How are you all? All is well with the H’s, although I may have aged 10 years last night courtesy of my son Nate! I checked in on the children at 1030pm, a few hours after they went to bed and to my utmost horror, Nate’s cot was empty. After 5 heartstopping moments of checking every room, under beds, behind sofas, you name it, I cannot describe my panic. Mr H, my rock, was white, but playing the calm one, while I played the hysterical one, falling apart more every second as my mind went places it had no right to go. Mr H checked the front and back door and both were locked from the inside as normal, so he calmly told me, he’s here somewhere, it will be ok. Told you, the calm one. But where? Finally, about 5 minutes later (felt like an hour) after my horror at finding his cot empty, we found him under my office desk, curled up in a ball, fast asleep.
We have no idea why he climbed out of his cot and didn’t come find us in the living room as would be normal. Of all the places to go! All’s well that ends well, even if it meant I was encroaching on near heart attack territory with the panic! I cannot describe that feeling when I pulled back his Toy Story duvet to find an empty cot. I totally expected to turn to Amelia’s bed and see him curled up in her arms, but when she was alone in her bed, I was scared. Boys sure know how to worry their Mamas!
Anyhow, aside from my little boy playing hide n seek on me, all is fantastic with us H’s. Work is busy for me, doing a lot of promotion work for Beyond Grace’s Rainbow, in particular now that the paperback is in shops. Big question is, what on earth will I wear for my TV interviews – The Today Show and Ireland AM. When I wave at the camera, it will be you that I’m waving at honestly. Yes You!
Right, enough of all that, because listen up all authors. Today’s first guest on MrsH’s couch, (that really is my couch in the pic too! Very comfy I might add!) is none other than Literary Agent Tracy Brennan of the Trace Literary Agency.
Here’s a picture of the beautiful Tracy, who likes her bling every bit as much as me 😉 I think thats why we get on so well – both little magpies!
Oh and lest I forget to mention it, Tracy is also my agent!
Tracy, can you start by telling us a bit about yourself?
My name is Tracy Brennan. I am the founder and president of Trace Literary Agency, LLC. I was born and raised in Indiana, making me a “Hoosier” girl through and through. Don’t ask me to explain what a “Hoosier” is. Even those of us from Indiana don’t quite understand! I am married to Matt. He is a third generation dentist. We have one daughter, Grace Caroline, who just turned 11.
Here is a picture of the charming Brennan family! I’ve met them all and Grace is a little pet. Hi Grace! Matt is Irish (come on with a name like Brennan?) or rather his parents are, but to be honest, when Rog & I met him and Tracy last summer in London and Matt suggested we go to the pub for a chat and a drink, we thought, yep, he’s one of us alright! There’s an auld seanchai in Matt for sure!
What was the scariest thing that has ever happened to you Tracy? (Apart from taking on this mad Irish author of course!)
Flying to Dublin on a flight from the US that caught on fire about 600 miles off the coast of Ireland. I think sthere may be a story in there somewhere!
Matt & Tracy told Rog & I this story last summer and it sounded horrific! They had their little baby Grace with them, a newborn when the accident happened. So you can imagine what that was like! Tracy, if you don’t write it, I might do so one day!
Ok spill Tracy, most famous person you have ever met?
Harry Connick Jr.
And just to prove it, here they are – When Harry met Tracy!
If you could go back in time, what time would you choose and why?
Definitely the 1940s-50s . I love the timeless classic style, the music, what seemed like a very happy time in America. Women were ladies and men were gentlemen (for the most part). People held morals and values at a bit higher standard, or so it seems. Not to be misunderstood. Life wasn’t perfect I’m sure. There were problems and issue and crises, but not to the extent we see today.
Oh I can totally see you in a Betty Draper dress Tracy!
Tell me about your blog and what we can expect if we pop by.
Most of what you will see are author focus pages. These posts introduce the authors I am currently working with and provide a short synopsis of their book(s). I also use this as a place to link author websites and social media pages. Agency news is also posted here, and most recently, quotes of the week. These are quotes I’ve come across that pertain to writing, books and life in general.
Give me 3 words to describe your best self and 3 words to describe your worst self.
Best self: kind, motivated, honest. Worst self: perfectionist, worrisome, over-analyzing………
What are you reading right now? And is it a paper book or ebook?
Lots and lots of manuscripts!
Imagine it could be YOUR manuscript right now that Tracy is reading! It was this time last year, that Tracy sent me my contract and I signed with her agency. Just saying ……..
Tracy, what was the first book you ever read?
I can’t remember the very first, but I remember I loved reading the Nancy Drew Mysteries. I used to imagine myself as Nancy Drew and was totally swept away to a different world.
I missed the whole Nancy Drew series, but I do remember that programme The Hardy Boys! Think those Hardy boys might have been my first crush!
If you could pick any career in the world other than what you do now, what would it be?
A photographer for National Geographic
Cool job! Who would you like to meet most for a chat? Dead or alive. Fictional or real.
Great choice, my absolute favourite clip of her is this…..
Oh, I feel better already after watching that. Just perfect.
Quick fire round Tracy, pick one of each of the below –
Beer or cocktails – Wine
Jeans or dress/suit – Jeans
Sun or Snow – love them both
Beach or Pool – Beach
Cats or Dogs – Both (I have one of each), if pressed, I’d have to go with dogs
Theatre or Cinema – Theatre, definitely
Pink or Green – Green
Night in or night out – Night out
Paperback or eBook – Paperback
Lobster or steak – Steak
The Walking Dead or Downton Abbey – Downton Abbey
Football or Rugby – Are we talking American or Irish? – Soccer?
Flying Solo or with a gang – Solo
What is the best compliment anyone could give you?
That I am a wonderful mother. That and if not talking about motherhood, then that I’ve made a profound difference in their life.
Well Tracy, I’ve seen you with Grace, so I know you are a wonderful and selfless mother. And you’ve made a difference in this authors life, so check on both those!
Right before you leave my comfy couch, I know that a lot of aspiring writers read this blog. Can you give them some hints as to what you are looking for when you get a submission!
At the moment I am looking for commercial women’s fiction with a unique hook.Romance titles in all sub genres and a career arc for the author — a series. And interesting non-fiction titles. Not just business or how to books.Pet hates: a manuscript that has been sent to me that has grammatical and spelling errors. And those emails that tell me how much I am going to love the story and how perfect a fit it is for my agency. Please let me be the judge of that.
The best advice I can give writers is to learn the craft of writing. Read books on the subject. Read. A lot. Focus on the genre you want to write. Then write. A lot. Write every day – maybe a paragraph, 2000 words, maybe more, but keep writing. Then edit. A lot. Proofread. And remember, writing takes time. A lot of it. Even when you get to the point where your manuscript has been submitted; this takes time and patience and perseverance. Most importantly, enjoy writing, have fun and never, ever give up.