Interview with debut YA author Tracy Buchanan

Calling all urban fantasy fans! My good chum and crit partner, Tracy Buchanan’s debut urban fantasy novel STERNENWANDLER will be published by Piper Verlag  in March 2011.

It’s going to be HUGE, so discover what all the buzz is about!

REDPEN: OK, first of all Tracy, please can you introduce yourself and tell my readers a little bit about yourself?

 TRACY: I’m a young adult writer who loves to weave stories about other-worldly things: shapeshifters, mythical creatures, ghosts and the craziest creatures of all: humans! Ever since leaving uni, I’ve worked in the glam world of PR (where I met Brad Pitt… and nearly fainted, no lie) and journalism (where I travelled the world as a travel magazine editor). I now live in Buckinghamshire with my hubby and cheeky Jack Russell Archie.

REDPEN: Your debut novel Sternenwandler (translated as ‘Star Shifter’) is due for publication in March 2011, in Germany. Can you tell us what the story is about?

TRACY: I’d be delighted to. Here goes: Sixteen-year-old Tori’s life takes a turn for the weird when she meets Cam, a (very hawt) boy with a genetic mutation that means he can morph into any person or animal he meets. When they start falling for each other, their relationship is tested as Tori contends with her parents’ abusive relationship and Cam struggles to control his abilities – there’s nothing like morphing into your girlfriend’s Dad to ruin the moment! Then events start spiralling out of control when Tori discovers her Dad captures people like Cam for a living.

REDPEN: What makes your novel unique?

TRACY: Yikes, tough question Bertie! I think what makes it unique is the way the issue of climate change is weaved into the book. This isn’t ‘just’ a paranormal romance that focuses solely on the love angle (though this plays a major part) – there’s something a bit deeper there too.

REDPEN: If you could shapeshift into any animal, what would it be?

TRACY: It would have to be a bird! I just love the idea of swooping through the air, wings brushing over the sea. However, there are downsides. One, my Jack Russell would probably try to eat me for breakfast and two, I’d have to eat worms. Yum!

REDPEN: Sternenwandler is your debut novel. Have you always wanted to be an author?

TRACY: I think every author says this but yeah, definitely. I was keeping scrap books when I was about seven of all the characters I wanted to write about. My mum would go to order something from her clothes catalogue and find I’d cut out some of the models! I strongly believe each person has something they are ‘meant’ to do and writing novels is what I’m supposed to do.

REDPEN: Which other authors inspire you?

TRACY: I’ve always been inspired by Angela Carter: her books just blew me away when I was a teenager: the characters, the strange mood they evoked, the other-worldly settings. I also love poetry and I think reading it can really help authors find their ‘voice’. So Elizabeth Jennings, Tony Harrison and Derek Mahon are faves. And, of course, the plethora of talented young adult / teen writers out there. I think Maggie Stiefvater and Becca Fitzpatrick write beautifully; I really believe Stephenie Meyer is a genius when it comes to drawing an intense love story; Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games) excels at plot and pace; Melissa Marr is amazing at creating gothic settings; and Melina Marchetta really blew me away with Jellicoe Road. I also read The Splendour Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore recently and loved the way she drew her main character. I could go on and on, there’s so many good writers out there!

REDPEN: Are you currently working on any new novels?

TRACY: Yes, I’m very excited about my current project and really hope it gets published one day! It’s a gothic romance aimed at teens about a very creepy English village bursting with secrets, a messed up girl desperate to escape her past and the very angry but strangely alluring dead soldier she falls in love with. I’ll leave it at that…

REDPEN:  Sternenwandler will initially be published in German, so do you have any sample chapters in English that UK readers can check out?

TRACY: Yes, go check out my website at and find the ‘Downloads’ section to read a sample chapter. Maybe one day it will come out in English too, fingers crossed! For any German readers, I have a German home page at and Piper Verlag, my publisher, may be publishing some content on their website at next year so keep an eye on that.

Thanks Tracy!

STERENWANDLER is due for publication in March 2011, and will be available in all good German bookstores. You can pre-order your copy today on Amazon.


  1. […] started a new blog with fellow authors Tracy Buchanan (author of the amaze-balls urban fantasy Sternenwandler – buy it now, seriously it’s fantastic), Angie ‘Knives’ Cranfield and Robyn […]

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