Happy Release Day to Tracy and Tempest Rising!!
First of all, thanks so much for having me. I’m thrilled to be here today, on Tempest Rising’s release date!
Can you tell us a little bit about writing Tempest Rising, and how things came about from concept to release?
From the second the idea for Tempest Rising came to me, things just kind of slid into place. That doesn’t happen very often with a book, so it’s really thrilling when it does.
In October of 2009, I decided I wanted to write a YA. My friend had done my tarot cards and had basically told me that I wasn’t fulfilled writing the books I was contracted for at the time, and she was right. So I spent a little bit of time thinking about what it was I did want to write (YA and Romance paranormals) and then called my agent and told her what I wanted to do. She was incredibly supportive, and though I hadn’t decided on a YA angle yet (I went dragons with my romance paranormals) she was totally behind me writing one. A few days later, she called me and asked what I thought of mermaids and from the second she said that, everything clicked.
I love mermaids, always have, so the idea of writing a dark mermaid paranormal appealed to me immediately. By mid-November I’d put together a proposal (synopsis and first eight chapters) for a book that I was calling Rip Tide and by Christmas my agent had sold the book J I spent January and February finishing the book, which had been renamed Tempest Rising, and turned it in March 1, 2010. After that, I had some mild revisions to do, and those were finished by June. By July, my editor was talking cover, and I got really lucky. Walker (my publisher) hired an outside artist and photo manipulator to do the cover, and she was wonderful. After that, it’s just been about waiting and waiting and waiting for today to finally happen.
Where did your interest in mermaids begin?
When I was very young (about three or so) my father brought home a VHS tape of Hans Christian Andersen’s version of The Little Mermaid (long before Disney made a version). Though it was really dark and ended with the little mermaid becoming sea foam instead of living HEA with her prince, I fell in love with the story the first time I saw it. From then on, I was all about mermaids. I watched the movie every day (and I mean every day) for three years. My mom swears to this day that she can recite the dialogue word for word. While I eventually outgrew my obsession with mermaids, the second my agent mentioned them I was right back where I started all those years ago …
Can you share a bit about your journey to becoming published and was there anything that was surprising to you?
I always try to dodge this question because I was one of the lucky ones. While Tempest Rising is my first YA, I also write romance novels under two different names. Though I’ve always wanted to be a writer, it wasn’t until 2006 that I really had the time to do something about it. In 2006, I wrote two books and then went about getting an agent. I actually sold the first book to Harlequin before I found an agent and within a month of getting my fabulous and amazing agent, she had sold the second book to NAL. And as I said above, I sold Tempest Rising to Walker within a few weeks of finishing the proposal. Needless to say, in the publication arena, I’ve been very blessed :)
Do you have a favorite line or two that you could share with us from Tempest Rising?
I do actually—usually any time Tempest’s talking to Kona. There’s a smart-ass quality to her that appeals to me at those times.
“So, you glow.”
He winced. “That isn’t exactly how I would describe it. More like a phosphorescent reaction to—“
“All right. Yes. We glow. But don’t get too cocky—you look different too.”
“Yeah, like a drowned rat.”
When did you know you wanted to be a writer and what was the name of the first story you’ve ever written? Can you tell us what it was about?
I knew I wanted to be a writer almost from the beginning-- I always say since I knew that letters made words and words made sentences. The first story I remember writing was at the beginning of second grade. I don’t remember the title, but I remember I wrote it in aqua marker. It was ten pages long and had a prince, a rainbow and a mermaid …
What’s your favorite part about writing and being an author?
Besides being able to work in my pajamas? From the time I was little I’ve had different characters running around in my head, demanding to be let out. The thing I love most about writing is being able to give those characters free reign. I get to write an entire world for them as I tell their stories and I love everything about that. As for my favorite thing about being an author? It’s the people that I’ve met since I’ve become published. I have some of the best fans in the world, and I also have a close group of writer friends who I can’t imagine doing this without.
Do you have any must haves for writing? Place? Drinks, etc?
I’m actually a pretty low-maintenance writer (though I can hear my husband laughing at the idea of me being low-maintenance anything). If possible, I prefer a bottle of Perrier and my iPod, but that’s about it. I can write anywhere.
And lastly, are there any other projects you’re working on and what can you tell us about it?
My next YA book is a contemporary called The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams. I wrote it with two of my closest writing friends and it is due out January 2012. It’s the story of four small-town Texas girls who become international exchange students to search for life, love and Facebook fame. To document their kissing exploits, they form the IKC Facebook page and record points for kisses. Much to their shock, the International Kissing Club teaches them more about themselves and their friendship than they ever imagined possible.
My next YA on my own is a dystopian story tentatively titled Zero Day. It’s a modern-day Pandora story, but instead of opening a box, my Pandora opens an attachment and hearkens technological Armageddon. It’s due out in January 2012. And if things go well with Tempest Rising, the next Tempest book will be coming soon after that …
Tracy, I can’t say thank you enough for taking the time out to drop in today. You are more than welcome here anytime and we hope to see you again soon.
Thanks again for having me. You’ve got a terrific blog and I really appreciate you making time for me :)
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