined with outlining and storyboarding.  You need to have a basic grasp of grammar and punctuation (even if, like me, you reject the need for the semi-colon).

Twenty-nine-year-old Jillian Cross refuses to believe that a pair of skinny jeans has led to her untimely demise. Life just isn’t that cruel. But when an overly-enthusiastic attempt at squeezing herself into them leads her to fall and lose consciousness, she is faced with just that possibility. When she awakens with both a bruised ego and a bump on her head, she’s not in her tiny apartment but her childhood bedroom circa 1999-the spring of her senior year in high school. Jillian knows that time travel isn’t logical.

But then again, neither was her decision to wear skinny jeans. As she attempts to navigate her way through the halls of Reynolds High, walking the same path and making the same choices she made years before, she knows that any change she makes can have a catastrophic effect on her future. But when she strikes up an unexpected friendship with motorcycle-riding, cigarette-smoking Luke Chambers, can she pretend to be the same shy girl she once was? At least she has her pink sparkly flask to take the edge off. One little change won’t hurt, right?

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Chick Lit

Rating – PG13

More details about the author

Connect with Tracy Sweeney on Facebook & Twitter

Website http://www.tracysweeney.net/


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