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Tracy Buchanan Interview

Posted on 03 August 2014. © Copyright 2004-2023 WriteWords
A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
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WriteWords talks to new author Tracy Buchanan whose first novel, The Atlas of Us, was published by HarperCollins on 31 July 2014.

Tell us all about your writing background- what youíve written, what youíre

My novel THE ATLAS OF US is being published by HarperCollins and will be available in UK stores such as Waterstones, Tesco, Asda and more from 31st July and as an ebook from Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Atlas-Us-Tracy-Buchanan-ebook/dp/B00IC2WSMQ/ref=tmm_kin_title_0

Itís about a woman who uses the mementoes and photos she discovers in an atlas to find her mother after the 2004 tsunami. I'm currently putting the finishing touches to my next novel, a love story told via the worldís submerged forests.

Other work besides writing; ie. Editing, dramaturgy, tutoring, and how it works/worked for/against your own writing

Iím an online project producer for The Open University. Itís been a huge help, particularly when it comes to editing. Itís so easy to just write, write, write with no inner editor when youíre in the flow of getting your ideas down on paper. But as a producer, you have limited space for words so thatís really taught me how to edit all the fluff out.

How, when and why did you first start writing?

Iíve always adored writing and enjoyed doing it in many forms from when I was a child. But I started writing in earnest after struggling with infertility a few years ago. I needed something to distract my mind from the sadness in my life. It was a real lifesaver.

Who are your favourite writers/influences and why?

My favourite writer is Angela Carter. Her use of imagery is divine and I love the way she depicts intense, sometimes dangerous, relationships.

How did you get your first agent/ commission/publication? Can you tell us

I actually got my first agent with a young adult book I wrote. But after we parted ways, it was time to start all over again. After writing THE ATLAS OF US, I revised it like mad (this included hiring a professional editor from the Hilary Johnson Authorsí Advisory Service) then I queried a number of agents.

But I actually caught the attention of my now agent Caroline Hardman on Twitter after we had a chat on there about book titles. I had a nice chat with her and after she requested THE ATLAS OF US, she offered me representation.

I wanted to say yes, yes, yes. But several agents were still reading THE ATLAS OF US. So out of courtesy to them, I didnít. However, a few days later, despite phone calls with some very enthusiastic agents, I said yes to Caroline. Iíd known right from the start she was The One. I suppose itís like choosing a wedding dress. You just know.

You can find out more about her agency Hardman & Swainson at http://www.hardmanswainson.com/

What's the worst thing about writing?

Forgetting to eat!

And the best?

Disappearing into another world.

Tell us what kind of response you get from audiences/readers and if/how this

Iíve only just started getting reviews for THE ATLAS OF US (see https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18684631-the-atlas-of-us) but so far, the response is positive. I particularly love to read about emotional responses, one book blogger told me she was in floods of tears while reading THE ATLAS OF US! These kinds of responses definitely spur me on.

A longer version of this interview is available to WriteWords Full and Community Members.
Click here to learn more about becoming a member.

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