September 5, 2018

Freefall Summer Blog Tour: Tens List + Giveaway

Freefall Summer
Author: Tracy Barrett
Genre: YA Contemporary
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Charlesbridge Teen 


Sixteen-year-old Clancy Edwards has always been "the good girl." Ever since her mother died in a skydiving accident when Clancy was young, Clancy's father has watched her like a hawk. Between her dad's rules and her boyfriend's protectiveness, she's longing for an escape this summer. Then she meets Denny.

Denny is a new skydiving student and college freshman. Clancy lets Denny think they're the same age--and that she's old enough to make decisions for herself. But the lies snowball, relationships are damaged, and suddenly Clancy isn't the person she wants to be. If only making choices were as simple as taking a leap out of a plane. Before Clancy can make things right, one last act of rebellion threatens her chance to do so--maybe forever.


"This classic coming-of-age story begs to be advertised for summer reading. . . Hand it to fans of Cecil Castellucci’s Don’t Cosplay with My Heart and anything written by Sarah Dessen." —School Library Journal 

You can purchase Freefall Summer at the following Retailers:

Top 10 Best Writing Advice 

1. Don’t compare what you write to anyone else’s writing. For years I was intimidated by all the great books I read and didn’t start writing seriously until I was in my 30’s. I wish someone had said to me, “It doesn’t matter that you can’t write A Wrinkle in Time—someone else already wrote it. But you can write something no one else can.”

2. Don’t try to make everything perfect the first time around. Authors write multiple drafts of the same project, over and over again. I spend much more time revising than writing.

3. Remember to have fun! That doesn’t mean that every single minute of writing is fun—sometimes it’s torture. But if you’re not enjoying the story (at least most of the time), if you don’t lie in bed trying to figure out how to close a plot hole, if you’re not invested in the character, no one else will like it either. Besides, very few people get rich and famous from writing, so if you’re not having a good time, what are you getting out of it?

4. Practice, practice, practice.
  • A lot of writers keep a journal (I don’t, but many do).
  • Sit at your desk for 30 minutes. Tell yourself it’s okay if you don’t write anything, but don’t allow yourself to do anything else. You’ll probably get so bored that you’ll write just to have something to do.
  • Do writing sprints with friends: Set a timer and write as much as you can in three minutes or ten minutes or whatever you’ve decided on. Sometimes you agree on a topic a topic (“When I got caught doing something bad,” “My earliest memory,” etc.) but usually it’s open. What you write probably won’t be any good, but that’s okay. Playing scales on a violin or running drills in basketball isn’t anything anyone wants to watch, but you have to do it to improve. Writing sprints are like playing scales or running drills.

5. Form a critique group with friends who like to write. Get together regularly and read what the others have written. You offer advice, telling them what worked for you as well as what didn’t work, and they do the same for you.

6. Learn how to listen to criticism. If someone says a scene in your story drags and you need to cut a lot of it, thank them for their advice without defending yourself. If it dragged for them, it probably will drag for other readers too, so you should read it carefully to see if you agree. If you do, you don’t necessarily need to fix it the way they said. Instead, maybe split the scene into two parts with action in between. Maybe change some description to dialogue. Maybe throw in something funny. Remember: If someone says you should change something, they’re probably right. If they tell you how to change it, they’re probably wrong.

7. Be observant. Real life offers great characters, scenes, dialogue, plots, etc.

8. Write down ideas. I know it feels like you’ll never forget them, but you will! If you hear someone say something funny, or if you see a cloud shaped like something strange, or if an idea for a great villain comes to you, write it down.

9. Play “what if.” Your best friend doesn’t show up at school. They’re probably sick, but what if they discovered a spy ring in their neighborhood and they’re observing it? What if they won the lottery and they’re now collecting millions of dollars? What if they heard a rumor that you had done something terrible to them and they never want to speak to you again? This is great exercise for the creative muscles!

10. Listen to advice, but do what works for you. A Twitter poll once asked authors what was the best advice they ever got, and what was the worst. A lot of things showed up on both lists!
  • Writers are often told to write every day, and that advice appeared as some people’s best advice, and some people’s worst advice! I don’t write every day and I’ve published 23 books.
  • Writers are told “Show, don’t tell” (meaning, don’t tell your readers “It was cold” but show them: “Sarah could see her breath, and her fingers were getting numb in her mittens”). That’s usually good advice, but sometimes telling is quicker and more interesting.
  • You’ll hear, “Write the first draft without going back and editing.” If that works for you, fine—but I prefer to edit as I go. So does Newbery winner Paul Fleishman, who once said, “I need to make my pages solid before I go on. I like to build my house on stone, not sand.” So do whichever works for you!
  • Writers are told to start with a bang, but some great books start gradually.
  • We’re told to create likeable characters, but some great characters aren’t all that likeable.
So listen to advice and try out what people say, but do what works for you and your writing. Feel free to ignore any advice that starts, “You have to” or “You can’t.” You don’t have to, and you can too!

Tracy Barrett has written more than twenty books for children and young adults. She’s much too interested in too many things to stick to one genre, and has published nonfiction as well as historical fiction, mysteries, fantasy, time travel, myth and fairy-tale retellings, and contemporary realistic novels. She knows more about ancient Greece and Rome and the European Middle Ages than anyone really needs to know, can read lots of dead languages, and used to jump out of airplanes.

A grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study medieval women writers led to the writing of her first novel, the award-winning Anna of Byzantium (Delacorte). Her most recent publications are a contemporary YA novel, Freefall Summer, which draws on her own skydiving adventures; a middle-grade fantasy entitled Marabel and the Book of Fate; The Song of Orpheus: The Greatest Greek Myths You Never Heard, a collection of little-known Greek myths; and the popular middle-grade series The Sherlock Files.

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.

Tracy grew up near New York City, and went to college in New England and graduate school in California. She holds a Bachelor's Degree with honors in Classics-Archaeology from Brown University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Italian Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. She was awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to study medieval women writers and won the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Work-in-Progress Grant in 2005. She taught Italian and other subjects at Vanderbilt University for almost thirty years. She has two grown children and lives in Tennessee with her husband and two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Author Links:
TWITTER: @writingtracy

(1) Winner will receive a Copy of FREEFALL SUMMER and Swags (signed bookplate and a silver skydiving pendant) by Tracy Berrett.
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter


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