Saturday, September 7, 2013

Author Interview – Tracy Sweeney

at 6:30 AM

Can you tell us about your main character? I think people identify with Jillian because she’s like so many of us.  When we’re young and insecure, sometimes we just need a gentle nudge out of our shell.  In Jillian’s case, the nudge was more like a push. She went from one extreme to the other.  She has no happy medium.  Finding that is part of her journey.

Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it? I’ve always written but not professionally—not for anyone to see other than myself or my friends or a professor.  I was pretty green when I started writing LIVING BACKWARDS but I had a really clear vision for the story that I wanted to tell.  That’s great but you need to be disciplined with outlining and storyboarding.  You need to have a basic grasp of grammar and punctuation (even if, like me, you reject the need for the semi-colon).

Who would you cast in a movie adaptation of your book? There are so many instances where I wish I could cast an actor in movie after they’ve already passed the appropriate age.  When I was reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins, I saw Jude Law circa The Talented Mr. Ripley for Finnick Odair.  He’ll always be Finnick in my head.  It’s the same situation with LIVING BACKWARDS.  I always saw Ilsa Fisher for Jillian and Robert Pattinson for Luke.  And I would totally pull a Stephenie Meyer and cameo as a chaperone at the prom.  It looks like a good time.

If I could be anybody besides myself, I would be… Justin Timberlake and host SNL every week

Name one thing that drives you crazy. There are a lot of things that drive me crazy.  I’m not the most patient person.  But since we’re discussing writing, I can say that I go nuts when someone types “your” instead of “you’re”.  We’re a very text/email focused society and I’m constantly texting.  I see it all the time and I want to jump through the phone and give them a grammar lesson.

There are a lot of late 90s music references in LIVING BACKWARDS.  What was your favorite 90s song? I was a huge New Kids on the Block fan.  Hometown boys and all.  So a little Please Don’t Go Girl will always tug on my heart strings.  (Even though Jordan was my pretend boyfriend, not Joe.)

Tell us about LIVING BACKWARDS. What’s the story about? The main character, Jillian Cross, falls and bumps her head while trying to squeeze herself into a very unforgiving pair of skinny jeans.  When she wakes up, she’s back in her childhood bedroom.  It’s 1999 and she’s a senior in high school.  Because she’s aware that any change she makes can affect  the future, she sets off to walk the same path she walked more than ten years earlier.  Unfortunately, she finds it’s hard to be the same person she was when she was seventeen.  Mostly because the first time around, she didn’t have a pink, sparkly flask.  And she hadn’t met Luke.  It’s hard to be reasonable when there’s a cute boy on a motorcycle.

Twenty-nine-year-old Jillian Cross refuses to believe that a pair of skinny jeans has led to her untimely demise. Life just isn’t that cruel. But when an overly-enthusiastic attempt at squeezing herself into them leads her to fall and lose consciousness, she is faced with just that possibility. When she awakens with both a bruised ego and a bump on her head, she’s not in her tiny apartment but her childhood bedroom circa 1999-the spring of her senior year in high school. Jillian knows that time travel isn’t logical.

But then again, neither was her decision to wear skinny jeans. As she attempts to navigate her way through the halls of Reynolds High, walking the same path and making the same choices she made years before, she knows that any change she makes can have a catastrophic effect on her future. But when she strikes up an unexpected friendship with motorcycle-riding, cigarette-smoking Luke Chambers, can she pretend to be the same shy girl she once was? At least she has her pink sparkly flask to take the edge off. One little change won’t hurt, right?

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Genre – Chick Lit

Rating – PG13

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