Author Tracey Hecht on Creating Worlds, Researching Animals and Still Finding Time to Read
The Nocturnals Series Summary: The Nocturnals features three unlikely friends: Dawn, a serious fox, Tobin, a sweet pangolin and Bismark, the loud mouthed, pint sized sugar glider. The stories all play out in their nighttime world with teamwork, friendship and humor in every adventure.
The Fallen Star, the newest Nocturnals book: In The Fallen Star, Dawn, Tobin, and Bismark awaken one evening to a disaster: all of the forest’s pomelos have been mysteriously poisoned! As the Nocturnal Brigade sets out to investigate, they encounter Iris, a mysterious aye-aye, who claims monsters from the moon are to blame. While the three heroes suspect a more earthly explanation, the animals of the valley are all falling ill. And then Tobin gets sick, too! The Nocturnal Brigade must race to find answers, and the cure, before the pomelo blight threatens to harm them all.
About the Author: Tracey Hecht is a writer and entrepreneur who has written, directed, and produced for film. The American Booksellers Association chose her first book in The Nocturnal series, The Mysterious Abductions, as a Kids’ Indie Next List pick. Last year, in partnership with the New York Public Library, she created a Noctural Read Aloud Writing Program for middle graders that has expanded worldwide. She splits her time between Oquossoc, Maine and New York City.
How did you create the world of The Nocturnals?
I wanted to create a world that children were usually excluded from—nighttime! And once I decided on nocturnal animals, the rest came from there. What surprised me was how much I like the research. Learning about unusual animals is one of the most fun things about the series. I love using the physical traits and unique characteristics of the animals to help develop characters and enhance plot. The details I learn about the nocturnal world are constantly engaging and inspiring me.
Why did you choose the pangolin, fox, and sugar glider for your three main characters?
I chose a fox because they’re such interesting and cool animals. A pangolin because they are so unusual and physically captivating. And the sugar glider because…well, that’s a secret!
What are you currently reading?
Everything. It’s a problem. I keep books everywhere, in the car, on the kitchen table, in my bags etc, so it’s a long list. I don’t worry about that one book traveling with me everywhere (and of course which I’ll inevitably forget someplace). I am currently reading several middle grade fiction books, Booked, The Wild Robot, a friend’s manuscript, and I just finished The Poet’s Dog.
Do you have a personal favorite book of all time? If so, can you share it and tell us why?
This question gets posed a lot and for me it’s impossible. I love so many, and add favorites to my list almost weekly. But I guess if I had to pick one it would be Charlotte’s Web. Don’t you think?
Is there anything you are particularly looking forward to the publication of?
I am excited about so many middle grade and YA books. I’m excited to read the new Jerry Spinelli book and I want to read The Metropolitans aloud with my son. I’ve heard a lot about Short too so I want to read that. And of course, The Nocturnals third book, The Fallen Star is coming in May so that’s fun. As for YA, there are too many to list. But I’ve never read The Uglies and my friend says it’s a must—so I’ll get all those too.
What’s next? Any upcoming book projects in the works that you can tell us about?
We’ve just published Book 3 in The Nocturnals, The Fallen Star. The outlines for Books 4 and 5 are almost finished and we’ll start in on those soon (spoiler: the brigade goes aquatic!!). And excitingly, my two writing partners and dear friends Sarah Fieber and Rumur Dowling are concepting a new series, one for YA and one more an early reader for The Nocturnals. Lots of good stuff.
To Learn More about The Nocturnals and Tracey Hecht Visit:
Read Aloud Blog: https://nocturnalsworldreadaloud.tumblr.com
Thank you to Wiley at Saichek Publicity and Tracey Hecht for providing the Q&A!
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