05-26-18 – Blog Queen - Sarah Raplee

Saturday, June 25, 2011

INTERVIEW: 2011 GH Finalist Tracy Brogan, Novel with Strong Romantic Elements

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: 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!


Clarissa Southwick said...

How wonderful to final with your CP! Whatever the outcome on awards night, your success is greatly deserved. I'm looking forward to meeting all my Starcatcher GH sisters.

Valerie Bowman said...

Love how just last year you thought you couldn't be farther away and now you're up there! Congrats!

Tracy Brogan said...

Clarissa and Valerie, thanks for your comments! This GH ride is nearly over but the best is yet to come. See you soon!

tereasa said...

Congratulations, Tracy! For finalizing and reaching the goals you've set so far. I've no doubt you'll achieve the others as well, published and Rita, too!

Marilyn said...

I'm happy for you! I can't wait to see your gold necklace someday soon! ;-)


Donna Cummings said...

Tracy, I got chills reading this! Some days it really does seem like we're about as far away from our goal as we can get, and then something wonderful like this happens. It's a great reminder to keep moving forward, no matter what. (I needed that reminder today. LOL)

Fingers crossed for you and all the GH finalists.

Loralee said...

Tracy, I'm so proud of you and what you've accomplished in such a short time. I want to read your book when it's published! Think positive, girl. There is no expiration date on dreams. (the topic for my first blog soon.)
I'll be cheering for you back here in Michigan.

Tracy Brogan said...

I love that, Lorilee! "There is no expiration date on your dreams." That is fabulous - and my new mantra. Thanks for the post! And let me know when that blog is ready!

Lucy Naylor Kubash said...

Good luck on July 1! I just know you're going to be our chapter's next published author.

Sarah Raplee said...

Tracy, I love what you said about the GH Final giving you the confidence to trust your voice! And I laughed at your description of sitting in the back row. Good luck and thank you for sharing your experience with us.

Vonnie Alto said...

It seems as if placing and winning in other contests helped you to final in the GH. It sounds like you're doing the right thing. It's funny how a writer never knows what new idea will pop into her head when exposed to other writers. Sitting next to the greats gave you the nudge you needed. Good Luck with the GH!

Judith Ashley said...

Tracy, It is so true - if you don't complete a MS you don't have anything to enter and if you don't enter you can't win. I also connected to Loralee's "There's no expiration on dreams". Too often discouragement pops up and we give it the power to derail us from our goals/dreams. Good luck this weekend!