Ninja Writer Pro Tips is a monthly series where an author comes to hang out with the Ninjas for a little bit and share their one best writing tip.
This month, I’m super excited to have Tracy Clark in the house!
So, Ninjas, meet Tracy Clark. Tracy, meet the Ninjas.
Hello, Ninja Writers! My name is Tracy Clark and I am an author of novels for young-adults. The Light Key Trilogy, my YA paranormal/metaphysical series, (SCINTILLATE, DEVIATE, & ILLUMINATE) is out now and I have an upcoming YA thriller, MIRAGE, releasing on July 5th. I live in my home state of Nevada where I sometimes fly, occasionally eat chocolate, and always mother my two busy teens.
(Ed. Note: Click any of the covers below to check out Tracy’s amazing books!)
How did you become a writer?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since eighth grade when something I wrote made my best friend’s mother cry. The power of making someone feel with my words! I never forgot it. But I didn’t actually become a writer until 2008. That’s when I stopped dabbling and talking about it and actually started writing seriously and completed my first book; the first of eight so far. (My 3rd book got me my rock star agent, Michael Bourret, and it was my 4th book that sold to a publisher.) From the very beginning, I sought out mentors and critique partners who could teach me and help me improve my craft. I believe that being willing to learn, being open to criticism, and becoming involved in the writing community accelerated my journey to getting an agent and getting published.
What are you working on right now?
I just finished a historical thriller that’s currently on submission with editors. (All lucky thoughts and vibes are appreciated!) The hoping and interminable waiting never end, even after you’ve been published! I’m a shameless genre-hopper and so my next idea is a YA sci-fi, which I’ve already begun working on. My tactic to keep from going crazy when a project is out of my hands is to immediately begin the next one. There’s three reasons for that: 1) It keeps you busy while waiting 2) You have another project in the hopper if the one on submission doesn’t go anywhere, and 3) Most importantly, you keep writing! Never stop writing.
What is your one best pro tip for aspiring writers?
My best piece of advice for aspiring writers (aside from the cheat one mentioned above to “never stop writing”) is to PERSEVERE. There will always be challenges, setbacks, time constraints, roadblocks, families that keep wanting to be fed, harsh criticisms, self-doubts, uncertainties, rejections, and sometimes champagne celebrations. The ONLY way that I can see to overcome the challenges is to keep moving forward. Not stubbornly as in you won’t open yourself to hearing feedback that will make you better, but stubbornly as in you believe you have stories in your heart that deserve to be shared and you’ll work as hard as you must. Believe in your unique voice and talent and tell your stories. Do this over and over and over until you’ve wrung them all out of you. Be a warrior and don’t lay your ink-sword down for anyone!
BIG FAT GIVEAWAY! Books and chapter critiques, oh my!
Tracy is offering a signed copy of her book Scintillate AND a chapter critique. I’m adding in three copies of The Plotting Workshop eBook and a chapter critique of my own–so this is a giveaway of epic proportions! Head here to enter. I’ll pick SIX winners next Sunday! Don’t forget that sharing your lucky URL gives you three more chances to win for every person who uses it to enter.