I am excited to welcome author Tracy Clark, who is celebrating the release of her third Light Key novel, Illuminate.
Haunted by the loss of her loved ones, Cora Sandoval, one of the remaining few of an extraordinary race known as Scintilla, holds the key to disentangling the biggest conspiracy in human history…and its link to the fate of the human race. As Cora follows a trail of centuries-old clues and secrets, she collides with a truth not only shocking, but dangerous.
With enemies both known and unknown hot on her trail, Cora must locate each of the ancient clues hidden in the art, religions, and mythologies of humankind. And through it all, she must keep her heart from being torn apart by the two boys she loves most. One is Scintilla, one is Arazzi.
Save herself. Save the Scintilla. Save the world.
Or die trying…
As A Writer
What is the most painful part of the process for you when you’re writing a book?
Drafting, revising, and editing are all hard. The business of publishing is hard in that it requires that you also be a writer, editor, accountant, publicist, marketer, motivational speaker (to yourself) and social media expert—often all in one day—and that’s painful when you just want to play with words!
Many writers favor one element of making a book over others. Then there’s this whole other class of love/hate that strikes us. I’ll call it “process amnesia.” That’s the very real ailment a writer suffers when we fantasize about revising when we’re drafting, and in the middle of heavy revising we long for the freewheeling days of drafting. Fickle bunch, right? The words are greener on the other side.
Personally, I love to revise. That’s when I get to comb through, refine, hone my pacing and plot, and make the words pretty. I call the drafting process “Hanging the Bones” because that’s when I get my basic structure down. It’s in revisions that I get to dress the skeleton. But the most painful part of my writing process can be summed up in one word: CHOICES.
There are SO MANY choices to make! It’s easy to get hung up by the debilitating fear that you’re making the wrong story choice; that your character should have turned left instead of right. Like in life, there’s a consequence to every choice. Even when some writers give themselves the “map” of an outline, there are countless options and decisions to make along the way. Surprises happen. Characters do and say things you didn’t expect. Hell, there was a death in Deviate (book 2) that I never planned! Yet, when the moment came, I knew it was inevitable. However, I know that the choices I made leading up to that moment created the inevitability.
The reason choices are so scary is that a writer understands that if they make the wrong one and figure it out, they’ll eventually have to go back and unbraid their entire book to fix the mistake. Untangling a book and putting it back together is no easy task. The hope is to get it right the first time. But like real-life, we don’t always make the perfect choice. Hindsight is a pair of Doom Goggles.
When creating the Light Key Trilogy, and especially with Illuminate, the conclusion of the series, I had many choices to make in the hopes that I’d tie everything up in a satisfying yet surprising way. You don’t write a whole series without a really good notion of where you’re headed. There are choices I made early on that definitely caused me trouble as the series progressed. Secret… Finn’s sortilege was one of those choices; caused a challenge for me in almost every book! I hope you find Illuminate to be satisfying, thought provoking, and exciting!
Meet Tracy Clark!
Tracy Clark is a young-adult writer because she believes teens deserve to know how much they matter and that regardless of what they’re going through, they aren’t alone. In other words, she writes books for her teen self. She 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. Tracy is a proud mom, lover of words, a private pilot, a spicy chocolate connoisseur, and an irredeemable dreamer.
Her debut novel was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life. It is the first book in The Light Key Trilogy. Her YA thriller, Mirage, will come out from Harcourt Houghton Mifflin July of 2016.
Want to purchase Tracy’s novels?
The Light Key Trilogy
Mirage (July 5, 2016)