The author of this week interview is Tracy Buchanan. She is the author of four books, one of them is The Atlas of Us that gave her a publishing deal with Harper Collins UK. Tracy used to work for a travel magazine as an editor, now she writes full-time from her home in Buckinghamshire.
What does your typical writing day look like for you and do you use a word count?
I’m now lucky enough to write full-time so after dropping my daughter off at pre-school and walking the dog, I sit down in my office and get through admin and publicity. So things like this Q&A! I then have lunch while watching a film or TV series to inspire me, before delving into my writing in the afternoon. I use Scrivener so sometimes set myself daily targets and check if I’ve reached them. If I haven’t, I write in the evening after my daughter’s gone to bed.
When you wrote your first book, how did you keep going, not knowing if it would be published or not?
Hope! So many people give up as they’re scared of failure. But I was optimistic and always hoped for the best. I found it so exciting, all the possibilities. And now my dreams have come true as I’m now a full-time author so I was right to be optimistic! Fear and doubt can really stop a lot of people from achieving their dreams. I’ve had plenty of rejections and down points, but I keep striving and hoping for the best.
You have written four great books. Which one is your favorite?
The Atlas of Us (known as The Lost Mother in the US). It got me my book deal and I loved writing it!
What is your editing process?
After I’ve written a first draft, I give it some space, even if it’s just a week. I then spend some time thinking about what I want to achieve with the next draft and make notes above each chapter as prompts. It’s then a case of reading it through on my laptop and making changes. I rarely print copies out now.
What is the best writing advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Stick to the core of your novel and don’t go off tangents. I write about it in this article: https://www.writing.ie/resources/sticking-to-the-core-of-your-story-her-last-breath-by-tracy-buchanan/
What is the best part of being an author?
Creative freedom. Especially being a full-time author. The chance to express yourself through your writing and take a break from the writing to be inspired by beautiful fascinating things. For example, I just returned from a short research trip to a UK seaside town to explore some caves for my next novel, and it was amazing. It was ‘work’ and yet I got to drink wine, make notes and eat scones!
Get to know more about Tracy on her social media: