Interview with Tracy Salazar

What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I have this little tie with a metal butterfly at the ends, not only does it keep my page but I twittle it in my fingers while I am imagining the world between the pages. However when I'm in a rush to finish the book I do the unforgivable, if my insides can't handle the strain of such a great book, I lay the book face down for a quick break.
Describe your desk
My desk consists of a squishy makeshift bed, two very rumpled blankets and two knees that get numb after hours of writing. The bed doesn't stay neat for long, mostly because its so easy to end up with my feet running up the wall and head falling off the bed. All the while precariously balancing my lab top, which isn't small, on my stomach. Of course, there are a few minutes here or there that Facebook pops up on screen.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in this dead end town called Rancho Tehama, in high school I moved to Red Bluff which is just as dead end as Red Bluff. At least that's what everyone said about it. What I saw was a small town hidden by trees and what seamed like thousands of miles of empty land. Those hills birthed elves, dragons and schools hidden in the shadows. Growing up in a town like that demanded me to write and create lands that no one else has.
When did you first start writing?
When I was nine I wrote this short story about a magical school that was founded by a guild of people that wanted nothing to do with normals. In the story, the school was located a few miles into the hidden forests that were behind my home. Like any normal kid, I placed my younger self in the mist of werewolves and wizards. I, being not gifted, was normal and hated by the youth of the school. In some mix up I ended up being sent to that boarding school instead of a non-normal school.
What's the story behind your latest book?
When I was a sophomore in high school my English teacher asked me a question that started me off on Starlight. She asked me "If you could be the main character of your own story, where would you take it?" I descided that if I could be anyone, be anywhere and do anything that I would create a story that was amazing. So I started the beginning of the story in that class and took it to a different world made up of magic and dragons.
What are you working on next?
My next story is Starlight. This story is about a young woman just beginning to be a teenagers. As a sophomore in high school she is taken away by a dragon that takes her to a school of magic and war. This brings challenges of its own whether it be the hardships of integrating into another world or the mountains of knowledge this young girl is expected to learn in order to be a Dragon Rider.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I wrote a short story about a child that is put into a boarding school for magically gifted people by accident. She was a ungifted person and was forced to go into hiding in the school grounds. If she was discovered then she would be hounded by the vampires, werewolves or fair folk.
What is your writing process?
I start out with the basic story line, some idea that I found fascinating to some degree. Sometimes it comes from a dream or a random thought I have during class time. Once I have an idea I let it take me on a ride and tell me its story. After so long, the story is down and I put on my editing face. The editing faze normally adds on at least fifty pages to the story.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story that truly impacted me was the first Lord of the Rings. I read it in the fifth grade and watched the movie after. I recall trying to read faster than the movie to see how accurate the movie was to the book. At that moment I wanted to create a story so wonderful that it would be made into a movies for others to watch. I hoped one day there would be some kid trying to read as fast as I was to my book.
What do you read for pleasure?
My favorite pleasure books are by Mercedes Lackey. Any time I have free time I go to the local library and find one of her books to devour. If I haven't read it a hundred times already I'll read it again. When I finish her sagas I continue on to Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy I have with writing is the release I have when the songs of words that are pounding against my skull are put to ink. When the words are out I am able to make them into a melody that it sounds like in my mind. When the melody is on the page, others can read it which makes all of this worth while. I doubt the melody would sing the same way in others weren't there to hear it.
Published 2013-12-04.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.