Friday, 13 May 2016

Author Interview: Tracey Sinclair

Today it's my pleasure to welcome author and playwright Tracey Sinclair to the blog to talk about her latest book Angel Falls.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 
I’m a freelance writer and editor, who lives in Brighton – at heart I’m a Northern girl, but I couldn’t resist the lure of a sea view and nice weather!

Your newest book Angel Falls is book 3 in the Cassandra Bick Chronicles, can you tell us about the series? 
It’s a fun, fast-paced series set mainly in London – and in some ways, it’s aimed at both people who like the paranormal genre, and people who don’t: there’s a lot of poking fun at the clich├ęs, but not in a mean or dismissive way – more like Joss Whedon and Kevin Williamson, and the TV shows Supernatural, who were some of my inspirations. 

It’s also grounded in the real world – a world where people need jobs to pay their bills, and watch TV shows and films about vampires, etc. so are familiar with the concept of their existing. I wanted to appeal to smart, pop-culture savvy readers, and I’ve got a lot of great feedback from readers so that seems to appeal!

How did the idea come about to mix Romance with Fantasy by creating a Vampire Dating agency? 
I wrote a short story to cheer up a friend, around the height of the Twilight mania, based on the idea that we’re all so into vampires, what if someone ran a speed dating night for vampires and Dracula turned up, and was disgusted by the modern fantasies about vampires and the fact that they aren’t seen as scary any more. Then it just somehow grew from there!

If the Cassandra Bick Chronicles was to be made into a TV series, who would your perfect cast be? 
Oh, god, tough question! I change my mind all the time on this! I could see Tom Hiddleston or Tom Mison (Ichabod Crane from Sleepy Hollow) as Laclos, and I think Kat Denning would be a good Cass, but not sure on the others… am always open to suggestions!

Describe Cassandra Bick in three words.  
Smart, snarky, relatable. 

What can we expect from you next?  
I’m working in a number of projects at the moment – including the next Dark Dates book!

How did your writing journey start?
I’ve always written stories – as long as I can remember – and I got my first story published in a magazine in my teens, so I’ve been working in one form of writing or another my whole life.

What attracted you to writing for the fantasy market as opposed to other genres?
I think it was because I was a fan of the genre in books and TV, but I wanted to see more heroines I could relate to – grown up, feminist, women-friendly women, not mopey teens in borderline abusive relationships. I also used to work in a part of London that was steeped in history (Smithfield) and thought it would be great to use that setting. But I’ve worked in other genres – my first book was more ‘literary’ and I’ve also written a romantic comedy – set in Newcastle, where I’m from, so another case of location being the inspiration!

Out of all of your books, which character did you have the most fun creating? 
I love Cass – she’s easy to write because we share a lot of the same traits and tastes – but definitely Cain and Laclos, and their relationship and how it’s developed, which has been unexpected to me but a complete joy.

What is the best writing advice you have ever received? 
Don’t wait till you have the time. 

Are you a plotter or do you prefer to see where a storyline takes you?
I usually have a good idea of the beginning and the end, but how I get from one to the other develops organically.

What writers inspire you?  
So many! I mentioned Joss Whedon and Kevin Williamson, and in terms of universe building, I like the Marvel Universe, and Terry Pratchett – his Discworld series is one of the most cohesive worlds I’ve ever come across. I think anyone good is inspiring, no matter the genre – I could list writers all day!

If you could write in a collaboration with another author, who would you like to write with? 
I would have loved to have got the chance to work with Terry Pratchett, as he was a hero of mine. But I’d probably be most excited about working with someone from another creative field – a director, or actors. I think it’s fascinating to see how people work in other disciplines.

Do you get much spare time for reading?  What was the last book you read?
I’m a voracious reader – I don’t think you can be a good writer unless you are. I just finished devouring the John Connolly Charlie Parker series, and on the non-fiction front, I recently reread Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic, which is a great inspirational tool. The last novel I really fell in love with was Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, which is a beautiful exploration of race, gender and sexuality set in 70s America. 

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. 

Tracey Sinclair is a freelance writer, author, playwright and editor. The Cassandra Bick/Dark Dates books start with Dark Dates. Her latest books are Angel Falls and A Vampire in New York and Other Stories.


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