Thursday 22 August 2013

Author Interview! Tracy Bloom

Now I really loved reading, No-one Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday, indeed my review of review of the novel on the blog confirms this. I was very excited to find out that this wonderful author had a new novel coming out, Single Woman Seeks Revenge. I am very much looking forward to sitting down with this one, but in the meantime I was lucky enough to have this author answer my questions. And so, without further ado, I give you Tracy Bloom...

First question-bit of a cliche-how did you get into writing?
I started writing when my cruel, heartless husband moved us to America forcing me to leave a dream job shopping for rollercoasters for the UK's leading theme parks. I took an evening class and wrote mostly during my son's afternoon naps. It took about a year to write my romantic comedy, NO-ONE EVER HAS SEX ON A TUESDAY, and I now feel very proud to be able to say I am a published author. So I have a new dream job me and my husband are on speaking terms again!

Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?
No. I have two small children so I fit it around them. It's a great job for a working mum as it means I'm around for when they need me and I can be flexible as I'm not going out to work. You can be too flexible sometimes however so you do have to have a lot of discipline.

Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer?
I write romantic comedies. Whenever I write the humour seems to flow although I do like to extract the tears as well. I also tend to write from the male and female point-of-view and am always delighted to hear from male readers who have enjoyed my books. Hence I don't use the term chick-lit as I think it's limiting.

How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?
They tend to be an a amalgamation of lots of different people. I have a very good list of questions to ask yourself about your characters which I got from a screenwriting class. If you answer the questions you discover things you didn't realise about your characters and it can really help develop the plot.

What was the inspiration behind your first novel?
We attended antenatal classes (classes you take before you give birth so you know what to expect) and I was struck by the drama and comedy potential in such a group of people. Everyone is from very different backgrounds and have never met and yet discuss one of the most important and intimate experience of their lives. I also thought that sitting in such a class with someone you are uncomfortable with would be very awkward and imagine if they were an ex-boyfriend and could be the father of your child! All that thinking led to me debut novel.

What is your writing process-do you map it out first? Write a bit at a time?
I like to be able to sum up the core of my book first in a couple of sentences. Then I brainstorm plot idea's onto prompt cards before laying them out and playing around with the order. When it's gaining shape I draw a flow chart on one piece of paper. This is then the plan I follow when I start writing.

How much of you is reflected in your novels?
I am probably not the right person to ask! I suspect quite a lot. I do draw on experiences, emotions and observations. I guess my sense of humour is very much reflected in my writing.
What kind of research did you do before/during writing Your novels?
I love doing research so I tend to try and avoid it! The internet is an amazing thing and I can soon lose hours trying to find the exact right song the character would be thinking of for example. I do consult my male relatives and friends when I'm writing from the male point of view in particular on phrases and specific words they might use to describe something.

Do you have any plans to develop either novel further, write sequels, turn it into a series?
I have already started planning the sequel to my debut novel. NO-ONE EVER HAS SEX AFTER A BABY will look at what chaos having a baby will bring to Katy and Ben's relationship as well as their closest friends Daniel and Braindead. I've had such great feedback on this book so I'm very keen to see what happens next! Daniel and Braindead in particular seem to have really struck a chord so looking forward to delving in to their lives a bit more. 

How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get?
 I always read them because I think if someone has taken the time to review the least you can do is read it. I love hearing that my books have made people laugh out loud. That is the biggest compliment ever. Sure there are bad reviews but you have to expect that. No writer can write a book to please everyone. 

Are friends and family supportive of your writing?
Extremely. My husband has always believed in me and that is an enormous re-asurance especially when you have the inevitable knock-backs. I think my Dad is proud although I think he is a little bemused to have a daughter who has written a book with SEX in the title!

How did you feel leading up to your publication day?
My books were actually published overseas before in the UK so it was very weird. I didn't really know what to do. I ended up travelling to Italy to see my book in a shop to check it was really happening which was very exciting. The bookseller thought I was an idiot though as I insisted I had written this book in Italian when clearly I could not speak the language!

Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading?
I love Lionel Shriver because I think she gets in her characters heads like no-one else. I have really enjoyed Gillian Flynn's books as she has great plots and very unexpected twists and turns. The last book I read was by Angela Jackson and is called The Emergence of Judy Taylor. She captures brilliantly the terrifying battle many face quietly in their own heads of the choice between mundane and safe or brave but potentially catastrophic. 

Finally...what are you working on right now?
My sanity as I herd two young kids through the  summer holidays. Come September I will be back into full time work on NO-ONE EVR HAS SEX AFTER A BABY and wishing my kids were not at school but there to harass and entertain me.

You can read both of Tracy's novels now, you can also follow her on twitter. Review of Single Woman Seeks Revenge coming up on the blog very soon, keep your eyes peeled! 

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