Today I’m dishing it up with Tracey Alley.  Tracey’s a writer, a poet, an academic and a scholar. She writes fantasy fiction, short stories, children’s books and is currently working on a large scale non-fiction project in line with her academic studies.  Born and raised in sunny South-East Queensland in Australia, she still lives in South Brisbane with her adorable dog and equally adorable two cats.

JET:  Can you tell us about your most recent book, Slade’s Destiny?

Tracey: Slade’s Destiny is the final in a trilogy of fantasy novels and while it offers all the action adventure and dramatic life and death battles against formidable foes it is also a novel about the human condition and the most common thing we all share; powerful and life changing emotions and reactions to the circumstances the characters find themselves thrust into and which force them to reexamine themselves and their motivation. 

JET:  What drew you to the fantasy genre?

Tracey: I initially wrote in many different genres, usually returning to trashy crime thrillers but eventually I was led to fantasy; firstly because of the wonderful, enchanting stories of elves, fairies and magic that my mother made up and told to me as a small child, and secondly out of my love of role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons etc.    Once I switched to fantasy I started writing truly readable and decent stories, like The Witchcraft Wars series.  I love the wonderful escapism of fantasy and the fact that in that genre there are few rules; you can essentially create the world as you want it to be and populate it as you see fit. 

JET:  What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication? 

Tracey: The constant mixed messages from publishers and agents.  I got exceptionally good feedback and positive critiques of my work but it was almost always coupled with an ultimate rejection.  The few contracts I was offered were so binding and constricting that I simply couldn’t sign on the dotted line.  That’s the main reason I ultimately went with Independent publishing, I have control, a far greater share of the money and the chance for immediate feedback from fans because of the social networking that goes along with Indie publishing.

JET:  What was your favorite moment in the journey?

Tracey: My first sale, I knew none of my family or friends had purchased it as no one I knew, at that time, had an ebook reader so knowing that a stranger, somewhere out in the world, had bought my book and would read it was an indescribable feeling.  I still feel that way with each new sale.

JET:  Which authors had the most influence over you growing up? 

Tracey: I was actually highly influenced by Homer and Shakespeare; I loved the way they used language to tell the story and I particularly enjoyed Homer’s cliffhanger style of writing.  After them probably Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, Katharine Kerr, Douglas Adams – each of these authors possessed some quality that I hoped to emulate.  I was also a huge fan of Agatha Christie and her simple, yet eloquent style.

JET:  When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?

Tracey: I honestly cannot remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer.  I almost feel as though I was born a writer, it was the only career path that ever appealed to me.

JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered? 

Tracey: When I was first outlining the idea behind the Witchcraft Wars I wanted to learn more about Norse history, their myths and legends, in order to add an element of realism to my work.  I attended a lecture at University in a class I wasn’t actually enrolled in, and was quickly found out to be an interloper.  I had to explain to the lecturer I was merely sitting in for some background mythology for the book I wanted to write.  It was a rather embarrassing moment but I discovered that unlike virtually all other forms of mythology Norse mythology actually begins at the ‘end of the world’ and works backwards.  Also, from my studies in Comparative Religions, I was surprised to find so many parallels in Norse myths to the Christian story.

JET:  Of all the novels and stories you’ve written – which one is your favorite?  Why?

Tracey: So far probably Slade’s Destiny, there’s just so much going on in that book it feels almost like a rollercoaster and I like that in books I read so I’m hoping my potential readers will enjoy it as well.

JET:  Any advice (from a writer’s standpoint) for the novices out there?

Tracey: Keep writing.  It’s like any craft, it takes time to become good at it and from good becomes better and so on.

JET: All right – now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . . starting with:  Paper or Plastic?

Tracey: Paper – I like natural.

JET: Steak or Tofu?

Tracey: Steak every time.

JET: Beach or Mountains?

Tracey: Beach with a great big super colorful cocktail by my side.

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?  

Tracey: Definitely Rock n Roll.

JET: Leather or Lace?

Tracey: Leather, well most of the time.

JET: Angels or Demons?

Tracey: Angels

JET: Paper or Digital?

Tracey: Digital where possible, save the trees etc

JET:  Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?

Tracey: Who says B rated horror is cheesy?

JET: Classic werewolf or Modern werewolf?

Tracey: Definitely a classic werewolf, otherwise where’s the fun?

JET: Dark chocolate or White chocolate?

Tracey: Dark, although I really prefer milk chocolate.

JET:  Thank you for indulging me.  Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you’re working on now?  What’s next?

Tracey: Have a couple of projects I’m working on at the moment, my series of children’s books which I hope will be published by Christmas.  Still working on my non-fiction book on the history and evolution of Christianity. But the next book that I’ll probably publish is a mystery/thriller that is just flowing like a river at the moment.

JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog.  Folks, you can find out more about Tracey Alley and her work at the following places:   

Website – http://traceyalley.weebly.com/

Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tracey-Alley-The-World-of-Kaynos/127959000550782

Twitter – http://twitter.com/traceylalley

Christian blog – http://traceyalley-whitehorse.blogspot.com/

Amazon Author Page – http://www.amazon.com/Tracey-Alley/e/B003OVMKFU/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Swing in next Friday, when I have Suzanne Tyrpak on tap. 

Until then,

Ciao.

JET

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