Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Interview with author Tracy Falbe

1. What or who inspired you to write?

I credit my mother as my initial role model for writing. She has a passion for literature and I remember her getting a short story published when I was a kid. She was always drawing, painting, or writing. I easily absorbed her love of the arts. I started writing stories as soon as I was taught to write in grade school.

2. Do you have a day job?

Writing novels and running my publishing company are my day and night jobs. I have not had outside employment since 2006 when my second son was born.

3. What attracted you to write in your particular genre?

I started reading fantasy novels at about age 12 and fell in love with the genre. Although I read all kinds of things, fantasy is my first love. I also like historical settings, especially American Westerns. The most attractive elements in fantasy writing are magic and sword fights. Plus I can always have horses too. Love horses. I don’t feel the need to write a story in our so-called reality. I want to go beyond it. When my life problems weigh me down, which happens often, writing is my refuge.

4. What is your least favorite part of the creative process?

What a surprising question. I never even thought of the concept of having a least favorite part. The toughest thing must be the unbearable compulsion to be creative. Sometimes I wish I was boring and unimaginative and able to sit at some pointless mind-numbing job and collect a check. Maybe life would be easier that way.

5. What do you do when you are not writing?

I have young children and they take up most of my time. My other main interest is growing food. I’ve spent a lot of time studying permaculture techniques and applying them to my yard. My goal is to create an edible landscape. Another hobby is baking, and I like bicycling and boating too.

6. Where is your favorite place to write/work?

I use a portable word processor called a Neo so I’m not tied to any particular spot for writing. When the weather is good, I like to write in my three seasons room. I also write on my couch or in bed. Sometimes I go to the library and write there. I don’t have a favorite spot. As long as no one is bugging me, I can write anywhere.

7. How did you choose the title for your book/s?

I’ve written 8 novels so far. Picking titles used to be hard work. I would keep a running list of ideas for a title and eventually pick one after weeks of consideration. The process is getting easier for me. The titles pop into my head pretty much the way I want them now.

8. If you could go back and do anything differently, would you?

I assume you are referring to changing something in one of my published novels. I don’t dwell on the content of a novel once it’s published. I do look over my work and see where I can improve for future works, but I have no lingering regrets. When I publish a novel, I am personally satisfied. Publishing is my way of letting go. If I did not do it, I could never move on to new stories.

9. How do you market your books?

I’ve tried all kinds of things over the years. For a long time I used advertising through Google and Project Wonderful, but unfortunately this method has been losing effectiveness. I’m not sure why. I’ve also done blog tours and guest blogging. Online press releases are also part of my outreach. I’m beginning to add face-to-face marketing by being a vendor at conventions and fairs. This does not mean that I am abandoning internet marketing. It remains important because I have always relied on my worldwide distribution. I get readers from all kinds of countries and the internet is my way of reaching them. I will continue to seek guest blogging opportunities. I also have written my own blog for a long time. I do this because I enjoy it. I dabble in social media, but really have no idea how to market myself on that platform.

10. Where do you publish your books, and which distributor do you see the most sales from?

I publish my books first at my Brave Luck Books web store. I then put them into the Amazon Kindle publishing system and Smashwords. Through Smashwords my titles go to Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Sony, and several other places. Additionally my novels are at and Drive Thru Fiction. I get the most sales in the Amazon Kindle stores, but my sales at Barnes & Noble are a close second. I’ve never really broken out at Amazon, and I wish I could do better there.

11. What is the most interesting lesson you’ve learnt about yourself through your writing?

I’ve learned that I am ridiculously obsessive and able to endure years upon years of hard work for very little reward.

12. What is the harshest criticism you’ve received about your book/s?

Someone wrote me to say that his conscience demanded that he beg me to stop writing. He wanted to spare hapless readers the chance of encountering my work. I deleted the email without replying. I assume my writing was so powerful that I triggered feelings in him that he could not cope with.

Another bad review at Amazon goes on and on about how stupid my characters are. Apparently that reader missed the clues about how magic sometimes influenced the actions of some characters. Also, my characters do stupid things sometimes because that’s how people are. People do stupid things all the time, myself included. I’ve had many reviews state that my characters feel very real.

13. How do you handle criticism about your book/s?

Poorly. It hurts too much for me to be gracious about it. However, I do consider everything that readers say about my novels, even the bad things. When someone does not like my work, I acknowledge that I failed to communicate with that person. I sincerely want to improve and I work very hard at my craft. I know I will never please everybody. I’ve been doing this long enough to know that for every person who hates my writing another person will think it’s great. I can’t focus on the haters.

14. Is there a message or a lesson that you’d like to convey to your readers?

I’m always grateful to the people who have read my books. I appreciate that they gave me a chance. Some readers won’t because I am self published. People have looked down on me and dismissed like I was stupid my whole life. Nobody in the world wakes up and decides to make my dreams come true. I have to do it myself. If there’s something you want to do, then I say do it. Not doing it is the failure.

15. Please share your purchase links with us.

Currently I have 8 fantasy novels published:

Union of Renegades, The Goddess Queen, Judgment Rising, The Borderlands of Power, Rys Rising, Savage Storm, New Religion, and Love Lost.

Please visit my web store Brave Luck Books to download free ebooks or buy ebooks. International readers welcome!

Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I is a free ebook here:

Also see my author pages at:

A young warrior ruined and near death is saved by Onja a mysterious rys female. Forsaking all that he was, he will take the name Amar and serve his new magical mistress. A lord among outlaws he will become, feared by kings and called the dro-shalum or curse demon by the common folk.

Onja nurtures his growing power among the tribal kingdoms so she can strike against the tabre of Nufal. They are the ancient race of magic users that created the rys with their experimental spells, but they revile their creations. The tabre keep the rys hidden away while they rule over their beautiful realm. The key to Onja’s victory will be if she can win over the rys prodigy Dacian who is loyal to the ruling tabre order. Will he endure more dark abuses for the sake of peace or reach out to Onja and her growing army of allies?

Packed with primitive energy, the intertwining stories of this fantasy world will indulge your cravings for intrigue, bravery, desire, and freedom.

I was born in Michigan in 1972 and grew up in Mount Pleasant. It's called the "Mountain Town" but there is no mountain and it's debatable about whether it's pleasant. They say it's a party town and based on extensive research as a young adult I can concur.

Because I always had the childhood fantasy of running away and joining the circus, I moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1995 and lived there until 1997. Those who only stay a week are wimps, but I will say that it's the second year in Vegas that wears you down. Then I realized the pioneers were trying to get to California, so I moved to Chico, in Northern California and lived there until 2009.

In 2000, I earned a journalism degree from California State University, Chico with the conscious ambition of becoming a fiction writer. With the rapid demise of the newspaper industry and journalism in general, novelist is not such a daft pursuit after all. It's not like I'm actually going to get a job that values my education. Luckily I'm cursed with the impulse to write in a popular yet competitive genre.

My wandering has circled back and I'm currently residing in Battle Creek, Michigan, and for now my existence within the post-apocalyptic Rust Belt is suitably fascinating.


  1. Thank you for interviewing me. The questions were great.

    1. It was a pleasure! Thanks for the interesting answers! Great interview!

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