Fun Facts

    • I’m the oldest of three children. My younger brothers used to call me “sarge.”
    • Those same younger brothers once chased me around the house with a kitchen knife. This was after they realized they didn’t have to do everything I told them and stopped being my personal slaves.
    • One of my brothers threw an empty beer can at me splitting my eyebrow and requiring stitches. I think I might have been yelling up the attic stairs at him. And, no, he hadn’t been drinking. It was the 70’s when kids started beer can collections of craft beers across the country. You couldn’t get them at any grocery or liquor store like you can now.
    • I once took a personality test for a job and the test scorer told my prospective boss that I could give a drill Sargent a run for his money. (I got the job!)
    • Another personality test I took said that I am ‘results oriented.’
    • My twenty-something son told me a few years ago to stop ‘trying to manage’ him. ~ ~ Do you see a pattern emerging?!?! Now that he’s on his own we don’t have that problem anymore. I’ve really tried to squelch this tendency in myself over the years, but it doesn’t seem to be working!! 🙂 If you want someone to boss you around, I’m your girl! (Although I choose to see this as a sign of my leadership skills and not inherent bossiness!!)
    • I like to make things. Especially using textiles – I sew, knit, felt – I love upcycling things from Goodwill into pillows, scarves, mittens, purses, etc.
    • I held the indoor record for the 220 yard dash – so long ago it was before metrics – at my high school for several years.
    • If I suddenly had  free day I would plan out what I wanted to do so I would be sure to do everything I wanted. I would even plan out my relaxation time.
    • I speak a little French from high school and whenever I travel to another country with a different language, no matter what the language is, I have an irresistible urge to speak French.
    • When I was in France years ago I gave a man helping us with a broken down car the okay sign…and he looked at me oddly. Apparently, in French it means ‘you suck’ or better yet ‘you’re an a-hole’. Nice way for me to thank him!
    • I don’t like to sit still and do nothing, so I often bring knitting with me.
    • I have boy/girl twins and when they were little people would ask me if they were identical…nooooo, one’s a boy and one’s a girl. Remember high school biology?
    • My freshman high school biology teacher told me I should be a nurse because I was doing so well in the class. When I came home and told my mom she said “You should be a doctor.” I have her to thank for always believing I could be anything I wanted to be. 🙂 That was the beginning of my love of science.
    • My senior high school Advance Placement biology teacher was what we used to call a ‘male chauvinist pig’. Another girl and I were doing extremely well in the class and he couldn’t deal with it, so he barely acknowledged us. We both scored 5’s on the AP exam. I still remember his face when we told him. Winning is the best revenge.

Here is the Real Bio

I haven’t always been a writer. Many writers kept journals when they were young and wrote stories and dreamed of becoming a writer. That wasn’t me. I don’t journal, I make lists. Lists of things to do, grocery lists, lists of ideas or topics, you name it. I keep a spiral notebook for each project. I also like pretty office supplies, like notebooks, pens and pencils and stickers and file folders. You’d think I’d be very organized, but it’s just a futile attempt to control the chaos!

I’ve always been a voracious reader. I’ve started getting books on tape to listen to while I’m driving – I drive A LOT! I also read books on my iPad, my iphone (in a pinch – its not my first choice) and of course REAL books. So many books, so little time!

I have a degree in biology and thought I would be a doctor at one point. My path didn’t lead that way, but science plays a big role in my writing. I think the author who influenced my writing the most is Madeline L’Engle who’s writing combined elements of science fiction and the spiritual/metaphyscial. All of my novels have an environmental theme and incorporate true science in addition to science fiction.  INDIAN SUMMER has an archeological and historical theme, and also an environmental conservation element. THE FIELD also has the environmental theme and delves into quantum physics and The Universal Energy Field (as well as high school soccer). I know, sounds thick, but it’s a good read! The third book, CATALYST, carries on with the environmental theme as it deals with fracking.

I started writing when my kids began reading and I rediscovered all the books I loved as a child and new books I’d yet to discover. I found myself developing stories of my own so I began writing novels for children and young adults. Images from my childhood growing up on Lake Michigan and the landscape of Indiana feature prominently in my novels.

I live in Indianapolis in a eclectic part of town called Broad Ripple. Lots of shops and restaurants, coffee shops and a few bars. I like traveling, gardening, reading YA novels, knitting, sewing, felting – anything to do with fiber arts – rummaging through junk shops, cooking, spending time outdoors and dancing!

Edited_Headshot_02 - Copy

THE FIELD – Soccer Field and Universal Energy Field

The title of my novel, The Field, has two meanings. The soccer field and The Universal Energy Field. Nikola Tesla postulated in the last century that there is enough energy in a cubic inch of space anywhere in the Universe to power New York City for a day. This field is also called the ‘Zero Point Field’. We know that the air around us is filled with energy waves or forces. Magnetic, sound, light, radio, television, microwave, radiation, etcetera. Most of these waves are outside the realm of human perception. However, we can measure them, and we know that animals can hear sounds that are imperceptible to the human ear, and we benefit from the action of these waves when we watch TV, use our cell phones or microwave our dinner.

Imagine if we could access the Zero Point Field as a totally clean, renewable energy source. No more drilling for oil or natural gas or mining for coal. No more burning fossil fuels and the resulting air pollution. No need for nuclear power and radioactive waste.

I’m a science geek and a passionate environmentalist. The Field includes an environmental theme comparing so-called ‘clean coal’ to wind and solar power and the idea of accessing energy from The Universal Energy Field.

Quantum Mechanics has demonstrated that there is no such thing as a vacuum or nothingness. The Universe is a sea of energy. Scientists are calling it ‘Dark Energy’, and while we don’t know exactly what it is, Einstein predicted its existence when he postulated using a ‘cosmological constant’ to explain the expansion of the Universe.

As Dr. Auberge says in The Field, “We have to set aside what we think we know about the world around us and open our minds to new discoveries. Just because you can’t see it and you don’t understand it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real.”

catalyst1

Catalyst – WIP – First Page

The third book in The Field family is Catalyst. It’s written from Eric’s younger sister, Marcie’s perspective when she is 17 years old and Eric is 19 – two years older than in The Field. In Indian Summer, the first book chronologically, Marcie is 12 and experiences visions of a Native American girl guiding her as well as premonitions and synchronicities.

Here’s the first page of Catalyst. It went through about a dozen re-writes and this may not even be the final iteration. What do you think? Does it grab your attention and draw you in?

Catalyst

Chapter 1

I’ve had glimpses of something beyond my five senses. Usually it’s premonitions and intuition, but four years ago when I was in middle school I communicated with the spirit of a Native American girl. I want to experience that again, but I don’t know how. Sometimes she inhabits my dreams and I wake up wishing I could connect with her while I’m awake and wondering if I imagined it all in the first place. It feels like a door that was once open to me is shut and I don’t have the key. Thinking about it gives me a vague, unsettled feeling. It’s like something is missing from my life.

I give myself a mental shake and pull the door handle to get out of the car, determined not to give in to anxious thoughts. Hopefully the next few weeks will keep my mind occupied with other things.

We arrive at the Angel Mounds archaeological dig site in time for dinner. That’s when all the students in the field study are supposed to arrive for orientation and a ‘meet-and greet’ evening as my mom refers to it. It’s her dig. She’s an archaeologist at the University and I’ve been to several of her sites over the years, but this is my first time actually working on a site. Not bad for a summer job – at least that’s what I’m hoping. It’s unpaid, but still great experience. She was able to get all three of us – me, my bother Eric and his girlfriend, Renee – spots on the dig team.

 I’m checking out the people milling around the clearing when I see them. Their presence immediately commands my attention.

Most of the others are probably college students from the University, archaeology or anthropology students, doing a summer field study course, but these two are different.

The man suddenly turns and looks me straight in the eye. It’s as if he senses me looking at him, or thinking about him. Because that’s how it feels. Like he’s reaching out and touching my thoughts. I hear him say, ‘hello, Marcie’, not audibly, but inside my mind. I take a slight step back, startled, but hold his gaze and the connection between us. In my previous experiences I’d never heard words spoken. Just thoughts and feelings. He inclines his head toward me and touches the brim of his hat before returning to talk to his blond companion. I’m a little disturbed by the whole exchange. Something about him makes me uneasy. My skin shivers and I rub my arms to dispel the feeling. Who is this guy and how had he communicated with me?

I shift my gaze to the woman. Her caramel-colored hair is braided into a heavy rope hanging down her back and she’s gesturing in smooth, fluid motions as she talks. She gives the impression of being both still and animated, reminding me of a cat stalking its prey, immobile save for the twitching of its tail. Contained is the word that comes to mind. The way her eyes roam over the other waiting people, stopping only briefly to look at me, enhances the feline resemblance.

Radio, Readings and Fans

On Tuesday, May 28th, Barry Eva interviewed me on his radio show A Book and A Chat. We had a blast connecting over soccer and all things metaphysical. Link here to listen to the full interview.

Women and Children First

Had a great author reading and signing on the 29th at Women and Children First in Chicago.

Reading THE FIELD at Women and Children First
Alex and Katie and their friends provided endless inspiration for THE FIELD while they were in high school!

Deerfield Barnes and Noble

Saturday, June 1st at another Barnes and Noble!

Loved meeting Martina at Barnes and Noble in Deerfield, IL! A new fan!
Connected with my high school friend Frankie!
Frankie gave THE FIELD to her husband – another new fan!!
Indian Summer

Indian Summer Revisions – Mystical Trees

I’m working on revisions to Indian Summer, the prequel to The Field – adding more conflict and more mystical experiences. The story revolves around Eric’s younger sister, Marcie, trying to save an old growth forest from development, so I decided to give the trees a leading role. Here’s a short excerpt that I recently added.

The cool dimness beneath the canopy envelops me when I step into the woods. My footfalls are muffled by the carpet of leaves beneath my feet as I make my way between closely packed trunks and over fallen logs deeper into the filtered light. I’m not sure what I’m looking for or if I’m looking for anything at all, but I feel welcomed into this place by the trees. I place my palms on the trunks as I pass in a sort-of greeting or acknowledgement, I don’t know which.

            When I’ve gone about fifty yards, I come to a massive maple tree. The one we call Grandmother tree.  The kids use it for home base in our games of kick-the-can and sardines. Its branches extend far into the sky arching outward to create a protective shelter above me. I stand in front of it, or her, as I think of it, for a while and then feel compelled to walk up to her and place my palms on her rough bark. The whispering I heard in Jamison bay is strong here. Are the trees communicating with me?

            I put my arms around Grandmother tree and place my cheek against her bark. These woods and this tree are like old friends. They’re a part of my childhood. I don’t hear any words, but I imagine that Grandmother tree knows how I feel.

The Field Coverfront

Next Stops on the Tour – Ann Arbor, Chicago Area and Milwaukee

Here are my next stops on the Book Tour. Ann Arbor this Saturday and then Chicago and Milwaukee the last weekend in May. Having a great time meeting booksellers and readers. Barnes and Noble has been wonderful!

Looking to connect with Chicago area friends and family at Women and Children First on May 31st! Hope to see you, too!

Nicola’s Books

Ann Arbor, MI

Saturday, May 25th 3:00pm

Women and Children First  Bookstore

5233 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60640

Wednesday, May 29th ~ 7pm

Readings and Book Signing

Barnes and Noble

Racine, WI ~ Southland Center

Friday, May 31st ~ 7pm

Readings and Book Signing

Barnes and Noble

Deerfield Square, Deerfield, IL

Saturday, June 1st ~ 12:00 to 2:00pm

Review of THE FIELD by Gina Rae Mitchell

Here’s a very nice review of The Field from blogger Gina Rae Mitchell. Link to her page here.

The Field is such an excellent book that I can honestly recommend it for readers of all ages. It’s not your typical YA fiction novel.

The Field by Tracy Richardson is a wonderful young-adult novel. However, I truly believe this story is not only for young adults. I found it highly entertaining, and I am far from young.

The storyline has a lot of soccer and science in it, and yet you don’t have to be knowledgeable in either to enjoy The Field. The author captures the feelings of high schoolers very well. I bet we can all remember those days of angst, indecision, joy, and every other emotion that encompasses the passage from youth to adult. Relationships are an important theme throughout the book. It’s interesting to see how the changing of family & friend dynamics have lasting effects on people.

“A Science Fiction Winner”

Richardson creates an entirely believable world. Whether you consider this book sci-fi, metaphysical, or fiction, I’m confident you will enjoy reading it. It is very well-written, and the characters come alive while you are reading. I would recommend this book to readers from teen on up. Lovers of soccer, science, physics, and all-around excellent science fiction will enjoy The Field by Tracy Richardson.

Buy your copy today!

2019 Reading Challenge Update

I thought I was WAY behind on my reading goal of 60 books for the year, but now that I count up what I’ve read so far this year, it’s not as bad as I thought. Sixteen books read. And I’m not even including the romance novel I read…just saying. Check out what I’ve been reading here.

I don’t think I’ll get to 30 by July 1st – the halfway point – BUT I have a good excuse! The launch of The Field  and the Book Tour is keeping me VERY busy not to mention trying to do revisions on Indian Summer and Catalyst.

What are you reading? I’m always looking for recommendations. My Book Group is reading Where The Crawdads Sing for June and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve heard wonderful things about it!

TBR Pile

Return of the Thief by Meghan Whelan Turner – comes out in August. Conclusion to the series – can’t wait!

I’m in a scifi phase right now, so these are in the TBR pile:

The Forever War and Marsbound by Joe Haldeman

Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman – YA

Scenes from the Book Tour – Grand Rapids and Dayton

For the second segment of The Field Book Tour, I was at the Barnes and Noble in Grand Rapids, Michigan on April 26th for a local author event and then drove 5 hours to Dayton, OH for the Dayton Book Expo on the 27th. Can’t always control the timing of these events! Here are some pics!

This weekend I’m at the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators writing conference in Chicago and the Launch Party is on May 11th! Check out the Events Page for more details.

Ready for Readers in Grand Rapids!
Talking with readers in Grand Rapids
Signed Books to Leave Behind

Barnes and Noble Grand Rapids
Readers at the Dayton Book Expo!
Being Interviewed for Another Way to Praise TV Spot at The Dayton Book Expo