My guest today is Tracey Sinclair, who is the author of, among other things, the Cassandra Bick series, which features vampires, werewolves, witches and the occasional angel. Her work has appeared online and in print in magazines as diverse as Sky, Printer’s Devil, Yours and Woman’s Weekly, and has been performed on the radio. Her first play, Bystanders, was premiered as part of the New Writing Season at Baron’s Court Theatre in 2011 and later staged at both the White Bear and Tristan Bates Theatre. Welcome to the blog, Tracey.
What inspires your story ideas or characters?
A cliched answer, but everything, really – it can be as substantial as a person, or it simply be an idea that flits into mind. My romcom Bridesmaid Blues, which is about someone who is going to be bridesmaid at a wedding where her ex is the best man, was inspired by my life – yep, that happened to me! Whereas my paranormal series Dark Dates was inspired by the setting: I used to work in Smithfield in London and it’s such an atmospheric place steeped with history that I wanted to base a story there.
How do you go about starting a new writing project?
I always start by writing character ‘scenes’ – snatches of dialogue, short scenes, etc. Much of it doesn’t get used but it helps me get to know my characters before I start. I get through a lot of notebooks!
Have you a favourite inspirational quote?
I’ve heard a number of different versions of it, so am not sure the exact quote, but Ray Bradbury said being a writer was about jumping off a cliff and building your wings on the way down, which to me always sums up the practice of writing.
Which genre would you like to write in but don’t think you could?
Historical fiction, or non-fiction – I have been a researcher in several jobs and so I don’t think I could face doing it again for a book!
Who are your favourite fictional characters? (Your own or someone else’s).
Vimes, Sybil, Granny Weatherwax and Death from the Terry Pratchett Discworld novels, Kenzie and Gennaro from the Dennis Lehane books, Harry Dresden and his brother Thomas from the Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher, Lizzie and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, the Marquise de Merteuil and Vicomte de Valmont from Dangerous Liaisons, and Angel and Louis from the John Connolly Charlie Parker books. I love all my own characters, obviously – they’re such fun to write.
Which book do you wish you’d written?
Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller.
What thing or things are guaranteed to cheer you up?
I do like a good comedy – I’m currently in love with The Good Place.
Name one thing you would change about your life.
I would travel more – I have friends scattered all over the world and I feel like I don’t get to see them enough!
What’s your favourite social media outlet and why?
I think they all have advantages and disadvantages, and I tend to fall in and out of love with each of them on a regular basis.
You’re stuck in a lift with three other people. Who would you like them to be?
Someone with snacks and a lift engineer. I’d freak out too much otherwise…
Where do you write?
Anywhere – cafes, bars, my desk, my sofa…
What one piece of advice would you give to other writers?
You’ll never find a perfect time to write or create a perfect piece of writing: if you wait around for either, you’ll get nothing done.
Thank you, Tracey, for joining me today.
It isn’t easy to surprise Cassandra Bick. When you run a human-vampire dating agency, your colleague is a witch who is engaged to a shifter and your business partner is one of London’s most powerful (and sexiest) vampires, there’s no such thing as a normal day at the office.
But when a mysterious Dark Dates client brings a dire warning of a new threat to the city’s supernatural community, Cass and her friends realise they are up against their deadliest foe yet – and that this time, the danger is far closer to home than they could ever have imagined.
Sexy, snarky and with more bite than a crypt full of vampires, Angel Falls is the latest in the Dark Dates: Cassandra Bick series.