Interview with Tracy Daley, Author of Loss of the Unguarded
27 Sep 2023
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Loss of the Unguarded?
I came up with the idea for Loss of the Unguarded as I watched my oldest son play little league baseball. There is an atmosphere surrounding sports that is both invigorating and difficult at the same time. I wanted to write a story where success didn’t lie in the ability to destroy another person’s self-esteem, but from focusing on the things that really matter. I wanted to describe a world where loss could be overcome with hope. I know that these themes don’t always inspire paranormal suspense, but I also love to explore the battle between good and evil and how the division isn’t always a perfect line. The world isn’t black and white and good people can do things they regret.
Angels and demons playing football was the lame image that inspired the idea (yes, I was watching baseball, but football seemed more exciting. I apologize to all baseball fans.), but the story slowly evolved into an epic journey of facing ourselves and our power to change the world around us for good.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Loss of the Unguarded, what would they be?
The main characters in this story struggle with the desire to be seen for who they are and protect the ones they love. The theme song for Eleanor Agarwal is “Supermarket Flowers” by Ed Sheeran. For Treadon Nelson, the boy who wants to be Ellie’s Guardian, the theme song for him is “Believer” by Imagine Dragons. And the best friend, Jarren Calivan’s theme song is “Hall Of Fame” by The Script Ft. Will.I.Am.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
I love to read in multiple genres and usually have three books that I am in the middle of at any one time. I enjoy fantasy when the world swallows me up. I love paranormal that makes me believe in things I can’t see. And I love a historical fiction that highlights our strengths and weakness as human beings. I read widely and can honestly say I enjoy a good book in any genre.
This book release of my YA Paranormal is fun and does reflect my enjoyment of the many versions of the battle between dark and light. I’ve enjoyed other angel and demon stories in the past including City of Bones by Cassandra Clare and Maximum Ride by James Patterson.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
I recently attended a writing conference in Phoenix, Arizona and one of the things that gets tossed around a lot among writers is new book titles. I’m pretty sure I doubled my TBR pile last weekend. Some titles that I’m looking forward to reading are Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson, On One Leaves the Castle by Christopher Healy, Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross, The Spare Man and The Calculating Stars both by Mary Robinette Kowal.
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
I wrote the first draft of this book when my kids were younger, and I used to imagine the scenes while folding laundry. One of the most vivid scenes was the fight between Gabriel Tuoer and Caden Bachman. Imagining ways that ordinary house tools could be modified into weapons was a very fun stretch of my imagination. I’m pretty sure all of the laundry ended up in balled up wads of cloth instead of being folded in neat piles as I lived the fight between the two powerhouses.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
I have a tendency to follow a pretty detailed schedule. My day is usually planned out by the half-hour. I start writing at 8 am every weekday morning and that helps me to have some control and train my fingers to start moving whether my brain is awake or not. I have explored the possibility that my focus on a strict schedule may be a reflection of my need to control things when I feel out of control, but I’ll address that with a therapist at some point in my future.
My other habit is that I need to be chewing on something while I’m writing, which makes it hard to write in a group or public setting. No one enjoys chewing noises when someone else is making the sound. I tend to write in my office, alone, with the door closed. I have an amazing ability to pop a gum bubble several times a second.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
Right now, my philosophy is “you never know what tomorrow will bring.” This idea for me is motivation to keep learning and trying and writing new things. Disappointment and discouragement are temporary when I look to different possibilities and paths that could be available or I hold on to the hope that a path will appear that I hadn’t even imagined. Life changes. We change. And if we are moving and growing, the possibilities are endless.
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
I hope that readers walk away with a feeling of excitement and anticipation. I want them to remember the need for human connection and our ability to lift others. We can all bring a little light to the world and help the world become a brighter place.
Tracy Daley is the author of the new book Loss of the Unguarded
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