Friday, May 3, 2013

Paranormal Properties by Tracy Lane: Interview and Excerpt: Bewitching Tour Stop


How would you describe your book to someone who has not read it yet?

 Paranormal Properties is about a young boy named Jake who unconditionally loves his parents even though he doesn’t agree with their job; they are ghost-hunters. Jake is a non-believer but still supports his parents lovingly by not complaining when they often move to find haunted locations for their cable show. But one day Jake realizes he is the one who can see and hear ghosts. The story takes a turn when he meets the town of Dusk’s oldest ghost, Frank Barrone. Their adventure starts then.

 Is this your first book and how long have you been writing?

 Yes this is my first book and I have been writing since I can remember. I always loved to read and would read on weekends in my room. On Friday I would grab a book and be done with it by the time school started again on Monday. My favorite book was A Wrinkle In Time. That was the first time writing stories appealed to me. I tried writing a few times but having a family and working just did not leave much time for writing. In High School I tried writing a few stories and even though my friends seemed to like them, I just didn’t have the confidence I needed to be successful. Then came the family and job.

 When did you start writing Paranormal Properties?

 I started it about six years before it was finished. I know that sounds like a long time, and it is. My children were growing up and did not need me as much and I lost my husband in a car wreck. I ended up having tons of time on my hands. But my confidence was still lacking. Finally I read somewhere that if you put 5 to 10 minutes a day to just write one page that you will end up with a book at the end of a year. I had already spent 5 years on it, so I thought why not try out this technique and see where it gets me.  It worked like a charm! I woke up around 5am most mornings, made coffee then sat at a computer and would do my best to type out a page. Sometimes I would get my page or maybe 2, but other times I could not get a page at all.  The book, however, was done in one year.  194 pages of my blood, sweat and tears.

 How did you get the idea for your book?

 When I was young ghost, ghouls and spirits scared my friends and me.  As I got older I seemed to “feel” others around me when I was alone.  I wasn’t scared like in my younger years, but more intrigued.  I have also heard of young children that could see ghosts and were scared.  Then an idea for a book came to mind: why don’t I write about a young boy who can see and hear ghosts and then makes friends with one.  I loved it and kept building on it. I decided to make his parents ghost-hunters with a cable TV show. The rest is history.

 Are the experiences based on someone you know or your own life?

 No, it is all ficitonal. I did use names from people in my life.  My late husband had a son named Jacob that passed.  And my best friend Lana Weir passed at 19 years old, I used her last name for Jake. I had real trouble with my ghost. I could not get the poise and attitude he needed. One night I was washing dishes when World’s Dumbest came on the TV. When I heard this voice, it made me stop what I was doing and run to see who it was.  Frank Stallone was remarking on a video. I knew that was my ghost! I even named him close to Frank’s name. I did research on Frank and found he had a tremendous voice. And so would my ghost; he ended up being a lounge singer in the book with a signature song called “Barroom Eyes”.

 If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

 Stephen King! I have always been a huge fan of his. I love his writing style and his imagination. He has written so many of my favorites and I have read them over and over throughout the years.  One example: I just read The Long Walk for the fifth time. I wish they would make a movie of it.

 How long did it take after you were done writing Paranormal Properties until you had a publisher?

 After I was done writing Paranormal Properties I hired an editor to clean it up and make it presentable for submitting. He helped me by submitting it to several places and within two weeks I had a contract in hand from Pants on Fire Press. I was shocked, to say the least. I heard it was very hard to obtain a publisher, especially on your first book and here I had one in only two weeks after submitting.

 That’s amazing! Will it be a series and are you working on another book now?

 Yes, it definitely will be a series and I have two more books in mind for it.  Right now I am working on another book unrelated to Paranormal Properties.  This one is a Young Adult Romance called Entwined Courage. It is about a young girl named Aurora who, by accident, finds a hidden city of Mages and meets a mage in training by the name of Kayne. I don’t want to give too much away; I am only done with 100 pages and have over 200 more pages to go. After this one I will work on next in series for Paranormal Properties.

 Do you have any specific thing you want to say to your readers?

 Yes I hope they love the story.  I not only wrote this for me, I struggled to write it for them. It took me years to bring my story to life in a book. If it was just for me I would not have been so worried about finishing it. It is for all the readers of books out there.  With this book, I give you a piece of my soul. Enjoy!

Paranormal Properties
Paranormal Properties Book One
Tracy Lane
Genre:  YA Paranormal
Publisher:  Pants on Fire Press
ISBN:  978-0982727171
Number of pages:   192
Word Count:   33,000
Book Trailer: 
Amazon Print   Kindle      
Book Description: 
Jake Weir, while on the set of his parents ghost hunting TV show, agrees to help a ghost investigate a 61 year-old murder. 
Jake Weir is not like the other kids in Dusk, North Carolina. Then again, Dusk, North Carolina is not like other cities. Known as one of the most haunted cities in America, behind Salem, Massachusetts and New Orleans, Louisiana, Dusk is ground zero for Jake's ghost hunting parents.
The Weir family has arrived in Dusk eager to scope out some of the town's 127 reported "paranormal properties," which just happens to be the name of their own ghost hunting show: Paranormal Properties. What Jake doesn't know, and what his parents could never imagine, is that Jake can see ghosts! And hear them. And talk back to them! This talent comes in handy when he runs into Dusk's oldest, most famous ghost: one Frank Barrone, a one-time lounge singer made famous by his booze-soaked ballad, "Barroom Eyes." 
Frank was gunned down by a local mobster in 1951 and has been searching for his killer ever since. When he learns that Jake can see and hear him, Frank makes young Jake a deal: if Jake will help Frank find his killer, Frank will help his parents find a ghost to film for their upcoming Halloween Special on Public Access Channel #319. Jake enlists the only friend he's made in Dusk, an overweight tomboy nicknamed "Tank," to help him track down Frank's killer. As clues emerge and old leads heat up, Frank and Jake learn they make quite a team. But will Jake find Frank's killer? And will Frank find a real haunted house in time for Halloween? 
 “Paranormal Properties is a great, family-friendly Young Adult novel about a boy who can talk to ghosts. Equal parts Scooby-Doo, CSI and the Hardy Boys, you will enjoy getting to know Jake, Frank and Tank as much as I did. Now, if only ‘Paranormal Properties’ was a real show I could watch on TV every week…” ~ Rusty Fischer, author of Zombies Don’t Cry
          The voice was eerie, barely above a whisper. Jake paused, his sneaker poised above a grave as he stood in the middle of Dusk Cemetery.
It was nearly midnight and he’d grabbed the wrong flashlight before sneaking out of his bedroom window. It had run out of juice halfway through the graveyard, and he’d been blindly stumbling around ever since.
The moon was full, but it was frequently obscured by heavy cloud cover and he had to wait until another patch moved through to see very well.
He wasn’t scared, so much. Jake had a special relationship with graveyards, and this was far from his first time at the rodeo. Still, it was the first time a headstone had ever talked to him.
The voice grew louder. 
It was a female voice, sounding dark in a way a ghost might: dark and deep and frosty.
He risked another step, letting the moonlight guide his path. It was a big cemetery, and well-maintained as cemeteries go. There were headstones everywhere, some leaning, some taller than Jake.
Jake turned to the left to follow the sound. It was coming from a massive tombstone two feet taller than he was, and three feet wider. He pointed the flashlight at it, but the beacon was dim, even after he banged it three times on the palm of his hand.
Then, suddenly, it lit, falling upon the dead soul’s name: “Rose Colder.”
It was there on the grave stone, but the flashlight flickered out just before he could read the dates. 
“Silas…” came the eerie voice again, so close he could hear the ghost’s lips smacking.
But, wait. Did ghosts really have lips to smack?
Jake parted his own lips and spoke for the first time since walking into the graveyard. “R-R-Rose?”
He hadn’t meant to stutter, but he couldn’t help it. He heard a rasp, or a cough, and then the crunch of dry leaves behind the headstone.
“Silas?” was the reply, and then the rustling of cheap plastic against flesh. The clouds broke, the moon shone down, and a giant, yellow monster reared from behind the headstone, smiling.
 “Gotcha!” said the beast, in a boastful, girlish voice. It was a girl, a giant girl, a living girl in a big, yellow raincoat.
“W— who are you?” Jake stammered, trying to hold his ground. He had to look up a good four inches to see her face.
Her eyes glittered beneath her short, greasy hair. She was heavy, but with her big smile and that cheerful way about her, she looked more nice than scary.
“I’m Tank,” she said proudly, inching closer to him with big black and white sneakers crunching over dry, dead leaves. “Who are you?”
“Jake Weir,” he said, relieved he didn’t stammer that time. “And who…who’s Silas?”
“Don’t you know?” she asked, sitting down on one of the large marble slabs that surrounded Rose Colder’s grave. She patted the one next to him, and he sat, too.
He didn’t know why, but even in a graveyard, even after pranking him in her big, yellow raincoat that made her look like a linebacker for an NFL team, this “Tank” girl didn’t scare him. 
“No,” he replied. 
Tank frowned. “Rose Colder,” she explained, “snuck out at midnight to meet her boyfriend, Silas Miner, in this very cemetery over a hundred years ago. But Silas’s Dad didn’t approve of his son dating a commoner, so he kept Silas from seeing her and sent a couple of local thugs to teach Rose a lesson. When the thugs showed up, Rose fought back…and lost. They buried her here, and legend has it that every night, at midnight, she rises from her grave to take revenge on the men who ended her life.” 
“So…so that’s why you were calling me Silas?”  
Tank nodded, and then slugged him on the shoulder. “What are you doing here, anyway?” Jake shrugged. He didn’t really want to tell her. 
She pulled a flashlight from her raincoat pocket and flicked it on, right in his eyes. “Hey!” He held up a hand to shield his face. 
“Wait, hold up.” Tank pointed the beam up. “What’s that on your hat?” 
Jake blushed. He’d grabbed the hat at the last minute, not thinking about it. He had so many of them, and they all looked alike: black ball cap, neon green writing that spelled “Paranormal Properties.” 
“You…you work for that TV show? The ghost hunting one?” 
“You know about it?” Jake was surprised. They’d just gotten into town, and his parents hadn’t even filmed an episode here yet. That’s what he was doing out in the graveyard at midnight, trying to find something extra special for a new episode. 
Of course, they’d kill him if they found out, but he figured it would be worth it if they finally got more than a handful of people to watch. 
“Know about it?” Tank shouted. “I watch it every week! You know, the live feed on the web page. We don’t have any local channels that play it.” 
Jake beamed in appreciation. “Cool,” he said. 
“So,” Tank urged, nudging his knee with her own. He noticed she was wearing plaid pants under her yellow rain coat. “Do you work for it or what?” 
“My Mom is the host. My Dad is the cameraman.” 
Tank gasped and shoved Jake with each word. “No. Way! Get. Out. Of. Town!”  
                  She stopped shoving him and stood up instead, yanking him by the sleeve of his T-shirt. Dragging him from the cemetery, she said, “I love your Mom. You have to tell me all about her.” 
“Where are we going?” he asked, finally regaining use of his feet and catching up to her.
She saw him at her side, looked down and let him go. “There’s a diner around the corner, open all night. I’m buying you a hot fudge sundae and you’re going to tell me all about what it’s like to have famous parents.”
“Famous?” he chuckled as he followed her past the cemetery gate. His Mongoose bike was sitting there, dry and rusty, just where he’d left it.
“Sure thing.” She reached behind some bushes and lifted out a green ten speed with just one hand.
 They mounted their bikes and, now that he was looking for it, Jake saw the neon sign for the Dusk Diner just around the corner. Yet, something was still bugging him. “Hey,” he said, “what were you doing in the graveyard at midnight?”
Tank shrugged. “Couldn’t sleep.”
 “So you went to a cemetery?”
She  shrugged again, pedaling off. While struggling to catch up, Jake heard her say, “Hey, I met you, didn’t I?”
 I was fascinated with the paranormal when I was very young. I always felt like someone was around me even when I was alone. It caused me to be inspired to write a paranormal book where a teenager can see and hear ghosts and actually makes friends with one. 
I use to love to write short stories in school and always wanted to be a writer. But raising children and working jobs I just could not find the time to indulge my passion. Then my children grew up and I ended up having two teenagers at home who did not need as much attention from me. I started toying with the idea of writing once again. So setting aside 5 to 10 minutes per day to write at least one page I could end up with a book a year. Now Paranormal Properties is published and I have a list of 8 more books to write. I don't think I"ll be slowing down anytime soon. 
Next Stops
May 6 Guest blog and review
Paperback Princess

May 7 Spotlight and review
Because reading is better than real life...

May 8 Guest blog
Mama Knows Books 

May 8 Interview
Jodie Pierce's Ink Slinger's Blog

May 9 Guest blog
Buffy's Ramblings


Tour Wide Giveaway


4 signed print books and sets of 2 trading cards

6 sets of two trading cards

Open to US shipping





Natasha D said...

Sounds like a great read!!
Thanks for the chance to win!

pam said...

I would love to read this book! It sounds great! I love scary.


thank you for the chance to win one of your great book

helen may said...

Sounds like a fun read. Thanks!

Mel said...

Thanks for the giveaway!!

Robin Blankenship said...

Sounds Like a great read. :)