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Texas Debut Authors: Meet Jenny Martin, author of Tracked


Today, we’re talking to Jenny Martin, the author of TRACKED, a YA Sci Fi novel debuting 2014 from Dial, an imprint of Penguin. 

How did you become a writer?
When I was little, you could find me in the basement of my hometown Carnegie library, scoping out the children’s section and asking Mrs. Bell, the librarian, if she had any more books by Zilpha Keatley Snyder (weirdly, I think I listened to the audiobook of The Headless Cupid at least a dozen times.)
I wrote bad poetry as a teen, and a few short stories, too, but mostly I read. And read. And read…Fast forward to adulthood, when I started work on my Masters in Library Science. Going back to school sucked up all my time, and instead of reading novels for the joy of it, I spent hours every day reading scholarly articles and churning out term papers on things like intellectual property and authority control. When I finally graduated, I think I was so starved for storytelling—it’s like some kind of fictive brain fever took hold, and I remember thinking….I don’t want to write papers anymore. I want to write for me.
So I did. And eventually, TRACKED came to life on my laptop.  
What’s your debut about? Can you share any cool details with us? 

Long(ish) answer:
TRACKEDis about a girl who starts out street racing, on another planet, two hundred years in the future.  But soon enough, Phee Van Zant transforms from rebel to revolutionary after a taking a no-win deal to race the corporate rally circuit, where she’s catapulted between the boy who’s been running alongside her all her life and the intense, castoff rogue who prepares her all too well for the road. Can one street rat dare to compete against an empire? 
Short(ish) answer:
What if Han Solo was a seventeen-year-old girl, and she raced a fast car instead of piloting the Millennium Falcon?  
As for cool details… 
Fun fact #1: My villain is somewhat inspired by Peter Weyland of Weyland Corp, the company developing other planets in the Alien movies. Guy Pearce played Weyland in Prometheus, and I enjoyed the CEO’s fake TEDtalk (a viral teaser clip on youtube) a million times more than the actual movie. 
Fun Fact #2: The idea for TRACKED came to me after watching two things in quick succession: Death Race with Jason Statham and the documentary, Hot Coffee, an eye-opening look at forced arbitration, the legalese of corporate contracts, and the slow erosion of civil rights.  A lifetime of devouring epic sagas like Star Wars and The Godfather probably didn’t hurt, either. 😉 
What cool facts might readers not know about you? 
I don’t know if I have any cool facts, but maybe weird ones? I’m a left-handed librarian who plays electric guitar. I hate to cook, but love to bake. I have irrational fear of potluck dinners. I’m an anglophile who loves Shakespeare and The Beatles in equal measures. I daydream that someday Hermione Granger will run for president. Oh wait…I hugged Neil Gaiman. Okay, I sobbed all over him, and that part was more embarrassing than cool, but still. When was the last time you hugged Neil Gaiman and kept it together? 
Jenny is a librarian, a book monster, and a certified electric-guitar-rawking Beatle-maniac. She lives in Dallas with her husband and son, where she hoards books and regularly blisses out over all kinds of live and recorded rock. Her debut YA novel, TRACKED, will be released in 2014 by Dial, an imprint of Penguin.
Check Jenny out online: