Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Tracy Richardson Interview - Catalyst


Photo Content from Tracy Richardson

TRACY RICHARDSON wasn’t always a writer, but she was always a reader. Her favorite book growing up was A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. In a weird way that book has even shaped her life through odd synchronicities. She has a degree in biology like Mrs. Murry, and, without realizing it, she named her children Alex and Katie after Meg’s parents.

Tracy uses her science background in her writing through her emphasis on environmental issues, metaphysics, and science fiction. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her doing any number of creative activities — painting furniture, knitting sweaters, or cooking something. She lives in Indianapolis, and, in case you’re wondering, yes, she’s been to the Indianapolis 500.
        
  


What inspired you to pen your first novel?
When my children started reading, I revisited books that I loved as a child and I started getting ideas for stories of my own. I feel strongly about protecting the environment and my first novel, Indian Summer, which will be re-released as a prequel to The Field and Catalyst, is loosely based on real life events. It’s set on a fictionalized version of a lake in northern Indiana where my family had property. A wealthy property owner was paying to move a road and create a bike path ostensibly for the good of the community, but I felt like it benefited them by moving the road away from their house and essentially giving them a huge front yard and buffer space. It was less about public good and more about personal gain. I took creative license and morphed it into protecting an old growth forest from development. A lot of the atmosphere for Indian Summer came from actual experiences at our lake property.

Tell us your latest news.
I guess my most exciting news is that Catalyst comes out in Ebook version on June 2nd and print in September! I have a Blog Tour starting at the end of May with over 100 bloggers! After the ‘Physical Distancing/Social Connections’ (as I like to call it) lifts, I’ll be going on a book tour for Catalyst. On a personal note I just planted my herb garden and some tomato plants! I’m so looking forward to warm weather.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle has been a big influence on my writing as have her other books in the Time Quintet and the Polly O’Keefe Quartet. She was also heavily influenced by science, spirituality, and space in her writing. I love books by EL Konigsberg and The Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner.

Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson provide me with lots of inspiration, answers and many questions about the nature of the universe and our place in it. 

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I gave a presentation to 500 librarians at the ALAN Conference in Boston. I was absolutely TERRIFIED, but I rose to the occasion and gave a decent presentation and they all clapped when I was done. It was pretty cool. 

The best thing about being published, though is talking with readers about the ideas in my books. The characters in my books connect mentally with one another through the Universal Energy Field. Almost everyone I talk with has had some experience with premonitions or ESP or intuition. I think it’s something we all have.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I hope readers will think beyond the confines of their daily lives. To imagine the vastness of the universe and what science has to offer us in terms of personal potential and supernatural possibilities. There is more to the world than meets the eye.

I also hope they recognize that the Earth is our only home and we MUST take care of her. We can all be ‘Catalysts’ for positive change. We don’t have much time left to act.

In your new book; CATALYST, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it 
Marcie Horton, a junior in high school, is spending her summer working at Angel Mounds, the archaeological dig her mother heads, along with her brother, Eric, and his girlfriend, Renee. Things immediately shift into the paranormal when Marcie and her teammates meet Lorraine and Zeke, two mysterious dig assistants who claim to access the Universal Energy Field with their minds. They assert that Earth and her resources are in grave danger and Marcie must decide if she’s brave enough to do her part to save the planet. 

What part of Marcie did you enjoy writing the most?
Most of my characters have some aspect of me in them. I tend to be a bit impatient (okay, a LOT impatient) and Marcie has some of that trait. When I was writing the first draft, my son told me that Marcie was kind of annoying. She wasn’t being very nice to Leo – she didn’t understand his reservations about things that happen in the book (I can’t tell you what those things are – spoiler!) So, I toned her down and helped her to be more empathetic and a bit more patient. She also grows from being unsure of her purpose in life to feeling totally engaged. That was a satisfying journey to write about.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I’d love to introduce Marcie to Meg and Polly from Madeline L’Engle’s books. I think the three young women would have a lot in common and a lot to talk about!

TEN RANDOM THINGS ABOUT ME

  • 1. I once took a personality test for a job and the test scorer told my prospective boss that I could give a drill Sargent a run for his money. (I got the job!) 
  • 2. Another personality test I took said that I am ‘results oriented. 
  • 3. I am the oldest of three children. My younger brothers used to call me ‘Sarge’. a. Do you see a pattern emerging? If you want someone to boss you around and get stuff done, I’m your gal! Seriously, though, I try to tamp down my desire to tell people what to do, but it slips out sometimes!!
  • 4. I have boy/girl twins. When they were little people often asked if they were identical…Nooooo, one’s a boy and one’s a girl. How could they be identical?!?!
  • 5. I held the indoor track record for the 220 yard dash (it was so long ago it was before metrics) at my high school for several years.
  • 6. I don’t like to sit and do nothing, so I often knit while watching TV. I’ve even brought knitting to the movies! Yes, I can knit in the dark.
  • 7. I have a degree in Biology and am a Financial Advisor, so I am strongly right brained, but I also knit, sew and paint and love creative pursuits. My sister-in-law once told me I was equally left and right brained which I considered a nice compliment. That combination comes in handy when writing my novels.
  • 8. I was born in the Chicago suburbs.
  • 9. I’ve traveled to all the 48 of the states in the continental US but I’ve never been to Canada or Mexico.
  • 10. I love to travel and go on road trips, but I don’t like camping. If camping had indoor plumbing and a soft mattress, then count me in!! 
What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
That a group of butterflies is called a kaleidoscope. How cool is that!?! 

What was the first job you have had? 
When I was fifteen, I worked as a cashier at Phelan’s Pharmacy in Winnetka, Illinois. It was a fun job – we got discounts on candy and makeup – and one-time Marlo Thomas came into the store. She was dating Phil Donahue who lived in the village at the time (he had a talk show based in the Chicago area). My YA readers probably won’t even know who they are, but their parents might!! I was naturally a little star-struck.

Best date you've ever had?
For my boyfriend’s birthday last year, we got all dressed up and went to a very fancy steak house in Indianapolis. It was fun and romantic, and the food was delicious! The only catch was that I had recently broken my ankle and to get from the car to the restaurant and then to our table, I had to use a scooter, walker AND crutches! 

What were you doing the last time you really had a good laugh? 
I try to laugh as much as possible!! The last time I had a really good laugh was probably last Friday night on a Zoom Virtual Cocktail Hour with my girlfriends talking about life during physical distancing. How we are wearing our pajamas or spandex pants all day long, trimming our own bangs and what we’re binge watching on Netflix. 

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be? 
I would have been more outgoing in high school and college. I got a reputation for being stuck up, but it was really because I wasn’t sure people would remember meeting me and I wasn’t confident about reaching out to people. Over the years I’ve realized that people love being remembered, and I don’t worry anymore what people think of me (most of the time at least!) My boyfriend is always joking that if he leaves me alone in a store, he’ll come back to find that I’ve made a new friend!

What event in your life would make a good movie?
The Fall after college three friends and I backpacked through Europe. We had a rough itinerary and went from city to city and country to country staying in youth hostels. There were dozens of other college-aged travelers following similar routes and we had a blast exploring Europe, meeting new people, and thoroughly enjoying ourselves as only young twenty-somethings can. We saw Paris, Brussels, Munich, Oslo, Copenhagen, London, Vienna, Rome, Venice, Florence, Athens, the Greek Islands, the French Riviera and all points in between over a ten-week period. I waited tables all summer to save up the money for the trip. I was the last one to join the group, so I traveled by myself the day after the other girls arrived. They were to meet me at Buckingham Fountain in London. This was in the 1980’s so there were no cell phones and no way for me to contact them. I waited for EIGHT HOURS for them to show up. I thought I was going to have to travel through Europe on my own, but eventually one of them came. It was a wonderful experience.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today? 
After my divorce from my husband of thirty years I thought my life was over. I fell into a very bad place for a while. But I am blessed with amazing friends and a family who love me, and they helped me move forward. My life now is beyond what I could have imagined in those dark days. I have meaningful work, my novels are being published, I have a wonderful boyfriend and I try to enjoy life to the fullest. I am grateful for everyday and everyone in my life. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.


Marcie is spending her summer working on the archeological dig that her mother runs: Angel Mounds, a site of an ancient indigenous civilization. Soon after she arrives, she meet some intriguing individuals, and becomes wrapped up in a supernaturally-charged mission to save the planet from the destruction man has brought upon itself.

Marcie Horton has a sixth sense. Not in the "I see dead people" way, but . . . well, maybe a little. She feels a sort of knowing about certain things that can't be explained-an intuition that goes beyond the normal. Then there was that one summer four years ago, when she connected with a long-departed spirit . . . But nothing that incredible has happened to Marcie since.


This summer, Marcie is spending time working at Angel Mounds, the archeological dig her mother heads, along with her brother, Eric, and his girlfriend, Renee. The dig is the site of an ancient indigenous civilization, and things immediately shift into the paranormal when Marcie and her teammates meet Lorraine and Zeke. The two mysterious dig assistants reveal their abilities to access the Universal Energy Field with their minds-something Marcie knows only vaguely that her brother has also had experience with. Marcie learns how our planet will disintegrate if action is not taken, and she and her team must decide if they are brave enough to help Lorraine and Zeke in their plan to save Mother Earth, her resources, and her history. It looks like the summer just got a lot more interesting.


You can purchase Catalyst (The Catalysts #2) at the following Retailers:
        

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you TRACY RICHARDSON for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Catalyst (The Catalysts #2) by Tracy Richardson.
jbnpastinterviews

9 comments:

  1. My favorite movie is a rom com called While You Were Sleeping.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I don't have a favorite movie really.

    ReplyDelete
  3. One of my favorite movies is Ghost.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My favorite movie is The Wizard of Oz.

    ReplyDelete
  5. My favorite movie is Star Wars.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Cabaret. A movie, based on a musical. Survival and struggle in rough and tumble 1920's Berlin. Empty bellies, blurry genders, and the birth of ugly, ugly politics.

    ReplyDelete