Tracy Fells is the author of Sleight of Hand. Tracy lives close to the South Downs in England. She’s won and been placed in numerous competitions for both fiction and drama. Her short fiction is published online and in anthologies. She was shortlisted for the 2014 Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize and runner-up in the 2013 HE Bates Short Story Prize. Currently Tracy is working on her first novel and enjoying an MA in Creative Writing at Chichester University.
Author Q & A
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this story?
I am fascinated, obsessed even, by how our minds can ‘bury’ memories, which only later become resurrected by specific triggers. This is a significant theme in my current wip novel (Ed: WIP = work-in-progress). Also my early childhood was shaped by the summer holidays spent with my grandparents and those happy memories were integral to writing this story.
When did you start writing?
I can remember the joy of having a story read out in class when six years old. It was about that time I declared I wanted to be a writer when I grew-up. This later deviated into International Show-Jumper, then Vet and finally back to writer again!
What’s your favourite book or short story?
Oh there are too many favourites to pick one. Can I just say I’m a huge fan of novelists David Mitchell, Rose Tremain, Penelope Lively and Kate Atkinson. For short stories I’ve just discovered Adam Marek and Robert Shearman. Again too many short stories spring to mind to just pick one.
What has been your biggest challenge as a writer?
Learning that both acceptance and rejection are cut from the same cloth. You have to train yourself to wear both with humility and good humour. Don’t wallow for too long in either (I may be mixing my metaphors here, sorry).
Are you currently working on a full-length novel and looking for a publisher?
I am currently collating together my first short story collection, which will contain award-winning short and flash fiction. Also I’m focused on completing the first draft of a novel: The Dormouse Disciples. This is a quirky literary novel where Redemption, friendship and the meaning of life bind together a misfit group of conservationists nicknamed the Dormouse Disciples. An extract from this novel was recently shortlisted in the 2014 Commonwealth Short Story Prize, which has been an enormous boost for me to now finish the novel. I am keen to work with a literary agent who is interested in representing me for both the short story collection and longer fiction.
What do you most enjoy about writing?
Being able to make stuff up. To daydream, read, watch TV/films etc and legitimately call it work.
Correction: This post originally credited the author as ‘Tracey Fells’ as opposed to the correct name of ‘Tracy Fells’.