Sunday, August 19, 2012

Authors Interview: Tracey Sinclair

Reviewer Extraordinaire

would like to welcome Author, Tracey Sinclair for joining us today.

Tracey Sinclair works as freelance copywriter, editor and legal directories consultant. She also has a mixed career that includes writing factsheets for small businesses, creating web content for law firms, and subtitling film and TV. A dedicated blogger, she regularly writes for online theatre site Exeunt and science fiction site Unleash the Fanboy and her blog Body of a Geek Goddess was shortlisted in the Cosmopolitan Blogger Awards 2011. Her work has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies and her short play Bystanders was premiered in 2011 as part of the CP Players New Writing Season at Baron’s Court Theatre, London. She has published two small press books (Doll and No Love is This, both Kennedy & Boyd) and is now entering in the digital self-publishing world with her newest release, urban fantasy novel, Dark Dates.

Welcome Tracey thank you for joining us.

Shall we begin?

Q. To date you have 3 books published, Doll (2005), No Love Is This (2006) and your newest release Dark Dates (2012). There was quiet a gap between the first two and Dark Dates. What was it about Dark Dates that brought you back to writing?

Well, it was a combination of things, really: I changed jobs and took on a role that was incredibly time consuming so my writing had to take a back seat for a few years. I realized after a while though how much I missed it and how important it was to me, so started carving out more time to focus on writing – and eventually changed careers completely! In the meantime I wrote a short story about a vampire dating agency and had a bit of a light bulb moment when I realized how much fun I could have with the idea – then once I started writing, I fell in love with it and felt it just had to be a novel.

Q. Dark Dates is the first book in The Cassandra Bick Chronicles Series. Can you tell us what made decide to launch a series?

It was mainly just because the way the story unfolded led itself naturally to a sequel, and by then I was enjoying writing about the characters so much I didn’t want to stop!

Q. I hear you spent some time in Scotland? Can you tell a bit about that trip and how it inspired the one of your characters, Katie, in Dark Dates?

I actually lived in Glasgow, Scotland for a long time, and many of my friends are from there, and I really love the people: Scots tend to be very warm, loyal and honest but also very down to earth, no-nonsense, with a dry and cynical sense of humour that can be quite sharp and prickly. Katie is in that way very typically Scottish: nothing fazes her, she’s very practical but she also has quite a deadpan sense of humour – and I like how of all the characters, she’s the one most likely to call out Cain for the way he tries to boss people around. She’s actually based on a combination of a couple of women who I know – one of whom is actually a nurse, so if I had any practical questions I could ask her
about the job!

Glasgow Scotland / Kelvin Brige

Q. How sexual does Dark Dates get? Don’t be shy –

There’s certainly a lot of sex (and sexual tension) in the book because I wanted to make Cassandra a modern, independent woman with a modern attitude to sex: she’s not a swooning virgin. The basis of her relationship with Cain is that they have smoking hot sexual chemistry, and so they have an awful lot of sex, even when both of them know that’s not the most sensible thing to be thinking about! Then along comes Laclos and he’s incredibly sexy and flirtatious – and clearly attracted to both Cassandra and Cain, although in very different ways – and she finds herself a little thrown by how complicated her life is suddenly. I don’t think the book is particularly explicit, as I quite enjoy leaving things to the reader’s imagination. That said I’m writing the sequel at the moment and that certainly ramps the sex up a lot, so you can consider this as whetting your appetite for things to come – so to speak…!

I’m sure the readers wouldn’t mind, if you wanted share a hot scene from Dark Dates.


There was a moment that stretched out slightly too long. Clearly – hopefully – we weren’t going to shoot, but the problem with two people pointing guns at one another is no one wants to be the first to put the weapon down. Then Cain took another step forward and raised his hands in a gesture of conciliation, as if to show he was only holding a gun because I’d pulled first, and his instinct was to respond in kind. Having done that, he slowly lowered his gun down onto the dresser behind him: it made a reassuring click on the wooden surface, the click of a situation diffused and danger averted. Except it was a lie, because Cain didn’t need a weapon to be dangerous.
"You do know that if I actually wanted to hurt you, the gun wouldn’t stop me, right?" he asked, more in conversation than threat.
"You want me to pull the trigger on this thing and test that theory?"
Except we both knew that he was right, and only my innate stubbornness kept the weapon in my hands. Whatever else I felt around Cain – whatever scrambling job he did on both my Sense and senses (including, clearly, my common sense) – I knew just how dangerous he could be. He smiled at me – a slow, lazy predator’s smile that flashed me back to the mysterious vampire, and made me flush at the memory. He looked completely unbothered by the situation, as if women in bed pointing firearms at him were all part of a regular day for him. Being Cain, maybe it was.
"Are you going to put the gun down?"
"Are you scared I might shoot you?"
In answer, he kicked off his shoes, then shrugged off his jacket, and pulled off his t-shirt, dropping it soundlessly onto the floor. Part of me was outraged at the staggering presumption of it, the casual arrogance. But my mouth had gone dry at the sight of him: at the lean, tanned torso, the genuine muscle of a life of action, not the vanity of a gym regime. He unfastened the thick leather belt he wore and pulled it loose of his jeans, the leather slither against the denim almost folding me in lust. He tossed it beside his abandoned clothes, and smiled at me, quite aware of the effect he was having.
"I’m worried you might tighten your finger on the trigger by accident. Muscles can be unpredictable when you’re nervous. Or excited."
His voice had lowered and it reverberated through my blood. I struggled to keep my own voice level, but my heart was pounding. I tore my eyes away from that ridiculously sculpted torso but his face offered me no relief, carved by the same steady artist that had made the rest of him: all strong lines and animal magnetism.
"Nothing’s excited me so far," I lied, and he chuckled, leaning down on the bed, ignoring the gun that was now squarely – if somewhat unsteadily – pointed at his chest, and which was capable, if I wanted, of putting a fist sized hole in that muscle, no matter how impressive it was. Slowly, deliberately, he crawled on his hands and knees across the bed towards me, his eyes, darkening with desire, never leaving mine. He stopped, an inch away from me. At this range, I could kill him. At this range, he could kiss me.
In one smooth movement his mouth took mine and his fingers closed over my hand, steering the gun away from him and taking it from my suddenly weakened grip and placing it, useless, on the bedside table beside me.
"So, Cassandra…" he pulled back from me, smiling, his voice hoarse now. "Do you want me to hurt you?"
I didn’t, of course. I don’t roll that way and neither, to the best of my knowledge, does Cain. But he did make me scream a little.

 …Ok enough questions about Dark Dates. You succeeded in getting me all out of kilter now with that last question/excerpt. 

WAIT…is there a scene with all three of them?? NO! NO! NO! don’t tell me… (TELL ME)  NOOOOO!!!

If so I bet it would look something like this…

Alrighty then what’s say we start to get to know a bit about you. Ok?

Q. Your love of the theatre as well as sci-fi set you on a mission to see as many sci-fi stars on stage as you can. Can you tell us if you’ve seen any of the actors who played The Doctor in Doctor Who?

Haha, yes, I must admit I am a total geek, but also a huge fan of theatre, so a few years ago I decided to combine the two and, for my blog, try and see as many sci-fi stars on stage as I can. I’m really lucky in that London has some of the best theatre in the world, and as a reviewer I get to see an awful lot, so I’ve been pretty successful in my mission! My Doctor Who tally is very good – I’ve seen Paul McCann, Peter Davidson, Christopher Eccleston and – most exciting for me, as I just love him as an actor – David Tennant on stage, as well as seeing the Doctor’s companion Rose (Billie Piper). Now I just need Matt Smith to do some theatre…

Best Scene ever in the Dr. Who Series!!! Dr. Who (David Tennant) with Rose (Billie Piper) 

Q. A little birdie told me you are ridiculously addicted to notebooks. Can you tell us why? What are your friend reactions to this?

It’s true! I love notebooks – and I do all my first drafts in longhand so I get through a huge amount of them. My friends are great about it, actually – they mock me mercilessly but will often pick me up notebooks from their travels, so I have lovely notebooks from all over the world!

Q. How do you cope emotionally with reviewers who seemed to have missed the point of your story completely?

I think that negative reviews are always tough – the way I cope is to remind myself that no book, no matter how good, gets universal praise – but I do think there’s a particular frustration in reading a review where the reader seems to have taken exactly the opposite to what you were trying to say!

But really all you can do is accept it as their viewpoint and move on – and to be honest I’m grateful to anyone who takes the time to read and review it, even if they don’t like it. I’ve been lucky in that most of the reviews and feedback I have had so far have been overwhelmingly positive, so I console myself that the people who don’t like it are in the minority! I actually had to stop reading reviews for Dark Dates once I really got into writing the sequel, though, as the negative reviews make me go ‘No! Everyone hates it! Why bother?’ while the positive reviews make me go ‘No! They loved it – what if they hate the sequel?’ So I’m trying – though not always succeeding – to ignore what people are saying now!

Q. How do you decide on what qualities you give your hero? Your heroine?

In some ways the heroine was easy, as in part I was reacting against the kind of things I don’t like in books: weak, passive women who only exist to be rescued, who don’t seem to have positive relationships with other women, and who are entirely focused on romance. I wanted to make Cass a woman you could imagine cracking open a bottle of wine with and having a great night out and who, though she doesn’t have a lot of female friends at the start of the book – for reasons that are explained in the story - develops strong relationships with the other female characters as the book progresses. She’s also a woman who runs her own business, and is independent – and so although there are romantic entanglements and her relationship with Cain is central to the book (as well as the effect that Laclos has on that relationship) – she’s very much in charge of her own destiny and not just waiting for someone to choose to like her.

As for the heroes, that’s easy – I just wrote them in such a way that I found them attractive, and hoped other people would feel the same!

Q. How do you know when writing a scene that it has produces the desired or intended result, sexually and otherwise?

I think when you’re writing a love scene, if it doesn’t make you tingle a bit, you know it isn’t working! I must admit that occasionally I write something that brings a blush to my cheeks, but I know that’s a good thing! And lots of people have told me they found the book sexy, so hopefully I’m doing it right.

Q. Have you ever had one of those profound "AH-HA!" moments while you were writing? Would you be willing to share it?

I think for me, the ‘aha!’ moment is when the characters take on a life of their own and surprise me, when they take the story off in a direction I hadn’t quite anticipated. Before I start the first draft I go through a process of writing ‘character scenes’ – some of which end up in the book, some of which don’t, but which give me an insight into how the characters react and behave and interact, and once I have that sense of who they are, it clicks. That’s what makes it fun for me. Certainly in writing the sequel to Dark Dates the ending really took me by surprise, and that’s really exciting.

It would seem Sherlock Homes was surprised too!! (Actor Benedict Cumberbatch)

Q. Has there ever been a time when a scene you were writing became too emotional, and you had to step back?

Probably the only time that happened was with Doll – I was working up to writing a scene about the protagonist’s father leaving her mother, and my own relationship broke up at the time, so I basically wrote that break up into the story. It made for a better scene, I think, but it was tough to write at the time because the wound was so raw.

Wow, Tracey that was a brave and powerful moment you just shared.  But I bet a lot of readers who have already read Doll are going to see it in a whole new prespective now. And for those who haven't will also feel the same way. Thank you for sharing that.

I always like to end my interviews with a question just for fun. This is the one I choose for you Tracey.

Q. What would you do if you were a man for a week? (Time to get those writing genes pumping!!)

Oh, good question – but I don’t think my answer is very original! I think I would be very naughty indeed with as many people and different combinations of people as I could manage. Though if I could have someone else’s body for a week, I’d like it to be Laclos’ – I think being a supernaturally strong, sexually voracious and utterly irresistible bisexual vampire is probably the most fun anyone could ever have…

Love it, love it, and love it!!!!

Here's what I think Laclo's would look like, as he dines on a willing meal...

What Fun!! Thanks again for joining us Tracey and giving my readers a glimpse into Dark Dates to savor. Just enough to get their lips wet. What? Oh shame on you for thinking I meant that as a double innuendo. Why I simply meant if they wanted to, you know, whistle. You know how to whistle right? You simply put your lips together and - blow…

To find out more about Tracey Sinclair visit her blog at

UK link:

US link:





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