Thursday, 3 October 2013

Interview with Tracy Ann Lord, author of Good Catch

At the Other End:
Maddie Chilton, a buttoned up - but recently unemployed - Miami public relations consultant, finds herself in Mooselookmeguntic, one of the most beautiful and bucolic parts of Maine.  She’s been sent to this odd place by a friend who knows Maddie needs time away, but the gift’s recipient does not immediately appreciate the gesture.

There, ostensibly to learn how to fish, the divorced mom of two grown sons learns how to slow down and live in the moment after a series of fun, wacky and romantic encounters.  At Wilson’s Sport Camp, Maddie meets a cast of characters whose eccentricities are unsettling and charming at the same time.

Most notably, Maddie, meets Cal, the dark, ripped fishing instructor who isn’t exactly who he appears to be.  But, he grows fond of her foibles and determined discomfort with the outdoors.  Maddie is not prepared to survive a stay in the country: she has the wrong wardrobe and the wrong attitude.  The rest of the locals – Flo the cook, Wayne the handyman, Linda the finicky waitress - are generally unsympathetic.

Beyond romance and the sporting life, the story takes on another dimension when Maddie stumbles onto a mystery involving a deserted property with a grand old home full of antiques and the remnants of a famous opera singer, a woman who entertained the rich and famous at her Maine getaway.  Will all of these finds, including Cal, end up being part of the next chapter in Maddie’s life or is it her fate to go back to Miami and another office job?  As the mystery of Cal is unveiled and the history of this place from another time becomes clear, Maddie will know what she has to do.

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Author Bio:
Tracy Ann Lord hails from the hills of Hope Maine, and is a ninth generation Mainer. Though passionate about traveling—especially to Italy—Lord has spent a goodly part of her life in the mid-coast managing to find more than enough opportunities for adventure. She has been an award-winning journalist, a teacher, director and actor, an audio-book narrator, a corporate caterer, a public relations person and proprietor of a baking business called Humble Pie. Tracy has a life-long love affair with Maine and its most beguiling natural resource—water. She believes that life’s greatest pleasures involve being on or in a lake, river or ocean. She’s raised two tenth generation girls, Clarissa and Gillian.

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Take A Seat. Get Strapped In. Let's Go For A Ride:

1. Where have we seen you before? (previous projects/works)
If you live in New England chances are in regional magazines like DownEast and Yankee. If you live in mid-coast Maine than on stage in community theatre productions, on radio and as a by line in local newspapers. Outside of New England, if you love or have children, you might have heard my voice on several audiobooks of work by Robert McCloskey and Barbara Clooney.

2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?
It’s very similar to opening night of a show: the initial euphoric glow that all was brilliant quickly  morphing into the eventual nail biting waiting for reviews!

3. What inspired you to write this novel?

Several confluences striking simultaneously. A need for creating some joy in-between caretaking my mother who has Altzheimers; a desire to create a character whose vulnerability was accompanied by a defensive humour; and a pledge to myself that if I was ever going to complete a manuscript-being in a relationship that supported such fruition might never come again so I better get cracking!

4. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews?
I do believe the opportunity to learn from whatever comes our way should never be ignored. And while I just adore positive reviews-the negative I take just as seriously. Sometimes there is a resonance when reflecting on the negative and that becomes a positive, doesn’t it? For instance: if a reviewer finds one of my plot points obvious, I have to look at that and ask myself if I was perhaps taking the easy way out. The important thing is never to take it personally personal-but professionally personal. There is a difference!

5. How long was the writing/planning process?
Between initial concept, changing genre, changing protagonist, having story change my preconceptions, (getting the theme of change here?) and completing  manuscript: five years.

6. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration?
Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration? Dead-on. Could not have encapsulated my vision (or that of Maddie, my protagonist) any more fully. Perfection.

7. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?
Plans, like ideas, are cheap. Manifesting them fully is very expensive! Yes-thee different projects-which is a bit crazy-making but what else is life for? I am working on “Maine Chance” a sequel to “Good Catch; ” also a YA trilogy which combines  all sorts of arcane influences and thrusts them on a very unwilling teen-age girl to decipher—or else. And a coming-of-age mystery set in the ‘60’s in a girls reform school.

8. Top 5 books

  • Collected Works of William Shakespeare
  • Blue Pastures by Mary Oliver
  • Beet Queen by Louise Erdrich
  • Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
  • Transformations of Myths Through Time by Joseph Campbell

9. What book/s from other authors do you wish you had written?

Just about anything by John Irving, Barbara Kingsolver, Alice Munroe, Alice McDermott, Charles Dickens, Carl Hiaasen, Pablo Neruda,and most importantly: Dr. Seuss.

10. Why read your novel?
Because laughter keeps the insanity of the world from taking us over. And this book is my part in helping the world to be just a little less insane-if only for a bit. This book will make you laugh.

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