Monday, October 14, 2019

Interview with YA paranormal author Christine Potter

Welcome, readers. Today’s guest is novelist Christine Potter. We’re chatting about her newest YA paranormal romance novel with a dash of time travel, Gracie’s Time.

During her virtual book tour, Christine will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble (winner’s choice) gift card to a lucky randomly drawn winner. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit her other tour stops and enter there, too!

Christine Potter lives in a very old, haunted house, not far from Sleepy Hollow. She’s the author of the time-traveling Bean Books series, on Evernight Teen: Time Runs Away With Her, In Her Own Time, What Time Is It There? and Gracie’s Time. She’s also a poet, with several books in print (the most recent is called Unforgetting). Christine loves all kinds of music, DJ’s, and plays dulcimer and guitar.

Welcome, Christine. Please share a little bit about your current release.
Gracie's Time is Bean Four, the fourth book in the Bean series. Gracie Ingraham is a high school sophomore during the Cuban Missile Crisis and her parents believe the world is on the edge of nuclear war. Fortunately, they have something planned to keep their daughter safe. The Ingrahams are Travelers—time travelers--and Gracie shares their gift. So they decide to send Grace to the 1890s and a wealthy uncle in Victorian-era Manhattan. Problem is, she's never traveled in time before. She goes forward instead of back—and lands in 2018. Gracie has gone from transistor radios to iPhones, from duck-and-cover drills to active shooter drills. Because this is indeed a Bean book, characters from the original series have good-sized roles—but maybe not how you'd think. Gracie's Time makes a perfectly good stand-alone read, by the way, but I bet you'll want to read the first three books when you've finished this one!

What inspired you to write this book?
I was originally thinking of a story separate from the Bean characters, maybe one that would be short story length for an anthology. I wanted to write it in first person, from Gracie's point of view. And then, not so many words into my first draft, the Parkland shooting happened. I already had Gracie in 2018 by then. I knew I had to deal with the threat of gun violence in schools. So I did.

Excerpt from Gracie’s Time:
I heard a snoring sound in the sky then, but it was only a plane. For a moment I thought about how terrible it would be if a nuclear war started right that minute, before I could escape to the past. Then I thought about Mom and Dad. I hoped they’d come get me from the 1890s if there weren’t a war. I didn’t want them to die. I didn’t want anyone to die. I really wanted there to be a future.
Mr. Mahoney and I walked past the train station and out onto the empty platform. He looked over his shoulder to be sure no one was around. “Are you ready?” He took my hands, squeezed them, and then he let go. “It’s the right time and place! Go on back, Gracie!”
At first, I thought nothing had happened, except then it wasn’t evening anymore. It was morning—and certainly not the 1890s. Nobody named Augustus introduced himself to me.
Dad always told me that if you get confused when you Travel, you should always look at what kind of lights there are in buildings and what clothing people have on to help place yourself. But what I saw only confused me more.
A freezing wind came off the river and cut right through my corduroy jacket. People in puffy grey and brown overcoats stood in clumps, staring at what I first thought were really tiny transistor radios. I learned that same day those things are called smart phones. I’d missed the 1890s by over a hundred years—and in the wrong direction.
A sleek, silvery train roared into the station from the north and everyone got on it but me. Bingo, the future! I’d just broken one of the biggest Rules there is.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I also write poetry, and I've been busy submitting a lot of new work. I'm trying to decide what's next for Gracie. There's a real ending on this story, but there are plenty of places my new (and old) characters could go next.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I can't remember a time in my life when I couldn't read—I taught myself before kindergarten—and so I can't really remember a time when I wasn't making up stories and poems. I actually wrote some (bad) time travel stories and ghost stories when I was in junior high. I think I started calling myself a writer confidently when the first book in the Bean series came out a few years ago, even though I had published a whole lot of poetry by then. Somehow or other having a novel in print gave me the right to own the word.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I'm a retired high school English teacher. I guess that's why I never had fiction in print until I got out of the classroom: not enough hours in the day. I write every day now, either poetry or fiction. I get up, read the news, update my social media, and head for my office. I take an exercise break midday and then go back to writing until my musician husband gets home from practicing. He's a church organist, so he does an awful lot of that outside the house. He has a practice organ at home that is NOT a friend of my writing!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I love both pop and classical music. All of my books have a lot of music in them—and characters who are musicians and DJs. Bean Four, Gracie's Time, has everything from "Over the Rainbow" to the soundtrack to Hamilton.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a writer pretty early on. I had a brief flirtation with wanting to be an archeologist, but then I realized I'd probably be excavating graves and that freaked me out.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I am the world's oldest young adult. As a retired teacher, I believe you become the age of the kids you teach. I taught high schoolers. A large part of me has been sixteen years old—for decades!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Bea LaRocca said...

I love the book cover and excerpt. This sounds like an awesome read for me and for my granddaughter. Thank you for sharing your book and author details.

chrispy said...

It's so good to be here! Thanks, Lisa, for having me!

Bea, I'd be delighted to know you were reading this with your granddaughter. It will be a good, cozy read to share with her. The first three books of the Bean series had lots of grownup fans.

Jean J Valentine said...

I work in a library and eagerly await this 4th book clearing processing at the main 4 county branch so I can grab it and read it before adding it to the stacks! I've read the 1st 3 and enjoyed them very much - and can say that they've been as popular with our adult adult readers as they've been with our young adult readers.

James Robert said...

Thank you for taking the time to share your terrific book with us. I enjoyed reading about it.

sherry o'keefe said...

AH, there you are! I've been trying to chase you down since 1864! I'd show up and find out you were already back in 1971.

Seriously, I love the Bean books. When you were a young girl, who inspired you? Who was your role model?

Sherry O'Keefe

Marcus Damanda said...

I've read this and all the Bean books. Christine is a wonderful author, and these books are simply enchanting--and occasionally terrifying--in so many ways.

Victoria Alexander said...

Sounds like a good book, thanks for sharing!

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a good read.

Debbie P said...

This book sounds like an awesome read.

Anonymous said...

Fun to meet a new-to-me author!

chrispy said...

Well, howdy, everyone! Nice to see friends old and new on this site! My biggest role models when I was really little were the distinguished women I read about in the biography section of the junior library. I used to inhale biographies when I was in fourth and fifth grades. It always depressed me that their subjects had to die in the end! I remember being especially taken with Amelia Earhart and Marie Curie.

Dale Wilken said...

The book sounds like a really great read.

chrispy said...

What a great day! Thanks again to Lisa and everyone who commented. Gracie's Time was tremendous fun to write, and I hope you all have lots of fun reading it.

Teenyluvkins said...

Very interesting story and premise. Will have to catch up with the series for sure :)