a fragment of moonswood tracey mathias

Meeting Tracey Mathias, author of A Fragment of Moonswood

Please welcome Tracey Mathias, a writer of novels for children and young adults; author of the Assalay Trilogy, of which A Fragment of Moonswood is the first book; a lyricist at the Da Capo music foundation; lover of music, London and Wales.

The Review

Everyone has a past that is both their own and the generation’s that came before them. Our actions and, to some extent, our choices are governed and influenced by this past and present history. This is a magical adventure that casts two main characters Gaia and Tal, into the role of both historian and saviour. They must battle to overcome their shared present and bring back the meaning of what it is to be a proud people. As you know I love it when authors create a strong image in my mind and Tracey has woven this beautifully, not least because of the utterly believable characters she introduces us to. A great start to what should be a fabulous trilogy.

The Tracey Mathias Interview

tracey mathiasWhat is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?

I am scared of heights but I fantasize about living in a treehouse.

Are the names of your characters important to you?

Yes, very. Some of the names I use have underlying meanings – either in terms of the dictionary definition of the word, or by reference to a character in mythology or legend. So Gaia in A Fragment of Moonswood is named for the Greek goddess of the earth, and Jason is named after Jason who stole the Golden Fleece. Lord Lanneret is as fierce as a hawk; Scrimp is a treasurer; Fossick searches for historical truth (I read Chambers dictionary from cover to cover to find these and other names). At other times, I just light on a name and it feels instinctively right for the character I have in mind: so much that I would find it very difficult to call them something else.

How did you choose a title for your book?

It took me ages to think of the title for A Fragment of Moonswood. It was originally The Lost Ivory, which never felt right, and it took hours of brainstorming to find a title that would reflect a key element of the story, and have the right air of mystery. The other two titles in the trilogy (The Singing War and Weatherlord) came to me instantly, while I was ironing and listening to Mozart.

What is the single biggest challenge you faced when writing your book?

My children.

Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?

If you weren’t a bookworm when you were a child then become one instantly; get the shapes and rhythms of words, sentences, paragraphs and whole novels into your soul. Don’t ask for advice on a piece of work too early: I think books are like babies; they have to grow for a while before they are ready to be shown to the world. On the other hand, find the courage to show some chosen people what you have written before you feel it’s finished. Be open to suggestions but know when to throw them out. Find a writers’ group that works for you.

How do you remain sane while working?

My children.

What is the book that you wished you had written?

Many! I read at least half a dozen books a year which make me think ‘I wish I could have written that.’ Often they are historical novels. At the moment, I’m reading Frances Hardinge’s The Lie Tree, and I would love to write something which has that combination of authentic historical setting and extravagant fantasy.

Tea, Coffee, Water, Juice, Wine or Beer … which do you prefer when writing?

Tea. Tea. Tea. More tea.


a fragment of moonswoodWHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT Tracey and her book?

You can find A Fragment of Moonswood in Kindle and Paperback format here:

You can also catch up with Tracey on her website, Facebook and Twitter.



These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.

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