Interview with Tracey Squaire

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Pensacola, Florida. Pensacola is far enough north that most residents don't really consider it to be Florida but rather an extension of Alabama, but it's far enough south that we all have to suffer from the reality of the unbearable heat, humidity, and unpredictable weather that accompanies Florida life. Pensacola isn't the most prolific of places; there are few jobs, and those jobs available are just dead-end jobs. That meant that my family, at least, went without often. I didn't have a lot of toys or video games growing up, and I didn't do a lot of extracurricular activities besides frequent visits to the library. My only comfort was reading, and in losing myself in book after book as a child, I fostered a love for the written word that I today exercise by creating my own stories that will (I hope) one day comfort someone as hungry for stories as I was (and still am!).
When did you first start writing?
I don't remember when I first started writing, but I do remember the first time I realized I wanted to write for a living. I was in 4th grade, and my school was doing testing in different areas. For the writing portion of our testing, our teacher wanted us to write a story about a science concept we had learned that year. I chose to write a story about a raindrop that went through the traditional water cycle of being rained down (much to the horror of this poor raindrop!), absorbed into the earth, evaporated into the air, and eventually transpired back into its cloud home. My writing teacher praised me so much, and I received the highest grade in the class for my story. I was so proud, and my teacher's fascination with my story made me realize how much I wanted to spread my stories through the world.
What's the story behind your latest story?
"Dry Rot" was inspired by the childhoods of my best friend and of my boyfriend. They both would tell me stories about the adventures they would go on in their childhood, and they would take me to the places they explored as a kid. Many of these places were inside of semi-tamed wooded areas that sat in the middle of their neighborhood. As an adult, these places fascinated me, and all I could do was imagine how magical these places would look as a child. "Dry Rot" explores the fantasies of childhood.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I often daydream about amazing plots and stories that I would just love to read. I'll search high and low for a story that matches these daydreams, and I am too often disappointed to find few, if any, stories that match what I desire to read. So, as the saying goes, I decide to create what I want to see in the world, and that creation of something new and being able to read something that didn't exist in the world before I created it is the greatest joy of writing for me.
Who are your favorite authors?
Brandon Sanderson inspires me so much. His ability to create entertaining stories in both his epic novels and short novellas alike is makes me believe that I can one day do the same. Listening to his podcasts and reading his "Writing Excuses" posts keeps me motivated to write.

Mercedes Lackey is another favorite. She brings originality to fantasy with her writing, specifically with her "Valdemar Universe" books. She gives a fresh twist to fairy tales with her "500 Kingdoms" books that makes me want to give my own twist to the traditional fairy tales.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Though I truly love writing, the main thing that inspires me to get out of bed in the morning is the grumbling of my stomach demanding I fill it with food! Otherwise, I'd spend all day in bed daydreaming about far away lands that exist only in my head until I put them onto paper.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
One of my passions is cooking. I love creating my own recipe or attempting someone else's recipe. When I'm not reading or writing, I'm most likely cooking or looking up recipes to cook in the future. When I'm not reading, writing, or cooking, I'm most likely playing video games or enjoying the company of my friends or family.
What are your three favorite books, and why?
1. "Jumper" - Steven Gould. This book is both simple and complex at the same time. I love the raw emotion Gould is able to inject into his stories. I've reread this book so many times, and it never ceases to amaze me or bring me to tears while reading about Davey's tragic life.

2. "Kushiel's Dart" - Jacqueline Carey. Carey amazingly combines politics and sexuality in this story. Phedre is a perfectly flawed heroine, and Carey's storytelling through Phedre is masterful. This is another book I never get tired of rereading. The world Carey created is filled with so much realism, and it explores so many ideas and practices that are somewhat taboo in our world today.

3. "The Way of Kings" - Brandon Sanderson. It's hard to choose just one Sanderson book as my favorite, but this one is just truly amazing. Sanderson takes me back to the type of fantasy I read as a child that really brought my imagination to life, but he does so in a sophisticated and adult manner. Sanderson's world building in this story is so professionally done that the world feels real enough to step into.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I love the Kindle Paperwhite. Kindles imitate real books so well that I sometimes find myself trying to physically turn the page while using one. They are lightweight enough that holding one for a long period of time is comfortable, and the customizations offered on the device make reading a pleasure. My Paperwhite is amazing for reading in the dark without disturbing anyone since it has a subtle light built into the screen. The light is adjustable and not at all harsh, so I'm able to read for hours without getting a headache or straining my eyes. I'd be so lost without my Kindle.
Describe your desk
My desk is strewn with notes for possible stories, small items to fidget with, and various Dungeons and Dragons paraphernalia that I keep close to hand for when I'm creating a campaign. I try to keep it organized (I swear I do!), but it's still pretty messy. I won't pretend I know where everything is on it.
What do you hope to achieve with your writing?
I won't pretend I don't want to become financially successful with my writing, but I know that's a long, hard road. For now, I honestly just want people to read and enjoy my stories. I know that I'm not the best writer (yet!), but to have people out there impatiently waiting for my next story is what I want. To move people with my words or with the characters I create is what I want. If, in the process of entertaining readers, I happen to earn money, that's wonderful.
Published 2017-07-21.
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Books by This Author

Price: Free! Words: 2,460. Language: English. Published: July 26, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
You killed her. You Stepped. I followed you. We fought. You won. I Stepped. You followed. You chased me. I chased you. Years passed in this manner, and I have yet to learn why. Why her? Why me?
Dry Rot
Price: Free! Words: 6,420. Language: English. Published: July 22, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General
Before the sun shows itself in the sky, James is awake and ready. He was never supposed to go back, not after what happened. Despite the risk, the fear of danger isn't enough to make him forget--the last thing he wants is to forget. He's ready to go back, and he's prepared to finish what they started.