Wednesday, March 11, 2015

#TSOLG Paperback Palooza: Five Random Questions with Tracey Baptiste

Tracey, knee deep in Summer and sand.

To celebrate the paperback release of THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO on March 31st, I'm super excited to announce that I am hosting a reading and writing (!!) Author Palooza on April 29th at the Huntington Public Library.

Several other amazing kidlit, MG and YA book authors 
will be joining me for the fun and hands-on writers workshop, and I thought it would be nice to get to know them -- and me -- a little in the weeks leading up to the event. 

You may read all about the event HERE on the facebook event page, and even if you can't come to the event live, please  join the page and follow the fun.

So, on to the getting-to-know-them part of the festivities... 

I've asked each guest author to share their favorite piece of writing advice (or quotes that have helped or inspired them) as well as to answer five random questions from a big list I provided. Many of their answers are quite entertaining! You'll see! 

So, over the next several weeks, I will share their answers (and may even chime in with my own answer -- or comment -- to the occasional question in pink ...)

Up today, guest author Tracey Baptiste, author of the forthcoming THE JUMBIES, on sale April 28th!! 

With its able and gutsy heroine, lyrical narration, and inventive twist on the classic Haitian folktale “The Magic Orange Tree,” The Jumbies will be a favorite of fans of Breadcrumbs, A Tale Dark and Grimm, and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. 

Don't know what a Jumbie is? Here's a field guide. 

You can read all about Tracey HERE

I asked Tracy to share one of her favorite quotes about writing and I must say, I love it:

One of my favorite writing quotes is really about doing research, and it’s from a book I reread often, On Writing Well by William Zinsser: 

“If your mother says she loves you, find a second source.” It’s based on an old newspaper adage about double-checking facts, something that’s great to keep in mind when I write and edit nonfiction.

Now on to Five Random Questions with Tracey Baptiste... 

1. When was your first kiss? 

I’m sorry to tell you that my first real kiss was when I was 13, which is even more frightening when I think about my daughter fast approaching 13. It was at a party that I went to with my cousin (also 13) in a small village in south Trinidad. On weekends, people would throw parties and they were innocent enough that our parents would let us go for a few hours. Older kids could stay later, but my cousin and I had to leave around 10. Anyway, I started dancing with a boy, and he kissed me. I was surprised, and also trapped because the back of my shirt was caught on something. I eventually ripped away and ruined a perfectly good shirt. It wasn’t that I minded him kissing me. He and I dated for a bit after, but I was just surprised and uncomfortable, and sort of grumpy because I really liked that shirt.

2.  Got any nicknames? 

My mom used to call me Nat, short for Natalie, my middle name. My first name was supposed to be Natalie, but my dad was the one who went to do my birth certificate (they didn’t do them in the hospital with both parents present in Trinidad. Someone had to go to the Registrar’s office and fill out the forms) and when he did, he gave me a name similar to my two older cousins that ended in “y” and had a hyphenated “Ann.” So my real name is actually Tracey-Ann, just like my cousins Debby-Ann and Shelly-Ann. Anyway, my mother refused to call me Tracey-Ann, and called me Nat. Even when she called me by my first name she never used the Ann. When I got married, I officially dropped it.

3. What's the grossest thing you ever ate?

I must admit, I'm having a bit of a hard time, cutting and pasting Tracey's answer here. . . *holds nose* Here goes:

I think a lot of people would find blood pudding super gross, but I grew up eating it, and it’s delicious. It’s literally pig blood in pig intestines. So yeah, gross, but also a delicacy in Ireland and in Trinidad, where I grew up. I like it warm on freshly-baked bread with a little pepper sauce on it. Now I’m hungry. Thanks.

*gags* (No, seriously)

4. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Amazingly, I always wanted to be a writer. You’d think I would have gotten started sooner with my career since I never really deviated from the plan, but here we are.

5. If your superpower wasn't writing, what other superpower would you choose?

I always wished I had the power of mind control, specifically to control what people see. As a small, brown-skinned girl, I always felt intimidated, especially after I moved to the United States at the age of fifteen. I noticed very quickly that people who were brown were treated differently from people who were white, and I wished that in some situations, I could make people see me as a different person just to see how the reaction would change. 

So, there you have it. . .  a few random things about author Tracey Baptiste, including that last poignant one. 

Hope you'll check out all Tracey's books and look for her forthcoming THE JUMBIES, and if you're anywhere local, that you'll join us at the Huntington Public Library on April 19th for the reading, book signing and, if you're a tween or teen writer, the hands-on writers workshop with all these fabulous authors! 

Registration begins April 6th! 

And don't forget to preorder THE JUMBIES and a paperback copy of THE SUMMER OF LETTING GO

xox gae

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