TRACI Harding’s books blend the esoteric mysteries, time travel and quantum physics in adventurous romps through history, alternative dimensions, universes and states of consciousness. She has had 16 books published by HarperCollins Voyager (four trilogies and three stand alone novels). The first book of The Timekeepers trilogy, Dreaming of Zhou Gong, is due for release in February 2013, with another trilogy to follow. Her first book, The Ancient Future, has featured regularly on the Dymocks’ Top 101 Books. It also made the ABC’s lists of Most Loved Books of All Time and Favourite Australian Book, and has been reprinted more than 35 times. It and her stand-alone novel The Alchemist’s Key have been published in Complex Chinese, while The Mystique Trilogy has been published in Russian, Czech, Slavic and Romanian. The Alchemist’s Key has been optioned to Dragonlight Productions and is being developed as a feature film project.
Traci’s website is at traciharding.com.
You were able to arrange to have free short stories made available as part of promotion for your most recent novel. Did you find that readers appreciated this?
The readers loved this, and it certainly served to get the traffic flowing through my web pages and Facebook Fan pages. This was actually an idea I came up with while chatting to Kim Falconer and our editor at the Byron Bay Writers’ Festival last year – thanks girls – it was a great success! It was a hell of a promotion to get organised to happen over the Christmas break, but HarperCollins did an amazing job and the entire promotion flowed really smoothly.
What are some of the outstanding perils and pleasures of writing in historical periods other than the present that you’ve encountered?
The pleasure of writing ancient history is uncovering little know facts buried throughout time; the peril is not finding them LOL.
I have just had an extended stint in Ancient China, and although I felt really very at home there, I have found a gentleman in Hong Kong who has kindly agreed to proof read the MS for me and he has already pointed out several amusing mistakes – when I mess with other cultures I like to get it right, if I can.
Is there a genre you’re dying to write in other than your SF/fantasy realm? Perhaps another collection of supernatural stories?
I wouldn’t mind having a crack at non-fiction, actually. I have shares in a company Gamma Power who have recently rediscovered Tesla’s free energy and are doing all sorts of amazing things with it. They are calling it ambient energy and I would very much like to write about that rediscovery in the not too distant future.
What Australian works have you loved recently?
So many good Aussie authors, but here are those I’ve enjoyed lately: my fav Aussie author is Kim Wilkins aka Kimberley Freeman, Belinda Alexandra, Grant Hyde, Christopher Ride, Kate Morton, Nathan Burrage and Jessica Shirvington. There is so many really great Australian authors out there; I wish I had more time to read them all!
What are some of the biggest changes in Australian speculative fiction in the past two years (since Aussiecon 4)?
The most obvious change that I am aware of is that e-books have sent hardback book sales plummeting – we’re seeing the collapse of the big book chains, and its a much tougher market now for new authors. But, on the upside, I see the independent book stores doing better and they’ll keep local authors alive and thriving, and e-books can reach a bigger a market. Yet with so many different delivery formats and troublesome data transfers, one wonders how long it will be before people discover that you cannot beat having the book in your hand.
THIS interview was conducted as part of the 2012 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’re blogging interviews from 1-8 June and archiving them at Australian Speculative Fiction in Focus. You can read interviews at: