Author Chat with Tracy Barrett, Plus Giveaway!

Author Chat with Tracy Barrett, Plus Giveaway!

Today we're excited to chat with Tracy Barrett,  

author of The Song of OrpheusBelow 

you'll find our interview,

more about Tracy, and her book, plus a 

giveaway!

 

YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

Tracy Barrett: In college, I majored in Classics and I’ve always loved mythology. I thought I knew all the Greek myths that could possibly interest anyone, but when I saw an ancient Greek vase with an image representing a myth that I was only vaguely familiar with, it occurred to me that if I had hardly ever heard about it, most kids probably hadn’t heard of it either! So I decided to find other “forgotten” Greek myths and retell them for a middle­school audience.

YABC:  Who is your favorite character in the book?

TB: My favorite character in all of Greek mythology is Athena, but she doesn’t appear often in this book, maybe because most stories about her are very well known and these are little­known myths. A girl named Kyrene is the star of an important myth that I dug up and retold, and I really like her—she was strong and independent and interesting.

YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?

TB: The book! I’m terrible with titles and tried out lots of duds before settling on The Song of Orpheus.

YABC:  What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

TB: I’m glad I included the myth about the half­male, half­female character Hermaphroditos. Many adults are uncomfortable discussing gender as anything but binary, and it’s important to remind readers that this isn’t the only model.

YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?

TB: I got an excellent reminder from Newbery winner Sid Fleischman when he asked me if I was enjoying writing my first novel (Anna of Byzantium). I said yes, and added that this was a good thing because I didn’t think anyone would ever want to publish a biographical novel about a twelfth­century Byzantine princess no kid had ever heard of, so if I wasn’t having a good time it would all be a big waste. He patted my hand and said, “Good for you! Having fun while writing is the first and best reward!” (It did get published and has sold over 200,000 copies!) So have fun, and if the book doesn’t get published or doesn’t have success, at least you’ll have had a good time.

YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?

TB: Everything! I’m a first­time indie publisher (I’ve published 20 books in the traditional way, and have several more under contract—going indie here was a choice for this particular title). One of the fun things about being the boss was discussing the cover with Joe Cepeda, the wonderful illustrator of the cover of The Song of Orpheus (many people are familiar with his cover of Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Esperanza Rising). I knew what I wanted but I also knew that I’m ignorant about what makes a good cover, and Joe is excellent at communicating that. I love the result!

YABC: What’s up next for you?

TB: I’m trying new things! I’ve never written straight fantasy before, although some of my books have small touches of what might be called magical realism, and I have a middle­grade fantasy coming out in Fall, 2017. I’ve also never written a contemporary YA—only historical—and I have one scheduled for Spring, 2018, based partly on my past as a skydiver.

YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?

TB: Revising. I do lots of puzzles—crosswords, sudoku, ken­ken, etc.—and revising is like a big puzzle. You have a lot of elements that have to fit together right, and sometimes what you think

is working isn’t, so you have to erase/delete a big part of something you’ve worked on very hard and do that part over again. I enjoy making things fit, so I enjoy revising.

YABC: What would you say is your superpower?

TB: Being able to type with a dog sleeping on my lap and his head on my typing arm. Luckily, he’s a small dog.

 

 

 

Meet The Song of Orpheus!

 

 

THE SONG OF ORPHEUS: THE GREATEST GREEK MYTHS YOU NEVER HEARD is a funny, adventure-filled collection of wonderfully weird "new" Greek myths. This unforgettable collection spins tales of love and loss, hilariously vain superheroes, ancient robots, untrappable giant foxes, men reborn after being torn apart by dragons, and even the world's first monkeys. A few of these tales may seem familiar at first, but be prepared for the unexpected. Others are wonderfully strange and puzzling. All of them are entertaining. All of them deserve to be better known. Retold by author and scholar Tracy Barrett (THE SHERLOCK FILES, ANNA OF BYZANTIUM, THE STEPSISTER'S TALE) with accuracy, suspense, and humor, using authoritative translations into English of ancient source material, the myths in THE SONG OF ORPHEUS will make readers, and especially fans of THE HEROES OF OLYMPUS series, laugh, gasp, and geek out.

 

 

 
Meet Tracy Barrett!
 
 
I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up mostly in New York state. I went to college in New England and graduate school in California.

The first book I ever read by myself was called Little Bobo and His Blue Jacket. I still have it. I learned to read when I was three, but I know now that this doesn't mean much. My brother didn't really read until he was seven, and now he reads more and remembers it better than I do.

I have a husband, two grown children, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, and a rescue kitty.

In 2014 I retired from teaching Italian and other subjects at Vanderbilt University to write full time. I love doing school visits and hope that when my schedule doesn't mean that I'm working while kids are in school, I'll be able to do more of them.

I like to travel, especially to Italy, and especially with my family. I used to skydive (that's how I met my husband, but on the ground, not in the air!) but except for a jump in 2014 as research for a book, I haven't jumped out of an airplane in a long time.
 
 
 
 
 

The Song of Orpheus

By: Tracy Barrett

Release Date: August 1, 2016 

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS* 

One winner will receive a copy of The Song of Orpheus (US only).

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 


August Book Haul Video
Press Release: An Ember in the Ashes Series
 

Comments 7

Already Registered? Login Here
Kristen Joiner on Thursday, 18 August 2016 04:48

I like retold stories so I think this will be quiet interesting to read.

0
I like retold stories so I think this will be quiet interesting to read. :)
Julie on Thursday, 18 August 2016 19:56

I think The Song of Orpheus looks really cool. I find mythology really interesting!

0
I think The Song of Orpheus looks really cool. I find mythology really interesting!
Dianna G. on Saturday, 20 August 2016 22:53

I definitely need to get this book. My daughter absolutely loves Greek mythology.

0
I definitely need to get this book. My daughter absolutely loves Greek mythology.
Anne on Thursday, 01 September 2016 07:46

I enjoy reading about Greek mythology and I am very interested to see how Tracey spins this story.

0
I enjoy reading about Greek mythology and I am very interested to see how Tracey spins this story.
stephanie bondlow on Sunday, 04 September 2016 00:12

I love Greek Mythology and also am a fan of Athena! I love the concept of the untold myths! The cover looks like the paintings in the museum, love it!

0
I love Greek Mythology and also am a fan of Athena! I love the concept of the untold myths! The cover looks like the paintings in the museum, love it!
Megan Coppadge on Monday, 05 September 2016 10:59

I LOVE Greek mythology so a book about imagined retellings sounds awesome!

0
I LOVE Greek mythology so a book about imagined retellings sounds awesome!
Danielle Hammelef on Saturday, 10 September 2016 21:06

I also love mythology and this sounds perfect to read! I can't wait!!

0
I also love mythology and this sounds perfect to read! I can't wait!!

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

All Kinds of Other
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
In this tender, nuanced coming-of-age love story, two boys—one who...
Take Me Home: Waters of the World
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bite-sized facts about bodies of water from around the globe,...
This Is My America
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Hate U Give meets Just Mercy in this unflinching...
Colors in Nature
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Magnificent, hand-painted illustrations by a rising star of Czech watercolor...
Welcome to Arizona
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Welcome to Arizona! We're glad you're here! Introducing a new...
I Don't Want to Go to School
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
It's Mouse's first day of school. It's Dinosaur's first day...
Counting Down with You
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
In this sparkling and romantic YA debut, a reserved Bangladeshi...
There's No Ham in Hamburgers: Facts and Folklore About Our Favorite Foods
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
From hot dogs and hamburgers to ice cream and pizza,...
The Light of Days Young Readers’ Edition: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
As their communities were being destroyed, groups of Jewish women...
In Deeper Waters
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
A young prince must rely on a mysterious stranger to...
Paint by Sticker Kids: Outer Space
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Blast off into outer space with this mess-free sticker craft!...
These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
When twin heirs are born in Tourin, their fates are...
The Mother of Monsters
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Mischievous Ntombi is not at all afraid of the fearsome...
Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail: A Story from Chile
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
Brave young Pedro faces monsters and greedy guards when he...
What Beauty There Is
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
What Beauty There Is is Cory Anderson's stunning YA...
Baseball Baby
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This original board book series, which begins with America's favorite...

Latest Member Reviews

All Kinds of Other
 
4.3
"ALL KINDS OF OTHER is an intriguing YA contemporary that follows two boys as they start at a new school...."
Take Me Home: Waters of the World
 
5.0
"TAKE ME HOME: WATERS OF THE WORLD is an engaging nonfiction picture book that teaches basics and fun facts about..."
This Is My America
 
5.0
"WHAT I LOVED: Tracy's family is an outsider in multiple ways in their Texas town: they're one of the..."
Colors in Nature
 
4.0
"COLORS IN NATURE is a beautifully illustrated book of art that features animals and plants. The book walks through each..."
Welcome to Arizona
 
4.0
"WELCOME TO ARIZONA is a simple, fun travel guide picture book for children about the state. The book covers fun..."
I Don't Want to Go to School
 
3.5
"I DON'T WANT TO GO TO SCHOOL features Dinosaur and Mouse, who are both scared of their first day of..."
Counting Down with You
 
5.0
"COUNTING DOWN WITH YOU is a heart-wrenching and visceral YA contemporary read. Karina (Myra is her familial name) is a..."
The Light of Days Young Readers’ Edition: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos
 
5.0
"What worked: This is one gut-wrenching, powerful collection of stories of young Jewish women Resistance fighters in Hitler's Ghettos. The..."
There's No Ham in Hamburgers: Facts and Folklore About Our Favorite Foods
 
5.0
"While I was familiar with most of the information in the book, due to apparently all too frequent deep..."
Fate Calling
 
5.0
"Fate Calling by Lindsay Grace is a beautifully written fae fantasy about a young human girl named Aislinn and a..."
Reign of Secrets
 
3.8
"What worked: The magical aspect of this book had me turning pages quickly. It was easy to read and..."
In Deeper Waters
 
4.3
"IN DEEPER WATERS is an intriguing and fast-paced YA fantasy. Tal is the fourth of five royal children in a..."
Paint by Sticker Kids: Outer Space
 
4.5
"PAINT BY STICKER KIDS: OUTER SPACE is another fun collection of paint-by-sticker images with an outer space theme. The book..."
These Feathered Flames (These Feathered Flames, #1)
 
5.0
"THESE FEATHERED FLAMES is an enchanting YA fantasy about sisterhood, power, and destiny. When twins are born in the royal..."
The Mother of Monsters
 
4.5
"‘The Mother of Monsters’ by Fran Parnell, illustrated by Sophie Fatus, tells the story of Ntombi, the chief's daughter. She..."
Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail: A Story from Chile
 
4.5
"‘Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail’ by Fran Parnell, illustrated by Sophie Fatus, is great for younger elementary readers and anyone who..."
Baseball Baby
 
5.0
"BASEBALL BABY is a delightful board book about baseball. The book begins with heading to the park to play baseball..."
I Am Not a Penguin
 
4.0
"I AM NOT A PENGUIN is a silly picture book that manages to teach young readers about pangolins. A pangolin..."
Sam Can't Sleep
 
4.5
"SAM CAN'T SLEEP is a fun picture book read that introduces the concept of nocturnal animals. It's nighttime, and all..."
Welcome to California
 
4.0
"WELCOME TO CALIFORNIA is a fun picture book of facts about the state. It covers topics from the state capitol..."