20 Questions Tuesday: Getting Up Close and Personal with Tracy Brogan

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

20 Questions Tuesday: Getting Up Close and Personal with Tracy Brogan

I’m excited to introduce a sparkly new voice in contemporary (and soon to be historical) romance! I’ve just started her debut novel Crazy Little Thing and am totally charmed. Humor is a hard thing to do well without going over the top, becoming forced, or just getting more and more annoying chapter after chapter, but Sadie’s adventures of the newly divorced hit a witty, sometime wry, but always amusing chord whether in dialogue or description. I find myself laughing out loud or muttering, “You go, girl!” as I flip through the pages on my Kindle. It would be a shame for you to miss out on this slice of delight. But enough from me. Let Tracy reveal that unique voice as we get to know her. First the facts, then the fun!

Past or present, Tracy Brogan loves romance! She writes funny contemporary stories about ordinary people finding extraordinary love, and stirring historical romance full of political intrigue, damsels causing distress, and the occasional man in a kilt.

She is a two-time RWA Golden Heart® finalist, and her debut novel, CRAZY LITTLE THING, was released on October 23d, 2012. Her next book, HIGHLAND SURRENDER, will be released December 4th, 2012.

Tracy is a member of RWA, the RWA Mid-Michigan chapter, and a contributing member of the Dashing Duchesses (Dashingduchesses.com) where they make history sound way hotter than it really was. She lives in Michigan with her bemused husband, her two perpetually exasperated daughters, one smart dog, and one very dumb dog.

Getting to know Tracy . . .

1. Party dress or blue jeans?

Party dress for sure. But then I rush home and put on big, fuzzy pajama pants. When I’m at home, I’m in yoga pants. All day. Every day. And I don’t do yoga.

2. Spa day or gym workout?

** see above. I’m all about the spa. But while I’m at the spa, I’m thinking, “You know, I should probably go to the gym.”

3. Night owl or early bird?

Night owl, absolutely! I do my best and most prolific writing from 9pm until about 1am. But now that my oldest daughter is in middle school, I have to get up at 6am so I’m trying to switch gears and do more writing in the morning. It’s ugly.

4. TV at home or movie theater?

Both. We have a home theater at our house. My husband would watch a movie every night, and I love them, too, but I’m too antsy most of the time. Whenever I watch one I’m usually thinking, “I should be writing. There is laundry to fold. Did anybody feed the dogs today?”

5. Five words your friends use to describe you.

Funny. Sarcastic. Helpful. Undisciplined. Driven.

6. Five words you use to describe yourself.

Idealistic. Funny. Sarcastic. Lazy. Focused. (Yes, it is possible to be lazy and still be focused. It just means I think about things really, really hard without actually doing anything about it.)

7. Things that make you want to go “EEEEEEK!” 

Good reviews!!! But if you meant a scared kind of EEK instead of a happy kind of EEK, then I would say tarantulas. And jellyfish.

8. What music are you listening to? (While you write?) 

I can’t listen to music while I write because I get too distracted and then I just sit there singing instead of writing. But music definitely inspires my story lines. I like mellow stuff, Sarah McLachlan, Mat Kearney, Paulo Nutini. And I’ve never in my life listened to country music, but my critique partner sent me a Kip Moore video for “Somethin’ ‘bout a Truck” and I confess, it does a little somethin’ for me. I even make a sly reference to the song in my current work-in-progress.

9. Your first kiss . . . 

Is actually described in my first book. It happened at school in the sixth grade. And I loved him. I mention on my website bio how this boy eventually dumped me for a girl who could dribble a basketball and I couldn’t. We lost touch for decades after that because he went to a different high school but he actually sent me an email about two weeks ago saying that my website version was wrong. He said I broke up with him. Isn’t that just like a man to remember it incorrectly? He totally dumped me.

10. Something quirky about you that no one knows (we won’t tell anyone!)

I’m pretty much an open book and most of my quirks are well documented. But I will confess that when I was in my twenties, my best friend Meredith and I would go to bars and pretend to be British so men would buy us drinks. Worked every bloody time.

About the Written word:

11. Favorite type of hero (Type A bad boy or Type B good guy) Which would you rather live with?

I live with a good guy who believes himself to be a bad boy. Perfect combo. In fiction I admit I love the broody, abrasive Heathcliff-esque bad boys. Brutish men who obsesses over loving the heroine to the point of madness and yet are somehow remarkably sensitive and skilled in the bedroom. Yeah, that’s fiction for you.

12. What type of fiction heroine would you be? Jane Eyre or Lara Croft?

I’m Jane Eyre longing to be Lara Croft. I’m a clumsy bystander but so wish I was a risk-taking, physically-powerful She-ra warrior. But that seems like it would take a lot of practice and I could potentially get hurt. I have a very low tolerance for pain or discomfort of any sort. Just ask my family. So instead, I just watch and dream.

13. Favorite genre to read?

Historical romance, historical fiction, historical biography, are we seeing a pattern here? I love any type of Celtic or American history. I also love a snappy, endearing romantic comedy, like a Kristan Higgins, Jennie Crusie, or Jill Shalvis. When it comes to contemporary novels, if there’s no humor, than I’m out. I feel the same way about Facebook posts. If your post doesn’t make me laugh, then you are boring me. ; )

14. What would you love to write that you haven’t?

A bestseller!

15. Favorite books you can read over and over?

Hummingbird by LaVyrle Spencer. Best love triangle ever. In fact, I want a hummingbird tattoo but my husband is not a fan of ink. He thinks a charm bracelet would be more appropriate. Although he did say a row of tattooed birdies sitting along a telephone wire might be a clever way to disguise my C-section scar…

A Writer’s Life:

16. OCD plotter or free range pantser?

OCD plotter to the extreme. I have sketches and outlines, color coded index cards and character tarot readings. It’s my way of pretending to be working on writing without actually writing anything.

17. Live to write or write to live? Day job?

Live to write – which is extremely unfortunate for the people I’m supposed to be feeding.

18. First publishing rejection (and getting back on that horse)?

My first agent rejection after a full request was the hardest ever. I was new and clueless. I’d only sent a handful of queries and had only finished my first book a few weeks before that. I had no idea what was typical in this industry. She requested the full, was super enthusiastic and asked for a two-week exclusive. I thought “This is it. I’m on my way.” And then she rejected it. I was devastated. Stupidly I emailed every friend I had, exposing my fresh, raw wound, and was mortified the next day that I’d been such a baby. So my rule became to not send any emails after a rejection until 24-hours had passed. And I got back on the horse by sending another query or two, or entering a contest. It’s like I was defying the universe. And eventually the odds turned in my favor!!!

19. Biggest hurdle to getting words on the page and how you overcome it?

Funny you should ask, Nancy, since I just sent you an email saying, “Help! How do I get this book finished?” My biggest obstacle is social media. For me, it’s like Turkish Delight from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. One taste and suddenly I want more and more. And suddenly an hour of my writing time has gone by and I haven’t actually written anything. Kieran Kramer turned me on to a “self-discipline” app that prevents you from logging on to Facebook during certain hours. I haven’t set it up yet, but I’m going to! Interestingly enough, Writer’s Digest just did an article on the same apps. My other hurdle is fighting my need to micro-edit as I draft. I’ll get hung up on one scene and play with it for far too long before moving on. Just get the draft done, already!!! I’m learning that slowly.

20. When can we get your next book and what’s it all about?

Oh, THAT is my favorite question! My first book, a romantic comedy called CRAZY LITTLE THING just debuted (October 23rd) and my next book, a Scottish historical titled HIGHLAND SURRENDER will be released on December 4th. I’m so excited to get these books out into the world and see what happens with them. My next release will be in June, 2013 and is called HOLD ON MY HEART. It’s another romantic comedy, but it’s not quite as breezy as my first book. I went a little deeper with that one.

Tracy loves comments from readers so please visit her at Website, Facebook, Twitter or Goodreads.

Happy Reading!!


  1. Thanks for inviting me to visit here today, Nancy! While most of our eastern seaboard is dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I feel very grateful to be online!! I hope everyone had their kindles loaded up with a few of our books to keep them company :(

  2. Love the 20 questions, Nancy. Tracy, I'm learning so much about you. Wishing you much success with Crazy Little Thing and Highland Surrender.

    1. Thanks, Diane! It's probably so much more than you WANTED to know! :)
      Like I said, I'm a pretty open book!
      Best to you!