Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hi my name is Martin Tracey and I’m over 21 lol
Fiona: Where are you from?
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I grew up in Birmingham and my parents are also Brummies. My dad worked in Birmingham’s famous Jewellery Quarter. I was a bit of a dreamer at school but I had great fun there and still have friends from school to this day. I went to college where I spectacularly failed A Level music but came out with A level English and O level Drama. Again, I had a great time at those two years of college. I never went on to Uni. It was unheard of in my day for a working-class lad.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I have a couple of works in progress. The first I’d like to talk about is the small part I’m playing in Lavinia Urban’s Seven Deadly Sins series. Lavinia was a brave lady with the sweetest soul, unfortunately she passed away this year from a long battle with cancer. One of her unfinished goals was a book series based on the seven deadly sins, therefore myself and six other authors are creating the series in her honour. The story I’m writing is ‘Greed’. I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to work on this series and I hope Lavinia would have liked my story.
I’m also working on ‘Lunar’ which is the third book in my Judd Stone series. It explores past life regressions; The Lunar Society were a group of ground-breaking industrialists who met under the light of a full moon. That concept alone was enough to spark a story in me. The Lunar Society were a real society. Their members included James Watt, Matthew Boulton, Joseph Priestley and Josiah Wedgwood.
I am also co-hosting the Birmingham 2022 author and reader event at Birmingham’s prestigious Council House on 16 July 2022. It is going to be fun packed event for sure.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I represented my infant and junior school in two back to back story writing completions and won both! It was then that I knew that wasn’t too bad with words and creating stories. I’ve always had a creative imagination so writing has always been a natural outlet for my ideas.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I considered myself a songwriter when I was in bands throughout the late 80s and 1990s, but I considered myself a novelist when I published my first book Beneath the Floodlights
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Being a Wolves fan (the football team) I had an idea to write a book about werewolves taking over a football team. Football is one of my passions. But then I felt that vampires had more scope. It was based on that old adage ‘everyone has got one book inside them’. It just so happens I’m now on my fifth!
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The footballing vampires have more strength and ability when its dark – being akin to bats they are nocturnal and this concept was apparent in one of my all-time favourite moves ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’. So, I felt that ‘Beneath The Floodlights’ made an appropriate title.
The title of my book Mind Guerrilla, comes from one of my favourite John Lennon songs and Club 27is very much as it says on the tin. This second Judd Stone novel explores the conspiracy theories and phenomena around the 27 club, where all its famous members have died at the tender age of 27: Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Amy Winehouse to name just a few.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’m not sure of my style really, it just flows as it does so I think it’s for othersto decide if I have a style. The same with genre really. Although I have elements of crime, supernatural and music in my work I’m not convinced my books are genre-specific. Luckily, I don’t find anything in my writing too challenging – except names perhaps. I can agonise for hours over the name of a character because I never want to use the name of someone I know. Also, names can conjure up images in a reader’s mind so they have to be appropriate to the character you’re trying to portray.
Fiona: How much of the books are realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I mix fact with fiction and blur the lines so I think that provides an element of realism, although I do like to push the boundaries of reality especially when I bring in elements of the supernatural to my work. I suppose the musical elements are based on a knowledge base from my time in bands but I don’t consciously write about my life experiences or anyone I know. However, my book Things They’ll Never See, which is set in the Peak District, has a couple of exceptions. I once climbed Mount Brandon in Co. Kerry, Ireland. I kind of got stuck and I was going to stupidly risk climbing up steep and unstable grass verges as the wall I was following became no more. I would most likely have fell to my death. I retold this in the book but just swapped the mountain to the peak district. As I was about to embark on my dangerous quest a cloud literally appeared out of nowhere which prevented me foolishly moving on. When it cleared my friends had arrived from their alternative route and they helped me to safety. This became the same dilemma for the character Jake Zennor raising the question of divine intervention. Similarly, in the same story I created a bog which swallowed up one of the characters. This was inspired by a family holiday in the Peak District when my then young daughter sank in a bog up to her knees. When I yanked her to safety her wellies were left behind!
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
It’s kind of the other way around. I love to travel and the affinity I develop with the places I visit inspires me to include them in my books. For example, after visiting Amsterdam and Prague both now appear in my forthcoming novel Lunar. Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon appear in Club 27, inspired by two great holidays there.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Maria Lazarou from Obsessed by Books designed my cover for beneath the Floodlights, all the others were done by Ares Jun – he is great at translating my ideas into amazing covers.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novels that you want readers to grasp?
Maybe a couple. Trying to do the right thing is important, even if sometimes the execution can go a bit pear-shaped. The other is don’t accept that life, news, media etc is necessarily the way it’s portrayed. Keeping an open mind is important and don’t accept everything that we are being told.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favourite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I’m constantly inspired by new authors. The talent that remains relatively undiscovered is wide spread. I definitely have some favourite writers who have inspired me. I think Dan Brown’s fusion of fact, fiction and conspiracy theories to create such thought-provoking and fast-paced page-turners such as ‘Angels and Demons’ and ‘The Da-Vinci Code’ certainly gave me the confidence to do the same albeit my subject matter is different. An extremely intelligent Japanese author Haruki Murakami, who like me is a huge Beatles fan, also inspires me to try something a bit off the scale. I believe originality is very important for a writer and the joy of a reader. Before Brown and Murakami, my reading portfolio included Stephen King, James Herbert and Richard Laymon who certainly inspired the supernatural/horror elements of my writing.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My trusty old laptop!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do have a day job, which is quite demanding and carries a lot of responsibility but I enjoy it. At some point I would love writing to be my only career, but first and foremost you need to enjoy writing just for the love of it otherwise you’re on a hiding to nothing.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not a thing.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
My last published book is Club 27.This subject has fascinated me for a long time but once I started to explore it in more detail, I was surprised to learn just how many cases and members there actually is.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I think Tom Hardy would make a cool Judd Stone, but after seeing Brad Pitt in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood I think he could play him too. Either of them would have to master the Brummie accent.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
A genuine Thank you for reading my work. It is truly humbling when people can gain joy from reading something you’ve produced. I will always be grateful for anyone who reads my books.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Two biographies: Loving Amy by Janis Winehouse and Wham! George and Me by Andrew Ridgeley.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Noddy Comes to Toyland. Enid Blyton was a huge inspiration for me to read and write. She really knew how to capture the imagination of a young reader.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Banter with my mates makes me laugh. Cruelty to animals makes me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I’m very lucky to have met Pete Best the original Beatles drummer and Andrew Ridgeley very recently. I’ve also bumped in Robert Plant a few times at Molineux Stadium too. I wish I could have met both John Lennon and George Michael. I think Lennon in particular would have kept me fascinated for hours, he was so quick witted, intelligent and such a unique talent.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Watching football, listening to music (mainly the Beatles and Wham!/George Michael) and I’m a but of a film buff.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Peaky Blinders is a must watch and I’m glad it’s put Birmingham on the map. Line of Duty is written amazingly well. I like the 9 o clock dramas on TV but I also have to say I’m a bit of an Emmerdale fan too.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Being a Brummie I like my Indian curries – but more Pathia than Balti. My favourite colures are Gold and Black – which just happen to be the Wolves kit colours. I am a Beatles nut. I also like George Michael, the Bee Gees and The Doors.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d like to think I’d do charity work. I find helping others in turn helps you!
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Listening to my favourite Beatles songs.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
He was a good laugh.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Yes sure, my website is www.martintracey.co.uk – you can access my blog from there too although I really need to start blogging more often as you will see there hasn’t been a post for some time.
Also find me on Facebook and Twitter @MartinTracey1
Amazon Authors Page UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Martin-Tracey/e/B009ANTBWG/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1