Meeting Tracy Fells, Winner of Hysteria 2013

This week it’s my great pleasure to welcome Tracy Fells to the Thursday Throng hot seat. Tracy was the winner of this year’s Hysteria 2013 writing competition with a story called Fibonacci’s Tree. She was also a runner-up in last year’s Hysteria 2012 competition and has had success in several significant short story competitions over the years.

You can read her winning entry here: hysteria-writing-competition/fibonaccis-tree-winner-hysteria-2013/

The Tracy Fells Interview

What is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?

I feel I should be revealing a deep, dark secret but I think I’m pretty open about most of my hang-ups and quirks. Though I wish I’d studied History at university rather than Zoology, as it was my true passion. I am fascinated by Roman and European medieval history and one day hope to write a historical novel.

Are the names of your characters important to you?

Yes, extremely important and I can take some time to decide on the character’s names. I have a Dictionary of First Names which I dip into all the time and I like to know the meaning of a character’s name, which I try and choose to either describe the character or compliment an aspect of the story, even if the meaning is never revealed. Eleanor is one of my favourite names, I think because I love medieval history and Eleanor of Aquitaine has always been a heroine of mine – I thought it apt for the main character in ‘Fibonacci’s Tree’.

How did you choose a title for your story?

I was talking with a writing friend at this summer’s Swanwick Summer School and somehow we got onto the subject of mathematics (don’t ask me how) and patterns of numbers. We both had heard of Fibonacci’s numbers (or sequence) and this just sparked the idea for a short story. I thought it would be unusual to write about a female mathematician and ‘Fibonacci’s Tree’ was the result.

Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?

It’s been said many times but NEVER give up. The more you write the better writer you become. READ, WRITE, EDIT,  SUBMIT and REPEAT. Don’t give up on a story or piece of writing if you believe in it – all the best writers recycle their work and often a story only finds success after many outings. If you do get any feedback from editors/agents then act on it – this type of feedback is gold dust!

How do you remain sane while working?

Hmm, not sure my family would agree that I do ‘remain sane’ … you have to be slightly touched to want to be a writer. I think that’s the answer: it’s my family that keep me sane along with all my writing friends and buddies. Writing can be a lonely occupation interspersed with tea breaks and rejection, but when the highs come – like winning this wonderful competition –  you have to embrace them. And celebrate with cake!

Where do you find inspiration?

My recurring nightmare is that every short story I write will be my last because I’m terrified the ideas will dry up. Then I hear a phrase, or watch something on TV or read a book or story and something clicks and I have a new title or a character or a plot. Usually a story starts with an emotion I want to capture, a fleeting image that’s all. Then I let it mull and fester somewhere in the back of my brain. I find swimming, walking or even running are great aids for teasing the shape of a story into existence.


Tracy FellsWhere can I find out more about Tracy and find her work?

Tracy has been placed in several writing competitions and taken part in many others and you can find her short stories in the following books:

She can also be found online in the following places:


Hysteria 2 is the anthology of all ten winning stories from Hysteria 2013  and it’s now available to purchase online and through all good bookshops.

You can find it in my shop and on Amazon in the UK and Amazon in the US.

(Image by Rafael Javier from Pixabay)


  1. Thanks for this Linda, will pop over in a minute and read Tracey’s interview. I always enjoy your interviews – I don’t always comment. Sometimes though I think my comments are not accepted for whatever crazy reason .. it happens to a few that I like to comment on yours included.

    1. Gosh, that’s odd Susan – I shall make sure I check the spam filter before deleting it in future, just in case they have been misdirected there instead. And thanks so much for the lovely compliment too. How’s your writing going, do you have anything new coming up?

  2. Hi Linda, thank you having me here. It was lovely to chat with you. I really hope people enjoy reading ‘Fibronacci’s Tree’ and also buy the anthology as it’s packed full of excellent stories from some brilliant writers.

  3. Linda, hello – I’ve only just got hold of Hysteria 2, and spent the weekend reading through it, off and on. Some great stories – I’m really pleased to be in such good company,and pleased also that my quirky little tale actually found a home. My husband also read the collection – commented on the sense of effortless of the stories and the way in which, as a reader, you cared about the characters. He thought Fibonacci’s Tree was ‘a bit special’ -and so do I.
    Thanks again to all who organised the competition – a huge amount of work involved, i’m sure.

    1. Hi Shelia and thank you for your lovely comment about Hysteria 2, I’m sure that your fellow authors will appreciate it as much as I did. And … I’m just getting ready to start it all again next year 🙂

    2. Hi Sheila, congrats on making the anthology. Thank you for the lovely comment on Fibonacci’s Tree and please thank your husband too!

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