Tracy Banghart: “I was inspired by my own experiences with sexism and a desire to push back.”

5 Questions With...

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[Note From Frolic: Our resident YA expert Aurora Dominguez got the opportunity to interview author Tracy Banghart and ask her five(ish) questions. Tracy’s novel Queen of Ruin is out now!]

Aurora: What was your inspiration behind your most recent novel?

Tracy: I was inspired by my own experiences with sexism and a desire to push back. I really wanted to write a story where girls work together, love interests play supporting roles, and finding one’s agency is the central theme.

What character do you most relate to and why?

It’s a bit of a cop-out, but I would say I relate to my sisters, Serina and Nomi, equally. Serina is the responsible older sister who wants to protect her family and do the right thing, and Nomi is the one who rages against the system, makes mistakes, and has to find ways to move forward. I see parts of myself in both!

Why do you feel fantasy books are so popular and have such a voice right now?

There’s a lot of scary stuff going on in the world. I think authors want to try to make sense of it for themselves, and readers want to read stories that take them away and also let them explore those scary things from a safe “distance.” Fantasy has a great way of being both escapist and thought-provoking. That’s why I like reading and writing it, anyway!

Please describe the content of your latest book and what can readers expect from the read.

Queen of Ruin is the sequel to Grace and Fury, which is about two sisters trapped in two very different prisons, trying to reunite. If Grace and Fury was about establishing this tough, patriarchal world, Queen of Ruin is about tearing it down. Serina and Nomi have to figure out how to lead a revolution! 

What’s next for you in the book world?

I’m working on something that’s a secret at the moment, but maybe I can get away with a tiny sneak peek: It’s a YA fantasy about two girls: one who has too much magic, and one who doesn’t have enough. I should be able to say more soon!

Who is your favorite writer right now and why?

I’ll read anything Sally Thorne writes; The Hating Game was perfection. I’m also really into Dhonielle Clayton, Anna Bright, Ellen Goodlett, and Hafsah Faizal right now. They’re all such evocative writers; their books make me think and make me swoon. Such a great combination!

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