There is a scene that takes place in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican in which Cora does something incredible that she didn’t know she could do. It’s a beautiful act and the heart of this series—what of ourselves do we give to others and to the world?
What do you hope readers will take away from ILLUMINATE?
I hope readers will read carefully and perhaps see this book as a metaphor. I know that sounds cryptic and mysterious, but I love to use theme as an element in my stories. I think there’s a clear theme in ILLUMINATE and the series as a whole. Even if readers read for pure entertainment (I know I often do!) I hope they at least come away thinking about the energy we give and take from each other.
How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?
ILLUMINATE was the 7th book I completed. The first book I ever sold was SCINTILLATE but it was the 4th I wrote. I came very close—so close—to publishing my 3rd novel. That’s heartbreaking when it happens and I know it happens to a lot of writers. It blows my mind to ponder that I’m working on my 8th book now. Boils down to about a book a year (though I wrote two last year.) Now that I’ve done it, I’m amazed by authors who write and edit multiple books a year!
What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
1) You’re a blend of ideas, experience, talent that no one else has. So if you’re compelled to write a book, take your craft seriously. Read, study, and above all…WRITE. Always strive to improve yourself so that “skill” is added to that list and you can write your story in the way it deserves.
2) Patience grasshopper--don’t expect to be published right out of the gate. If that happens, yippee! But often, it takes incredible resilience and patience.
3) As long as the process is joyful to you on some level (note: that doesn’t mean easy) don’t you give up. Not freaking ever. Never. Got it?
ABOUT THE BOOKIlluminate by Tracy Clark
Can one girl be the light in a world spiraling toward darkness?
Haunted by the loss of her loved ones, Cora Sandoval, one of the remaining few of an extraordinary race known as Scintilla, holds the key to disentangling the biggest conspiracy in human history...and its link to the fate of the human race. As Cora follows a trail of centuries-old clues and secrets, she collides with a truth not only shocking, but dangerous.
With enemies both known and unknown hot on her trail, Cora must locate each of the ancient clues hidden in the art, religions, and mythologies of humankind. And through it all, she must keep her heart from being torn apart by the two boys she loves most. One is Scintilla, one is Arazzi.
Save herself. Save the Scintilla. Save the world.
Or die trying…
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
She grew up a “Valley Girl” in Southern California but now lives in her home state of Nevada, in a small town at the base of the Sierra Foothills. Her two children teach her the art of distraction and are a continuous source of great dialogue. She’s an unapologetic dog person who is currently owned by a cat.
Tracy was the recipient of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Progress Grant. A two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program where she was lucky enough to be mentored by bestselling author, Ellen Hopkins, who taught her so much about the art of writing and cured her of her ellipsis addiction.
Her debut novel was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life. Tracy is a part-time college student, a private pilot, and an irredeemable dreamer.
Have you had a chance to read ILLUMINATE yet? Are you always striving to improve your skills? How are you with resilience and patience?Happy reading,
Jocelyn, Shelly, Martina, Erin, Lisa, Susan, Sam, Lindsey, Sandra, Kristin, and Anisaa