Author Interview + Giveaway (2 copies): Barely Human by Trace Riles

Hi everyone! I wanted to take some time to introduce you to Urban Fantasy author, Trace Riles. Yesterday I posted my review of her debut novel, Barely Human, and I think she’s got the chops to do well in this genre. She kindly took some time to answer a few questions for Your Urban Fantasy. For those of you who aspire to be an author, I thought she provided some very insightful information. Please feel free to comment, especially if you have any other questions.

We’ve also decided to hold giveaway for you guys where two members will be selected to receive free copies of her book.  I have listed details after the interview, so please read carefully if you’d like to enter.


1. Could you tell us a little about yourself? Where did you grow up and how did you come to love the Urban Fantasy and Paranormal genre?

I was born and raised in Northern, Ontario. I’m married with two children and several pets. As far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved books and movies that had an element of the supernatural to them. In my teens I couldn’t get enough of Stephen King, John Saul and later Dean Koontz. The books that always moved me the most were the ones with fantastical creatures or paranormal tones. One day, I read “Haunted” by Kelley Armstrong and I was immediately hooked!   I’ve been completely devoted to the Urban Fantasy genre since then.

2. As your first novel, how long did it take to produce this book? Could you take us through the process?

From the time I wrote the first line, to the moment I was holding the finished published product in my hands, took about three years. I had the first draft of the manuscript written in about five months–it was everything in between that took so long.

After I completed my manuscript, I went over and over it until I felt it was as clean as I could get it. I then searched for an independent editor to help me with any technical issues I couldn’t clean up on my own. Once I found the right editor (and it took a while…as this person needs to be the right fit for your writing style and content) it took several more months of working with her to mold my manuscript into a marketable piece of work.

When I felt happy that I had a polished story, I started searching for agents. I’m not going to lie; this was an extremely tedious task. Sourcing them out and formatting my submissions into the various required ways took a lot of time. I think I submitted to over 30 agents and was rejected by all. You must develop a thick skin to work in this business.

At a certain point, I decided I’d try to submit to publishers on my own. The process was very similar to looking for an agent.  You must source out publishers that work with your particular genre of writing. It takes time to check their book lists and read about each editor within a publishing house to try and decide who best to send your manuscript to.  It can be frustrating, as once your manuscript has been rejected by an editor at a publishing house, it is considered rejected by the entire house itself and you may not resubmit that story again. So choose wisely!

I decided to start out with small presses because they are more likely to take a chance on an unknown author. I believe I sent my manuscript out to about ten houses. I received six rejections, and then, to my delight, was accepted at Eirelander Publishing. Once I began working with my current publisher, there were MORE edits. It was a lot of work but in the end I really think the story was better for it.

I have to say, I learned a lot through this adventure and I can’t wait to do it again!

3. I thought showing the villain’s perspective at times was really interesting. Why did you decide to incorporate it?

To be honest, it never even occurred to me to leave his voice out. It wasn’t until people started commenting on it that I realized I may have taken a slightly different path. I liked the idea of showing his warped sensibility. I love to hate a “good”  bad-guy, if you know what I mean.

4. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Be prepared for rejection – Everyone has their own likes and dislikes. Even though one person may not have loved your work, chances are that someone else will.

Do the work – Put in the effort, hone your craft, and heed the advice of the people who have gone before you.

NEVER burn any bridges – Always be professional and courteous. You never know what the future holds.

5. What can we look for regarding your future works? This book seemed like it could be a standalone. Do you plan to continue the series or will you write something new?

When I wrote “Barely Human”  I planned it to be the first book in an episodic series. The characters from the first book may be seen in future stories but not necessarily in the same combination. I have many other voices waiting to jump onto the page and experience their own adventure.

I’d also like to take a crack at Urban Fantasy at the YA level.  I think teenagers are such complex and interesting people.  I feel like writing for them would be fun and challenging in a way that’s different than writing for adults.

Thank you so much to all the people who take the time from your busy lives to read my book.  I hope it transports you from your reality, if only for a little while.  Take care and happy reading!










As I mentioned above, up for grabs are two copies of the Barely Human novel. The giveaway will last from Tuesday, March 6th – Friday, March 16th 9pm EST.  Winners will be selected and contacted soon after.  If you’d like a chance to win, please see below:

How to Enter (PLEASE READ CAREFULLY):    Giveaways are only open to followers of Your Urban Fantasy. In order to enter YOU MUST COMMENT ON THE ANNOUNCEMENT POST! If you’re a new member, sign up on the right panel to follow my blog via email and/or Twitter. (Make sure you check your email to confirm your subscription. You should receive a notification immediately, so check your spam folder if you don’t see it right away).  Current followers can just say so in their post and your entry will be added.  Overall, there are up to 3 chances to win:

  1. Follow this blog via email (THIS IS REQUIRED)
  2. Follow me on Twitter (bonus entry)
  3. “Like” Your Urban Fantasy on Facebook (bonus entry)

While I do appreciate RSS subscribers, I cannot confirm your status as a follower so your entry will not count (sorry!); however, you are welcome to sign up by email and Twitter or Facebook.

34 responses

  1. Love the interview and giveaway, and i agree, Kelley Armstrong is a very good read, too =) Following you by email, twitter and like on FB.

    March 11, 2012 at 10:37 PM

    • Thanks, Linda and thanks for the rec! I plan to get around to Kelley Armstrong someday.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:17 PM

  2. Pingback: Barely Human Giveaway Winner Announcement « Your Urban Fantasy

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