Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A View from Tracy Higley's Window!

Dear Window readers, I have a treat for you!! I will be touring Tracy Higley's latest novel, Shadow of Colossus, in a few days, but I wanted to introduce you to this author so that you will get a "taste" of things to come! Tracy has begun a series entitled the Seven Wonders Series, and if Shadow of Colossus is any indication, we are all in for a tremendous adventure!!

Please, welcome Tracy to my Window and come back on the 30th for my review of her lastest novel! In the mean time, be sure to visit her website and learn all about her work and her travels! Welcome, Tracy!

Tracy, your love of writing began at an early age, at what point did your love of history merge with your writing?

-- I remember enjoying historical fiction all through my adolescence and into adulthood. Some of my favorites were Bodie Thoene’s Zion series. When I was a senior in high school, I spent many months debating between college majors. History or Literature? I chose English, but my love of history continued, and I still feel that history is nothing more than a tapestry of stories, woven together to form a bigger picture. From the time I started writing for publication, I wanted to merge history into the stories I was writing.

What is your favorite research tool? Internet? Library? Interviews with experts? A combination?

--I’d have to say my favorite research tool has been travel! I’ve been able to spend time in the locations of the first three Seven Wonders books – the island of Rhodes in Greece, the pyramids of Egypt, and the city of Alexandria in Egypt. There is no substitute for being “on location.” After the travel, I’d say I use a combination of combing the internet for answers to specific questions, and devouring great books on my topics.

Your website chronicles your visit to Rhodes, the setting for your first Seven Wonders books. Was this your first visit to this part of the world? Where have your travels taken you and do you have a favorite location?

--Yes, that trip was my first international trip. I visited several Greek islands and spent a day in Turkey visiting the ancient ruins of Ephesus. I’ve also since been to Egypt and the Greek mainland, and am planning a trip to Israel and Jordan in a few months. Thus far, my favorite location has been inside the Great Pyramid of Giza (and it took a lot to get me in there, let me tell you!)

Was Tessa’s life story typical for the women in ancient Greece? Was her role as hetaera unique? Was her role as physical as it was intellectual? Was it common for parents to sell their children into slavery?

--There were many women who were in bondage as hetaera in ancient Greece, and no doubt they all experienced some level of physical enslavement. Only a very few rose to prominence as the companions of their patrons as Tessa did. And there were all forms of slavery in ancient times. Some were much more “free” than the way we picture slavery today, but they were still not considered freemen. Many children were born into slavery or sold into it by parents who could not afford to support them.

I loved your portrayal of the Jewish servant Simeon and his family – especially as they shared and explained the Passover. Realizing this was before Christ, their hope was almost palpable. Can you share your inspiration for these characters and a bit about the reality of living as a Jew in ancient Greece?

--Thank you for the kind words. It is always a challenge to present the truths of redemption in a setting that takes place before Christ. But the Passover is such a beautiful picture of redemption, and I felt it would connect with people today. One of my goals in writing about the ancient world is to connect people’s Old Testament knowledge with their world history knowledge. There were Jewish people living all over the world through ancient times, and they brought to each culture their unique monotheism and influence. But always, I believe, they remained connected to their homeland.

What exciting things is God doing in your life right now? Any parting words of encouragement you’d like to share with your readers?

--I’m excited about the continuation of The Seven Wonders Novels. City of the Dead will be out in March, and the third will release next fall. I hope to continue bringing the truths of God’s sovereign work in the world throughout history to my readers. And I would challenge readers to remember that life is an adventure! You are living your own piece of exciting history right now. Take time to explore God’s purposes in your life. And please visit me at and share your adventure with me!

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