Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Interview with Tracy Deebs, author of Tempest Rising!

You've seen my review for Tracy Deebs's Tempest Rising (if not you can find it here) and now I have an interview with no one other than the author herself! So without a further ado...

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In your opinion, what are the top three reasons why teens (or even adults!) should consider picking up Tempest Rising the next time they see it in stores or online?

You mean, besides mermaids? Hmmmm… People should pick up Tempest Rising because … it’s got a kick-ass heroine, a kick-ass love triangle, and a kick-ass villain. And mermaids! What else do you need?

Tempest Rising tells the story of Tempest so would you share a little about her? In addition, if you could offer her any advice, what would you say?

Tempest is confused and frightened and torn between the life she wants to lead and the life she thinks she might be destined for. Unlike most mermaids, Tempest runs away from her destiny—the last thing she wants to do is abandon her family and friends the way her mother did. But at the same time, no matter how hard she tries, she can’t defy what fate has in store for her, though she tries desperately. Two of the things I like most about Tempest are her loyalty and bravery. But at the same time, both of these things have a tendency to make her take on more than she can handle. My advice to Tempest is to trust herself. She has good instincts and if she follows them, she’ll do just fine.

In the book, Tempest is half-mermaid and half-human, which leaves me to wonder the following: what inspired you to tackle the subject of mermaids in this?

I love mermaids. Love, love, love mermaids. 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, when I sat down to write my first YA and was still undecided about what paranormal creature I wanted to tackle, my agent asked, “How do you feel about mermaids?” Instantly, I was right back where I started all those years ago and knew I wasn’t going to be happy writing about anything else.


Now Out!
What inspired you to set the majority of Tempest Rising on the sandy beaches of California, rather than a separate sunny area by the sea?

I actually grew up in San Diego, hanging out at the same beaches that Tempest does. And while she is a much better surfer than I ever was, I spent my fair share of time on a surfboard when I was her age.

In the book, Tempest always seems to feel most at peace when she is surfing, so what are some hobbies and activities you enjoy in your spare time?

I love anything having to do with the water, actually. I love to swim, and though I am currently land-locked in Central Texas, I used to love to surf and hang out at the beach. I also love to shop, bike, dance, read anything and everything I can get my hands on, go to movies, go to sporting events with my guys and hang out with my friends :)

If Tempest Rising had a theme song, what would it be?

Don’t Speak, by No Doubt. It’s an old song, but as I was writing Tempest I found myself listening to it again and again and again. It just sums up Tempest’s fears about her relationship with everything and everyone so well …

All of your previous books have been adult romances so what made you decide to switch to the YA genre with this one?

I love YA novels, and always have. I taught junior high and high school for a few years when I was working on my Ph.D and was always awed by the strength and power of my students’ voices. I moved into YA because I wanted to help showcase those voices, and really hope that Tempest does them justice.

What’s up next for you book wise?

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 …

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Thanks so much for stopping by Tracy! Both of your upcoming books sound fabulous!

To find out more about Tracy, click here.

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