Blog tour: Catalyst

Welcome to the blog tour for Catalyst, the second book in the young adult series The Catalysts by Tracy Richardson

I am so excited about having the author on the blog that, without further ado, here is our Q&A:

Hi Tracy! First of all, I would like to congratulate you on the publication of Catalyst! Can you please briefly tell us what it is about?

A: Catalyst is about Marcie Horton, a junior in high school, who is spending the summer working at an archaeological dig site in southern Indiana. Things immediately shift into the paranormal when Lorraine and Zeke, two mysterious dig assistants who claim to access the Universal Energy Field with their minds, assert that the Earth and its resources are in grave danger. Marcie must decide if she’s brave enough to do her part to save the planet.

Was this always going to be a series? And did you have the entire plot entirely figured out since the beginning?

A: No, it didn’t start out as a series. I absolutely did not have the entire plot figured out from the beginning!! I outline my stories to some extent, but the plots tend to unfold as I go along. I had no idea that I would write Catalyst after I finished The Field. And no idea what Book III (which I am currently writing) would be about until I was about halfway through Catalyst. Even now I’m still working out plot details in Book III and I’m 40 pages into it.

What kind of research, if any, did you have to carry out while you were writing these novels? In general, is research something you enjoy or a means to an end?

A: Research is so fun! I love learning new things and going new places. For The Field I researched the Universal Energy Field and the Collective Consciousness so I could turn them into plot elements and ideas in the book. I was immersed in soccer at the time of the writing as my son was a soccer goalkeeper and my then husband was a coach. My children were both in high school, so I got a lot of material through eavesdropping on them and their friends! The wind farm featured in the book is one I’ve driven past hundreds of time on my trips to and from Chicago and Indianapolis.

For Catalyst I visited a number of archaeological dig sites and mound builder sites in the Midwest. It was extremely interesting and fun to learn about indigenous cultures. I did a lot of reading up on fracking for the environmental theme of the book as well. 

If this novel was going to be turned into a film, who would you cast in the role of Marcie?

A: For a while I thought of Elle Fanning which I still think would be a good fit. Marcie has strawberry blond hair and freckles, so there’s a resemblance. I confess that I’m not that current on younger actresses. Elle might be too old at this point.

Without giving too much away, can you tell us about a scene in the book that you love or that was particularly difficult to write?

A: None of the scenes are particularly difficult to write – once I get the idea and scene in my head that is! Toward the end of the book there’s a scene where Marcie really has to dig deep and do some remarkable things. It took me a while to figure out what that scene would be about.

Is there anything that didn’t make it into the final version of the book?

A: Not really.

If you are already working on your next writing project, would you mind giving us a little anticipation of what we are to expect?

A: I am working on Book III which is from the perspective of both Marcie and Eric. They will be continuing with the work they’ve done in Catalyst. Marcie will be in DC and Eric will be in France. 

What are you reading at the moment?

A: I’m reading The Healing by Jonathan Odell, Past Lives, Present Miracles by Denise Linn and Becoming Supernatural by Dr. Joe Dispenza.

Due to the popularity of social networking websites, interacting with readers – be it via Twitter, Facebook Instagram etc. – is becoming increasingly important. How do you cope with these new demands on authors and do you think that they somehow disrupt your writing schedule?

A: I’m pretty good at multi-tasking so I try to work it into my day in blocks. I enjoy connecting on social media, so it’s fun. Everything disrupts my writing schedule if I let it! I can be a big procrastinator about it.

What one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

A: When I meet with readers who are aspiring authors and they ask me for advice I always tell them - BIC – Butt In Chair. Writing is a discipline. In order to write a book you have to actually DO IT. Set a schedule and try to stick to it. Or set a goal of the number of words you want to write a week. If you work it a little at a time, you will be able to accomplish it! The key is to start.

Thank you for your time!


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