I’m thrilled to have Joanne Tracey as a guest on A Day in the Life of a Writer this month. Jo is an Australian indie author of chick-lit and contemporary women’s fiction and has been a huge inspiration and mentor to me along my writing journey. Jo is a fantastic story-teller with her books combining a fun, drama, great settings, and characters that you just can’t but invest your emotions in. Along with writing, Jo also holds a part-time job, loves to travel, and she in an astrologist. I’m not sure how she fits it all in, so let’s find out.
A Day in the Life of Jo Tracey
I have a corporate day job that I work in 4 days a week. I am, however, fortunate in that I work remotely back to Sydney from my home on the Sunshine Coast.
At present my latest novel – Happy Ever After – is off being copy edited. It will be published in October 2018.
While I’m waiting for the edit to come back I’m busy drafting the 2nd book in my Careful What You Wish For series. The first book in this series – I Want You Back – will be published in December 2018 with books 2 and 3 (so far untitled) to follow in 2019. I’m also working on an ebook of the recipes I’ve used in Wish You Were Here and Happy Ever After. I’m planning to use this as a promo for newsletter subscribers.
5.30am The alarm goes off and it’s cold and dark. The first of the kookaburras is doing the laughing thing it does every morning at first light.
I spend 20 minutes or so doing a brain dump into my journal. It’s sort of like morning pages, but also sort of not.
5.55am Nudge husband awake.
6am Hop in the car for the drive down to the beach. Each weekday morning hubby and I walk the coast path along Mooloolaba Beach – it’s 5kms return and it’s the best possible way to start the day. There’s a group of swimmers who gather under the lifesaver tower at 6.30 every morning – in all weather. The average age would be 60 and they all seem so healthy and vital. Vitamin Sea, I suspect.
7.15am Coffee and a quick flick through Instagram while looking out at the ocean.
8am While I’m in the shower hubby puts together some food for Ms 20. She has to go straight to Uni after work and won’t be home tonight until 8. She went to see Mamma Mia Here We Go Again last night so I’m inspired to sing while I’m eating brekky. She reminds me that it’s early and not only should I never sing, I also shouldn’t be talking to her yet and expecting a response. Noted. She’s gone by 8.15am.
8.30am. Call for Adventure Spaniel – whose job it is to lie beside me and snore all day – and walk up the 6 stairs to my home office to start the day job. I have 3 teleconferences booked in this morning and some policy documents to be pressing on with. While I work I listen to Richard Fidler’s Conversations and “The Secret World of Mercenaries” episode.
12pm Break for lunch. Today it’s ham and lentil soup from the batch hubby made up the other day. I’m in drafting mode at present so take the opportunity to do some research while I’m eating.
1pm Back up the stairs with the dog and back to work.
I’m drafting this week’s corporate newsletter and while I’m searching for the perfect background shot for this week’s quote I also spend a couple of minutes looking for images and ideas that I can send to my cover designer for Happy Ever After. This novel is more contemporary women’s fiction than chick lit and also has a more mature protagonist so needs a cover to match. As an aside, if my boss asks, I really did spend just a couple of minutes looking at images…honest.
5pm Log off the work laptop. I take Adventure Spaniel for a walk around the block as a reward for a good day’s snoring. We hear a catbird in the trees in the rainforest near our house. It has a distinctive cry – like a baby.
5.30pm I pour myself a glass of wine and sit back at my desk to knock some words out. When I’m in drafting mode I set a target of 1500 words a day. It means that I can usually have a first draft done and tidied up in 3 months.
6.30pm Hubby cooks during the week (he’s retired) and while he faffs about in the kitchen we talk and I draft a blog post about my cover conundrum.
7pm Dinner. Tonight it’s a pasta bake that Ms 20 can heat up when she gets home.
7.30pm Watch last night’s Masterchef. We never watch it live – this way we can fast forward through the ads and also through George’s painful tweezer scenes.
8.15pm Ms 20 is home. She tells me again not to sing Abba. Ever.
8.45pm In bed with my laptop to get some more words written. Adventure Spaniel comes with me for a little while but then remembers that she hasn’t been fed so goes back downstairs to find someone to rectify that issue. Immediately.
10pm Laptop away. I read for a half hour or so to bring my brain back into a different place before I turn the light out.
Jo’s favourite thing about writing
I love starting something new. What’s really exciting is the possibility that the image, place, song or sentence that inspired me can become a story. It’s also a way for me to explore and talk about things that are important to me at that point in time. I write in first person and my characters truly do live in my head for as long as I’m writing them – or thinking about writing them.
I also enjoy the structural editing stage – it can be hard work, but it’s also when you really see the story emerging.
Joanne Tracey is a Sunshine Coast based author, project manager and astrologer.
When not writing, Jo can be found posting way too many photos of sunrises and food on Instagram. Her fourth novel Happy Ever After will be published in October 2018.
Her previous books:
are available on iTunes and Amazon
Don’t forget you can catch up on all the authors featured in A Day in the Life of a Writer here