Welcome to Strange Candy Reviews, Traci. Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions.
My pleasure, Jo-Anne. Thank you for promoting Australian books and authors J
For readers who haven’t heard of you, can you give us a quick overview of your books?
Gosh, I hope you mean the titles and not the storylines!
I’m an Australian science-fantasy author, who has fifteen books in publication on the Voyager label of HarperCollins Publishers (four trilogies and three stand alone novels). My next book ‘The Light-field’ will be released in Feb 2012, with another trilogy ‘The Timekeepers’ to follow.
My first book The Ancient Future has featured regularly on the Dymocks’ Top 101 Books. It also made the ABC’s Lists, ‘Most Loved Books of All Time’, ‘Favourite Australian Book’ and has been reprinted over 35 times. Along with my stand alone novel The Alchemist's Key, The Ancient Future has been published in Complex Chinese. The Mystique Trilogy is published in Russian, Czech, Slavic, and Romanian.
The Ancient Future Trilogy, Mystique Trilogy and the Triad of Being have been published in E-book format, and my second Trilogy The Celestial Triad and the stand alone novels will be released on E-book in 2012.
The Ancient Future, Gene of Isis and Being of the Field are released in Audio Book format through Bolinda Audio and are available through iTunes and Amazon as a Digital download.
The Alchemist’s Key is currently optioned to ‘Dragonlight Productions’ and is being developed as a feature film project.
Have you ever had to do any kind of research for your books?
I have had to do all kinds of research for my books, everything from the ancient mysteries, esoteric, occult, and various religious doctrines, (including the Australian aboriginal dreamtime). I’ve also researched the ancient cultures of the Celts of Britain, the legends of Atlantis, ancient Egypt, Rome, Sumeria and most recently … well, I can’t really say as that would be a spoiler. All this research is due primarily to the reincarnating and time traveling tendencies of my characters. Most of my books are set, or visit, other dimensions, galaxies, universes, the future and levels of consciousness, so there is also a huge amount of scientific research involved, particularly quantum physics.
Time travel is a theme I toy with often in my tales, and as I cannot seem to stay on this planet in the present day, science-fantasy is the only genre for me! When a reader opens one of my books they expect to be swept away on an adventure to another time and place entirely, have their concept of life and reality broadened by the experience, and have a frolicking good time in the bargain - I aim to deliver just that.
In your opinion what makes for great lead characters?
Given that my books have a spiritual undertone, I need a lead character who leads by example. Someone with good moral fiber, an open mind, respect for others and the heart and belief in themselves, to follow their personal life quest, no matter how challenging.
What, for you, determines a characters personality? Are they ever inspired by people you know or meet?
My characters are nearly always inspired by people I know, have known, or wish to know. Their personality is determined by their past really, and many of my characters have a very long history.
Is there a certain type of music you listen to when writing?
Always! When I was in Celtic Britain it was Clannad and Loreena McKennitt – for Atlantis it was the Dead Can Dance - in space it was Pink Floyd and Brian Eno and for the future, just about anything chill. In my forthcoming book, ‘the Light-field’ I was actually granted permission to use lyrics from a song by Lindsay Tomasic called ‘Starman’, who is one the characters in the book. We think this the first time a music artist and an author have collaborated at the book stage of a story! I say collaborated as Lindsay’s song actually influenced my storyline, so I had to use it J At present, I am listening to loads of … well, I can’t really tell you that either, as that would be a spoiler too!
NOTE : I listen to music to formulate the story – when I’m in my car etc – but when I actually write I prefer silence. I find music invokes the story, so if I forget where the story was going, I’ll go back and listen to the music and that will remind me.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
The most amazing thing my characters have taught me is that I create my own reality. Not only that, but they taught me how to create a better life for myself, and according to my readers I am not the only one they have influenced to make changes to their attitude, beliefs, job, religion, partner, life path etc for the better – my characters are a very inspiring lot.
It was of course very exciting, but as the late and very great Steve Jobs advised, “Never dwell on any of your successes too long – always be looking to the next project.” That is me to a T. When HarperCollins accepted my first book for publication, it was a one book deal; so for me there was a real sense that it was ‘game on’ if I washed to make a career out of writing. I was already halfway through writing the next book by the time HarperCollins were asking me for more, and I haven’t stopped writing since! To make it as a writer in this country you have to have that kind of dedication, but then I do LOVE my work.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Well, I don’t know how many writers strike up conversations with their characters, but I do it all the time. Much like a clairvoyant would invoke a spirit, I’ll call in one of my characters for a chat, and roll play a scene or conversation that I think needs to take place, or ask the character questions that might help sort out the plot. Obviously, this is a practice best left for when you are alone J
What do you like to do when your not writing?
Outside of writing I spend as much time as I can with my children, doing the family thing. To keep fit I do a Pilates routine, at least three times a week, that was put together for me by a dear friend – thanks Lisa! The trouble with being self-employed is that you never really stop working – well, me anyway. As I mentioned above, no sooner have I finished one story than I am starting on the next one - or at least heavily researching for it - so I don’t get to do much pleasure reading either! Still, when I do, I like to read books by local Aussie authors. Some of those I’ve read most recently are Kim Wilkins aka Kimberley Freemen, Belinda Alexandra, Grant Hyde, Christopher Ride, Jessica Shirvington and Kate Morton. I do manage to get a bit of socializing into my schedule, and there is nothing I enjoy more than like together with a few friends over Strawberry Margaritas!
Thanks for the chance to chat, Jo-Anne. If your readers would like to know more about me they can visit my new website : http://www.traciharding.com
Or the Traci Harding Message Boards at Trazling Castle :
Or my Face book Pages -
Traci Harding Fans :
Trazling on Facebook
The Alchemist’s Key Movie
I do have some special things happening over Xmas this year in the lead up to the release of the third book of the Triad of Being - ‘The Light-field’ in February 2012 – so if readers will check in with any of the above sites they won’t miss out on any of the excitement!