Tracey can you tell me about the first book you published?
The first novel I published was Erich's Plea. That's the first novel in the fantasy series The Witchcraft Wars. It's a classic, epic fantasy tale that essentially asks the question 'how far would you go to save someone/thing you loved?' It explores the different definitions of love such as romantic love, love of a friend, parental love and love for parents as well as love for your kingdom. The story is told via the ambitions of conquest by an evil sorceress who possesses an alien form of magic to the land of Kaynos ranged against a motley assortment of extremely unlikely allies using their own, traditional form of magic as well as other battle skills. There's a lot of twists and turns throughout the series and it's very character driven.
Erich's Plea is FREE today!
Can you tell me the order of your books?
Erich's Plea, Ursula's Quest, then Slade's Destiny. I also have an anthology of short stories featuring background info on some of The Witchcraft Wars series which can be read either before the series or after although all the action in The Kaynos History Tales takes place before the events in The Witchcraft Wars.
What are some of the best highlights to your writing life so far?
So many highlights in my writing career. All the expected ones I guess, first sale, first 5 star review, first fan letter but for me the biggest highlight of my writing career was having my Mum, now deceased, read Erich's Plea and enjoying it. She, and my Dad, had always been my greatest supports but also my harshest critics - if they thought the writing was bad they never held back in telling me so and I cherish them both for that.
What frustrates you about the publishing process?
In terms of traditional publishing it is unbelievably frustrating at how difficult it can be to get someone to even look at your work. The big publishers tend to be more interested in pushing their already established names rather than seeking out new talent - and believe me there is a huge world of very talented authors out there who can't get a look in with traditional publishing. The other very frustrating aspect of traditional publishing is the extremely low returns to authors. I actually had a contract with one of the big publishers for The Witchcraft Wars series but when I compared that to publishing independently there was simply no comparison. I turned down their offer and have been Indie ever since and doubt very much I would ever change my mind.
In terms of Indie publishing the biggest frustration there is the lack of having a huge marketing team behind you to get your products in the public eye. All of your promotion and marketing has to come through your own hard work and the help of people like yourself who are willing to give Indie authors a voice.
Can you tell me about some of your best reviews for your books?
I've had many wonderful reviews for my work, which is incredibly humbling. I think the reviews where fans are asking for more of your work are probably the most gratifying. Although, having said that, many reviews can be very favourable but still point out areas for improvement and to me, they are very important if you want to keep putting out quality work.
Can you give me the important links to purchase your books in the U.S. and U.K. for my readers?
Can you give me any of your social sites?
My website is http://traceyalley.weebly.
Twitter - https://twitter.com/
Wattpad - http://www.wattpad.com/
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a Christian myself who loves the Lord and I'm so glad you are as well! Can you tell me a little about how your faith has grown?
The story of my journey towards God and my walk with Him since is a rather long one with more than a few miracles along the way. The short version is that I was not born into a specifically Christian household. My Mum was what would best be called 'a seeker' - she was searching for something. As a result she studied with many different denominations, looked at many other philosophies, studied the sciences extensively but she was in her 40's before she gave her life to God. My Dad [Step-Dad actually] was an Aboriginal who believed in the Dreamtime and taught my sisters and I about that. Briefly put both my parents encouraged my sisters and I to seek out 'the truth' for ourselves and not to be influenced by others but to think for ourselves.
I had an acceptance, if you will, of God's existence for a very long time - since I was a small child actually - but never considered it of any importance in my life. I had been told a story by my Mum, which most people don't believe but I swear is true, that when I was age 4 we lived in a house across the road from a big park with a very large, very deep man-made lake. I couldn't swim. Mum was knitting and not really paying attention to what I was doing when she suddenly heard a voice, not in her head but in the air, which said 'socks and shoes off, in the water' and that is exactly how Mum found me - had it not been for that voice, an angel probably, I would have gone further into the water and drowned. So I was always aware of God as a 'real' Being.
I married first when I was very young and it was a tumultuous relationship that ended badly - no one's fault really, we were just both too young. After my divorce I sunk into a very deep depression, something I had been prey to off and on since I was 14. Mum was living in New Zealand at the time so I decided to go over and spend some time with her to maybe pull myself out of my depression. Long story short I became the target of a very dangerous stalker. He broke into our house many times, damaged my car - it was near continual and very scary. The man involved was a paranoid schizophrenic with a long history with local police and yet, despite all his efforts I was never hurt by him, apart from being emotionally frightened, he was never able to actually get his hands on me. This made me start really thinking about God in a much more serious way as I believed firmly that I was somehow under the Lord's protection. I'm ashamed to admit that I'm quite stubborn so in spite of some very close calls where my escape can only be called miraculous I didn't immediately give my life to God. It would take me another eight years before I finally realised how long He had been calling me and I gave myself up fully to Him. I've never felt a greater sense of peace than I did at my eventual Baptism and my relationship with God continues to grow - in spite of me I have never, in the 13 years since, considered that I had a very strong faith so I was taken completely by surprised about a year ago when I had several people, in different situations, tell me how strong my faith was and how much they admired my faith. I was shocked and take no credit for this - whatever I may have, whatever I may be it is only Jesus living within me.
I love listening to worship music like that band Hillsong? Have you heard of them and do you have any special music or Bible verses that bring you closer to the living God?
I have heard of Hillsong and enjoy much of their music. The congregation I worship with, small though it is, has our own band and they perform a combination of many different songs and hymns, including one my Mum wrote not long before her death. I tend to be a little old fashioned in some ways and my favourite hymns are Ancient Words, There Is A Redeemer and The Battle Hymn of The Republic.
As for favourite verses there are so many that inspire me it is hard to pick one. If I had to though it would probably be "I will never leave you, nor forsake you." Knowing that God is always there for me, that Jesus lives within me is the most incredible gift I have ever been given.
As you know, I started writing true life drug war and prison thrillers based on my old life of crime, but now I also write Christian Prayer books, do you plan on writing other genres?
I have published an anthology of poetry, a great love of mine, called Reflections: A Modern Anthology. At the moment I'm working on a mystery/thriller and have plans for a series of novels after that before returning to fantasy. I don't feel confident enough to put my thoughts or feelings about God into a book... yet - you never know what the future will bring and if that is something He calls me to do I will respond. I do write a Christian blog which is based solely on my own studies and beliefs - I try not to 'preach' but simply outline the lessons from the Bible and I encourage my readers to seek out the truth for themselves by reading the Bible and prayer and meditation to hear that 'small, still voice of God'. This is the address if you're interested - http://traceyalley.blogspot.
com.au/ Should you read some of the posts you will realise fairly quickly I'm not the most conventional of Christians but that is just my walk with God