Thursday, March 17, 2016

There Comes a Day

My name is Pamela Tracy

It's been great fun to read the "sale" stories written by the gamesters here on Gems in the Attic.  I've laughed about snail mail, empathized with the admission… "written for ten years, dreaming of the day I finally sold," and stopped when I saw the name Kate Duffy and thought about all the professionals that have touched our lives.

My first sale wasn't a Precious Gems.  It was a Barbour Heartsong.  I didn't even know the line existed.  I'd finished my masters, was teaching, and basically trying to make ends meet.  As a single, I did have spare time (which I no longer have!) and loved writing in the evenings.  I was very active on the AOL boards (why did they go away?), took online classes, and belonged to RWA.  I "thought" I was doing everything right.

My first book was a Star Trek, TNG, which I wrote before finding the online community or joining RWA or even taking the creative writing course at the nearby community college.

I wrote it single spaced, and when I shoved it under my bed, it was 300 pages long and not finished.

See, when I found my writing community, I figured out I probably should be writing romance.  The Star Trek, btw, did have a romance with Guinan as the heroine.

On to writing romance.  Four books - a time travel, an angel, a vampire, and a ghost - only received rejections.

Then, at church one day a friend said to me, "You know Darlene just sold a romance."

Huh?  Nobody told me she was writing.  I hightailed it over to her and asked.  Sure enough, she'd written her first book and sold it.

Grumble.  I was busy writing unsold book seven.

I asked her about her sale and she told me about Barbour Heartsong, which was short, direct to book club inspirational fiction.

Darlene was so nervous sending her book to them that she didn't separate the dot matrix pages, just left them together.

Book number seven, my second true contemporary, sold to them.

Squee! My first book ever.
When they sent me the author copies, they mailed them to the wrong address
And one of my friends went to pick them up for me because I couldn't get off work. 

Then, because I got on their writers' loop, I send in a proposal for a novella.  Barbour does lots of anthologies.

I sold it.
I learned a lot working with other, more seasoned authors.
What a dream come true.
Published 1999

BTW, I'm still in Barbour Anthologies
Published April 2016
Soon to hit shelves
My motto was to always have something submitted.  So, I sent off book number six to Precious Gems.

I had to cut 20,000 words
I'd named this one Mismanaging Maddy

LOL, I think it was the third to last set.  Then, the line folded.

Today, I write for two of Harlequins lines:  Love Inspired and Heartwarming.

This is my January 2016 release
from Harlequin Heartwarming
The fifth in a series

This will be my July 2016 release
from Harlequin Love Inspired
The third in a series

I don't write in the evenings anymore but early morning before my eleven year old needs to get up for school.  The word "leisurely" doesn't precede my writing life, but I'm loving it.

This is my April 2016 release
from Serenade

Ah, the writing life….


  1. I love your story, Pam! And I love the story about not separating the dot matrix pages. I used to have trash bags full of those little thingies off the sides (before I started recycling).

    1. They still sell dot matrix. As a schoolteacher, I used the paper for lots of things besides manuscript that didn't sell.

  2. It's an adventure, isn't it? I love reading everyone's journey to publication.

  3. Hi Pamela! Great post. I LOVE your Lone Star Brides cover!

  4. Me, too. It's amazing what's happening in the writing world today.

  5. Thanks Pamela, you told a tale so many authors can relate to. Most importantly, never give up on the dream. Thanks for the reminder.

  6. And the dream changes as time moves on, but always, at the core, there's your fingers on the keys and the story spiraling out.

  7. Good grief! I can't believe I forgot about dot matrix printers. Shows our age almost as much as using an electric typewriter does. Thanks for the memories.

  8. Looks like you've used different names, Pamela. What's your rationale?

  9. Hey, Pamela. Loved your "first sale" story. You've had some lovely book cover art over the years.


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