Tracey is an aspiring writer who flits between short stories and novels and writing for children and adults. She has been lucky enough to win several competitions, including last year’s Hysteria short story category, but still struggles to think of herself as a ‘proper’ writer. She is a member of Exeter Writers.
What is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?
That I have two llamas in my back garden. We got them a few years ago with grand plans of trekking with them, but they have become pets now – albeit large ones! They are lovely creatures and very curious.
Are the names of your characters important to you?
Names are really important – they have to fit the character. I tend to quickly think of a ‘working’ name and then change it as I get to know the character better. Certain names are linked, for good or bad, with people I’ve known and can’t be separated from them so there is a whole list I’ll probably never use – except perhaps for a bit of revenge!
Have you ever wished that you could be or do anything else instead
of writing, and if so what?
Actually, I wish all I had to do was write! I still work and struggle to find the motivation to write at times. I have a lovely image of my perfect writing day which is no doubt very unrealistic. But there are lots of other things I wish I had done – archaeologist is probably top of the list.
Do you think there is any elitism attached to the different genres
of books, both in the fiction and non-fiction worlds?
Unfortunately yes. I read widely but I have a particular fondness for science-fiction and fantasy and l think there is still an element that looks down on this kind of writing. I think the test is whether you want to read on. If you can’t wait to get back to a book then it’s a success no matter what the genre.
Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?
Don’t be scared of the first draft no matter how awful it seems – you can’t improve on a blank page. Try to send as much work out as you can – then you’re not relying on just one competition result or reply from an editor. Just because a piece of work isn’t successful in one place doesn’t mean it isn’t any good. I’ve gone on to win competitions with stories that have not been placed elsewhere – if you really believe in the story then keep going with it. And read, read, read.
Finding Tracey Glasspool