My guest today is Tracy Buchanan, author of The Atlas of Us, No Turning Back and the number one bestseller, My Sister’s Secret. My Sister’s Secret was one of the top ten bestselling books of 2015 and has been published in the US, Denmark, Italy, Hungary and Germany and My Weekly said it was ‘both heartbreaking and uplifting’.
We talk about the pressure of writing under contract, plotting using an Excel spreadsheet, Tracy’s writing routine and the opportunities for authors in this new publishing landscape.
In a quick intro (I’m very tired!), I give a happy and grateful update on the successful launch of Stop Worrying: Start Writing. It hit number one in the creativity chart and got to hang out with Stephen King in ‘authorship’. Meep!
I have also been bowled-over by the wonderful feedback and reviews (phew!). Here’s a small extract from one of the Amazon reviews:
‘The best book on writing and productivity I’ve read in years. Sarah tackles the fear we all feel when it comes to our writing in such an honest way that I was left feeling like here was someone who really understood…This book, was refreshing because it deals with the things most writers truly face, and more than that it really offers actionable steps to help see you through the other side.’
Dominique Valente, Amazon Reviewer
Next month, I’m planning a ‘just me’ episode so that I can give proper attention to some of the wonderful listener questions I have received.
I’ll answer it on the show and credit you (unless, of course, you ask to remain anonymous).
In the interview:
On Tracy’s writing process:
‘In the past I would just be very dreamy and just start writing it and let it lead me… but I have to be a lot more disciplined now.’
On writing the Atlas of Us:
‘It was a really cathartic, wonderful experience and it helped me with all the infertility stuff I was going through.’
On getting started:
‘Write a novel that you want to read.’
‘First drafts can be rubbish, just write and enjoy it.’
On her routine:
‘I need to get the boring stuff out of the way first… That usually takes a couple of hours and then I start writing.’
‘I don’t really have a daily word count. My aim is to write as much as I can as quickly as I can.’
‘I really find walking helps me unblock plot issues.’
‘I’m trying to do things like go to the cinema and see that as work or go to a museum to get inspiration, but I’m being really rubbish at that!’
Listening to podcasts like this one!
‘Listening to other writers and hearing what they are going through feels like a support network, it really helps because you don’t feel like such an alien and so weird.’
Writer’s retreats such as The Urban Writers’ Retreat
Thanks for listening!
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