I first discovered Tracy Brogan about two and a half years ago, before I published my first romantic comedy. I stumbled upon her book Crazy Little Thing on Amazon and thought it looked like something that was right up my alley. I was right! I enjoyed the story very much—especially the fun, quirky characters. It’s such a pleasure to have Tracy here on the blog with me today! 🙂 Before I get to the interview, here’s her official Amazon bio.
Tracy Brogan is a three-time nominee of the Romance Writers of America RITA award, first for her debut novel CRAZY LITTLE THING (Best First Book, 2013) and again in 2015 for Best Contemporary Romance, THE BEST MEDICINE. Her third nomination was in 2016 for LOVE ME SWEET. She’s a Wall Street Journal Bestseller, earned the coveted Diamond Award from Amazon Publishing, and earned a spot on the Kindle Top 100 List in both 2013 and 2014. Her bestselling novels have sold more than a million copies internationally, and have been translated into several languages including German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Turkish, Hungarian, and Japanese.
Brogan lives in Michigan, the state shaped like a mitten, and is therefore prone to pointing to the palm of her hand when explaining where she lives.
Rich: Welcome, Tracy! Yay! I’m so excited you’re visiting me today. I promise I’ll make this interview as painless as possible.
Tracy: I’m sure it will be entirely a pleasure! Thanks for inviting me to visit!
Rich: Okay, first let’s talk about Crazy Little Thing. The book currently has over seven thousand reviews on Amazon. Insane! What do you think it is about the book that resonates with so many readers? What were your thoughts when the praise and award nominations started pouring in?
Tracy: Crazy Little Thing was the first manuscript I completed writing (after starting and abandoning about 982 others.) Since the story is light-hearted, PG-13 fare during an era of all things Fifty Shades, and since I was a debut author, my goal was to sell at least 6000 copies, thinking that number exceeded the number of relatives I have and so if I could sell that many, I could hold my head up. When I surpassed that sales goal in the first two weeks, I thought, “Hmm…. That’s peculiar.” And honestly, that’s still how I feel! I’m thrilled this story has resonated with readers and I think it’s because there is a little bit of neurotic Sadie Turner in each of us. She’s almost a caricature of all the goofy, debilitating, and hilariously human thoughts we have. My favorite compliment from a reader continues to be, “Oh, my gosh, your book made me laugh out loud!”
Rich: That’s my favorite compliment too! Speaking of funny…how many characters in your books are based on family members, relatives or friends?
Tracy: If I answer this honestly I’ll end up in big trouble… so let’s just say I infuse my characters with personality traits that I have witnessed up close and personal. There is a little bit of me in most of them, and certainly family stories and catch-phrases have found their way into my stories. The late, great Nora Ephron used to say, “Everything is copy,” and my kids know this. If they say something funny, it’s bound to end up in a book. Now they’ll actually come to me with suggestions, which I often accept!
Rich: Your kids are practically cowriters! But seriously, how hard is it for you to write with them in the house? Do you have a special hiding place?
Tracy: Hah! See above. If my kids are around, I make them plot with me! I have a home office and they do seem to congregate there so sometimes I have to shoo everyone away. And when I’m on deadline, they voluntarily stay out of my way because things can get a little tense. We call it The Cone of Hostility and they’ve learned to give me space or accept the consequences.
Rich: Sounds worse than a dunce cap. Switching gears, let’s talk about doggies! Rumor has it you have a new Great Dane puppy at home named Piper. I cannot reveal my sources! 🙂 Please share a picture and tell us how it came to be. What has the experience been like so far? Also, did you forget how big those dogs get?
Tracy: Hard to keep a secret on Facebook! 😉 I have always wanted a Great Dane so when I was feeling particularly emotional a few weeks before I turned in my most recent manuscript, I was looking around online trying to find something that might cheer me up. What’s more cheerful than pictures of puppies, right?? The next thing you know, it’s 3:00 a.m. and I’d found a breeder with a litter ready to find their forever homes. We went and picked one out two days later. She’s a big, clumsy moose and she’s just going to get bigger and probably clumsier. As you can see, though, I’m making great use of her crate.
Rich: LOL. Cute kids. Let’s talk about your writing process… Has it changed since your first book? Do you have daily goals for word counts or pages? Do you listen to music while you write? Any writing habits?
Tracy: I listen to white noise while I write. I can’t have anything with lyrics or I just start singing and don’t get any work done. Plus, my caterwauling bothers the neighbors. As for a change in process, I do have daily word count goals, but mostly I’ve learned to respect my natural circadian rhythm. I can struggle all day trying to get 500 words in, or I can wait until 8pm and then get 2000 words out in a couple of hours. If I hit a groove, I keep going. Last week my daughter got up at 6:00 a.m. for school and I was at my desk. She said, “Wow, you’re up early.” And I said, “I never went to bed.” It’s not a system I recommend! But it’s what works for me.
Rich: That wouldn’t work for me at all! I could never stay up all night writing. My brain starts slowing down around eleven, so I’m usually in bed by then. Besides, I need my beauty rest. 😉 Okay, describe your perfect day.
Tracy: Honestly I would depend on my mood. I love a cold, rainy day when I have no plans and I can justify spending hours under a warm blanket, reading a great book. Exciting, right? But I suppose even better than that is a sunny day when I can open all the windows, hear the wind in the trees… and spend hours reading a great book. I sense a theme here. Perfect days also include coffee, my kids, a good word count, and time with friends.
Rich: Just one more question before I let you go… What can we look forward to reading from you in the near future?
Tracy: My Trillium Bay series starts with MY KIND OF YOU, a story about the three Callaghan sisters who grew up on a small island in Northern Michigan. Brook is the smart, dependable sister, Lilly is the pretty one, and our heroine, Emily, is the rabble-rousing troublemaker. Or at least she was. Now she’s back on the island after a seven-year absence. She’s divorced, in financial trouble, and has a twelve-year-old daughter full of opinions. With plans to “flip” her grandmother’s cottage into a lucrative rental property, Emily runs into opposition from a sexy, ambitious hotel developer but some surprising circumstances force them to become unlikely allies. Ultimately, it’s a story about love, forgiveness, romance, and coming home again. I’m so excited to share this series with readers! I hope they like it.
Rich: I’m sure they will. Thanks so much for taking time out of your busy day to visit!
Tracy: Thanks for inviting me!
For a complete list of Tracy’s books, click here.