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It's Author's Coffee Time on my blog today. Grab an Irish coffee and meet Tracey Alley...

About Tracey

I learned to read and write at a very early age and my earliest memories are of my mother telling me stories about fairies and elves and flowers that could talk; all living in our back garden.  I began writing my own stories by the time I was six or seven.  So I never felt a sense of ‘I want to be a writer’ I always felt I was a writer, I just wanted to be a published writer.  It took me many years to learn to write well and even more years before I came up with a story that I felt would stand the test of publication – The Witchcraft Wars.

I tend to be super critical of my own work so there are quite a few manuscripts lying around my house that other writers might have felt inclined to publish – work that I actually received very favourable feedback from editors and publishers alike but not work that I was totally happy with so I waited till I felt sure.  For the most part my books have sold reasonably well and most people have liked them.  I’ve had a few scathing reviews but that just tells me I’m truly a writer – no writer alive ever escapes a bad review.  

The story of The Witchcraft Wars is an interesting one in itself.  I remember watching an old Robin Hood movie and that got me thinking about the son whose task was to regain a kingdom for his father.  At the time I was also role-playing regularly with a group of friends and I asked if they’d mind me trying out the idea of a group of adventurers who had to work together even though they came from different backgrounds, ideologies, and completely opposite points of view but that they would all be working for love of some kind – love of a friend, love of country or god, romantic love, love of parent – all different kinds of love but that love was the motivating force to weld this group together.  I also wanted to show the other outcomes of the baser human emotions like greed, envy, lust for power and hidden agendas.  All in all I’d say I did a pretty good job of transferring my idea into a believable fantasy environment.

As for me I live in Sth East QLD in Australia with my dog and two cats.  I come from a huge, loving, wonderful family and have a wide, eclectic group of friends.  I love to learn and have two BA’s – one in Ancient History where I specialized in Egyptology and the other in Comparative Religions where I specialised in ancient pagan religions.  I’m thinking of going back to do my Masters soon but I’ve had a few health bumps along the way so I probably won’t enrol until second semester.  I use boxing and yoga to relax, walk the dog and still enjoy role-playing or playing cards with friends.  I like to set myself challenges of different things to learn and this year it’s scuba diving and photography – I may not make it but I’ll give it a try.

Latte, cappuccino, regular? What’s your coffee time pleasure?

Cappuccino every time, unless you’ve got Irish – it must be close to whiskey o’clock ;)

Ooh, yes, it's DEFINITELY whisky o'clock! What flavour cookie would you like with that?

Triple choc chip thanks, with the smarties on top – gotta live a little now and then

I'm loving your choices! What’s your greatest writing achievement to date? 

Writing the Witchcraft Wars series, without doubt.  It’s been well received for the most part and I’ve loved every minute of writing it and gotten significantly better with each book.  Hopefully that trend will continue and I'll keep improving every time I write

Who is your hero and why?

Well I actually have two although both for similar reasons.  The first is Muhammad Ali because I love that he stood up for what he believed in regardless of the cost and the second will always be my Mum who nurtured not only my creativity but all the special things about myself and my sisters and encouraged us to be everything we could be.

Ali is a good choice. And it's fab your mum is your hero. Without a little nurturing where would we be? So Which word best defines your writing?

Readable.  I think my work flows very well and makes for easy to read stories.  I like to think of myself more as a storyteller and engage the reader into the world I’ve created.

What’s the most recent thing that made you laugh?

The antics of my new puppy – I’m in hospital at the moment but my sister brought in some video tape of Angel, the puppy, chasing Caesar, my beloved cat around the backyard desperately trying to get him to play with her.  I adore my animals and it’s so hard being away from them for so long.

I know how you feel - animals can bring so much to your life. Sending you hugs and kisses to get well soon, Tracey. Something which might distract you is getting into a good book. Which book is on your coffee table right now?

Currently reading some Ben Elton, “Dead Famous” in p/back and Brendan Carroll’s Cross of Gold series on the kindle.

What was the name of your first pet?

A goldfish I called Goldie – not terribly original but I was only four.

Who is your favourite character and why?

Favourite character that I’ve created is probably Nikolai, I love the way he’s grown and changed throughout the series.  Favourite character of all time though has to be either Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot – I love those old fashioned crime novels, they were so well done.

Me too. I used to lurrrrve watching Basil Rathbone in the old B & W films of Sherlock Holmes! What’s your most embarrassing moment?

Pretty much my entire adolescence but if I have to pick one I’d say the day I fell flat on my backside while trying to get on a ride at a theme park, it had a revolving floor and you were supposed to get into a big wheel thing and go on a water type ride so the floor was wet and slippery.  I had my eldest niece in tow at the time as well.  She couldn’t stop laughing and afterwards neither could I but at the time.... oh the shame.

Ooh, that's not pretty!
You can catch up with Tracey on her website, Facebook , or Twitter.

Cheers! *Salutes all with my Irish Coffee*  

Sibel XX