Interview with Tracy Daley, Author of The Wrong Side of the Setting Sun

29 Jun 2023

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Wrong Side of the Setting Sun?

This story was inspired by a question I had experienced with a child who lived with us for several years. Their number one desire was to live with their mom, even when she’d been unable to care for them. The mom was eventually able to take them back, but I remember the feeling after they left, when I couldn’t take care of them anymore. It was heart-wrenching and I had to ask myself why? Why was the desire to be with family so strong even in the darkest of circumstances? This story is an exploration of that question.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of The Wrong Side of the Setting Sun, what would they be?

A song that really hits home for me when I think about the main character and her struggles, I would pick If Only by Dove Cameron. Paige Stevenson is really looking for who she’s meant to be.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

It is interesting how our reading interests can change and shift over time. There was a time I devoured epic fantasy. More recently, historical fiction. And now, I do love a great contemporary novel that still takes me away even though it’s set in modern times. I love to read great stories and those can come in many genres.

The genre I write in does reflect my current reading preferences. Does that mean I’ve written fantasy, historical fiction, and contemporary? Yes. Yes, it does.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

I have two historical fiction novels by Heather B. Moore in my Goodreads to-read list. Then I’ve got a mix of genres that include titles like, Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, Shining a Light: Celebrating 40 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Who Changed the World, The Boys Next Door by Jennifer Echols, and Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero. Can’t wait to get through this to-read list. It’s going to be a fun summer.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

I had the most fun writing the scene with the Gamelan Band. Researching the sounds and traditions behind the Indonesian bands was fascinating and very fun. Finding a way to create the reaction of an American teenage girl to the differences in music was a challenge, but every character had their own way to interpret the song.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

Every weekday morning, I start a zoom meeting and several of my friends join me on a blanked out zoom screen for an hour. It keeps me writing consistently every day and it helps me remember that I belong to an amazing community. I also have to chew on something in order for my fingers to move on the keyboard. My favorite writing snacks are chocolate covered raisins.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

My motto for this year is Find Joy, Work Hard, Dream Big. Find joy is the first priority, because you don’t always have control over the circumstances of your life, but if I look, I can usually find something to be joyful about. Working hard is second, because success doesn’t come from sitting around wishing for things to happen. Writing has reflected the work hard motto. I’ve kept putting words on the page through a lot of rejection and disappointment. The final part is to dream big. If I set my sights high, it inspires my work and my joy.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

I would want each reader to remember the feeling of hope, the understanding that they are loved, and the value of each person on this earth despite our varied experiences. Of course, if all they walk away with is the knowledge that they need to swim parallel to the shore if they ever get caught in a riptide, I’ll count that as a win.


Tracy Daley is the author of the new book The Wrong Side of the Setting Sun

Connect with Tracy Daley

Author Site



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