Saturday, 14 July 2012

Interrogating Tracey Alley

Tracey Alley is a fantasty writer from Australia

How do you strike the balance between writing something you want to write and writing something that people want to read, in terms of the compromises you make, if any?

I’m not sure that I actually do make compromises as such when I’m writing my novels. My main goal when writing though is to write something that I believe readers will enjoy reading so while I do write what I want I also hope that I’m writing something people want to read.

What excites, attracts or appeals to you about the genre(s) you write in.

I adore the fantasy genre, you can explore so much and be far more creative than in contemporary fiction. I love to read it, I love to write it primarily because it represents the closest you can get to true escapism. Also I enjoy the fact that there are very few hard and fast rules about fantasy writing, virtually anything goes. I love being able to let my imagination run wild.

Do you have a box, drawer, folder etc where you keep thoughts and ideas for future stories? Such as names you have come across, bits of dialogue, ideas, characters - even if you have no idea when you might use them?

I have a thick, hard-backed journal that I bought years ago. It’s full of quotes, story ideas, possible titles, even scenes or chapters as well as character descriptions. Obviously I don’t use all of it but I do tend to use a lot and refer to it fairly regularly.

How do you manage plot bunnies (ideas that invade your mind that aren’t usually helpful to the story you’re writing but breed

I usually run with them. As long as they’re adding to the overall story I leave them in, it often makes the book a richer, more detailed novel than it might otherwise have been. The ones you’re talking about though, which bring nothing to the story I’m writing will usually go into my journal so that they’re on paper and out of my mind. With me it most often tends to be characters I think of who are demanding my attention but not all of them will be right for the project I’m working on at that time but may be perfect later on down the line.

How much of you is in your characters? Which of your characters is the you that you’d most like to be? Or be with ?

There’s probably a lot of me in my characters simply because I’m the one who has created them. There’s no specific character that is ‘really me’ or ‘really someone I’d like to be with’, they’re all reflections of different aspects of me or of the people around me. A lot of characters are composites of many different people, some of them are utterly unique to themselves, it just depends on what fits the story best.

Do you become so wrapped up in your writing that your spouse wonders if they're married to you or one of your characters?

[Laughs] No, Robbie has never thought of me as one of my characters. He’s more likely to think that I’m a little bit of all my characters than one in particular.

What type of book do you like reading? Is it the same genre as you write?

I love to read fantasy but I also love crime, thrillers, satire, historical fiction [when it’s done well – can’t stand it if an author doesn’t do adequate research], some sci-fi, horror occasionally. Really it all depends on my mood at the time, I have a wide and eclectic collection of books, both DTB and ebooks, to read and there’s really no definitive, stand out genre.

What lengths do you go to to convince us readers that your book has the X factor?

Usually I’ll just post a sample and hope the work will sell for itself. Sometimes I do interviews where I might give more information about the creative process or the back story behind the conception of the novels. Generally though I think the only way to make potential customers see a ‘wow’ factor is to read a part of it themselves. I could say it all day long but people aren’t necessarily going to believe me and you also have to take into account different people’s differing tastes, what appeals to one won’t automatically appeal to all.

How do you feel when a reader points out the spelling mistake(s) you have made?

I’m very pleased for readers to point out mistakes I’ve made, spelling or otherwise. Sometimes it’s not justified as I’m simply spelling a word the Australian way rather than say the American way, so those I ignore, but otherwise I like to fix up my mistakes when I’ve made them.

What do you like most about visiting KUF/forums?

I love KUF and other similar forums because you can connect with other writers for help or advice. I also love that you can connect directly with your readers or potential readers through this platform. I’ve made a lot of great online friends, both readers and writers and I tend to use the forums to chat about anything that might cross my mind. I’m more interested in the social interaction side of forums than in them as a way to sell or market my books, although I’m sure I’ve gotten at least a few sales from my participation in forums.

What is on your near horizon?

I have my short story compilation, The Kaynos History Tales : Vol 1 being released this month, July, and I’ve started a new fantasy series called The Raiders Saga and I’m hoping to have the first book, The Isles of Dread, released before Christmas. My new novels will probably take longer to write than they normally would as I’m also busy doing my Masters degree in early Christianity, which will take up a lot of my time.

Where can we find you for more information?
You can chat with me on Facebook @
Follow me on Twitter @!/traceylalley
Or visit my website for sneak peeks, my blog, my Author of the Week feature, poetry and some other great links @

My books are available for sale at Amazon -
Smashwords -

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Joo for allowing me to be interrogated by you - best interrogation I've ever undergone :)