Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Getting to know T L Higley

Tracy Higley's newest novel, Shadow of Colossus, is the first in her Seven Wonders series. If you love ancient history it is a must read, if you don't then pick up the book and you soon will! It is available now from B&H Publishing.

Tracy is delightful and I'm sure you will all enjoy getting to know a little about her. Enjoy :)

Here's Tracy:~

If you could have chosen your own name , what would it be?

Katherine. Like the Kate the Great, Ms. Hepburn. I love her!

Your first pet’s name?

My childhood dog, Prince Enchanter. (I have creative parents, too.)

Your best friend’s name in primary (elementary) school?

Cheryl Campbell. (Are you out there, Cheryl? Get in touch!)

Did you have a special toy that went everywhere with you when you were young? Please describe.

Not a toy, but usually a book. It’s just a waste of time to go anywhere without a book. I used to get ridiculed for reading outside at recess. But it was all preparation, right? I’ll bet none of those other kids are playing kickball for a living.

If you could meet a famous person, who would it be?

Can I use Kate again?

If you were
stranded on a desert island what one object would you want with you? (Besides your Bible of course)

More books. Or maybe a really big supply of chocolate.

What's your favourite ice cream flavour?

No question, peanut butter & chocolate.
Also my favorite flavor of candy, cereal, and anything else you can make out of those two things.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

The earliest thing I can remember wanting to be was a writer. I started my first novel at the age of eight. For awhile I wanted to be a Bible translator in a foreign country somewhere. In college I got a degree in English – Secondary Ed, but I’ve never taught in high school yet.

If you co
uld travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I’ve gotten to do some very cool traveling in the past year, as research for the Seven Wonders Series. Greece was fantastic, and Turkey was amazing. I LOVED Egypt, and definitely want to go back there sometime. I’m thinking about a trip to Israel this year.

Besides God, who has influenced you the most?

Many people! My parents, definitely, who encouraged me to read and question and think. Teachers who push
ed me to do my best. Writers who inspired me and showed me the power of words.

What's your favourite book?

As an adult, I’d have to say The Paradise War by Stephen Lawhead. As a child, it was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Both of these books transported me so completely to a different world that I returned anxious to create that same experience for someone else someday.

What part of your daily routine do you enjoy most?

Checking my email. Seriously. It’s addictive. I’ve recently set Outlook to only check when I click the button, so I’m not constantly popping over there to see if anyone is getting in touch.

What's your favourite movie?

The Remains of the Day. (Also one of my favorite books)

Where's the most interesting place you have been?

200 meters up in the center of the Great Pyramid of Giza, sitting with my back to the granite sarcophagus of Pharoah Khufu of the 4th Dynasty (2500 BC), typing like a madwoman. That was cool.

What's your most fervent prayer?

From Acts 20:24: I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. M
y most fervent prayer would be that I run the race well and complete the task.

What's the bravest thing you've ever done?

Ok, I’m starting to sound repetitive, but it was climbing up in that pyramid! I’m claustrophobic, and it took months of mental preparation and then quite awhile there on the Giza Plateau to get me up through that tiny shaft. But I was so happy when I got to the top, that I’d conquered that fear and actually done it! I cried like a baby.

What gift have you received that you will always treasure?

Tangible gifts aren’t really my love language. But I will always remember one Valentine’s Day when my husband surprised me by taking me somewhere special that he knew I would love – the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. If I remember correctly, he took a nap on a bench somewhere while I wandered in delight. But it was special to me that he knew me well enough to know I’d love it.

What is your favourite Bible verse (or one of your favourites) and what does it mean to you?

[see my most fervent prayer J]

What was your most embarrassing moment in High School?

Why would I want to share it now?! I think I’ll say a really bad perm in 9th grade that left me looking very much like a poodle and very unhappy.

Shadow of Colossus

What inspired you to write about the Seven Ancient Wonders?

I’ve always loved history, and I thought it would be great fun to take a “tour of the ancient world” by setting a book in each of these fascinating locales.

How did you decide names for your characters? It obviously required more research than for a contemporary novel!

It’s tough, actually. You want to choose names that are pronounceable for your readers, yet still true to the time per
iod. I use those baby-names websites frequently, because you can find them by ethnicity and gender. Then I look for names that aren’t too many syllables. It was much harder for City of the Dead, the second book set in Egypt.

I loved the complexity of Tessa’s character ~ what made you choose an hetaera as your main character?

This is a strange answer. When I first conceived of Shadow of Colossus, I had in mind for it to be a sequel to my third book, Fallen from Babel. In Fallen, a Religious Philosophy professor travels back in time to Bablyon, and switches places with a sorcerer in Nebuchadnezzar’s court. As I was brainstorming Shadow of Colossus, I wanted a fascinating character for my contemporary protagonist to switch places with, and I thought a hetaera would be just that. Later, when the story evolved into a straight historical and not a time travel, I stuck with the character and started to explore what life would have been like for a woman such as her.

Have you taken a research trip to Egypt for the sequel, City of the Dead like you did to Rhodes?

Well, I think I’ve covered that to death, so I’ll just say, YES!

What are you working on at the moment? A sneak peek, please.

Ah, I am having great fun right now, finishing Book 3 of the Seven Wonders Novels (no title yet). It’s set in Alexandria, Egypt in 48 BC and features a cast of characters that includes Julius Caesar and Cleopatra, plus a host of Greeks, Jews, Egyptians and Romans all fighting for control, a Lighthouse Keeper who wants to be left alone, and a Roman soldier who has other plans for her.

Any last words…..

If anyone’s interested in more about the Seven Wonders Novels, I’ve got lots of great stuff on my website – my travel journal, a treasure hunt, free chapters and giveaways. And this was such a fun interview! Thanks for the opportunity, Rel. And thanks so much for all you do to promote Christian fiction. I know your readers appreciate it as much as we authors do.

Rel: Thanks Tracy ~ it has been a lot of fun. I am so looking forward to the rest of this unique series.

Relz Reviewz Extras

Review of Shadow of Colossus

Visit Tracy's fascinating website

Enter Tracy's Treasure Hunt contest and win

Buy Shadow of Colossus at Amazon or Koorong


Ausjenny said...

You know I cant even imagine peanut butter Ice cream it just doesn't seem edible to me (Really must check out the ice cream flavours on my trip to Canada/usa) Great interview and very informative thanks Rel and Tracy. One of mums favourite actresses was Katherine Hepburn.

Tracy said...

Yeah I agree...if peanut butter and chocolate is an icecream flavour I'm feeling a little dubious. If it's anything like peanut butter cups then ick. I just can't get my Aussie tastebuds to come at that!

Being a Tracy, myself, I always wanted to change my name. Don't ask me why, I couldn't tell you. I just did!

Great interview ~ thanks to you both!

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