I grew up telling stories, diving into a world of make-believe and sweeping up my friends with me on incredible imaginary journeys. I inherited my gift of storytelling from my dad and my love of books from my mom.
I knew I’d be a published author someday, with my books on store shelves, but “someday” kept stretching further and further into the future.
Until I lost my job.
Until my mom died.
Until I got cancer.
Those four months changed my life forever and pushed me to finally pursue my passion. With only a 50% chance to live, I wanted to make sure that I made the most of every moment. I took my first writing class and snagged an agent with my first book.
I thought once I had an agent, I was home free. NY Times Bestseller list — here I come!
But we couldn’t get my first book sold. Too many vampires in the marketplace. I learned right away about the business of publishing and how things work.
My agent asked me what else I had going on and I told her about Entwine. Then she asked me another question that I will always remember. It’s a question I think of whenever I put a story idea down on paper.
“Do you really love it, Tracey?”
I still hear her voice. Then she went on to tell me that she’d worked with authors that wrote for trends. Authors who wrote what they “thought” everyone wanted to read. But she always knew when it wasn’t their passion. You can tell.
I didn’t even have to think about the answer for more than a second. I knew Entwine had to be written. I did love the story with all my heart. Within the book I would be able to explore the loss of my parents, my acceptance and resolve regarding my cancer battles, and how the power of friendship can accomplish anything. And the overall theme that where there is life, there is hope.
In my own plot twist, while she was starting to market my book to publishers, my agent had to retire suddenly to take care of her ailing hubby, which left me adrift with an incredible book I needed people to read somehow.
I pitched to editors and agents on my own and received a publishing contract from a small press. I turned it down. Crazy, right? It was something I would have never done when I first started. But the contract language was too restrictive. And I knew Entwine was going to be incredible. People just needed to read it and they would love it.
Could I do it on my own? Could I really?
Underneath that flutter of fear was belief. I had faced cancer head-on. This was nothing in comparison.
I formed my publishing company LLC and published Entwine myself. It felt so good to take control of my fate. I was the one making my future happen.
The response has been incredible from my readers. More than I could have hoped for. Men are loving it. Women are loving it. Teens up to readers in their nineties are enthralled with the world and the compelling characters I’ve created.
Now, in addition to writing more books in the Entwine series, I coach other writers, helping them to pursue their passion. I don’t want anyone to give up on their dreams.
When you’re faced with incredible darkness, that’s when you can see your own light. And I want to help shine bright so that others know they can do it too.