Back Catalogue Books is my new regular Saturday feature, focusing on books that are not the latest releases. There is going to be a mix of Q&As and also reviews, depending on what I have the space for.
If you are an author wanting to take part in Back Catalogue Books then please do email on gilbster at gmail dot com and I'll whizz the questions over to you.
I hope everyone enjoys this weekly look back at some of the slightly older books that are about but still great, and that I eventually make a dent in my TBRs as a result of it!
So without further ado, my first guest on Back Catalogue books is:
Tracey Sinclair is an author and freelance editor and author. She has written for numerous publications in print and online, and her short stories have been included in a number of anthologies, been performed on the radio, and won several awards. She is also a performed playwright, and a theatre reviewer for Exeunt and The Stage. She has written 8 books (5 novels and 3 collections of short stories).
1) Please tell me about your first book, and what started you writing in the first place
I know it’s a cliché but I’ve written stories as long as I remember. I got my first ‘paid for’ story published in a magazine when I was 17 and just kept going from there. My first novel, Doll, was published back in 2005, and is best described as contemporary fiction – it’s a dark, twisted romance about how messed up families are.
2) How many books have you written and what are they?
I’ve written 5 novels and 3 collections of short stories – Doll was my first novel, published by the small press publisher Kennedy and Boyd, who also published my first short story collection, No Love is This. Then I decided, because I was working so much in digital media, I wanted to try indie publishing, and started the Dark Dates series, which has now extended into 3 novels (Dark Dates, Wolf Night, Angel Falls and 2 collections of short stories – A Vampire in Edinburgh and Other Stories, and A Vampire in New York and Other Stories). I also wrote a rom-com, The Bridesmaid Blues.
3) Which book are you most proud of writing?
I’m proud of them all, as they all represent different things, and me trying new things or taking risks in different directions. They’re my babies!
4) Which book was your favourite to write?
The Dark Dates books, without a doubt. I only started writing them as a bit of an exercise – I’d written a short story for a friend about a vampire dating agency, but the idea stuck with me, and at the time the world was going crazy over Twilight and I wanted to write something that could embrace the genre – which I love – but not have such a wimpy heroine, and be savvy and funny. And they just turned into such fun to write, I love them – I get to think up lots of jokes and outrageous scenarios, and use settings around London that I know well.
5) Who are your favourite characters from your books and why?
I love the Dark Dates crew – Laclos and Cain are both hot and exciting to write (is it sad to fancy your own characters? I don’t care!), and I enjoy writing the girls, too, especially Cass, who gets to be snarky and sarcastic and has a lot of me in her, so is easy to write – though I do wish I had her talent for comebacks in real life (not to mention the aforementioned hot guys). I also have a fondness for Luce from The Bridesmaid Blues – again based on me, a little bit, she’s well-meaning and funny but a bit of an emotional and romantic car crash, so I can’t help being fond of her.
6) If you could go back and change anything from any of your books, what would it be, and why?
I’d change the cover to Doll – it was a good idea but didn’t work in execution. I’d probably spend more time editing but that might be just because you never think your books are truly finished!
7) Which of your covers if your favourite and why?
My favourite is actually my current book, Angel Falls – I love that feather! But I also love Bridesmaid Blues, as I think it captures the novel well and I wanted to avoid the usual chick lit cartoony cover. (I work with the same designer, Caroline Goldsmith of Goldsmith Publishing Consultancy, on all my recent books, and I like what she does). I also liked the razor blade in the heart image on the front of No Love is This, which was done by Jo Gurney of Stella My Star.
8) Have you ever thought about changing genres, if so what else would you like to write?
As you can see, I have done! I’d like to try proper science fiction next, and crime/thriller. I have a few ideas kicking around…
9) Looking forward can you let us know what you are working on next?
I’m working on the next Dark Dates book, and have a couple of other projects in the works but they are at an early stage.
10) I dare not ask for a favourite author, but is there any author’s back catalogue you admire and why?
For consistency and quality, John Connolly, Terry Pratchett, Pat Barker, Jim Butcher, Dennis Lehane, A L Kennedy and Ian Rankin. Too many to list. I also quite admire people who just wrote one or two exquisite novels then packed it in…
11) Finally, is there anything else you would like to say about your back catalogue of books?
Other than give them a try? I try to subvert the genre a little – I often get people saying to me, ‘I never read vampire books, but I loved yours!’ – so that there’s lots to like if you’re a fan of the genre, but they can appeal even if you’re not. For instance, Bridesmaid Blues is a little more down to earth than your usual romcom (it’s set in Newcastle, for a start!), and Dark Dates both embraces the urban fantasy genre but pokes fun at some of the tropes that have become clichés (my inspiration for the style of writing was shows like Buffy and Supernatural, which tend to be very self-aware). So give ‘em a go!
Thank you so much Tracey Sinclair for this great interview, and for kicking off my latest feature.
About Tracey SinclairTracey Sinclair is an author and freelance editor and writer. Her books include the romcom The Bridesmaid Blues and the Dark Dates/Cassandra Bick series. Her latest book, Angel Falls, is out now.
The Bridesmaid Blues: