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When Tracy Bloom and her husband were expecting their first child, Tracy planned to go on maternity leave then return to her job as normal. She was working for theme parks in the UK and loved going to secret locations to test rides and new concepts. However, two weeks after giving birth to their son, Tracy’s husband dropped a bombshell. “He announced that he’d been offered a job in America,” Tracy recalls. “We had to take the decision that I would leave my career behind and move to Connecticut. I cried for at least two months!”

Tracy jokes about it now but at the time it was a huge transformation, and she had to work out how she would cope with a new baby in a new country with no support network around her. “I turned to writing as an escape and for survival,” Tracy says. “I loved the writing parts of my old job, which were all about communicating ideas and engaging people. I’d always thought about writing a book and this seemed to be the perfect opportunity.”

A book during baby naps

“If you’d told me six months ago that I’d be selling hundreds of thousands of copies, I’d have told you, ‘not in a million years’”
Tracy Bloom

Luckily for Tracy, her son was a good sleeper and there was a college nearby running a creative writing course. “I started to write No One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday during my son’s afternoon naps and then took in a chapter a week to show my U.S. classmates,” Tracy explains. “I knew I’d got something when two ladies in my class were arguing about who the main character, Katy, should end up with!”

In 2009, after Tracy finished the book (and had another baby), she sent the first three chapters to literary agents. “I got a number of rejections, but then one asked me to send the rest of the book. At that point, I really thought I’d made it,” Tracy remembers. “I got publishing deals in Germany, Italy, Poland, Brazil and Serbia, which was really exciting, but I couldn’t get a UK deal.”

By January 2013, Tracy felt that she had waited long enough for a UK deal and decided to try Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. “I’d watched self-publishing evolving and saw that it had become a very valid way of reaching readers,” she says. To build momentum for the book, she started using social media and reached out to newspapers, websites and radio stations, many of whom used the quirky title to stimulate fun debates.

Number one best seller

Within six weeks the book hit the number one slot on the Kindle top 10 and has now received over 1,000 four and five star reviews from Amazon readers. “I waited so long to find out if my book was any good, so Kindle Direct Publishing enabling me to reach my readers and them telling me that they laughed out loud is such a joy. I’ve even had people who have experienced serious breakups telling me I’ve restored their faith in romance.”

Tracy has now released her second book, Single Woman Seeks Revenge, which hit the Kindle top 10 within two weeks of publication. “If you’d told me six months ago that I’d be selling hundreds of thousands of copies, I’d have told you, ‘not in a million years’,” says Tracy. “I try to keep celebrating milestones because having had disappointments along the way, when it does come good, you have to make the most of it. When No One Ever Has Sex on a Tuesday hit number one, I bought a bottle of bubbly, and we did a Formula One champagne spray around the garden with the kids.”

With such success, life has changed dramatically for Tracy. “My youngest has just started school, and I would have been contemplating going back to work and dealing with the nightmare of childcare, but I can now write full time,” Tracy says. “It’s a working mum’s dream job.”