Saturday 13 August 2016

The Hippo Hands Over . . . to Tracey Sinclair

The Bridesmaid Blues
Angel Falls

Today I'm delighted to be handing over to author Tracey Sinclair. Tracey is a freelance writer, author, and editor. Her books include the romantic comedy The Bridesmaid Blues, and the paranormal series Dark Dates, the latest of which is Angel Falls.

Photo courtesy of Tracey Sinclair

Ten Things I Learned
I’ve been writing – and earning my living as a wordsmith of one sort or another – for well over a decade. So here are some of the occasionally hard-earned lessons I’ve picked up on the way.

There’s never a right time to write…
I spent years putting off writing a novel until I ‘had the time’ – only to discover, surprise surprise, I never had the time. Most people write their first big project in the corners of their days, and even established writers have to juggle numerous responsibilities. Now I actually can dedicate big chunks of time to writing, I often find they are my least productive periods. 15 minutes a day adds up to a novel faster than a whole year of ‘sometime’.

But some things can’t be rushed
Some projects need a decent gestation period, and no matter how much you want to progress them, they come at their own pace. I carried my first novel, Doll, around for about four years before I felt ready to write it, with only the first and the last page perfectly formed: then I wrote the whole thing in a few short months.

People will be incredibly supportive…
When you commit to writing, or get published, you’ll be astonished by how supportive some people are, even people who you don’t know well. There’s a village out there to help you – find it, and cultivate it.

But maybe they won’t
Some people – even people who are close to you and care about you – just won’t get it. They won’t understand why it’s important. Or they’ll be too busy, or they’ll think it’s a pie in the sky fantasy, or they’ll be jealous or they’ll genuinely think you are a terrible writer and they shouldn’t be encouraging you. Don’t waste time trying to figure out which of these it is, just focus on your own work and spend time appreciating those who ARE being supportive.

Build a team
Whether this is other writers in a writing group or class, a beta team to read your first drafts, a community of bloggers, or even just a few supportive friends who’ll take you for a beer to drown your sorrows or celebrate your successes, assemble people to help you on your writing journey.

Every first draft is terrible
Don’t let that stop you.

Done is better than perfect
No book is flawless – and trying to be the first person to reach perfection will be your undoing. Putting out an imperfect book is better than having a constantly tinkered with masterpiece that nobody ever gets to read.

But it should be as good as you can make it
Write. Rewrite. Get feedback. Rewrite again. Edit, edit and edit again.

Not everyone will like your book
And that will hurt your feelings – but you might also benefit from it. Learning to differentiate between constructive feedback that you can utilise to make yourself a better writer and criticism (even valid criticism) that you need to ignore is one of the hardest skills to learn but it will stand you in good stead. This is especially tough when someone offers a perfectly valid critique of your work and you have to go ‘you’re right, and that might make it better in a way, but doing that will turn this into something I don’t want it to be’.

It’ll all be worth it
Even if you don’t end up rich and famous. Even if you never publish – or even finish – a book. Exploring your own creativity is one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do, and though it might occasionally drive you crazy, you won’t regret it.

There's some great advice and tips for all you aspiring authors there from Tracey. I hope that you found them as interesting to read as I did.

To take a look at all of Tracey Sinclair's books you can visit her author page on Amazon here. I think The Cassandra Bick Chronicles sound particularly intriguing as I love a good feisty female character and I've never wondered until now how vampires find love. Take a look at the blurb:

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.

But if vampires aren't your thing then why not take a look at The Bridesmaid Blues which has been described as "A smarter, funnier Bridget Jones" which sounds and looks like a perfect read for the beach or a sunny day just relaxing in the garden.

You can also connect with or find out more about Tracey using the links below:


I'd like to say a big thank you to Tracey for stopping by today and sharing her knowledge and experience with us, it's been a pleasure.

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