Tracy, the book’s protagonist, has a social justice column in her school’s paper and leads Know Your Rights workshops in her community. How much of your own activism as a student influenced the creation of Tracy?
Tracy, to me, is the embodiment of an activist! It’s that relentless determination and that constant questioning of why and not just accepting things.
A lot of her character represents the things that I find to be traits of activists. They don’t take no for an answer. They seek answers themselves. They don’t go the typical route. These are things I value. Although, she’s me times 10, like she’s at a whole other level.
I wasn’t someone who wrote a lot when I was young. [I didn’t think that was] part of my DNA. Journalism and media are playing such important roles in getting information out there. I really wanted to give her something that could be her own that doesn’t necessarily have to be connected to all the issues that are going on, but is a talent and a skill that she has.
I love mysteries, detectives, and thrillers. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an FBI investigator and a lawyer. In Tracy are a lot of the things that I loved that I never got to do. She got to take some of those independent threads and be the agent in her story.