What was your initial inspiration for A Season of sinister dreams?
I started this book six or seven years ago, when I’d had some setbacks and was wondering if I had a future as an author. Thematically, the inspiration was this effort to process the grief I was feeling. I wanted to write a story about finding a way back to hopefulness and a sense of agency and magic. More logistically, my inspiration was my dog. Ha ha. He was a great source of comfort for me back then and is still to this day, as a grizzled old gentleman of thirteen. Spoiler: I dedicated this book to him. I’m sure he’ll be very honored when he sees it. Lol
What is your writing process like? Do you pre-plot or just go with the flow and plot while you write?
I can’t completely pants a manuscript. I usually work out the premise, the world, the basic turning points, and the end goal before I start writing. Then I’ll plot out smaller scene-by-scene moments as I go. I also tend to revise as a warmup before drafting new words. So each day I’ll sit down and read through the last chapter or two and tweak before moving on. But once the first draft is done, revisions are where the magic really happens for me! I definitely prefer revising to drafting.
A Season of Sinister Dreams is told from two different points of view, Annalise’s and Evra’s. Which was your favorite to write?
Hmm. Probably Annalise’s. She’s the first “villain” I’ve written from the point of view of, and she also…wasn’t a POV character in original drafts of the book! So I got to write her after the initial structure and plot was established, which meant I could have fun with her from the very beginning. But I love Evra so much too, and relate to her the most of both characters.
What is your favorite part of writing, and writing for YA specifically?
I feel like with every book I write, I’m not only trying to empower my characters, but also empower myself. And I think that thematic through-line works really well in books for young adults. When you’re in your teens and twenties, you’re trying to figure yourself and the world out. That was certainly true for me, and, honestly, I’m still on that path, still trying to make sense of it all. But I spent a lot of my teenaged years with low self-esteem, wondering if I could ever have the things I wanted, like strength and confidence and adventure and love. So I write those things for my characters, and for myself.
What advice would you offer to new writers?
The only way you fail in this business is to stop trying. But it can be a long, slow, demoralizing slog, so write about what you love, and be authentic, and find the joy for yourself. Because, at the end of the day, you’re your first and most important reader. Write for yourself first. And have fun! 🙂
Furyborn meets A Curse So Dark and Lonely in this thrilling fantasy about two powerful girls coming together to protect their beloved kingdom—from the author of Grace and Fury.
Annalise may be cousin to the prince, but her past isn't what she claims, and she possesses a magic so powerful it takes all her strength to control it. Evra is a country girl, and has watched as each friend and family member came into their own magic, while hers remains dormant. But everything changes after Annalise loses control of herself and Evra begins experiencing the debilitating visions of a once-in-a-generation clairvoyant meant to serve the crown.
About the Author
Tracy Banghart grew up in rural Maryland and spent her summers on a remote island in northern Ontario. All that isolation and lovely scenery gave her the time to read voraciously and the inspiration to write her own stories. Always a bit of a nomad, Tracy now travels the world Army-wife style with her husband, son, and several mischievous fur babies. She is the author of Grace and Fury and Queen of Ruin.