January 25, 2012 | By: Tracy

The 5 Stages of Querying

Let me just be clear about something here, querying is an addiction. Much like grief (they go hand-in-hand more often than not) there is a process un-agented writers must pass through in order to come out on the other side of querying, stronger than when they went in.  Understanding the stages may help to soften the transition, so here goes:

Stage 1: Excitement
Oh, I can't wait! My manuscript is so freaking unique and my characters are the most lovable, quirky fictional people in the history of fictional people! Every last agent is going to love it! The hardest part will be figuring out which agency to sign with!

Stage 2: OCD/Paranoia
Okay. Queries have been sent, it should only be a matter of time until the requests come rolling in. In fact, there could be one coming in now. I should probably refresh my inbox/iPhone at least one more time before I sign off. Seriously?!? Why haven't they responded yet? What if it got lost in spam? *refresh* How will I know that they didn't get it and they're not just ignoring me? *refresh*

Stage 3: Crushing Despair
I can't believe my query/manuscript was rejected! What was I thinking? Of course it sucks...I suck. All this time I've been fooling myself into thinking I could do this. Clearly I don't have what it takes. I was an idiot for wasting so much time trying to chase a pipe dream. My dog has more talent as a writer than I do.

Stage 4: Anger/Vengeance
You know what? NO! You, Agent X, obviously do not have your finger on the pulse of publishing in 2012. You're going to regret passing on me some day. And when I'm a NYT bestseller don't even think about asking me to blurb one of your author's new books. Okay? Okay. In fact, you're officially unfollowed on Twitter and dis-liked on Facebook. So there!

Stage 5: Acceptance/Determination
Okay, so what if my manuscript wasn't the right fit for Agent X. It happens. I mean, it's not like I like every book that makes its way to the shelves. But, I've worked too hard to give in so easily. There are still approximately 9,000 more agents I could query. If I'm going down it's gonna be in a blaze of glory!

So there you have it, folks. The 5 Stages of Querying.  The trick is to recognize which stage you're currently dealing with, look ahead to what's coming next, and always, always remember ... this too shall pass.

Care to share what stage you're in?
January 18, 2012 | By: Tracy

Ode to Chace Crawford

So, I'm boy crazy. To those who know me this is no big secret. But there are a couple men I swear were born for the sole purpose of making my eyes happy. One of those aforementioned men is Chace Crawford!
(Henry Cavill is the other, but that's another post for another time).

For all the hours of pretty he has given me-- newly converted Gossip Girl fan, here-- I wanted to give a little something back. Hence....

Tracy's Ode to Chace Crawford

My darling Chace, oh how I love you


I love you when you're scruffy


and when you're all GQ


I love you when you're smiling


and when you're sultry too


I love you when you're sporty, baseball cap and all


But if my preppy boy should stumble, I will catch you when you fall


I love you when you're shirtless


or in a suit of gray or blue


Chace, you're the only one for me

But your friends are pretty hot too!

To the guys who read this far, thanks for indulging in some girl humor.

And to the ladies...who's your "pretty pretty"?
January 11, 2012 | By: Tracy

Negative Review Drama -- Oh Noes!!

I'm not gonna lie, much as I cringe every time a situation pops up with an author & reviewer having an unpleasant meeting of the minds for all the internet world to see, I can't look away. Like passing an accident on the side of highway, I want to believe I'm better than slowing to gawk at the carnage as it unfolds . . . but even as I drive by, I can't stop myself from glancing at the wreckage out of the corner of my eye (and maybe snapping a picture with my iPhone).

Quite truthfully, I don't plan on reading reviews of my future books unless someone, be it agent, publisher, friend, family or fan happen to point something out to me (and they best only be pointing out the good stuff) in order to try to avoid stumbling into this trap, myself.

As a fellow writer, I can completely understand how a scathing review can cut, and cut deep. It's hard enough to hear someone didn't like what you wrote, but if the review has a potential ranting or snide feel to it (as unfortunately some are wont to do), it's hard to fight the human nature to stick up for something you love.

"Oh really, Mofo, you wants to take it there?"


But if I should find myself or one of my writerly friends facing down a review that scalds, I'm going to do my best to dissuade the temptation to respond in any way by pointing out... a majority of people read reviews to confirm what they already suspect.

Most of the time, people know what books they're dying to read and which ones they have zero interest in. Personally, the only time I go checking out reviews is if I've never heard of the book before (which means I wasn't bound to pick it up in the first place) or, more likely, I'm on the fence about it.

When I stop to read a book review, odds are good, I'm either pretty sure I want to read it, but don't know anyone who has & want to make sure it's not a total bomb with a great jacket or . . . I'm pretty sure I don't want to read it, but there's something about the blurb that keeps me hanging in, and I need justification that I'm not being a stupid idiot & missing out on something great.


It's my belief that, more than anything, is where reviews come in. They offer an unbiased (even if not always objective and balanced) opinion for those people who are on the fence and looking to have their own suspicions verified. Meaning: one bad review from a reviewer is NOT going to make or break your book in the court of public opinion. And it's not worth the hassle and drama -- for us or the reviewers -- to defend ourselves against their right to an opinion.

Now, I ask you all to bookmark this post for me, so I can be reminded of my current level-headedness should the above situation happen to Yours Truly. :D  And, offer up any other suggestions on how we all can avoid the car wreck of inevitable bad reviews.

January 6, 2012 | By: Tracy

What The Hell Am I Doing Here?

Okay, so, that's a loaded question that can be taken several different ways.

But for the sake of keeping it real in 2012, I'm going to admit it's a question I asked myself more than once over the past few months. Now, I can say that I was super busy (which I was) and that's why I went AWOL for a few months, but that's only part of the story.

Truthfully, I was kinda burnt out.

Back in the day, I started a blog because that's what you're supposed to do when you're a would-be author, right? And for a while it was a ton of fun!

But then I realized all I was doing was talking about writing. Now, I love writing. Duh! Why else would I still be hanging around, trying to carve a place out for myself in the slippery slope of authordom? (Not to be confused with authordumb, which is another ailment I often suffer from). That being said...

There's only so much I can say about the craft of writing from my current perspective, and very little of it is stuff the majority of you haven't already discovered for yourselves. Honestly, after a while, I started feeling like Bubba from Forrest Gump, just rambling off all the different ways to fix shrimp, until.... 

"Well, I guess that's about it."

Since I couldn't think of anything useful or helpful or new to post about every other day, I just sort of stopped posting entirely. And I was okay with that...except, I honestly missed you guys! *group hug*

So, I decided to come back to Blog Land, say screw it to all the "rules" about when I should post and what I should talk about. I'm not going to worry about "building a brand". I'm just going to do what you should do with a blog...have fun with it! I mean, in the end isn't that what we really go around reading these things for anyway ...the personalities behind the blogger?

Oh, this doesn't mean I'm foresaking writing talk (as if I could), just that I'll be sprinkling in more of the rest of me throughout my entries. Meaning...me thinks more pictures of pretty looking men & discussions about my fave TV shows will find their way into my blog posts. :D

So...what all did I miss while I was gone?