About the Author:
I'm a writer, a poet, an academic and a scholar. I write fantasy fiction, short stories, children's books and I'm currently working on a large scale non-fiction project in line with my academic studies. I was born and raised in sunny South-East Queensland in Australia and still live in South Brisbane with my adorable dog and equally adorable two cats.
I enjoy travel, I even lived in New Zealand for a couple of years. I love meeting new people, boxing, yoga, horse-riding and am a voracious reader who is infinitely curious about the world. I have Bachelor's degrees in Ancient History and Comparative Religions, a lot of which is incorporated into my fantasy fiction.
Shaking things up a bit with the Author Interviews, dear readers. I wanted a variety of questions this time around, so we can all get to know the authors featured every week a little better. Today, we have the pleasure to go down under with Australian Author extraordinaire, Tracey Alley.
Welcome to Reads, Reviews, Recommends, Tracey. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day for this interview. It's a pleasure to get to know you and your writing.
First up, please state your name, your occupation, and your cocktail of choice for our dear readers.
Tracey Alley, full time writer, part-time student and you can’t go past a Mudslide for cocktails ;)
A Mudslide, huh? Judging from the picture above, I think I want one. So, while we're contemplating drinking ten of them, if you could have written a novel already published, what would it be and why?
“I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson because I think it’s an excellent study in the raw state of human nature. Succinct, to the point, Matheson draws you into his world and the world of Robert Neville the main character effortlessly. I would love to be able to write so powerfully while at the same time being so conservative with words.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the movie. To be honest, I didn't know there was a book. My bad. Now, I have to add it to my list. Tell us, what are your guilty pleasures and why?
I love long, hot baths with scented candles, bubbles and a good book to read – just my way of escaping the everyday and treating myself to a little ‘me’ time.
It's certainly important to have some "me" time in this crazy world we live in. Now, let's shift gears. The all important question: Why did you decide to become a writer?
I don’t believe I ever actually ‘decided’ to become a writer. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember and fell in love with words at a very early age. Writing is not so much a career choice as a passionate obsession – I have so many stories in my head that I want to tell.
I'm always interested to know about book titles. Why Erich's Plea and how did you come up with it?
Well the series is called ‘The Witchcraft Wars’ to illustrate the main point of conflict being the difference between the two types of magic, one native to Kaynos and the other alien, called witchcraft. Erich’s Plea is because the action begins with the kidnapping of Vestland’s High King Erich and his plea to his son to save him – this is a clue early on to the differences in the two types of magic and how they’re used.
I find that the title is only the first step to getting a reader to pick up your book. If I were to walk into a bookstore and saw Erich's Plea, what would make it different from other novels out there?
I’ve used a lot of real world history and mythology in Kaynos which makes this created world seem extraordinarily real. Also I believe there is a level of detail in the books that can be lacking in some fantasy novels; I’ve gone to a lot of trouble to make Kaynos appear to be a real world environment.
Wait, dear readers! I know you want to grab a copy of this awesome book already. Chillax. We still have the rest of the interview to get through. *takes a sip of Mudslide* I always love asking writers for advise since it helps me hone my craft. What advise would you give, Tracey, to all fledgling writers out there?
Write. Write anything, blog, a diary, poetry, short stories, anything but just keep writing. It takes a long time to perfect your craft [not that I really believe any of us can achieve perfection] and it takes a long time to tell the difference between a well told tale and a badly told tale. Be prepared for criticism, be prepared to learn and read as much as possible, that helps to show you what good and bad writing looks like.
Now that we got to know you as a person and as a writer, let's move on to life matters. How do you relax at the end of the day?
Usually I walk my dog but I also take boxing and yoga classes. I tend to be a fairly busy person most of the time and mentally very busy so I find that the physicality of boxing and the relaxation/meditation of yoga allow or help me to switch off for a while – then a long, hot bath and maybe a Mudslide if I’ve been good ;)
I'm pretty much into Hip Hop Abs myself. I guess it's my excuse to dance around without really making a fool of myself and breaking into a sweat, at the same time. I find that our experiences in life make us who we are. What experiences would you say helped you become the person you are today?
I would have to say the lives of my parents, my step-dad and my mum. Watching them and the way they lived their lives taught me many, many lessons not least of which is that character is more important than brains, beauty or talent. Secondly their deaths, my step-dad very suddenly from a heart attack and my mother very slowly from an ongoing blood disorder taught me how to be strong, how to live through the worst that life can throw at you and still pick yourself up and carry on; basically it doesn’t matter how many times you’re knocked down, it only matters how many times you get back up. More than anything those experiences have made me the woman I am today and the woman I strive to be.
Let's shift a little into the metaphysical with this last question. If you could have dinner with someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
Probably either Muhammad Ali because he stood up for what he believed in regardless of the personal cost, which is a trait I greatly admire. Or the pharaoh Akhenaton, to find out personally why he changed the religion of Egypt so radically and what exactly he hoped to achieve by his one man revolution.
To dine with the pharaohs...anyone got a spare time machine we could use?
Thank you so much for being with us today, Tracey. You've given us a Mudslide-induced glimpse, not only in your daily life as a writer, but also into who you are as a person. I wish you the best of luck. It's been a pleasure having you over at Reads, Reviews, Recommends. But we're not really done yet, now are we?
Dear readers, the awesomeness that is Tracey Alley has granted five paperback copies of her novel Erich's Plea to five lucky Reads, Reviews, Recommends readers. Stay tuned to tomorrow's post to find out how to win yourself one.
If you want to know more about Tracey, make sure to visit these links:
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tracey-Alley-The-World-of-Kaynos/127959000550782
Twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/traceylalley
Website - http://traceyalley.weebly.com/
On the next Author Interview Series, we'll have the oh-so-cool Robert Craven, author of Get Lenin, over for a visit. I, personally, can't wait! Can you?