Saturday, March 3, 2012

Author Spotlight- Martin Tracey

1. Please tell the readers a bit more about you.
Hi, my name is Martin Tracey and I am a native of Birmingham in the UK. I am married with two daughters. I am an animal lover and the Tracey family own two cats named Garfield and Guinness respectively and we also own a rescued Jack Russell dog named Ringo – his name highlighting my love of The Beatles.

My first taste of literary success was as a six year old when my school entered my story into a national story writing competition – the theme being road safety, and my story won first prize resulting in an early rendezvous with the Birmingham press. A couple of years later the school entered a second story into a separate national competition, this time the story needed to reflect the dangers of children playing on building sites. My story scooped top prize again.

Being proud of my working-class Birmingham roots and never wanting to forget where I have come from, I have always had aspirations to be a commercial success. My first love was music and I had a relatively successful career in music where my writing presented itself in the form of song writing before I eventually decided to knuckle down and devote time to the mighty task of creating novels. I have played in various bands on the Birmingham music scene achieving high points such as a live TV appearance and a string of radio interviews.   I am the songwriter and co-performer of Raging Bull which can be found on the album Old Gold Anthems – the songs of Wolves (available on Amazon and i Tunes)
 thus demonstrating my love for the football club Wolverhampton Wanderers. Another song Saturn Rising won a competition on BBC Radio resulting in the pop duo I was in at the time supporting the 80s’ outfit of the Fine Young Cannibals at Birmingham’s Alexander Theatre.
Due to my daughter’s acting activities I have inadvertently secured a part as a Zombie in a Zombie film – many kind friends commenting on how I am a natural for the part with not much stage make-up being required! The film comes out later this year.

2. What types of books do you write?
I am inspired primarily by three things -music, football and the supernatural and I try and weave or feature all three elements in my writing. I also tend to set my books in and around my home city or other English settings. I believe that my writing style possesses a certain edginess and honesty and although primarily writing about the paranormal I try to make my novels appear believable and aim for the reader to be able to connect with the horror that unfolds. Although I specialize predominantly in tales of chilling suspense, I feel that I am a versatile writer and would not necessarily wish to be restricted to one specific genre in the long term. I keep an open mind about tackling almost any subject providing there is a good tale to tell and I am comfortable writing about it.

3. Who's your main audience?
My books are suitable for an audience who are comfortable reading about mature themes for example Beneath the Floodlights is a realistic account of modern day footballers so swearing and scenes of a sexual nature are par for the course if the novel is to be a true reflection. I also want my novels to be scary.

4. When it comes to writing- what are your strong points? What are your weaknesses?
My strong points are my approach to making my story a page turner where the reader is so hooked that they don’t wish to put the book down. I aim to achieve this by writing primarily short chapters with each chapter ending on a cliff hanger as often as possible. I always want to try and portray interesting characters: in Beneath the Floodlights I have included an 80s loving footballer, a Chinese Kung Fu expert footballer, a vampire slaying football fan and a Transylvanian Football Manager/Master Vampire who is a Professor in both Football and Genetics. I also like to apply layers of subplots as I want to keep the reader interested. My weakness is my over critical nature of myself where I have perhaps an unnecessary tendency to constantly question my writing.

5. What do you think of this term- Writer's Block? How do you overcome it?
If I find myself in a pretty uninspiring zone I simply don’t write. I find if I try and force the writing it will undoubtedly lose its impact. My imagination is always at its most active of a morning so the majority of my writing is done on weekend mornings and the content is much more productive at this time of day.

6. How many books have you written?
I’m on my third book and I have umpteen ideas for more.

 7. How many are published?
Just the one at the moment, a vampire/football (soccer) novel called Beneath the Floodlights. It tells the story of a Birmingham football team being taken over by a nest of vampires. The book can be purchased by contacting me directly via my website (I can issue a PayPal invoice to overseas customers), from my publisher AuthorHouse or from Amazon including the Kindle version
 My first submission of a short story, a condensed version of my novel Divine Inspiration, was successful in being printed in Words magazine.

8. Are you self published or traditionally published?
At present I am self-published.

9. What's the hardest part of the writing process for you?
Without doubt finding the time to write. I need to juggle writing with my day job as a Performance and Analysis Manager as well as being a husband, a parent and enjoying some quality leisure time which I believe is necessary for the soul. And it has to be said that the self-marketing that I put in to promoting Beneath the Floodlights ironically prevents me from devoting time to simply writing. I’m sure all authors can identify with this.
10. What type of books do you enjoy reading?
I enjoy horror novels in the main but I also enjoy reading Biographies particularly if they feature The Beatles or John Lennon.

11. Who's your favorite Author?
There are so many good authors to choose from and just as I can listen and enjoy many different types of music I am also able to read and enjoy books from many different genres. However, to attempt to answer your question I would have to include Peter James and if I think about the type of authors who inspired me to write I have to mention the traditional horror writers like James Herbert, Stephen King and of course the very fine Richard Laymon. As a child Enid Blyton was a huge inspiration and encouraged me to become an early avid reader.

 12. What's your all time favorite book?
Again very difficult to answer but I’ll go for either Richard Laymon’s The Traveling Vampire Show or Peter James’ Looking Good Dead. Of the many Beatles books that I own I would choose John by Cynthia Lennon.

Martin Tracey

Barnes & Noble

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