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My Interview with Tracy Carbone

Just wanted to take the time to introduce you to another wonderful colleague of mine.  Tracy Carbone gives new meaning to the title “ghost writer”.  Her latest work The Man of Mystery Hill, is sure to become a beloved classic to our youth and just might teach them to believe in a little magic.  I have the privilege of having her to interview.  Here’s what Tracy had to say:

The Man of Mystery Hill is your latest work and entails a girl believing in not only magic, but her father as well.  I have to ask, where did the inspiration for this story come from?

Though this book is fictional it’s loosely based on my daughter and her dad. In real life, sadly, his imagination and belief in things otherworldly got the best of him.  He hasn’t been a big part of our lives for this reason. I wrote this book so she could have a happy ending, seeing her dad as a hero. It gave me a way to provide an alternate and better ending than the actual.

Too often today, our children are much less apt to believe in magic than we were.  How wonderful would it be to you personally if the readers of your book believed a little more after reading it?

I’m a firm believer in hope and the possibility of magic. As a child, I was encouraged to believe in things I couldn’t see. As an adult, I maintained that childlike hope that maybe, just maybe, there was more out there than meets the eye. If by reading my book even one child, or adult, reconsiders believing and recapturing their imagination, then I’ll be very happy.

Most of your other published magazine and short story anthologies dealt with ghosts.  Are ghosts special to you in any way, or do you just truly enjoy writing about them?

They’re not special in particular but I do find them interesting. Many of my stories do involve ghosts mainly because once you step into that realm, it opens up so much more to write and think about than if you stick with living humans. I do have stories without ghosts but they’re just not as much fun to write.

Your current work is geared for a middle grade audience, and I notice that some of your previous works were intended for an older audience.  Which age group do you prefer writing to?

All my writing experience until this book has been geared toward teens and adults. Now that I’ve tried this though, I’ll write at least one more and likely shift my focus to a younger audience going forward. The books are shorter, and writing them immerses me in a child’s perspective, which is a lot of fun.

May we expect a sequel to the Man of Mystery Hill?

Yes. I’m working on one now and hopefully it won’t take me very long to pull it all together. Abby McNabb will be in fifth grade this time around and will have some great new adventures.

From the time you started writing until the present moment.  What part of being a published author was the most difficult for you?

I’d say right now is the hardest part. I love writing and creating and am more of a behind the scenes type. Now that the book is out, I need to market myself, visit bookstores, and do signings, and it’s a little overwhelming. Tracking down websites to link to and reaching out to strangers to buy my book is tough but I’m getting better at it. I have some great writer friends who have given me advice and that’s helped tremendously.

What is the most gratifying aspect of being a published author that you have found?

My favorite part is when people tell me they’ve read one of my published works and really liked the characters or the story. There’s nothing more gratifying than knowing my characters are permanently embedded in my readers’ heads.  Creating life like that makes me feel eternal.

Some people think that teaching children to believe in magic is not necessarily a good thing.  I couldn’t disagree more, but my question to you is, what would you say to parents who felt like this?  Would you try to change their minds?

Yes, I hope to change their minds all the time. I feel sad for people who get caught up in boundaries and have given up on the possibility of magic.  They don’t have to believe in unicorns or aliens, but the hope that the unknown holds something wonderful is something all parents should encourage. That’s what I’m trying to do in my book.

Did you believe in magic when you were a child?  Was this influential to your story?

I never believed people could fly or walk through walls but magic can be so many things. It can mean seeing a ghost or believing a guardian angel watches over you, or watching as coincidences pile up, thinking of someone when they call or knowing when they’re in pain. I think hope is a powerful tool for making all kinds of magic a reality.

If you had to pick one aspect of The Man of Mystery Hill as your favorite, what would it be?  The story? The characters? One specific character?

The book is very character driven so I’d have to say that’s my favorite part. Many of them are based on people in my life, even though I’ve changed them all quite a bit. I like the growth they all experience as the story unfolds. I could have set the story anywhere and the characters would still shine. I’m looking forward to writing the sequel and hanging with the characters again and seeing what they’ve got in store for me.

  1. August 10, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    very interesting interview friend, thanks for sharing.


    • August 10, 2010 at 5:18 pm

      Thank YOU, for stopping by!

  2. August 11, 2010 at 3:13 am

    Thanks so much Sean. I really appreciate your putting this together. 🙂

    • August 11, 2010 at 11:10 am

      Thank you so much for being my guest!

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