Monday, September 16, 2013

Interview with Tracy Sweeney

Please help me welcome Tracy Sweeney to the blog!  

Tracy will be awarding a key chain that looks like the flask on the cover to three randomly drawn commenters during the tour (US ONLY).   Follow the tour here:

Tell me about yourself, and your writing.

I live about a half hour north of Boston with my two sons who are eight and four. They’re crazy and smart and really rough and tumble. I was such a girly girl growing up. My background in Barbies hasn’t come in very handy. I have a very big, very fun close-knit family and I’m lost without my sister and my mom. They rock pretty hard.
Writing keeps me sane. I have to do something about the voices in my head, right?

How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?

Since I was a kid. I have memories of writing short stories in my fifth grade science notebook instead of listening to my teacher talk about rock formations. I hope she’s not reading this now. LIVING BACKWARDS is my first novel. It’s like my third child except it never asks me to buy it a video game.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?

If I could write something to make you blush without making myself blush in the process, I’d do it. But sadly, no characters are spanked in my book. I know. I’m sorry. Maybe next time?

Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?

I’m definitely a plotter. I don’t know how to write by the seat of my pants. There are so many scary things going on in my brain. I usually start with a broad outline. When it’s time to dive into a chapter, I’ll flesh it out a bit with points I want to touch upon. That’s not to say that I don’t go off on a hundred tangents once I start writing but I have a very definitive idea of where I’m going and how I’m getting there. At least on the page. In life, I’m lost without a GPS. I’ve been known to record dialogue on my iPhone as I’m driving. I’m like Michael Keaton in Night Shift. Without Henry Winkler and the prostitution ring. Or Shelley Long. Gotta love Shelley Long.
What is a typical writing day like for you?

I wish I had a typical writing day. Free time is at a premium for me. And I don’t like forcing myself to write. I’d totally fail at NaNoWriMo. If I’m not in the right frame of mind or the words just aren’t coming, I can’t do it. It just sounds forced. I’m constantly struggling with when I want to write versus when I have the time to write.

Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?

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, and I’m dying to jump on Laini’s sequel to Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I recently finished The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and it’s beyond amazing. I can’t stop talking about it. 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. I would be remiss if I didn’t add that both Suzanne Collins and Veronica Roth are geniuses. Clearly I’ve never been good picking one favorite!

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

Gosh. One thing? I’m nine chapters into a story that needs some work. I’d like to perform some CPR on that one. Hopefully give it a chance to see the light of day—play with the other kids. And obviously I’d like to see LIVING BACKWARDS made into a movie so that I can make a cameo. But it doesn’t need to be next year. I’m patient.

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?

X-ray vision. Kidding. Creepy. I’d like to be able to teleport. Croissant for breakfast in France. Favorite burger in NYC for lunch. Gnocchi in Italy for dinner. I’m very food-focused.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?

Is there any answer other than a winged unicorn? I mean it’s pretty obvious and much better than your run-of-the mill unicorn. My unicorn would be useful. Who needs teleportation when you can fly to France on a unicorn? Bet it makes the food taste better too.

Tell us a little about LIVING BACKWARDS.

The main character, Jillian Cross, falls and bumps her head while trying to squeeze herself into a very unforgiving pair of skinny jeans. When she wakes up, she’s back in her childhood bedroom. It’s 1999 and she’s a senior in high school. Because she’s aware that any change she makes can affect the future, she sets off to walk the same path she walked more than ten years earlier. Unfortunately, she finds it’s hard to be the same person she was when she was seventeen. Mostly because the first time around, she didn’t have a pink, sparkly flask. And she hadn’t met Luke. It’s hard to be reasonable when there’s a cute boy on a motorcycle.

What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)

My iPhone. Sad but true.

Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?

It would have to be the right situation. I’ve talked about writing with a friend of mine whose style I just love. We’ve written short, goofy things together and had the best time. This, of course, is only if Tina Fey isn’t available. Sorry, Sarine.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?

Bill Clinton. I’d ask him to sing Blurred Lines.

What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?

I run and participate in sprint triathlons. It’s nothing I ever envisioned doing but something I’m really proud of. Prepping for one in September now!

If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?

I really wish I could sing. In my head, I’m an amazing lead vocalist. I also think I’d make a great mysterious drummer who occasionally rocks the microphone ala Don Henley or Phil Collins.

Favorite color?


Weather: Hot or cold?


Favorite place to read?

I do most of my reading on the subway in the morning. I also secretly judge what other people read.

Favorite meal

Cheeseburger. I’m burger snob.

Favorite non-alcoholic drink.

I’m addicted to an energy drink called Celsius. I’m convinced it makes me faster and smarter and more awesome.

If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?

Such an unfair question because I have a terminal case of wanderlust. I would go backpacking through Europe with my sister. Without backpacks. That part sounds dreadful and heavy. Same basic premise though. Go everywhere and see everything. I love southern Italy and London. Dying to travel through France, Greece and Spain. Since there are no limits or money constraints, we don’t need to worry about getting mugged or murdered in a hostel. Sorry hostel lovers but the movie ruined me for life. Never ever, ever.

Living Backwards
by Tracy Sweeney



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?




Before I rounded the corner to the rear of the gym, I knew something felt off. I just couldn’t figure out what it was. Turning the corner, I saw that for the first time all year, I wasn’t alone. A girl was sitting on one of the milk crates. Her long brown hair was hiding her face as she bent over. In her hands, dangling between her legs was what looked like a flask. She looked more like someone who belonged at Jonas’s pub than at a high school. The girl hadn’t heard me coming and I was irritated because I just wanted some peace and quiet. Grabbing a cigarette from my pack, I cleared my throat not knowing how else I could get her attention and tell her to leave. She looked up, startled, and nearly knocked the wind out of me. It was Jillian Cross. Jillian Cross was sitting on my milk crate. Behind the gym. In my place. With a flask. And it was pink.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:  

Tracy Sweeney graduated with a degree in Management and Finance but prefers writing ridiculous things to crunching ridiculous numbers. She lives north of Boston, Massachusetts with her two young boys. Her short stories have appeared in Literary Juice, Solecisms and Slice of Life Magazines. Her debut novel, LIVING BACKWARDS, was published in January 2013. She is currently working on her second novel which will be equally as ridiculous.

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  1. Thanks for having me, Nikki. I'd like to share that I didn't drown during my triathlon last weekend despite looking like I was stroking out in the pictures posted to the race site. My face was such a lovely shade of purple. :)