Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Author Spotlight: Scott Tracey

Please Welcome
Scott Tracey
Author of 
Witch Eyes

1) Could you tell us a bit about yourself.

Scott: I'm from Ohio, born and raised, and when I was about eight or nine, I was convinced that there was a book at the library that was going to have a magic spell that would create a Gameboy for me.  Unfortunately, that book was always checked out.  So instead of becoming a Gameboy-toting wizard, I decided to become a writer instead.

2) Could you tell us a bit about Witch Eyes?

Scott: When I usually have to describe the book, I call it my "gay Romeo and Juliet with witches" book.  Braden, whose been raised by his uncle, suffers from a curse known as the witch eyes - a powerful ability to see the world as it truly is - an encyclopedia of memories, pain, and darkness.  But this power is costly - it's killing him a little more every time he uses it.
When one such vision suggests that his uncle is in danger, Braden runs away to the town of Belle Dam, hoping to stop the threat before his uncle is hurt.  Instead, he finds himself in the midst of a supernatural feud that divides the town, and trapped between the rival witch dynasties in charge.   Each of whom has plans for Braden, and hopes to use him to ignite the feud into a final, vicious victory.

3) What was the inspiration for writing Witch Eyes?

Scott: Mostly, it stemmed from wanting to write something that I would want to read.  There aren't a lot of genre books with a gay main character.  But being gay is probably the least interesting thing about Braden, and that was something that was important to me.  My focus was more on the story I was telling, and the trouble that Braden gets into.  The fact that he's gay was just like saying he has brown hair or wears sunglasses.
Braden's ability actually came to me while thinking about people who were allergic or sensitive to sunlight and wondering, if there were a supernatural cause to it, how would that work?

4) Were there any personal experiences that went in to writing Witch Eyes?

Scott: Well, there was that one time where I fought off demons in a cemetery...  ;)There are little details in Witch Eyes that were drawn from personal experiences.  Like the fact that Braden arrives in town on a bus - I did a cross-country bus trip a few years ago, and it was a fascinating experience.  The diner he eats at is based off a place my parents and I went to, once.  Little things like that - nothing mind-blowing, though.  Given what happens to Braden over the course of the book, I think that's a good thing.

5) Was Braden's character based on anyone or was he a purely made up character? What is he like?

Scott: Braden's like a lot of teenagers.  The witch eyes make him feel like a freak, and all he wants is to be treated just like everyone else.  He's stubborn and sarcastic, and generally on the defensive a lot.  He's like a couple of people I know, and a little like myself (although much cooler, obviously).  Little things that he does are drawn from people I worked with, or went to school with.

6) What was your inspiration in the cover art for Witch Eyes?

Scott: Well, Flux gets all the credit for coming up with such a fantastic cover.  I absolutely adore it.  I knew I wanted something darker - to fit more with the tone of the book.   The eyes are a little creepy and fantastic, and the way everything is a little hazy and bleeds across the cover is perfect.

7) Do you plan to have Witch Eyes as a stand alone novel or part of a series?

Scott: As of right now, it's part of a two book series.  There may be another book after that, but we'll have to wait and see.

8) Who is your favorite character in the book? And why?

Scott: It really depends on the day.  Most of the time I'd have to say Braden, but it depends on the kinds of scenes that I'm writing.   Braden gets to say things that I wish I could say, sometimes.   Lucien, one of the adults in town, is also a lot of fun to write.  And it's interesting, because in writing the sequel, my favorites have completely changed.

9) If Witch Eyes was made into a movie, Who would be your dream cast?

Scott: Braden - Max Thieriot (My Soul to Take)
Trey - Drew Van Acker (Tower Prep).  He'd just have to be a little more blonde.
Riley - Magda Apanowicz (Kyle XY, Caprica)
Jade - Aly Michalka (Hellcats).
For the adults:
Catherine Lansing - Heather Locklear (Melrose Place)
 Jason Thorpe - Adrian Pasdar (Heroes)
Lucien Fallon - David Anders (Vampire Diaries)

10) Do you write to music? If so, what is your favorite?

Scott:I have to have music to write.  I usually listen to a lot of rock when I'm writing: 30 Seconds to Mars, The Pretty Reckless, Red.  But my absolute favorite band to listen to has to be The Birthday Massacre.    The occasional Glee cover sneaks in there, too.

11) What do you plan on doing in the future?
Scott: Well, I'm finishing up the sequel to Witch Eyes right now, and I have a couple of other projects in the works, but nothing for certain yet.  I have another take on witches that I want to do, and then a couple of things that are completely different.

12) What are you reading right now?

Scott: As I type this, I'm literally eyeing my ARC of Demonglass.  I can't wait to get back to it.  My TBR pile is out of control right now, but I've got The Iron Witch, Wither, Hourglass, and Beauty Queens staring at me.

13) Who are a few of your favorite authors?

Scott: Jim ButcherHolly Black, Cassie Clare, Kiersten White, and Rachel Hawkins.  I like them all for different reasons.  I think Jim Butcher's Dresden Files are required reading for anyone who wants to see how to build up a supernatural back story along with plot.  Holly Black and Cassie Clare tell the most amazing stories in the most fascinating ways, which I always appreciate.  Kiersten White is my nemesis because she has some lines that make me tremble with jealousy.  And Rachel Hawkins totally rocks at the sarcasm. 

Braden Michaels wears his sunglasses at night. And at the movies. And in the shower. Raised by his warlock uncle and taught to use magic, he suffers from a deadly curse: the witch eyes. He sees everything that normal eyes filter out: history and memory; love and pain; magic and darkness. The mind was not meant to process so much information, though, and the power is killing him slowly. The only thing saving his sanity are the sunglasses he always wears. 
Then the visions reveal a dark threat on the horizon. Braden runs away to Belle Dam, the city where the threat originated, and is immediately swept up into the town’s mysterious feud. Two rival magical families have divided the town into a personal chessboard of scheming and machinations, and Braden is their latest pawn. As he tries to avoid their manipulations, and see the truth behind his return to Belle Dam, he has a choice to make. One side, or the other. Ignite the feud, or end it. Sacrifice himself, or someone else. Live, or die.

Witch Eyes comes out September 2011 from Flux Books! 

Where To Find Scott:
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