22 December 2017

Special Guest Interview with Author Traci Robison


Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

As an apprentice priest to the god Aplu, Leures Vethna learns to read omens. The moment he sees Diomedes of Thebes, Leures knows the Greek mercenary will take him from his Etruscan homeland to a greater destiny. Fate leads them to the farthermost regions of the known world, where he and Diomedes will fight as mercenaries against Alexander the Great's army. But, no matter how far he travels, Leures can't escape the curse he's carried from his youth. Death dogs his heels. Broken in battle and dwelling in a camp where men are dying nightly, he's overcome by darkness until a strange willful woman resurrects him. When Diomedes senses she is not what she seems, Leures must choose between his beloved friend and the woman he dreams holds his future.

Today I would like to welcome author Traci Robison:

Tell us about your latest book

Gates the Hours Keep is the latest novel in the Tales of Malstria series. This novel is an origin story for Leures Vethna, the bastard son of an Etruscan king. Condemned by his father, Leures flees his homeland with a Greek mercenary for a greater destiny. Fate leads them to the farthermost regions of the known world, where he and Diomedes fight against Alexander the Great's army. 


No matter how far he travels, Leures can't escape a curse he's carried from his youth. Death dogs his heels. Broken in battle and dwelling in a camp where men are dying nightly, he's overcome by darkness until a strange, willful woman resurrects him. When Diomedes senses she is not what she seems, Leures must choose between his beloved friend and the woman he dreams holds his future.

What is your preferred writing routine?


Over the years, I’ve never really developed a consistent routine. Lately, because my writing is interspersed with hours at my day job and other obligations, I’ve found it useful to begin each writing session by reading over the last scene or two I’ve written. It helps me get back into the story as well as enabling me to do a little light editing.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Above all else, keep at it. Find a bit of time each day to read or to write. Also, take some time to soak life in—that’s the fuel that will feed your imagination and keep you going.

What have you found to be the best way to raise awareness of your books?

That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? With so many books on the market, it’s difficult for anyone to stand out from the crowd. Though social media and online promotions can be helpful, I’ve experienced the greatest impact from doing readings of my books—in person or, once, in a radio appearance. I’ve always seen a spike in sales afterward, so I guess, people liked what they heard.

Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research.

In researching Gates the Hours Keep, I came across more women who played a role as warriors or leaders than I expected—especially on the Persian side or in Etruscan culture. Throughout the novel, I wove in a few mentions of these women, such as Artemisia, a woman who ruled Halicarnassus and fought for Xerxes a little more than a century before the novel’s action took place. The research also helped me develop the character of Mahamari, a powerful woman Leures meets when he is employed as a mercenary.

What was the hardest scene you remember writing?


The hardest scene I remember writing was in my novel The Taking—a scene where the main character Amarys is assaulted by a man one night when she’s sneaking from the keep to the stable. It was difficult and painful to put myself in her place, and it took me many false starts to do the scene justice. The first attempts were too superficial. I was afraid to dive in, and so, the scene lacked substance. Only after I concentrated on sensory details and moved away from vague descriptors of feelings, did the scene finally work.

What are you planning to write next?

I’m very excited about what I’m writing right now. Risen is the fourth installment in the Tales of Malstria series. This story takes place directly after The Taking and Tangled. Set in Norman England, this adventure focuses on Quin and Amarys’ efforts to build their lives after devastation--a struggle for survival, sanity, and redemption. When new foes arise, seeking their destruction, Quin is forced to look for help in the last place he expected.

Traci Robison

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About the Author


Traci Robison focused on medieval history and culture while completing her MA in museum studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She works as a writer and archivist, often drawing inspiration from the unique historic documents she encounters. Set in medieval and ancient cultures, her completed novels and ongoing projects blend elements of fantasy, horror, and historical genres.  Find out more at TraciRobison.com or visit Traci Robison's Facebook page and Twitter @TraciJRobison

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