By AK Dale
MELBOURNE, Aus. – It was simply a case of being at the crossroads of life.
Tracie McBride, now an author, publisher, and co-founder of Dark Continents Publishing out of Australia had a decision to make about which way her life would go.
“When I left school I became a non-practicing writer, setting aside my creative impulses while I got on with the business of finding my way in the world,” McBride said. “I took up writing again in earnest when I was pregnant with my second child. Looking down the barrel of at least another five years out of the workforce, I decided to enroll in an online creative writing course. That was nine years ago. The learning curve was, and still is, steep, and challenging in an extremely good way.”
Mother of three children now between the ages of 7 and 13, McBride had evolved to becoming a publisher of Dark Continents, a small press specializing in dark, speculative fiction.
Not bad for a part-time teacher’s aide at a local primary school.
“I’m fortunate in that I don’t have to work full time; my husband is my patron,” McBride said. “I’m also fortunate to have three incredible children, but most of my time and energy goes into caring for my family. Writing gets whatever is left over.”
Writing may come naturally for some and McBride says she has been doing it since she herself was a wee one. Still, it doesn’t hurt to get a little training and practice to coincide with a person’s well of potential talent.
“I believe that all writers should be constantly honing their craft, so the process of learning never stops, nor should it be confined to a classroom,” she said. “I think you can learn to write competently, but great talent is largely inherent. But then, you could be potentially the most talented writer on the planet, but your potential will never be realized without first learning how to read and write.”
Her own development as a writer has opened many doors for McBride’s future and a gateway to get familiar with persons of a common background.
“Writing used to be all about the rush of opening an acceptance email or seeing my name in print, but these days I take more pleasure in the bigger picture of being involved in a virtual community of like-minded souls,” McBride said.
Then of course comes the pitfalls of the profession.
“On the flip side, I’m most frustrated by how long it takes to become an overnight success,” she said “Being a writer in the 21st century is at once exciting and frustrating, because the publishing industry is in such a state of flux. In years to come, we’ll be able to say, ‘We were part of the indie revolution.’”
Her road up the food chain has been one decorated with many contributions to the journey.
“I owe a lot to the members of every crit group to which I have ever belonged – there are too many individuals to list – for their time and attention and for never blowing smoke up my butt,” McBride said. “They remind me that there is always room for improvement, and also that judging the quality of a piece of writing is often a highly subjective exercise, which helps when you’re on the receiving end of a rejection email or an indifferent review.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION on TRACIE MCBRIDE and her WORKS,
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