Hello all, and welcome to another Friday post! I have a great author to introduce you to. This is another Historical Fiction author friend I have met through the ACFW Historical Fiction Facebook Group. As you well know, I cannot say enough good things about ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). If this is your first time on my page (first: Hey! Welcome! Glad you’re here!), check out this post to learn more about ACFW (it is another author interview, but I share a bit about ACFW and some of the perks).
Author Tracy Popolizio is here today to share her book, The Longest New York Minute via interview and in a giveaway (details below). It is an interesting title, don’t you think? And it has an even more interesting thought behind it. Before I spoil the interview, let me just step out of the way and let you find out for yourself.
A thirteen-year old girl, Jessica Bianchi, lives with her Christian family in an apartment in New York City. Her biggest problem is that her father doesn’t seem to understand her anymore. Life continues but then Tuesday, September 11, 2001, happens. The safe, secure world Jessica knows crumbles right in front of her eyes. The Twin Towers are attacked, her father is missing, and her mother is in another state. Jessica’s faith is tested in ways that didn’t seem possible. In The Longest New York Minute, I wanted to recap the events of the day from the perspective of a young girl.
Wow. What a hard day of events to take on. What was the inspiration for The Longest New York Minute? Was there something that made this story worth it?
My daughter was in 4th grade and came home from school interested to know more about 9/11. When I couldn’t find anything age-appropriate for her to read, I decided to write a story for both my children so they could have an idea of what happened.
I commend you. That is no easy task. Especially with such a heavy subject. But we do need to make such important parts of our collective story accessible to our children as it is appropriate.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?
No, I wanted to be a teacher. I used to write poetry and a few short pieces of work, but it was never something on my bucket list.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Probably only after I finished The Longest New York Minute did I realize I wanted to do more.
Interesting. You made it through a whole book…and one that must have had its challenges before you got bit by the writing bug (so they say). But, as you surely know, it’s not all roses and sunshine. There are parts of this whole gig that’s not for the faint of heart. What part of the writing process do you dread?
Always the editing. It’s always been a very difficult thing for me, even in high school. Now I think I dread it because it reveals the area I struggle most-forming the words in the most meaningful, effective way to reach the reader.
You are not alone 🙂 The longer I interview authors, the more I get this response.
I think it’s important for writers to always be learning…and there’s a lot we can learn from each other. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?
Honestly the best advice I keep telling myself too is to give the entire piece of work to God. Let Him guide you through every step of the way.
I like that. A little while ago, I did an exercise in which I sought out a common core element in my novels. I won’t spoil everyone’s reading experience and give it away…but faith was at the very core. His guidance and purpose for me is very central. I couldn’t do it without Him. No doubt.
Just as we learn from each other, I think so much of what we know at the start is what we have intuitively picked up from reading. And continue to. So, I always ask: what are you currently reading?
Letters From Rifka, by Karen Hesse. I’ve been reading books that relate to the book I just finished to help me with wording, details, etc. This book follows a young Russian Jewish immigrant to America.
I totally set up a writing atmosphere. It just helps me focus better. What about you? Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?
I seem to write the most at night just because it’s when I have the most time. When I can, I love to do my writing in the morning or later at night when everyone is asleep. My favorite place is probably the new office my husband made for me, sitting at my big desk that used to be my grandma’s with my cup of tea.
I can just picture it! Makes me what to tap away at the keyboard 🙂
Tracy, I gotta ask…can you tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
A young Jewish Christian boy helps Jessica find strength in God.
Intriguing… One last question and I’ll let you go. Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?
YES! I am so excited, I just finished the first edits of my second manuscript. I’ve been working on it for about a year and a half and I am so thrilled that it’s nearly finished. The story takes place in Nazi Germany and is based on real life events of a young girl. This is a very special project because I was personally asked by the woman’s husband to write a story about her. It’s fictional, but after meeting with her a few times I incorporated events that she remembered from her childhood into the story.
Great. Now I’m totally intrigued and I have to wait (not my strong suit) 🙂 Love, love, love historicals over here.
At any rate, thank you so much, Tracy, for joining me today and for sharing about your book and giving us some insight into your process and yourself. I can’t wait to introduce my readers to more info on the book and give them details on the GIVEAWAY!! (Details below.) So, without further ado, let’s jump right in:
The Longest New York Minute
“I’m so excited to see a book that is encouraging and edifying for youth. This is a must read! A great read really for any age! The characters draw you right in. This book is also historically accurate and you get a real feel for what it was like to be in NYC during 911.” ~ 5 star Amazon Review
Enjoy an Excerpt
She held her breath as a second airplane made its way into the picture and, just as they predicted, collided with the second tower. As much as Jessica wanted to look away, she couldn’t…Every student in the room was speechless. The teachers had composed themselves long enough to try to help the students. From the weight of the silence in the room, it seemed like a ton of bricks was hanging over everyone. Then slowly, a little at a time, students and adults began to sob together. First the younger ones, then slowly it spread across the entire room. Slowly, Jessica felt suffocated by a fear she had never felt before as the realization hit her like a cold bucket of water. Her father! Her dad! All her anger and resentment took a backseat as new emotions swept over her. Was he inside the restaurant eating breakfast? Where was he? New Jersey?
More About the Author
Tracy Popolizio works with young children as a preschool teacher. While she has written pieces of poetry and short stories in the past, she is looking forward to using her writing as an avenue to draw young people closer to the Lord. She likes reading historical fiction and inspirational books that challenge her to soar even higher. In her free time, Tracy enjoys camping, running and taking walks with her husky, and spending time with her family. Tracy lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children and is blessed to be close to their extended family, enabling them to enjoy time together.
Connect with Tracy
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/TheLongestNewYorkMinute/
Tracy is offering a paperback copy of her book, The Longest New York Minute, to one winner, within the continental United States, who will be chosen by the Rafflecopter below. Please follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter. Entries will be accepted today through Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 11:59 pm.
Welcome to a different kind of Wednesday! First of all, it’s my birthday. Happy birthday to me! Secondly, we have a returning guest. I know what you are thinking…it’s Wednesday, not Friday…guest authors are on Friday. Well, this is a special guest and I made an exception. My friend who I have never met in person, author Kadee Carder, has added a new book to her repertoire. And I just had to introduce you to it.
Some of you may remember Kadee from her Insurrection Trilogy. I met Kadee through our common publisher, Clean Reads. Kadee stands out because of how she truly inspires other authors and helps everyone along on their journeys. Not only their writing journeys, but where they are in life. That is a special quality and I admire her for it. But, let’s jump right in and get to her book!
My preacher introduced the idea that people who do not know God are simply prisoners of war. What better way to free prisoners than by love? What better way to fight darkness than with light? Do we work on earth to accomplish material things or do we share encouragement, love, inspiration, and good works in the name of someone much greater than ourselves? Do we humbly help and teach? We humans aren’t just here on this planet to make money or fill time. We are here for life, and a life full. God put each of us here, doing good work he created long ago for us to do. We don’t do any of it for our glory or success, but to free the prisoners of war.
For those who are meeting you for the first time, tell us…did you always want to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a child. I dreamed of walking in the big, puffy white suit and dancing on the moon. Now I guess my sci fi novels are the best way for me to get there!
What suggestions do you have to help me become a better writer?
To become better at anything, two words a wise woman once told me: Persistence. Consistency.
Write every day, and teach others to write. Make a list of words you misuse or overuse, and in editing, yank those suckers out of there, especially passive voice (is, was) and unnecessary words like “that” and “there.”
That is the truth! Good words. We are always learning from each other. Speaking of…as you know, we learn directly and indirectly (through reading others’ works). What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading Royally Entitled by Melody Delgado.
Another Clean Reads author…and in my genre! I think you will find it a delightful read.
I always set a mood when I write… What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?
I adore 90’s punk rock like Angels and Airwaves, Blink 182, Green Day, Skillet, and epic music like Imagine Dragons. If it’s a good workout song, I probably dig it, especially for my battle scenes.
Neat. I wouldn’t have imagined any different 🙂 Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?
I love the night. While the stars shimmer, they whisper songs of hope and freedom. And secrets. My favorite writing process includes taking a nice, slow walk at dusk as the stars begin to fall, and then sit down in my media room at my desk and tap, tap, tap into the night. It’s a fabulous evening when I can process the gravel of the road, the crunch of shoes upon pavement, and the whispering of life through the trees’ dancing.
Wow. How inspiring! How long does it take you to write a book?
Every book works differently! Insurrection began as my thesis for my Master of Fine Arts degree and I wrote the first draft in a month. Then in editing I chunked the first 30,000 words and added way too many in about two more months. Incomplete took approximately three months, and Indelible approximately four or five. Here Be Dragons I worked on for about four or five months.
My most recent manuscript took seven because I’ve been teaching more consistently, researching, and learning about mindset shifts. In his memoir On Writing, Stephen King wrote a manuscript shouldn’t take more than three months or the characters/plot get convoluted. I have to agree that the seven-month journey with this last novel was too long and I had several edits to help navigate some inconsistencies I discovered, but again, every novel has its own life and discovery. I needed to learn certain lessons before I could write the book, and time is one of the best teachers of all.
I love how you call it a journey. It truly is. You take a journey with your characters. Sometimes you map the path they take, sometimes they go “off trail” with you.
I have to ask…could you tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
While researching Australia and all of its beautiful locations, I walked the streets of Perth in Google Earth. Off the coast of Perth lies an island named Rottnest Island. It’s home to a cute lighthouse, several hotels and camp grounds, and beautiful beaches. I decided my characters just HAD to spend some time there facing their monsters. I mean, if you’ve got to train for your life, shouldn’t you get to do it in an exotic locale with fabulous sunsets?
I can so picture it! One last question before I let you go: Do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?
I recently submitted a finale for my Alliance Military Guard characters to my publisher and I’m hoping to get a contract for it. I’ve done a lot of mindset work recently, on dealing with rejection and facing your fears. What does a hero do when she’s faced her fears…and they killed her? All people contend with a cup of wrath, a yoke, and a cross to bear. You must believe in yourself, your Alliance, and consider challenge an opportunity for growth. These ideas are what I’ve put into the fifth and final book with my Alliance characters.
Sounds like a great way to tie up a series. Thank you, Kadee, for joining me again on the blog and for your time. Now it’s time to turn our attention to Here Be Dragons and give the readers a little taste:
Here Be Dragons
Alliance Military Guard sent the order. Sergeant Tucker Thompson acquiesced. Hopping on a plane to his long-lost Australian birthplace, he’s been charged with his toughest mission yet. Thompson must rally his company of soldiers to prevent a new generation of weaponry from breaching the world’s borders.
Pound the war drums. Rattle the cages. Here be Dragons.
Enjoy an Excerpt
Creeping through the sultry space, footsteps steady and stealthy, we readied our weapons. Blood and fire pulsed through my veins like they’d done so many times in training. This was the game, after all. These Alliance builders loved their long hallways.
Our rustling stirred up dust underfoot, and cement beams overhead groaned in disuse.
“How many feet‘re we underground ya think?” Hawk asked from the back of the line.
Flashlights and head lamps illuminated the way before us, stark tile work on the ground cracked and chipped. With every few feet we advanced, the walls became more fractured and peeling, as if a wave of tremors had rippled outward from the explosions of the bombing. Like vines along the paint, crevices in the cement grew substantial and entangled. Cautious and wary, we proceeded.
After several minutes of quiet steps echoing along the corridor, someone’s beam of light caught a fleck of darkness upon the wall.
“What’s that?” Norita asked.
Burkman shined his light to the scrawled paint upon the wall. The black paint dripped the warning: Beware.
Purchase here be dragons on kindle unlimited for only $4.99:
Fierce yet sparkly, I help seekers find brave new worlds. The goal is magic, the medium is ink, and the fuel is coffee. And sometimes pizza. I teach English on the university level when I’m not dancing around the living room with my family, lifting heavy at the gym, traveling the planet, or binging superhero shows.
The INSURRECTION trilogy, Here Be Dragons, and non-fiction inspirational Ignite roll out perilous motives, twisty plots, and daring protagonists. Grab some real estate and your copy of my latest adventure, and follow along at KadeeCarder.com.
Connect with Kadee and Her Books
Visit http://www.kadeecarder.com for inspiration, radio interviews, gift certificates, freebie codes, and more!
And please feel free to subscribe for encouraging blogs! Kadeecarder.com
I’m giving away a free, empowering e-book to those who subscribe to my email list at kadeecarder.com. Titled IGNITE, the 60-page book offers a serving of inspiration, a dash of hope, and a cup of grace to help you get kickin’ on those challenging tasks you’ve got to do!
A free copy of the Alliance Military Guard Training Guide containing 10 workouts! With over ten years of experience specializing in metabolic conditioning, and as the official trainer of the Alliance Military Guard, Fit By Faith© owner Krista Johnson has created ten workouts to get you in gear and ready to crush life. Utilizing a variety of whole-body strengthening techniques, your FREE WORKOUTS will be just what you need to start your new year off the right way. Each of the ten workouts can be completed at home or in a gym, and takes approximately thirty minutes or less.
For a chance to win this fabulous prize, follow the Rafflecopter instructions below: