Tracy Auerbach: The Sin Soldiers
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The Sin Soldiers
by Tracy Auerbach
Red compound makes them angry. Yellow exhausts them. Blue drives them into a state of ravenous addiction. The thief Kai knows about the chemically controlled soldiers of the Eastern forces and their savage, deadly nature. When a robbery attempt at Club Seven goes wrong, Kai is captured by a handler and his bestial soldier-boy. She wakes up inside the military base with no idea what happened to her twin brother, Dex.
Things go from bad to worse when Kai is started on a drug and training regimen, and forced to take injections of blue compound. The scientists in charge plan to make her into a working soldier who will mine the mysterious power crystals beneath the desert. Kai becomes a victim of the bully Finn, a handsome but nasty soldier whose years on red compound seem to have erased his humanity. Still, she begins to pity the Seven Soldiers, including the monstrous boy who tried to rip her to shreds at the club. They appear to be nothing more than genetically enhanced, drug-controlled teenagers.
On the outside, Dex and his tech-savvy boyfriend try to crack the soldiers’ chemical code to find a weakness that will break the system. But Kai has already been drawn deep into her new world. Strong feelings for the soldiers she’s come to know have started to cloud her judgment. Can she escape and find Dex without becoming a monster herself?
July 23rd, 2019
Introduce yourself and your debut novel!
My name is Tracy Auerbach, and I’m a STEM teacher and coach for the New York City public school system. I’m also a fantasy fanatic, both in reading and writing. As an avid, insomniac reader, I read 70 books last year, most of which were fantasy. I am also mom to two human sons and a dog.
My YA debut, THE SIN SOLDIERS, is the first book in a trilogy called FRAGMENTS.
What’s the most surprising part about your debut journey so far?
The most surprising part of my debut journey so far has been how utterly blown away I am by how supportive other authors are! I’ve joined up with several Facebook groups for authors, including Novel Nineteens, and so I have not had one question left unanswered, one victory left uncelebrated, or one vent left unvented. It truly is an amazing community of people. I thought that my debut year would be a much more solitary experience, so this is a very pleasant surprise.
Give a shout-out to a fellow debut!
I just finished reading COLLATERAL DAMAGE by Taylor Simonds, a fellow YA fantasy debut from Parliament House, and I LOVED it! It’s a unique, fresh take on the premise of surviving as a civilian in a superhero/supervillain infested city.
The complete review can be found on my website, https://tracyauerbach.com/
Who is your favorite character?
Charlie! He’s such a hot mess of an id-monster, and so driven by his flaws, that it’s hard to not relate to him. But I also have soft spots for Tessa and Dex.
How long did it take you to write this book?
Years! This book existed in two previous drafts before I had a true handle on the plot. Before that, it was the characters and the world just drifting around in my head. But once I thought of this version of the story, it all flowed out onto the page within a couple of months. I did a lot of editing, but the meat was there.
What inspired you to write this book?
I love thinking about human nature, and the crazy psychological things that go on with our weird species every day. I started to think about using these qualities (addiction, passion, rage) as weapons. What would happen if super soldiers were created – if a war was fought by players who pressed buttons on people to push vice and virtue to their limits?
In the beginning, I had this image in my head of a thief running through the sand, being chased by a monster, and then I thought to myself: well, what if the monster caught her, and that’s the beginning instead of the end?
What advice would you give to a new writer?
Keep writing. If you’re in it to write, because that’s what you love, then you’ll never be disappointed. It won’t matter how many rejections or poor reviews you accumulate, because once you’re writing, you’re a writer. You don’t need other people to validate it.
On the flipside of that, don’t forget to be open to taking advice. I’ve scrapped so many books or reworked them entirely because they just weren’t going anywhere. If one of my beta-readers doesn’t like something, I make it a note. If more than one of them dislikes that same thing, I make it a change.
Describe your writing space.
My writing space is the laundry room in my house, where I’ve set up a desktop computer and chair. There’s also a small bathroom and a filing cabinet. I am frequently interrupted by my dog stealing socks or my family yelling for me, or walking in to use the bathroom.
How do you select character names?
I usually choose names that seem to work for the characters, and then look up the meanings. In THE SIN SOLDIERS, all of the characters’ surnames are tied into their character or plotline. See if you can catch it! For another book, SONS OF FIRE, that I have coming out next winter, my main character is a fire demon. I looked up names that meant fire and got ‘Aidan.’ That simple!
What book or author has most influenced your own writing?
I have a huge author crush on Holly Black! Her characters just always seem so fresh and vibrant, and I love the way her stories weave themselves together. My goal is to write that well. I’m also tremendously impressed with Brandon Sanderson, and I strive to world-build the way he does.
Share a picture of your pet!
Thanks for interviewing, Tracy! Does writing in a laundry room smell sooooo good? Go check out Tracy's book on 7/23/19!