Profile on Tracey Connelly aka Vivika Widow; by Emily Toland

Receiving a “stern warning” from the United States Government is enough to throw most people off their stride. Tracey Connelly however is unstoppable when it comes to achieving her goals.

Turner Syndrome is a genetic disorder affecting the height and sexual reproduction of females along with other varying factors. When diagnosed with Tracey’s family were told it was unlikely she would ever go to a mainstream school. Yet, fighting tooth and nail to get Tracey in to one paid off and she has never looked back. “I faced my own challenges growing up, but I was very lucky that Turner’s Syndrome never became a factor that would hold me back”

At the tender age of 12, a near fatal car crash changed Tracey’s life forever. She tells us how the car accident gave her a brand new perspective on life. Now more than ever life was there for living, achieving the unachievable. Thus, Vivika Widow was born!

Vivika Widow is an award winning novelist with many titles under her belt including Red Snow and the Conflict of Thrones series. From an early age writing was always a big part of her life but after the accident her writing propelled her into new dimensions.

(After the accident) “I felt widowed from my former self which let me see things in a whole new prospective. ‘Vivika’ is like my alter ego. She is the embodiment of everything I would strive to be. She is confident, intelligent, witty and a definite go getter.”

And a go getter she certainly is! When researching for the Conflict of Thrones series she tells us she received some pretty “stern warnings” from the US Government to cease her search. Of course, that didn’t stop her.

Tracey’s passion and flare for writing thriller/horror novels stems from a plethora of inspiration. “Inspiration is drawn from so many things. The harsh times I faced and the good times I celebrated all pour into my writing. Observing the world around you can open up so many possibilities.”

It’s very clear from Tracey’s ambitious demeanour that she was destined for great things. Whilst many of us would find getting a publishing deal challenging enough, Tracey had an even bigger goal in mind. Turner Syndrome never stood in the way of her achievements but it was at the forefront of her mind when she was writing her novels. Using the profits she made, Tracey set up Ragdolls UK, a Glasgow based charity, which strives to help children with genetic disorders.

I would love for Ragdolls UK to have as wide a reach as possible. It’s also important to remember that being diagnosed with a genetic disorder isn’t just scary for the patient but for the family and friends too. We try to include everyone in the support we give. I know that when I was diagnosed my parents were understandably upset but I also have three older brothers who no one would have thought to ask how they felt not to mention grandparents etc. Ragdolls UK bares this in mind with the advice we offer. “

Clearly this endeavour has paid off with many children, young people and their families turning to Ragdolls UK for information and advice. Tracey can’t hide her delight when she tells us of the warm wishes she receives on a daily basis for the fantastic support her charity provides.

So, award winning author? Check. Successful Charity? Check. Most people would struggle to achieve one of these, let alone both. When I ask Tracey which one was most difficult? Of course, modest as ever, Tracey takes it in her stride. “Both of them present their own unique lessons to be learned. They are both equally as difficult and equally as rewarding.”

As we let Tracey/Vivika get back to her busy schedule she leaves us all with some fabulous advice. “Ignore the negativity around you. There is too much of it. The only person that can stop you achieving everything you want in life is you.”

Vivika Widow’s latest thriller Maestro is available to buy now. However, just remember, you don’t need to write a book to help support Ragdolls UK. Details of volunteering opportunities can be found on the Facebook page, Ragdolls UK.

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