Jenny Martin: TRACKED

Today, we’re excited to talk to Jenny Martin, the 2014 debut author of TRACKED. One author, four questions. Here we go!

Jenny Martin - guitarHey, you’re getting published! How’d that happen?

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 started writing. And failed horribly. Yes, have projects that will never see the light of day. They are really that bad. But that’s okay; those books were sturdy enough rungs. They helped me find my voice, find my agent, and find the right words for TRACKED.

What’s your debut book about? Can you share any cool details with us?

Long(ish) answer:

TRACKED is 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.

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. Guy Pearce played the character in Prometheus, and I enjoyed the CEO’s fake TEDtalk (a viral teaser clip on youtube) a million time 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 do you do in your daily life outside of writing?

Stories and music. You could pretty much sum up a lot of my life right there. I’m a librarian, of course, and my husband, my son and I love all kinds of good novels, good movies, and good music. I go to a lot of shows and concerts in Dallas and Austin, and I sing and play electric guitar. Left handed, of course.

What cool facts might readers not know about you?

I don’t know if I have any cool facts, but maybe weird ones? 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 once hugged Jared Padalecki. That was cool.

Jenny Martin 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 (like Smaug) and regularly blisses out over all kinds of live and recorded rock (like Nick and Norah). Her debut YA novel, TRACKED, will be released in 2014 by Dial, an imprint of Penguin.

29 thoughts on “Jenny Martin: TRACKED

  1. “What if Han Solo was a seventeen-year-old girl, and she raced a fast car instead of piloting the Millennium Falcon?”

    No sarcasm – I’m glad this question is finally being answered!

  2. Jenny, I so relate to that “starved for storytelling” feeling. That was exactly the reason I started writing in law school. I’m beyond excited to read Tracked! I need that book in my life! Love you!

    • hahahahahahhahahahahhahaha. Big and famous???? Jen, I think I just snort my coffee. Went down the wrong pipe. I don’t know about big and famous, but girl, you can be PR Princess of All Things Bookish and Awesome, anytime (that’s PRPATBA). You get all the xoxos times 1,000,000….

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