Monday, August 29, 2011

Interview with YA Author Tracy Marchini

Tracy Marchini is a freelance writer and editorial consultant. Before launching her own editorial service, she worked at a literary agency, as a children's book reviewer, a newspaper correspondent and a freelance copywriter. She may also be known as the worst kickball player to ever grace her schoolyard. More information about her and her critique services can be found at www.tracymarchini.com.

Hello Tracy. Please tell us about your new book, Hot Ticket.

Hot Ticket is the story of Juliet Robinson, the only sixth grade in John Jay Jr. High (Triple J for short) who doesn’t have a hot ticket. When one of the dorkiest kids in school, Crammit Gibson, gets a hot ticket before she does, she knows that the only way to salvage her middle school reputation is to stop the mysterious ticket dispenser once and for all.

With the help of her best friend Lucy, a Daria-esque Madeline and her semi-crush Crammit, Juliet is determined to catch the ticket dispenser and climb a few rungs on the middle-school social ladder. Unfortunately for Juliet, things don’t quite go as planned…

You list your book as a middle grade mystery, meant for ages eight to twelve. What makes this a mystery novel?

The sixth graders of John Jay Jr. High have been receiving hot tickets for cool things they’ve done all year, and shame tickets for doing something embarrassing, like falling asleep in class or making a bad joke. Juliet hasn’t even received a shame ticket, which is even more frustrating because she does more embarrassing things in one week than most people do in their lifetime. Juliet decides to unmask the ticket dispenser, knowing that solving this mystery could make the ticket system completely pointless. It’s a risk she’s willing to take, especially since she feels she’s being deliberately ignored by the person giving out the tickets.

Juliet’s list of suspects is short, but when the yearbook committee decides to find the dispenser, and the Students for Ticket Preservation start to work against Juliet, it’s only a matter of time before someone else solves the biggest mystery Triple J has ever had.

This sounds like a fun story for the youth. Where did you get your inspiration for this book?

I was working at Curtis Brown and my colleague Amelia said the phrase “Hot ticket” to me one day. I’d never heard it, but I realized that the equivalent when I went to school was to say “Points” when someone did something cool, or “Negative points” when someone did something uncool. So I asked myself, “What would happen if hot tickets were physical things, and someone actually handed out hot and shame tickets?” I became excited at the idea of a physical representation of the “cool points” system, and how one anonymous person could change the whole social hierarchy of their school if they were able to make their system stick. I wrote the first chapter during my lunch break, and sent it to Amelia, who encouraged me to continue. Thus, HOT TICKET was born!

You also wrote another YA story called Effie At The Wedding. What is this book about?

Effie At The Wedding is a funny, contemporary YA short story. Effie has a million reasons why she's not thrilled to be at her sister's wedding -- and the monstrously pink bridesmaid's dress isn't even on the list. When Effie finds herself locked in the bathroom, she thinks she might just stay there. After all, it's better than hearing from her mom about how often she's been to the buffet or how beautiful Ophelia looks in her wedding dress.

As the bouquet is tossed and the cake is eaten, Effie will have to find a reason to celebrate... or get used to her porcelain throne.

Both books sound intriguing to me. I think the youth would enjoy them. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

Juliet’s favorite book and movie series is Bailey Bean, Girl Detective, which is modeled after my love of Nancy Drew stories. When I was Juliet’s age, my friend and I tried to read all of the Nancy Drew Case Files that the school library had. (It had to be over 100, and that’s how I earned most of my Accelerated Reader points!) Nancy herself does slip into the book once, when Madeline is trying to convince Juliet to let her help with the case. Juliet wants to work solo, like her icon Bailey Bean, but Madeline says, “I’ll be the George to your Nancy” and is eventually allowed to help. 

So you put a little of yourself in this novel. That’s awesome. I think a lot of us do that in our stories. We put a little of our self in one of the characters, giving him or her something that we love or enjoy or even a phobia that we have. It makes the story come alive. Thank you very much for this wonderful interview, Tracy.

21 comments:

Gayle said...

Thanks for the interview -- these books sound like ones my kids would really like!
bgh@byu.net

Anna Maria Junus said...

The book sounds great.

Darlene said...

I'd love to win this for my 9-year old daughter. Please enter me in the draw!

darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

Thanks for the giveaway!

jacque said...

I'm glad more writers are writing appealing and age approriate book for the tweens!
twinmomx5 at gmail

slb3334 said...

Looks like a good book.

slb3334@gmail.com

stacythemagnificentmommy said...

fun! thank you!
hancoci_s at msn dot com

Cherry said...

Thanks for the interview and giveaway
vivianmah8(AT)hotmail.com

zoey said...

thanks for interview (and not for only this, you have so many great interviews on your blog and that's fantasitc cos I love interviews :))

zoey42.42@gmail.com

Rachel Brooks said...

I think everyone puts a little of themselves in their novels, whether its something as small as a gesture.

Also, I’m a new follower—wonderful blog! Stop by my blog and follow me too? :) http://rachelbrookswrites.blogspot.com/

sweetstaker said...

Looks like a cute book.
sweetstaker at yahoo dot com

Jenn S. said...

Sounds like something my daughter would really enjoy.
jas8929(at)gmail(dot)com

krystal-larson said...

These books sound really interesting. My little sister would love them.

edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

Lenasledgeblog.com said...

Thanks for the giveaway. I'm participating in the blog hop as well. Hope to stay connected.

lenasledge(at)gmail(dot)com

One of my favorite book series is the Anne of Green Gables, anything comparable has to be good.

Sherry said...

These would be great for my niece.

sstrode at scrtc dot com

My Hyer Space said...

Enjoyed your interview. Sounds like a fun book for my grandkids to read. Thanks for this opportunity to have this book in my library. agent3547 at aol dot com

Çråz¥ K¥ said...

sounds intreesting
nightsky1102(at)gmail(dot)com

ruthhill74 said...

I would certainly love to win! I love reading stories about young people--it keeps me young!
ruthaw_1974@yahoo.com

meandmom said...

This sounds like a book my daughter might like.

jeryl.marcus@gmail.com

Linne said...

I'm interested to read this book and see if my kids will enjoy it.

linne_marsh@yahoo.com

Debbie Kennedy said...

I like to pre-read books that my daughter might like to read. This sounds very age appropriate. I'd love to win this.
cleaningrhouse at yahoo dot com

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations, Zoey! You are the winner of this awesome ebook. I know you'll enjoy it. Stay tuned for more giveways each week!