10 Questions with Tracy Auerbach
Tracy Auerbach is an author of science fiction and fantasy for teens and adults. As an avid reader with a vivid imagination, she chose to study film, English, and education, and went on to teach and write STEM curriculum for the New York Department of Education. This helped to polish her writing skills and ignite her passion for science fiction and fantasy.
Her first scholarly article, published in Language Magazine, was about the value of active, creative learning in science. On the fiction side, Tracy’s work has been featured in the online literary journal Micro-horror, The Writing Disorder fiction anthology, and the “(Dis)ability” short story anthology, in addition to her novels.
When she is not teaching or writing, Tracy is usually reading or spending time with her family. She lives in New York with her family.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself! Where do you call home and what do you write?
Hello! I was born and raised in Queens. NY, before moving to Long Island several years ago. I'm a special education teacher and I write primarily fantasy, with a bit of speculative fiction (sci-fi fantasy mash-ups). I write both YA and adult.
2. What drew you to that particular genre?
I was drawn to that genre because that's what I love to read. I usually read 60-70 books per year, and about 90% of them are in the fantasy genre. I love urban fantasy and high fantasy, young adult, new adult, and adult. I cannot get enough! When people ask why I love fantasy so much, I always respond that there's too much reality in my real life.
3. What’s your best known work?
My best known work is probably the Fragments trilogy. The Sin Soldiers, the first Fragments book, was just released as an audiobook. I love the series, because it's speculative fiction about a future where human vices and virtues are weaponized to create super soldiers. I love stories about human nature, and The Sin soldiers is a study of the best and worst of humanity.
4. What inspired you to write it?
Psychology. I love thinking about how our brains work, what might happen if our thought processes could be manipulated, etc. One of the most fascinating and terrifying stories I've read is Lord of the Flies, because it's about human nature at its most primal. I actually refer to that book a lot in my stand alone novel, Sons of Fire.
5. Tell us about your writing process. Are you a plotter, panster or somewhere in between? How do you research?
I am a pantser who goes back and does major editing. I dream up stories in my head, think of key points in the book, and write to fill in the gaps as I go. Then I usually rewrite the book several times. I am an editor as well as a writer, and go through several rounds with beta readers and then editors (once the book has been contracted for publication). I Google as I go, researching what I need when I need it.
6. What’s the strangest or most interesting thing you’ve researched for your writing?
For Sons of Fire, I did a lot of research on demons; classes of demons, demon names, different parts of hell, etc. I shiver to think of anyone getting into my search history!
7. What’s the most personal story/scene you’ve written and why?
I wrote a short story for The Writing Disorder anthology called 'Thirteen Days at Laughing Heron Camp'. It's about a girl who is bullied at sleepaway camp because of her tics. I grew up with Tourette's syndrome, and had a nightmare experience in camp as a child. In my story, the girl gets revenge in a gruesome way, but in real life the experience has haunted me for years.
8. Who are your literary influences? In what way?
My literary heroes are brilliant writers of fantasy: Holly Black, Leigh Bardugo, Brandon Sanderson. Their worldbuilding and relationship building are perfect—totally what I aspire to in my own writing. They never sacrifice character or relationships for setting, or vice versa. They also don't keep readers waiting years for their next book!
9. What books are on your bedside table right now?
Most of my books are on my kindle. On my bedside table is Restart by Gordon Korman, which I just read to my son and to my fourth grade class as a read aloud.
10. Last and most important, where can we find your books/stories?
Follow Tracy on these platforms!
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