From 1999 to 2009 Tracy Barrett was the Regional Advisor for the Midsouth (Tennessee and Kentucky) with the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is now SCBWI’s Regional Advisor Coordinator for the United States.
Tracy has taught courses on writing for children and on children’s literature at various institutions and frequently makes presentations to groups of students, librarians, teachers, and others.
She taught Italian, Women’s Studies, English, and Humanities in Nashville, Tennessee for 28 years and resigned in 2012 to devote herself to writing full time.
ME: How do you want to be remembered?
TRACY: As someone who did her best and always kept learning.
ME: Finish this sentence. A perfect day would involve . . .
TRACY: Hitting “the zone” for a long stretch with my writing, then a long walk with the dog, then a nice dinner that someone else cooked.
ME: If you can spend a day with one of your book characters who would it be, and why?
TRACY: Hmm, they’re all so different it’s hard to narrow it down. I guess Jane of THE STEPSISTER’S TALE. She’s smart and enterprising, and speaks her mind.
ME: Tell us five words that describes you as a writer.
TRACY: perfectionist, curious, impatient, experimental, geeky
ME: Are you a Pantser or a Plotter?
TRACY: Absolute pantser. The times I’ve tried to be a plotter have been miserable; it felt like I was doing homework. I like the freedom to have the story develop in unexpected ways. For example, in THE CASE THAT TIME FORGOT (Book 3 of my middle-grade series, The Sherlock Files) I was right near the end when I realized that the guy I had thought committed the crime wasn’t actually the criminal. I think readers are surprised to see who actually did it, because I was surprised myself!
It was my pleasure to interview you, Tracy. May you have many more successes.