Oh the places one will go to write a number one bestseller. Tracy Bloom reveals all.
Every writer has a unique story about how they came to be published. Some lucky ones take a direct route, whereas the majority embark on a complicated trip that will often take them to places and people they never envisaged would be part of their journey. Here are some key locations that have proved significant as I navigated my way on this tricky path.
It took moving country to provide the trigger for me to sit down and actually start writing that book I always said I would. Two weeks after I gave birth to our first child my husband announced he’d been offered a temporary contract in America. After a lot of hormonal tears we flew over the Atlantic and in a desperate attempt to ignore the upheaval I enrolled into an creative writing evening class and began to write No-one Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday. America proved to be a great place to start my new career. Their belief in the “American Dream” really makes them stand by the fact that anyone can succeed at anything if they really want to. It rubbed off on me and banished any doubts I had that I was capable of writing an entire novel.
Midland Mainline train from Derby to London
When we moved back to England this was where I did most of my dreaming as I travelled backwards and forwards from my hometown to the UK’s home of publishing. Trips to visit agents, conferences and bookfairs were all made in the hope that this would be the meeting that would make the difference. As I gazed through the train window I envisaged my bestselling novel on the shelves. I secretly prayed that a fellow passenger would ask me the nature of my trip every time as announcing that I was visiting my agent always felt so glamorous … no-one ever did!
In the early days of my quest to be published, my book got snapped up by a few foreign publishers but failed to attract the attention of anyone in the UK. Thinking I might never get to see my book in a bookshop I went to Italy when it launched there. Picking my book up for the first time was amazing and surreal given I couldn’t read a word of it! I did get a glorious dinner with my Italian publisher however where I felt very grown-up and accomplished. Actually I was just happy as a new mum not to be sitting in a restaurant with chicken nuggets on the menu.
When I finally decided to self-publish No-one Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday I never thought the highs of being a writer would be experienced via the web. It’s been amazing discovering supporters of my writing via reviews and book bloggers. Waking up in the middle of the night to check my chart position and finding my novel at No. 1 in the Amazon Kindle chart has to be the biggest high of all.
Penguin Random House HQ, London
Walking through the doors of Random House following three years of trying to get published was a big moment. My son’s advice had been to do three forward rolls to impress the people I was meeting. I was relieved to find the office we sat in was too small for such tactics and so I just relayed to them my writing journey with all its ups and downs. They signed me up so I find myself in yet another new place. Next stop … the bookshops of the UK to finally see No-one Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday on the shelves.
Childhood sweethearts Matthew and Katy agree they must never see each other again after they end up in bed together following a school re-union. So all is forgotten… until eight months later when a shock meeting at an antenatal class forces them to confront the fact that Matthew could be the father of Katy’s baby. Oblivious to the mayhem unfolding, Matthew’s highly strung wife frets over giving birth to twins and Katy’s much younger boyfriend refuses to take fatherhood seriously. Love and life are messy, but Katy and Matthew take things to a whole new level as deep emotions begin to resurface and hormones run riot. Never has a one-night-stand led to such chaos!
Tracy Bloom started writing when her cruel, heartless husband ripped her away from her dream job shopping for rollercoasters for the UK’s leading theme parks, to live in America with a brand-new baby and no mates. In a cunning plan to avoid domestic duties and people who didn’t understand her Derbyshire accent, she wrote No-One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday, partly inspired by the incredible people and stories she came across at her own antenatal classes. It went on to be a #1 bestseller on Amazon’s Kindle chart and successfully published internationally so now she is chuffed to bits to have a new dream job, making people laugh and sometimes cry through her writing. Tracy is back in good old England now and is cracking on with writing about other people who screw up their lives in a hilarious fashion, including a sequel No-One Ever Has Sex after a Baby.