Author: Tracy Clark
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Series: The Light Key Trilogy #1
Expected Pub. Date: February 4, 2014
A mighty flame follows a tiny spark
Cora Sandoval’s mother disappeared when she was five and they were living in Ireland. Since then, her dad has been more than overprotective, and Cora is beginning to chafe under his confines. But even more troubling is the colorful light she suddenly sees around people. Everyone, that is, except herself—instead, she glows a brilliant, sparkling silver.
As she realizes the danger associated with these strange auras, Cora is inexplicably drawn to Finn, a gorgeous Irish exchange student who makes her feel safe. Their attraction is instant, magnetic, and primal—but her father disapproves, and Finn’s mother orders him home to Ireland upon hearing he’s fallen in love. After a fight with her father, Cora flees to Ireland, both to follow Finn and to look for her missing mother.
There she meets another silver-haloed person and discovers the meaning of her newfound powers and their role in a conspiracy spanning centuries—one that could change mankind forever…and end her life.
How to Create Character Chemistry
Chemistry…that crackling rope of energy that exists between people. It’s a charge in the air, an undeniable attraction between people, intense craving, a whiff of the sizzling fire burning underneath an interaction.
We love to feel it, see it, and read it. I love to write it.
The fun of playing with chemistry is how malleable it is. Chemistry can exist between lovers, friends, and even between enemies. Sometimes, the most delicious chemistry is between two people who seem to despise each other.
So, how do I create character chemistry?
For me, chemistry is tension. Think about it; chemistry is that delicious play of emotions between two people that adds tautness to the interaction. Up the tension, and the chemistry can be compounded mightily.
If I’m writing a scene in which I want chemistry to be a potent emotion, I have to feel it. Visualizing the moment in my head like a movie is one tactic. I will play the scene out, see it, and mentally run through it like an actor. Because I tend to see my books in a series of scenes, I also write that way.
I ask myself questions like, “What dialogue or actions would give this more tension?” “What can be said or done to rattle the character? How can I push and pull like tug-o-war?” Often, it comes down to what is not said. There is automatic conflict when a person feels one way, and acts or speaks in another.
It requires me to reach inside and access the physical sensations that are present when there’s chemistry and find a way to show that in my writing. What’s happening in their body? What emotions are being triggered? As you can see, being a writer is asking yourself a LOT of questions.
Mostly, I want to see chemistry between characters because it fires off the sparks in my own belly. When I wrote the bus scene with Cora and Giovanni, I was completely fired up by it. I felt the chemistry despite the fact that they come together as friends. As I said, chemistry shows itself in many ways. Cora and Finn have a unique chemistry that is a product of who they are in the larger story.
Chemistry is energy, a vibe. It’s a topic that matters to me because SCINTILLATE is all about the spark of energy between people, in all its forms.
Tracy Clark is a young-adult writer because she believes teens deserve to know how much they matter and that regardless of what they’re going through, they aren’t alone. In other words, she writes books for her teen self.
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.
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