This evening I welcome author Tracy Sinclair to my blog to discuss A Life in Books.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I’m a freelance writer, author and editor, born and raised in Newcastle but now living by the sea in Brighton. I write across all genres and have written for magazines, websites, stage and screen!
What was your favourite book from childhood?
I read voraciously as a child so it would be hard to narrow it down to just one, but I did adore The Phantom Tollbooth. I was also obsessed with superhero comics, like The X-Men.
What type of books did you read as a teenager?
I never really had a sense of reading ‘age appropriate’ books, so I devoured pretty much everything I could get my hands on, though I particularly loved sci-fi (the Harry Harrison Stainless Steel Rat books were a favourite). The only ‘teenage’ books I remember reading were S E Hinton’s The Outsiders and That Was Then, This is Now, which I loved.
When you were at school what was your favourite book you studied?
I honestly can’t remember from school, but I did love Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad when I read it in college.
What is your favourite classic book?
A tie between several of Jane Austen’s (Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion), Ford Maddox Ford’s The Good Soldier, and Dangerous Liaisons by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos, which I liked so much I named one of the characters in Dark Dates after the author!
What would you consider to be one of the best books you have had over the last 5 years?
Gosh, that’s a tough one: I read a lot of books! This year I have been impressed with the thriller the Roanoke Girls, and last year my book of the year was Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You, which is exquisite.
What book to you think you should read but never get round to?
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt. It’s just so long…
What do you consider to be your favourite book?
Alongside the classics listed above: Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, and probably a handful of Terry Pratchett books. But too many to narrow down!
Is there a book that you have started but been unable to finish?
Oh, loads. Life is too short to read a book you’re not enjoying: I regularly DNF stuff that isn’t clicking with me unless someone whose opinion I respect has told me to stick with it. I’ve also abandoned plenty of classics because I was bored: Crime and Punishment and anything by Joyce, for starters!
If you were stranded on a desert Island which 2 books would you want to have with you?
The Guards and the Witches Discworld compilations (Terry Pratchett) as they are my go-to comfort reads.
Kindle or Book?
Depends on the circumstances. I download a ton of books onto Kindle and like the accessibility and ease (as well as the fact that sometimes cheaper downloads make me take a chance on a book or author I might not otherwise try) but I also love a paper book, especially a nice hardback or something with a lovely cover. Nothing beats browsing in a bookshop or second-hand bookstore and finding something unexpected. I hate snobbery around it, though: I find the whole Kindle-vs-paper argument tedious – they’re all books!
Tracey Sinclair is an author and freelance editor and writer. Her books include the romcom The Bridesmaid Blues and the Dark Dates/Cassandra Bick series, the latest of which, Angel Falls, is out now.