Name: Tracey Renae
Where are you from:
Mustang, Ok, USA
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc.:
I’m a mother of two teenagers, one boy and one girl. They are my drive, my heart, and my purpose. Like most authors, I work full time in addition to my writing career. Sleep is a luxury and usually comes when my body forces me into an exhausted coma.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My latest book released is Ravenfrost, from my young adult Raven Saga Series. Frost is part two of the series and unlike it’s predecessor Ravenfire, which is a short novella, Frost is a full length novel. I have been approached by a publisher that is interested in picking up my series. I will be expanding Ravenfire into a full length novel and re-releasing it this next year (2016) as a result. Ravenroyal will complete the trilogy and I have it slated for late 2016 early 2017.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing as soon as I could put pencil to paper and spell the words. I won an award for a short story I wrote in the first grade and my purpose was born. After that, I wrote on anything I could find: notebooks, napkins, notecards, sticky notes, typing paper, even cardboard if I couldn’t find anything else. Stories would spin in my head twenty four seven and I feverously worked to “save” them before they disappeared into the ether from which they came.
I wrote to escape the chaos around me. I grew up a child of divorce, custody battles, family turmoil, with varying degrees of trauma and abuse. I retreated within myself and my characters and the world they lived in was much more stable to my child’s mind. That theme has carried over into my adult life and I have used my writing as my own personal kind of therapy. Most writers will tell you they are crazy to some degree, I am no exception.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t think I ever considered myself anything other than a writer. I was born with it. It is in my blood. Throughout my educational career both young and old, many teachers and advisors sought to talk me out of it. Stating that there is no financial future in writing. I believed them for far too long I’m afraid.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
When the publishing world began to open up to independent authors and self-publishing became available, I made the decision to take my hobby and life long love of writing and seriously push to publish.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
No idea! HAHA I have my own style. Every writer does. There is no right or wrong way about it. Just write.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The titles of my books are a very intimate thing. For my Raven Saga, they are a combination of the type of elves, the magic they wield, and the underlying theme of the book. I chose one word titles for more impact and titles that I could tie into the graphics of the covers. A title is not just a title. A title has to draw in the reader, tell a story, and leave an impact in one stroke.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I never set out to write a young adult series yet that is exactly how it unfolded. I knew from the beginning I had to write the Raven Saga series with care and thought to moral turpitude. The message I want readers to ultimately take away from the series is that love is always the answer. Evil, hatred, and war will always exist; no matter if it is in our world or a fantasy world, but love will always conquer.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
My series is set within a fantasy realm where magic is the norm. I’m not sure how much of that is realistic but the character’s feelings are just as real as yours or mine.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I modeled several characters after people in my life to an extent. Sienna is the spitting image of my own daughter’s fiery personality. Events in my own life have always contributed to my writing, but you will never know which pieces are fiction or embellished truth.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
The Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery was my earliest influence. The way she described the flowering trees of northern Canada as “the great white way” as Anne rode down the lane in a horse drawn carriage drew me into the setting of the book and I never wanted to leave. I learned much of my descriptive skills from reading her books.
When I was a teenager and on an extended cross-country bus trip, a fellow classmate of mine handed me a book to read. It was “The Elf Stones of Shannara” by Terry Brooks. By the time we made it from Oklahoma City to Orlando, I had finished it and promptly bought the rest of the series in the local book store. One of my greatest and foremost characters was born from the ashes of reading Mr. Brooks. My young heart could not stand the fate of Amberle and I vowed to create a character that would never suffer such a horrible fate.
I’ve had several mentors throughout my life and writing career but the most influencial has been Mason Elliott. Never has anyone taken the time to break down the process to quite the same degree as him. He never sugar-coated his critiques and yet always remained generous and kind. I am the writer I am today because of him.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m sad to say I am not reading a book right now. My personal life has encroached upon that time slot. I hope to rectify that situation soon.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Micca Rossi is by far the most talented and extraordinary fantasy author I have had the priviledge to read. She is brilliant. Simply stunning. You should look her up!
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Currently, I am working on extending my first novella, Ravenfire, into a full length novel for re-release in 2016. After that I will follow it up with the conclusion to the series in Ravenroyal.
I am also working on a new fantasy romance series with Mason Elliott slated for publication late 2016 or early 2017.
In addition to my personal projects I have more charity anthologies to coordinate for RoM Relief, my charity publications for Oklahoma tornado victims and their families.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
It is only by the grace of god and a few very good friends that I have survived this crazy world.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Writing is my career, yes. I work elsewhere to pay the bills until I have enough books on the market to replace the income.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
HAHA! That is exactly what I am doing with the extending of Ravenfire.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Ravenfire is actually available for free on Amazon and all online retailers that it is published through. Feel free to download and review!
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The one thing people don’t realize about writing, is that it is WORK. Hard work. Tedious work. And always more work than you ever originally plan on it being. If you think authors can scribble off a best seller in thirty days, you are sadly mistaken. Hours and hours go into the creation of a book and the biggest challenge is being your own taskmaster. There isn’t a time clock to punch or schedules to adhere to. You have to stay on point despite distractions.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I don’t yet. But the future is bright and I plan on punching that passport everywhere my fans request me.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Interesting story…I did! I searched for pre-made covers, artists, and cover services in the beginning and then decided to dive into Photoshop and design them myself.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The edits. Edits are brutal. Chopping your darling to pieces, stretching outside your own mental boxes, and reforming the manuscript into a final work of art is a challenging experience.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that I am capable of so much more than I ever thought possible.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never quit. There is no such thing as writer’s block. If you feel you are blocked, the cure is to sit your butt in a chair and write. Every writer improves with experience, it’s the experience that matters not the first drafts. That’s what editing is for.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
The theme of all my books is: Magic is real. Whether it be the magic of believing in yourself, loving one another, or just being brave when you feel like hiding; magic is real.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, not really. But I do remember enjoying the Perils of Penelope a Sesame Street Grover story.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
“She got knocked down, but she got up again. They never could keep her down.”
It’s the theme song of my life, Tubthumping.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I do enjoy online gaming, reading when I can, and of course just relaxing with my loved ones enjoying their company and thanking the universe for the love we share.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m a fantasy, romance, young adult author so naturally I am into anything a teenage girl would love. I’m pretty nerdy too. I can geek out like the best of them.
Star Wars, Star Trek, Tolkien, Vampire anything, Phantom of the Opera, superheroes, or just plain romance are all great!
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Chocolate, Purple, and Evanescence
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
After designing my own covers I have found I have a taste for the graphic arts. If I had the time I would pursue it as a career.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
www.facebook.com/realmofmeard (author fan page)
www.facebook.com/author.tracey (personal page)
Author page on Amazon USA http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HOGXXPC
Author page on Amazon UK http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00HOGXXPC