Author Interview with Tracy Clark

ScintilGet to know Tracy…

Tracy Clark grew up a “valley girl” in Southern California but now resides in her home state of Nevada with her daughter and son. She’s an unapologetic dog person who is currently owned by a cat. She is the recipient of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Progress Grant and a two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program. Her debut novel was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life. When not writing and mothering, Tracy is a lover of words, a private pilot, and an irredeemable dreamer. For more info, visit her website.

Quirky Questions 

What one person or object best represents the 80’s?

Since the first person to come to mind was Cyndi Lauper, I’m going to go with her. With a nod to MTV and big hair. Notice, all three of these things tie together? Do I get extra credit?

What would you do if you wanted to annoy someone?

Are they a writer? Writers are easy to annoy. Just constantly interrupt our flow.

What is the biggest indication that someone is a nerd?

The glorious, heady shine that comes off of nerds when they’re being their wholly unique, quirky, nutty self and unconcerned with what people think about it. 

What latest trend simply baffles you?

Staring into devices more than we stare into the world or each other’s eyes. 

What bad habit will you purposely never quit?

Being mouthy. 

If you had to choose, what is the most important quality in a relationship—humor, smarts, personality, looks, money, or mutual interests?

Personality. Mutual interests almost tied, though. I wish more people talked to us when we are young and beginning to date about paying attention to how we feel with someone and what we really want out of our ideal relationship. Do you feel treasured? Truly loved? Respected? Is there passion, not just “chemistry” but shared passions? So many questions we neglect to ask.

If the plane you were flying in was about to crash, who would you like to be sitting beside? 

No one I know. No one I love. 

TracyWriting Questions

What is your typical day like?

I wake up, exercise, get the kids to school, and write until they come home. After that, it’s a mix of mom duties and author duties and life’s plot twists.

Can you visualize a finished product before you begin a book?

Yes. Most of the time I know my end point. It’s getting there that can be tricky!

Who or what has helped you to persevere and not quit?

My writer friends and critique partners. My own stubborn will.

What has been your greatest sacrifice that has enabled you to become the author you are today?

Me time.

If you knew that you had only one last opportunity to express yourself creatively, what message would you want to convey to others?

There are no throwaway people. Every one of us is here to contribute something good to the world. Find out what it is and do it, or you’re wasting the gift. Give more thought to what your highest vision is for yourself than you give to the latest celebrity news or negativity and strive each day to see that highest vision realized. If you skimmed over all of the above, just LOVE.

When did you realize that you had a gift for writing?

Tricksy bloggesses! All I know is that I lack the passion, drive, desire, or talent to do anything else for a living.

Has your creativity changed stylistically as you have matured? If so, in what ways?

Absolutely! I had to learn the rules before I could break them, and my newer work shows stylistic exploring on my part. I hope my creativity both matures and breaks FREE with every new project. Mostly, I’m less afraid and more daring than I used to be.

When do you feel the most energized?

Mornings, after a workout, after a curiously chocolaty coffee, after stimulating conversation.

Does your writing reflect your personality?

I’m sure most writers would say that a lot of their own personality shows in their work. In some form or another, my snark comes through loud and clear.

How much of your own life is reflected in your work?

I notice certain themes crop up over and over—like being “seen” or “heard”, which have been issues for me. A book that hasn’t been published, but I have hopes for, is very autobiographical. I find that most writers need to get that one out of their system. It’s cathartic, but I hope also good story telling. That book won the SCBWI Work In Progress Grant, which I’m very proud of.

Which of your books gives you the most pride or satisfaction?

I obviously have a soft spot for SCINTILLATE because it was my first published book (the 4th I wrote.) But I have a YA thriller coming out in spring of 2016 from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt called, MIRAGE, and I’m really proud of the writing I did on that book. 

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