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Tracey M. Carvill: Same Interview, The First Year

Taking inspiration from Vanity Fair's recurrent interviews with Billie Eilish, we're giving our authors the same questions once a year to see how their answers change.

How many books have you written?

I’ve been writing since I was a child so I’ve got loads of stories in the bank as it were, but the one Smashbear are publishing this October will be my first officially published novel!

What genre(s) do you write in?

Horror and dark fantasy. Most of what I write has at least a slightly supernatural edge to it, some more than others, but it’s always scary. I love scary stories!

Where does your inspiration come from?

Just from the everyday. It might be a song title or the name of a street, something that happens to me or that I witness, a piece of art, something on the news. Whatever it is, it sparks an idea in my head of ‘what if this were to happen?’ and I start to string a story together in my head. When this happens I note the ideas down and if I keep thinking about it, I know I’ve got a story.

How many followers do you have?

I’ve only just set up my author social media pages, but so far I have 55 followers on Facebook, 26 on Twitter and 59 on Instagram. I’m looking forward to seeing those grow!

What’s your advice to future writers?

Stephen King is a big influence for me, and his advice is something I have taken to heart and would pass on to other writers: try to write every day, even if it’s only a little; don’t feel like you have to get it perfect right away, concentrate on getting the story down first; don’t let rejections from publishers put you off; and be sure to read lots of books as well as write.

If you were a creature from one of your books, what would it be and why?

As a pagan in real life, I would probably be a forest witch. I love the outdoors and I think I’d be quite comfortable living in an isolated woodland cottage with my cat, with everything made of wood and clay, tending my garden and casting spells! However I would have to insist on having my laptop and a good broadband connection!

What are you currently reading at the moment?

I’m currently finishing off a true crime book about the Manson Family –the scariest stories are usually the true ones. It’s fascinating and terrifying how one man managed to get so deeply into the heads of those around him that he could manipulate them into doing such terrible things. However after that I’m taking a break from horror to check out Jenna Weatherwax’s The Promise of Lightning, and I’m really looking forward to it!

Has publishing changed your writing process?

A little. While I was really only writing for myself I was approaching it like any hobby, picking up projects and putting them down for other ideas when it suited me. I have half a dozen stories on the go at any one time! But since my first book got picked up by Smashbear I’ve been motivated to sit and work through stories one at a time. It’s easier to finish them now I’ve had that first bit of encouragement that someone might want to publish them. I do anticipate the editing and publishing process changing how I write even more, as the feedback I have had from editors has been so helpful and has really made me think about my work. All that good advice will be in my mind in the future and will hopefully help me become a better writer.

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