Interview with Tracie Podger

When did you first start writing?
I first started writing as part of my therapy to overcome depression. I was encouraged to write a journal about my life and noticed a few events that I thought might make the basis of a good story. Although A Virtual Affair is complete, I could never bring myself to do anything about it, until now. After a rewrite and thorough edit, I intend to publish it in 2014.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Fallen Angel centres around an ordinary suburban woman on holiday in Washington, DC. She meets an extraordinary man who asks her one question, to forgive him his past. It's a story of love, a strong woman caught up in a lifestyle she has only ever seen at the movies and how she deals with it.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have a full time job, a husband and being an indie author allows me to work at my own pace without the pressure of deadlines. I like to write books that cross over genre, this can make it harder for agents to place so being indie also gives me the freedom to write what I like.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Either working or scuba diving! I still have a full time job, I have to pay the mortgage after all, but, to be underwater is the most wonderful thing. I have been fortunate to have dived some of the most wonderful oceans of the world. 70% of the world is covered in water, I find it strange that people don't want to come and see what I do.
What is your writing process?
I'm not entirely sure I have a fixed process. Fallen Angel came about after a series of dreams. I started to write the dreams down, more just to get them out of my head and after a while I had filled a notebook. I started to expand on these notes, scoured the internet doing research and then just sat at the laptop and let the words come out. When it came to other books in the Fallen Angel series I decided to be a little more structured, I would write notes on each chapter but found this stifled me. Freestyle writing works for me, I just let my imagination run, let the characters tell the story and see what happens when I get to the end.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Wind in the Willows. I went to see the play with my granddad, I must have been no more than 5 years old at the time. My love of theatre started then. I loved the story so much I made my mum take me to the bookstore and buy me a copy. I have always loved to read but for some reason, this book brings back such lovely memories of sitting in that dark theatre with my beloved granddad, eating penny sweets. I doubt this is the first book I read, but the one that sticks in my mind the most.
How do you approach cover design?
Leave it to the experts! I have a good idea of what I want to see but need the imput of a professional to make my ideas come to life.
What do you read for pleasure?
Lots of different genres! I love to read, sometimes a book a day if I have the chance. I like to support indie authors and will read anything from fantasy to biography. Although way too old, I'm quite into YA at the moment.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have both an iPad and Kindle - I was against e-readers for a while, there's nothing I love more than to hold a paperback in my hands but travelling with diving equipment on tight luggage restrictions meant an e-reader was lighter to carry than a stack of books.
Describe your desk
Messy! Well, I say messy, I guess it's a controlled mess. I know where everything is and it's a no go area for hubby.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in South East London, a small terraced house with an outside toilet and tin bath in front of a coal fire! I had the best childhood though. In those days, kids had a lot more freedom, I left the house in the morning, returned when the sun set, grubby and full of tales of what I had done. Having that freedom to play, allows the imagination to develop.
Published 2013-12-11.
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