PJ and I began our career together writing romantic fiction for Mills & Boon/Harlequin under the pseudonym Melinda Cross. You can imagine how hysterical it is to write love scenes with your mother. Apparently, it drove us to homicide.

P J Tracy by Lambrecht

P J Tracy by Lambrecht

I can’t read when I’m writing a novel. But when I’m on a break, I binge, sometimes reading seven or eight books in a week.

I edit during daylight hours, but do most of my creative work at night, including when I’m asleep. I often have dreams (or nightmares) that end up being incorporated into a plot or a scene. The prologue to The Guilty Dead came from a very strange dream, and it ended up being the foundation of the entire book.

I am a crazy cat lady. I have four former ferals that are now furry little love slugs (actually, they aren’t so little, one weighs twenty pounds.) And I’m that person who poaches chicken for them every week. Sometimes they share with me. I’m also active in the feline rescue community.

I am a classically trained opera singer, but I found that the daily hours of practice and the required discipline interfered with my writing, so I chose to shift focus and became lead singer for an alt-rock band.

I grew up riding and showing Arabian horses. There is no other thrill quite like developing a deep bond with an animal that size (and trusting them with your life as you gallop off down a country road.)

My college education had nothing to do with writing – I was a Russian major.

I love cooking and entertaining – it’s what I do for relaxation. The kitchen is the one place where I can completely shut off my mind, probably because I never cook without having a glass or two of wine.

I’ve been obsessed with shoes since I was a little girl. PJ told me I used to run up to any woman whose footwear caught my eye and ask her if she wanted to trade. As a toddler, I tried on many bemused strangers’ shoes. I grew out of assaulting people for their high heels, but not my love of shoes. I’m embarrassed to tell you how many pair I have. Sadly, I can’t wear them anymore because of an ankle injury. Maybe I’ll open a museum.

I always have a dish of cashews on my desk in honor of PJ. She couldn’t work without them, and now I can’t either. She always joked that a couple of nuts should always have some close at hand.

The Guilty Dead by P.J. Tracy is published in hardback on the 23rd August by Michael Joseph