This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Tracy Bloom is the author of No-One Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday, which, this week, has raced to the top spot in the Amazon Kindle charts. Congratulations, Tracy!
It always starts with coffee…a lot of coffee. If I'm doing a first draft I like to go to a coffee shop first thing and sit with a notebook and pour everything I can into whatever chapter I'm writing. Cake helps…a lot of cake if I'm stuck. Then I go home and sit at my computer and mould all my ideas into the chapter. I find separating the idea generating process to the actual writing process much more productive. If I’ve had a good day I might reward myself with a run to burn off the cake. If it’s not gone well I might sulk for a while before I return to reality and go and pick the kids up!
When you are writing, do you use any famous people or people you know as inspiration?
When I wrote No-One Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday I was watching a lot of Gavin and Stacey the hit comedy written by Ruth Jones and James Corden. It completely raised the bar for me. It is full of bold, unique characters who create humour out of their everyday lives. Just like we all do. We always have the best laugh with our friends and family don’t we? I think the relationships in that show are depicted brilliantly and whenever I write my goal is to create something as well written and funny as Gavin & Stacey.
What is your favourite Women’s Fiction book of all time and why?
Despite the fact I love to write comedy my favourite book is We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver. I just think the way she gets inside the head of Kevin's mother is stunning. She is totally believable despite the fact she is going through an extra-ordinary experience. I also think her pacing and how she builds tension within a chapter is the best I've ever read.
What is your writing process? Do you plan first or dive in? How many drafts do you do?
First I try and nail down exactly what the book is about in maybe one or two sentences. I find that this keeps me really focussed. Then I write down every idea I can think of as to what might happen in the story on prompt cards. I then lay them on the floor and play around with them until the flow of the story emerges. I then draw this on a single sheet of paper like a flow chart and then I'm good to start writing once I've got my plan in place. I probably do 2-3 drafts before it gets to an editor. I really enjoy working with an editor since it’s great to have someone to talk to about something that has only existed in your head for so long.
What was your journey to being a published author?
I used to develop rollercoasters for the UK's leading theme parks until my cruel, heartless husband ripped me away from my dream job to live in America with a new baby and no mates. In a desperate attempt to avoid domestic duties and people who didn't understand my Derbyshire accent I started writing No-One Ever Has Sex On A Tuesday. It has now been published in 6 languages. It actually got published overseas before the UK, which was a strange and exciting experience. Google Translate doesn’t work very well when you are trying to understand reviews but apparently in Poland they think I'm hilarious!
What do you think is the biggest myth about being a novelist?
That you put a book out there and they will come….
What advice can you give to our readers who want to write a novel of their own?
Just do it. I had no qualifications to make me think I could ever be a published author but I did it anyway. Last year I went to Milan for book signing. So listen to me…. just do it!
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m about to start writing the sequel to my current book called No-One Ever Has Sex After A Baby. All the same characters will be making a welcome return as this book charts the impact of throwing the hand grenade that is a baby, into a relationship.