Entry Title, category, year:TOTALLY DODY
Novel w/ Strong Romantic Elements, 2011
Were you the overall Winner that year?I hope so! :) I’ll know on July 1st.
Website and/or Blog Links:tracybrogan.com and on twitter I’m Tracy Brogan as well.
Why did you decide to enter your manuscript in the GH Contest? Last year (2010) was my very first RWA conference. Before that, I didn’t even know what the Golden Heart was. I’d written all my life but had only gotten ‘serious’ about publication in 2008. As a newbie at the awards ceremony, I ended up sitting in the very last row of tables. (It was next to the bar, so it wasn’t ALL bad.) I was surrounded by some of the biggest names in publishing, agents, editors, Nora Roberts, for goodness sake! And I remember listening to Kristan Higgins give her acceptance speech, I thought to myself, “I could not be literally, or figuratively, farther away from that winner’s podium.” But after the conference I signed with my agent and decided, “Well, why not?” I did not expect to be a finalist this year and was prepared to sit in the back row again. But I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to sit up front with the cool kids.
Where were you and what were you doing when you got the GH call? I was Facebook messaging with one of my two fabulous critique partners, and also emailing another writer from my agency. Both ‘conversations’ revolved around the impending announcements. We were all sitting at our computers, watching as the names were posted. After about an hour of this, my phone rang. I didn’t recognize the number but knew it was long distance. I stared at my phone, letting it ring three times, just so I could savor the “possibility” that it was RWA. Then I answered, and it was! I did the happy dance in my chair. Seconds later, I glanced back to my computer screen to see a text message from my CP saying, “I just got the call!” So it turns out we both got contacted at virtually the same moment. Very surreal.
How has being a GH Finalist/Winner affected you as a writer? I’ve placed and won in a few chapter contests, and every time that happens, it is a boost of validation. To know that my peers appreciate the effort I’ve put into my work, and that they also enjoy reading it, is a huge and wonderful thing. Being a finalist in The Golden Heart contest is like that – only so much better! It has given me the confidence to trust my voice, trust my ability, and to trust that if I write it, somebody out there will like it. My personal goals increase incrementally. First it was simply to finish a manuscript. Then it became to find an agent. Then my goal was to enter the GH and see what happened – because you can’t final if you don’t enter! So, I’m proud of reaching those milestones, and whether or not I bring home the gold necklace, I’ve already reached that summit just by having the nerve to put my writing out there. My next goals are to publish (of course), and just as importantly, to complete the next three manuscripts I’ve started. Oh, and enter the RITA contest someday!