We here at Forever YA fiction love to interview authors. It’s a way as readers to get to know the minds of these amazing writers. Today we are excited to bring to you our interview with Tracy Hewitt Meyer author of the book My Life, Redefined (A Rowan Slone Novel.) This book sounds amazing. Just read our interview with her.
Before we start, I’d like to thank you for having me!
Please tell us what is A Life, Redefined about?
I’ll start with the back cover blurb:
Seven years ago, an innocent act by Rowan Slone turned her life into a nightmare. Since the age of ten she’s lived with the burden of her baby brother’s death. Now she is seventeen and all she wants to do is graduate high school, go to college, and escape the loveless family she has endured all these years—the same family that holds her responsible for his death. But no one holds her responsible more than herself. When long-time crush Mike Anderson invites her to the Prom, suddenly her future looks brighter. Rowan’s younger sister, Trina, however, is determined to ruin her new-found happiness, no matter the cost. And when Rowan discovers her mother’s long-held secret, she finds herself teetering on the edge of an abyss. Can Rowan find the strength to move toward the future or is she doomed to dwell in the past?
This is not a book for the faint of heart. It is edgy, gritty and raw. But it is also hopeful, which is the most important thing about it.
What was your inspiration for this story?
I wish I had a better answer for this, but all I can say is the mind fascinates me. I like to write characters who deal with psychological issues. Rowan Slone, the 17 year-old heroine, has many psychological issues she has to work through in order to find her happiness, and her future. The story is about Rowan’s journey through Hell and back.
Are any of the characters or the story based on any real people or events?
No. I do take inspiration from people, but usually from acquaintances or people I see on the street. I don’t write about folks close to me. Rowan’s physical appearance mimics an anonymous young woman I see around town on a regular basis, but I tweaked it to fit my idea of who Rowan is. Dan, Rowan’s boss, is tailored after a friend of a friend’s relative who had a similar-type boss.
Who was your favorite character to develop?
Definitely Rowan. She is very fragile but tough at the same time. She is a manifestation of the type of character I hope we can all learn from-even though life sucks sometimes, there is hope and we all hold the strength to move on.
When did you become interested in writing?
I have always been an avid reader and becoming a writer was the next logical step for me. I started writing stories way back in elementary school, or middle school-sometime when I was much younger. In high school, I was in an AP English class and wrote two short stories. Both received high marks and I thought, Hmmm, I really like this. Writing moves me in a way nothing else does.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Other than typical OCD stuff like needing to have the house, office, desk cleaned before I can write? I don’t. In the coming months I’m going to commit to a writing schedule; or should I say, I’m going to try to commit. I am an impulsive somewhat spoiled creature. I do what I want when I want. But I want the sequel to A Life, Redefined to release in the fall so I need to get a’writing, if you know what I mean!
As for the one sure thing to help my scattered mind focus, it’s a Pandora Radio station that I created based on Sarah Brightman’s music. It is a melodic, soothing mix of hauntingly beautiful songs. Within a few notes, my blood pressure drops and my mind slides into creative mode. Other than Sarah Brightman, I like Enya, Hayley Westenra and Blackmore’s Night. They are all on my Pandora channel.
What word do you always have trouble spelling correctly?
There is a word, I swear! But I can’t remember what it is right now. I mix up the two vowels in the middle and it was all through A Life, Redefined. I guess I’ve blocked it out of my memory.
Which author or book inspired you to write? And which authors inspire you today?
I love these questions! And I’m going to answer both in one long paragraph if that’s okay. I always go back to my favorite authors like Marion Zimmer Bradley (The Mists of Avalon) and J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings), so I’ll mention new ones here. I devoured Sweet Valley High books by Francine Pascal when I was younger. I read through every Sydney Sheldon book in late high school, went through a stint of only classics in college and I still adore Edgar Allen Poe. Most recently I’d say Laini Taylor. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone was almost too much for me to handle, it was so well written. I also love Rachel Caine and am currently reading The Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin and On Writing by Stephen King. I see I have a problem with naming just one. Oops.
What advice do you have for anyone who would like to be an author?
It’s not easy and expect it to be ten times harder than you think it’ll be. This may not be the case for every writer, but it is a tough business. And getting published can take far longer than you’d like. Earning a living off writing can likely take even longer than that.
But…do NOT give up. Never. You’ll never succeed if you throw in the proverbial towel. And if you’re a true writer, you can’t stop anyway.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently writing the sequel to A Life, Redefined, titled A Life, Forward. It picks up where the first Rowan Slone novel ends. I hope to have it ready come fall.
If you could have one superpower which one would it be?
I’d want x-ray vision. I’d love to spy on people. Is that weird? Probably. But people and human nature fascinate me. Real people are the greatest source of inspiration. We all try, some more than others, to be someone we’re not. Or to be a better, more ‘acceptable’ version of who we are. If I had x-ray vision I could see people for who they really are. And if not x-ray vision then I’d want to read minds for all of the same reasons.
We like to thank Tracy for joining us in our Author’s Corner.
Make sure to check out her book A Life, Redefined: