Tracy Banghart

Tracy Banghart's books on Goodreads

Rebel Wing Rebel Wing (Rebel Wing #1)
reviews: 118
ratings: 199 (avg rating 4.18)

By Blood By Blood (By Blood, #1)
reviews: 50
ratings: 88 (avg rating 3.97)

Moon Child Moon Child (Prequel to By Blood)
reviews: 27
ratings: 49 (avg rating 3.86)

Storm Fall Storm Fall (Rebel Wing, #2)
reviews: 27
ratings: 41 (avg rating 4.22)

What the Sea Wants What the Sea Wants
reviews: 5
ratings: 20 (avg rating 3.10)

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    Entries in critique partners (3)


    Writing Process Blog Tour

    My good friend and crit partner Laurie J. Edwards asked if I wanted to participate in the Writing Process Blog Tour, which is actually a really cool version of a chain letter. I had to say yes! Laurie is an incredibly hard-working writer and editor, with tons of projects going and much success ahead of her. She has TWO books coming out this year: Grace and the Guiltless under the pen name Erin Johnson, and Cyber Self-Defense, which she's co-writing with expert Alexis Moore. Both sound amazing, no? For more info on Laurie and her upcoming releases, check out her website here.

    Thank you for tagging me, Laurie!

    So on to my answers to the Writing Process Blog Tour questions!

    1) What are you working on?

    I am currently writing the first draft of the sequel to SHATTERED VEIL, called TANGLED PROMISE. I also have a YA fantasy, A SEASON OF SINISTER DREAMS, that I'll be revising this summer for an August release.


    2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

    My Diatous Wars trilogy (SHATTERED VEIL, TANGLED PROMISE, etc) looks at first glance like a dystopian, in the vein of The Hunger Games or Divergent. But it's actually not...the main character, rather than fighting against a corrupt and oppressive government, is in fact fighting FOR her country against an outside threat. I think the love story is also an interesting take for the genre.

    3) Why do I write what I do?

    I have always enjoyed reading young adult fiction. It's my favorite genre, in particular because I found the stories so inspiring when I was a young adult. I write YA because the voice and types of stories are comfortable to me, and also because I'd love to think that my characters could be inspiring to someone as well. I feel really passionate about showing strong girls growing up to be empowered, empathetic adults. I also really enjoy exploring healthy female friendships in my stories, which I think is somewhat lacking in current YA fiction.

    4) How does my writing (or writing with pictures/illustrating) process work?

    I tend to do some but not a lot of plotting before I start writing. I need to know where the story and characters end up...and figure out the important details of the world and major plot points. But that's about all the planning I do. I try to write my first drafts fast, so my inner editor doesn't have time to rear her red pen and slow down the process. I enjoy revising more than I do writing first drafts. But I LOVE the moments when a character takes on a life of their own, or a plot snag suddenly untangles itself. Drafting is exciting and exhausting! 

    I tend to write shorter first drafts and fill out in revisions, rather than writing long and having to cut. And I am eternally indebted to my wonderful critique partners and beta readers who offer their feedback and support throughout the process!

    I'm tagging Ali Cross to continue the chain! Ali is the author of the popular Desolation series, as well as the exciting new scifi Blood Crown (which I absolutely LOVED). She likes to say she holds a black belt in awesome since the only kind of kicking-butt she does is on paper. She's a virtual ninja.


    Critter Love

    Here's a scary thought...MAJOR HOTSAUCE, the bug, our myriad pets and I are moving in less than two weeks! LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!! Have we packed? Um, not really. Luckily we're not going TOO far, so we can take a couple trips if necessary, but even so this move thing is going to be hectic, sweaty (NC in July, people!), and stressful.

    I actually love living in new places, which is fortunate being an Army wife, but the moving bit is SO not fun. And neither is saying goodbye to wonderful new friends. 

    When you move every couple of years, making friends can be difficult. Especially if you're a shy work-from-home writer who gets hives at the thought of the mall on a Saturday afternoon. That's why, when MAJOR HOTSAUCE and I moved to the Winston Salem area two summers ago, I thanked my lucky stars when I found "The Critters" critique group through the SCBWI Carolinas website. 

    Over the past couple of years, I've met with this incredible group of women every two weeks (more or less) to discuss our writing, our publishing journeys, and life in general. The group was pretty tight and had been working together for years before I came along, and still they welcomed me with warmth, humor, and some wonderfully insightful critiques! 

    Tomorrow is the last official meeting I'll be able to attend. I know I'll see them after that - at SCBWI functions, a beach writing weekend we're planning for the fall, etc - but it's still painful knowing I won't be part of the bi-weekly gatherings anymore. I've learned so much from these ladies...I really can't imagine my writing life without them!

    So I just wanted to take a minute to thank Bonnie, Bernie, Maggie, and Laurie. You are all incredible writers, both diligent and creative...and I look forward to watching - and reading - as your successes grow!

    If you'd like to check out these talented chicks, here are links to their Web sites:

    Bonnie Doerr, author of Island Sting & Stake Out, acclaimed middle grade novels that stradle the line between fascinating fiction and environmental education and awareness 

    Laurie J. Edwards, author of many non-fiction titles, including the UXL Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. She also writes incredible fiction!

    McKenna Darby (aka Bernie), author of wonderfully complex romantic dramas

    Maggie Moe, who is writing one of the most complicated, compelling stories I've read, and also owns her own business!

    The critters are welcoming a new member, Laura Renegar, who is equally awesome at both the writing and the critiquing, and I'm so sorry I won't get more time to work with her.

    I firmly believe that good critique partners make good writers...I have writer friends both online and in person who are kind enough to read my work and give me feedback...and I know without a doubt that they've made me a better writer...I'm so very grateful to them all. :-)

    Later this week, I'll be talking about how and where to find great critique partners, along with tips to help figure out if you're a good match!



    In It Together

    So, recently some members of my family have expressed concern over my "isolating" career choice. They worry that because I work from home I'm not getting enough social and professional interaction.

    Okay, yes. I'm not six. My family doesn't need to worry about whether I'm socialized or not.

    But the concern WAS something I found I wanted to address.

    Yes, when my husband was deployed, there were days, weeks even, when I felt lonely. When I missed having someone to go out to dinner with. Or to the movies with. I did these things with friends, but it wasn't quite the same. The thing is, this had a hell of a lot more to do with MAJOR HOTSAUCE being gone than it did my job. While MH was deployed, did I miss going into an office every day? Was I sad that I wasn't being forced to interact with people professionally every day, whether I felt like it or not?

    Short answer: NO.

    The truth is, if I'd had one those kinds of jobs (especially my last job, as a tech writer, which was SOUL KILLING) things would have been a LOT worse. If you have to be away from the person you love, do you want to be showing up in an office every day (Some of which, I might add, don't allow you to instant message your deployed spouse, even though it's the only time he's available.)? Or do you want to be doing something that makes you heart and soul happy?

    Since I started writing full time - since I started discussing the trials and tribulations of the writing life on forums like Absolute Write and connecting with authors, editors, librarians, and agents on Twitter - I have NEVER felt alone the way I did in an office, surrounded by people who JUST DIDN'T UNDERSTAND.

    It wasn't their fault. I didn't have day jobs with other writers, with people who cared about books or reading or wanted to discuss for hours the state of publishing or what ebooks mean for the future of the industry. (Sadly. I'm sure THOSE kinds of office jobs are AWESOME.)

    Now, I do have that kind of job. Now, because of the wonder of the internet, I can be in my house and at the same time connected with a whole world of soul sisters, kindred spirits, mentors, friends. I can have a discussion about character development or commiserate about how brutal this business is, or celebrate fantastic news.

    I am NEVER alone if I don't want to be.

    In all those "real" jobs where I showed up to an office everyday and exchanged pleasantries with my coworkers, it was always surface streets. Now, some of those coworkers became close friends because we DID share a love of books and an interest in the industry (or an interest in really, really tasty food). But for the most part, going into an office everyday made me feel MORE isolated. And worse, sitting at a computer all day NOT writing wore me out enough that when I got home, I COULDN't write.

    Even on my worst day as a full-time writer....even when I'm crying and snotty and scared shitless I'm never going to make it in this business, even when I HATE that my husband is supporting me financially and my little feminist heart rebels at the thought that I'm bringing in NO bacon whatsoever at the moment....even then, I'm still happier than I have ever been in any other job I've ever had.

    I'm chasing a dream I've had since I was five years old.

    I'm creating SOMETHING out of NOTHING every single day.

    I'm meeting - if only online - some of the most interesting, generous, talented, and inspiring people I've ever known.

    So no. I don't feel isolated by my career choice. I don't feel like I need more socialization. What I feel is really, really lucky that I have this opportunity. That I get to spend long, quiet, uninterrupted days with all the varied, interesting characters and worlds my mind can imagine...and with the varied, interesting writers, agents, librarians, and editors who make the "real" world infinitely more beautiful and fun to be a part of.

    Thanks Shari, Mandy, Susanne, Cory, Jennifer, and all you lovely folks on Twitter and AW. You're the best "coworkers" ever. :-)

    Btw, this post was further inspired by Mandy's post on basically the same topic, which reminded me just how frustrated I get when the "you're isolating yourself" argument comes up. Thanks Mandy!