Interview with YA Paranormal Romance Author Tracy Clark. Read Scintillate: The Light Key Trilogy

This is an opportunity to go behind the scenes, get into the nitty-gritty of the many paranormal worlds and enter into the fertile imaginations of authors I love. Bring a flashlight. It’s sometimes dark in here, but so worth the trip. Remember, monsters need love too. Otherwise, how would we ever have baby monsters?

Think on THAT a while…

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Welcome, Author Tracy Clark! You’ve just released SCINTILLATE, the first book in The Light Key Trilogy from Entangled Teen.  Tell us a little bit about your story.  

Thank you so much for having me! SCINTILLATE is about a girl named Cora Sandoval who, after an illness, can see auras. Her aura is different from anyone else’s and that makes her a target of some very dangerous people. She must find out why she’s different and why someone is trying to kill her. There’s the intrigue of what’s happening to her with the backdrop of falling in love for the first time with Finn Doyle, an Irish exchange student from Ireland. SCINTILLATE is definitely about the palpable energy between people.

Do you consider your book(s) urban fantasy, paranormal romance or something else? What attracted you to the genre?

For shelving purposes, it’s a YA paranormal romance. But if f I could slap my own custom moniker on it, I’d say it’s a “metaphysical mystery” with far-reaching implications for humanity.

Let’s talk beasties. Do any monsters make appearances in your novels. If so, tell us about a few of them. Do you have a favorite? Don’t lie. Every parent…erm…author…does. Spill it. If not, what makes your book paranormal, urban fantasy or science fiction?

In this book, the monsters are among us and almost impossible to detect until it’s too late. Hopefully, by the end of the series you’ll be questioning who is the real monster! It’s paranormal because of the extra-sensory abilities of the characters and the mythology I created to explain the give and take of energy that we all feel from time to time, especially with certain people.

Is this a series? Stand-alone book? If it is a series, what does the future look like for this series? How many more books to come? What can we expect and more importantly…WHEN!

SCINTILLATE is the first book in the series and book two is expected to drop in January or February 2015! I’m busy writing book 3 right now.

What else are you working on?

I’ve just sold a YA thriller to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt called, MIRAGE. It’s about a daring girl who nearly kills herself skydiving and has an out-of-body experience that leaves her afraid of everything, and must go to great lengths to win her life back. It’s due out in spring 2016!

Of all the characters in your fictional word, which one or couple would you most like to hang out with over a long weekend? What would you do together? What actor or actress would play him/her in a movie?

I think it’d be a trip to hang out with Cora and hear her interpretations of everyone’s auras. I’m really interested in her mystical grandmother, Mami Tulke. I’d love to kick back with her and listen to what she has to say! For pure pleasure, I’d be at a table with both Finn Doyle and Giovanni Teso.

Let’s talk about craft. Are you a plotter or pantser? What are the first steps you take before diving into the writing of the next book?

I’ve always identified as a pantser. I’m a really organic writer and think in disjointed scenes which I then have to figure out how to stitch together. However, writing a series has forced me to outline much more than I’m used to. There’s the story arc for each individual book an then there’s the arc of the overall trilogy. That’s just too many threads to write by the seat of my pants!

For first steps, I definitely have a lot of notes and a document with random dialogue, character, and scene ideas. This is where I’ll place research, too. As hard as it can be every time, the first big step is to open that terrifying blank document and just start typing! I have to tell myself that I can always go back and make it pretty.

How long does it typically take for you to write a novel.  Best case scenario? How about editing? How long will you pick at it before setting it free to the world?

I can write a solid first draft in about 4-6 months, but that’s just the beginning. Revisions are really my favorite part of the process and take another couple of months. Now that I have an editor, the back and forth editing process is another couple of months and this is why you typically see authors come out with a book per year.

Do you have any advice to new authors or anyone considering writing fiction?

Write a ton. Read a ton. Be open to the constructive critiques of other trusted writers (hopefully ones who you think are better than you so they’ll push you.) Worry less about “getting discovered” or “the big break” and worry more about writing the very best story you can.

Can you give us a taste of what to expect? 

A mighty flame follows a tiny spark.

Cora Sandoval’s mother disappeared when she was five and they were living in Ireland. Since then, her dad has been more than overprotective, and Cora is beginning to chafe under his confines. But even more troubling is the colorful light she suddenly sees around people. Everyone, that is, except herself—instead, she glows a brilliant, sparkling silver.

As she realizes the danger associated with these strange auras, Cora is inexplicably drawn to Finn, a gorgeous Irish exchange student who makes her feel safe. Their attraction is instant, magnetic, and primal—but her father disapproves, and Finn’s mother orders him home to Ireland upon hearing he’s fallen in love. After a fight with her father, Cora flees to Ireland, both to follow Finn and to look for her missing mother.

There she meets another silver-haloed person and discovers the meaning of her newfound powers and their role in a conspiracy spanning centuries—one that could change mankind forever…and end her life.

Scintillate is the first book in this lush and exciting new trilogy, full of romance, adventure and metaphysical mystery.


“A lush and atmospheric debut with a scorching romance and a metaphysical mystery. It had me hooked from the start.” —Suzanne Young, New York Times bestselling author of The Program


“Beautifully written. Keep your eye on author Tracy Clark. She’s going places!” —Ellen Hopkins, New York Times bestselling author of the Crank trilogy


Where can we find you and your books online? 

Website | Goodreads | B&N | Amazon |Twitter | Facebook 

Instagram: TracyClarkTLC

Youtube: Scintillate trailer 


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Tracy Clark 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. She is the recipient of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Progress Grant and a two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program. Her debut novel was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life. When not writing and mothering, Tracy is a lover of words, a private pilot, and an irredeemable dreamer.