INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Author Tracy Popolizio

by | Jan 5, 2018 | writing

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.

Welcome to my blog! Thanks for visiting today. First, Tracy, can you tell us a little about your novel?

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?

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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


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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.

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