Friday, September 6, 2013

What a First-Time Author Must Overcome by Tracy Sweeney + Giveaway!

Page Count: 368
Release Date: January 21st, 2013
Publisher: Virtual Bookworm (self-published)

Twenty-nine-year-old Jillian Cross refuses to believe that a pair of skinny jeans has led to her untimely demise. Life just isn't that cruel. But when an overly-enthusiastic attempt at squeezing herself into them leads her to fall and lose consciousness, she is faced with just that possibility. When she awakens with both a bruised ego and a bump on her head, she's not in her tiny apartment but her childhood bedroom circa 1999-the spring of her senior year in high school. Jillian knows that time travel isn't logical. But then again, neither was her decision to wear skinny jeans.

As she attempts to navigate her way through the halls of Reynolds High, walking the same path and making the same choices she made years before, she knows that any change she makes can have a catastrophic effect on her future. But when she strikes up an unexpected friendship with motorcycle-riding, cigarette-smoking Luke Chambers, can she pretend to be the same shy girl she once was? At least she has her pink sparkly flask to take the edge off. One little change won't hurt, right?

Click "Read more" to find out what Tracy considers the biggest challenge of being a first-timer and to win a PRINT copy and swag of Living Backwards!

The Challenges of a First-Time Author

Eight years ago, I became a mom.

I'm not completely ridiculous. I knew having a child would be forever life-altering. And I had spent enough time in malls to watch harried women chase toddlers covered in gross, sticky substances around clothing racks. Toddlers, I've learned in my tenure, are always covered in gross, sticky substances.

I couldn't begin to list off the things that have surprised me about motherhood. I could devote whole blogs on how differently I view things and how shocked I am that I buy more clothes for my kids than I do for myself. Honestly this floors me. But what shocks me the most is the measure of success it brings.

When my oldest was a baby, he had colic. I'm guaranteeing that anyone who has lived through colic just had a visceral reaction thinking back to those days. Colic is no joke. Every day was a bad day. But was it? There were the rare occasions that my son, who cried so hard he turned a gorgeous shade of eggplant, was asleep. I would stare at his pink lips and full cheeks and marvel at how this little thing would someday be a person when all he was at the time was a very, very loud poop machine. In those moments, nothing was bad, but it was hard to remember that when he was screaming for hours on end.

As he got older and I became the mother of two boys, I started to lose my absolutes. Good parenting days and bad parenting days, I'd come to learn, don't really exist. If you wait around for the perfect day when no one is punished and no one talks back and no one forgets to pee before leaving the house, you'll go crazy. There are moments. In some moments, I am better than Superman and Batman and Spiderman combined. I may have planned the perfect outing or a surprise play date or assembled a bedroom set by myself (strong like an ox!) and my kids thought I could do no wrong. But there were the times I was five minutes late picking up my oldest from school and found him in tears or when my youngest was so angry at me that he said he wouldn't be my baby anymore. It's easy to let mom failures eclipse our mom victories. I try not to, but I'm excellent at beating myself up.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because being a writer is so similar. There are some days—days when I get an awesome review—when I think I'm unstoppable. When I don't question my sanity or why I set out on this journey in the first place. And then there are days—more often than not—when I, well, question my sanity. But my book is my infant. I'm new at this, training myself to think differently, to not let setbacks set me back. To let go of a rough review and focus on the next milestone. To live in the good moments and let the bad moments go. And to look on the bright side. Because there is a bright side. This child never runs away from me in the mall.

About the Author

Tracy Sweeney lives north of Boston, Massachusetts with her two young boys. Her short stories have appeared in Literary Juice, Solecisms, and Slice of Life magazines. When she's not letting her seven-year old beat her in Angry Birds, she's working on her second novel.


Want the chance to win a finished print copy of Living Backwards and a themed keychain? 
One lucky US-based Books à la Mode reader will! To enter, all you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

You have the OPTIONAL opportunity to gain four extra entries in the drawing by answering Tracy's question in a comment below:
If you could go back in time, what time period would you relive? Would you do things exactly the same or entirely different?
Don't forget the terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the author—a huge thank you Tracy!
Giveaway ends September 20th, 2013 at 11:59 PM (your time).
Open to US residents only. Sorry, rest of the world! Check out the top of my sidebar for a list of current giveaways that are accepting international entires—there are plenty you can participate in!
Although I do select winners, and I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤ Plus you get extra entries ;)
Good luck!