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Sunday, September 23, 2018

What Makes My Heart Beat Faster by Tracy Corbett - Guest Post & Giveaway

About Tracy Corbett

Tracy grew up in Berkshire as part of a large and noisy family. She now lives in a small village in Surrey with her motorbike-loving partner and works part-time for Citizens Advice. She’s worked for the charity for seventeen years in various different roles, including advising prisoners and representing clients in the County Court. She works with an amazing group of volunteers, who give up their time freely to help their community. She also finds it a great avenue for ‘people-watching’, something that as a writer, provides endless inspiration for character development and story ideas.

Away from work, Tracy has been actively involved in amateur dramatics since the age of eleven. She’s acted in many productions, written sketches and directed shows. Her first role was in Aladdin. She played a jewel in the genie’s cave and was told to ‘stand there and sparkle’ – not exactly taxing stuff. While most teenagers spent their free time obsessing with fashion, make-up, pop music and boys, Tracy would often be found prancing around the stage pretending to be Miss Muffet, Bessie the Milkmaid, and her personal favourite, Aurora the Goose. Adulthood brought with it more serious roles, such as Nora in The Dolls House and Maggie in Hobson’s Choice. She’s also played Viola in Twelfth Night and Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her favourite role was Geraldine Granger in The Vicar of Dibley.

Tracy started writing in her late twenties, song lyrics, sketches for pantomimes, before attempting her first novel. Several re-writes and numerous writing courses later, she had her first near miss at getting published. Over the years she’s written numerous short stories, a number of which have been published in My Weekly magazine. She’s also been short-listed for several writing competitions, and won 1st prize in the Southern Daily Echo Feature Article competition before finally being published in 2017 with her debut novel The Forget-Me-Not Flower Shop.

Tracy describes her writing style as modern tales of romance, with engaging quirky characters, who overcome adversity, grow as people, and conclude in a satisfying optimistic ending. Her influences include authors Harlan Coben and Jenny Cruise.

Tracy’s ambition is to continue writing novels and making a fool of herself on stage.


Books by Tracy Corbett
What makes my heart beat faster 
Guest post by Tracy Corbett

What makes my heart beat faster…?

What a great question! And one that I had to think about. I suppose people assume that as a ‘romance’ writer I spend my days existing in a dreamy bubble, wearing floaty dresses and watching Meg Ryan movies. . . Well, maybe the last one! But surprisingly, I’m not overly romantic. Sure, I have a passion for shoes, sticky toffee pudding, and I wanted to be Doris Day growing up, but like any other career writing romance is hard work. It’s also a lot of fun too. It’s hugely rewarding and the best day job imaginable, and I relish trying to find ways of sending my characters on an exciting journey, resulting in an emotionally optimistic ending. Which requires a lot of plotting, planning, research, long days writing… rewriting… editing… and more rewriting. Don’t get me wrong, I love it! But achieving the ‘Happy Ever After’ isn’t always easy. Why? Because life isn’t easy. I’m no different to most people. I’ve had my fair share of heartbreak over the years. Divorce, infertility, ill-health, bereavement. Not exactly the stuff of romance is it… or is it? Maybe the ‘Happy Ever After’ seems sweeter and more deserved if it comes off the back of a sad sequence of events. Maybe that’s why I love writing (and reading) romance stories so much, because I’m rooting for the ‘Happy Ever After’ as much as the next person.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I realise that my favourite books and films are the ‘bitter-sweet’ stories, where the hero/heroine has to fight for their happy ending. I’m glued to the screen or page, willing them to succeed, overcome the bad-guy, dump the wrong-guy, and head off into the sunset with the good-guy… or girl, depending on the story.

Because let’s face it, ‘love’ is about so much more than ‘boy-meets-girl’. It’s about family, friendships, and how couples stay together once the initial spark has faded. Stories about older couples caring for each other has always moved me, as do examples of people sacrificing their own dreams to help others, or supporting a loved one through a difficult time. When my marriage ended and I found myself homeless and heartbroken, my family and friends came to my rescue. My brother drove all the way up from Kent to be with me so I wouldn’t be alone. My parents put me up until I could get my own place. My sister offered a shoulder to cry on, and my older brother flew me out to Colombia to spend Christmas with his family so I wouldn’t be celebrating the festivities alone. To me, that’s ‘true love’.

I’m not going to pretend that I don’t feel a flutter when Chris Hemsworth appears on screen, or when I read (for the umpteenth time) the scene in Persuasion when Colonel Wentworth declares his love for Anne – I’m only human, after all. But true love is about the little things. Like when my lovely partner Simon searched the internet to find a supplier of Walnut Whips when news broke that production was ceasing in the shops. When the parcel arrived, my heart did indeed ‘beat a little faster’. Not just because they’re my favourite treat – but because of the thoughtfulness behind it. Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than someone doing something purely to bring a smile to the face of someone they care about.

So, in short, my answer is ‘love’ makes my heart beat a little faster. Not just the romantic, idealised Ryan Gosling sweep-me-off-my-feet kind of love, but the everyday kind, which might never be the stuff of blockbusters…but might just brighten someone else’s day.


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One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a digital copy of The Summer Theatre by the Sea by Tracy Corbett.

The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. Great guest post. Who doesn't love Chris Hemsworth?

  2. I love Harlan Coben novels and optimistic endings so I'd say yours would be a pleasure to read.

  3. love the insights into the author, makes your books all the more enjoyable! xx

  4. Great post, many thanks for sharing!

  5. Wow, this sounds a great read. I can't sing or dance but loved going to the Amateur Dramatics at our local town hall, until they weren't getting any new members and they were "getting far too old" (in their words) to keep going without new faces. Been going since I was quite young. Another theatre related story (sorry to be annoying) my Mum likes to drag out now and again, is that when I was young we went to the pantomime and sat on the balcony. I dropped my programme and it landed on stage, the leading male role (which was played by a man for a change lol) actually brought it back up to us at the interval.

  6. Tracy, thanks for the great giveaway.

  7. I love optimistic ending and people watching. Sounds your book will brighten up day Thank you for beautiful guest post and giveaway.