Jot is ONE day away! The Weaklings are excited. The presenters are as well. I hope you are giddy with excitement too. Where else can you rub shoulders with other writers, drink copious amounts of great coffee in an amazing bookstore, and get spectacular advice from publishing professionals all for FREE?!?! (There should be about a billion more exclamation points).
Christy Award winning author Tracy Groot is our keynote speaker for this installment of Jot. The Weaklings are thrilled that she agreed to join us. She wants to share on the topic of pop lit, but more than that, she wants to have a discussion and throw around ideas on what makes a great pop-lit book. I hope you come ready to join in the discussion. Below, I’ve asked her a few questions to help Jot attendees get to know her a little better.
1. Tracy, tell a little bit about yourself and what authors or subjects influence your writing.
Part One: I’m a mom, a writer, and a coffee shop owner. My first paid writing gig was radio commercials. Then I wrote a few YA mystery adventure novels, published in the mid-nineties. I’ve done some ghost writing and some screenplay work and some historical fiction. Latest book is The Sentinels of Andersonville, a Civil War novel about the notorious Andersonville Prison in Georgia. Currently working on a WWII historical fiction novel about the rescue of the entire British Army at Dunkirk. Part Two: The current author I happen to be reading usually influences my writing. But my faves include Dickens, Steinbeck, Patrick O’Brian, oh, don’t get me started. Any subject at all can influence my writing: I’m pretty eclectic in my interests.
2. Pop lit can be a slippery term. How would you define it?
I have to tell you that I think I see my session as more of an exploration of pop lit, then a exposition of it, since it was a subject that intrigued me; I plan to start off with only rudimentary ideas that I think a pop-lit book would possess, and then open it up for discussion
3. What are a few practical techniques a pre-published writer could practice to make their writing more literary?
Here are some springboard elements I think a pop-lit book would have:
- A killer first line
- A killer first page
- Action, action, action
- But not TOO much action
- Lovely little details
- Stuff to think about
4.What are a few practical techniques a pre-published writer could practice to make their writing more literary?
This is a long-haul answer, but I think the most important thing a writer can do to write literary is to read literary. “Tis the good reader that makes the good book.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson. And read poetry.
5. There are a lot of books that offer advice on how to write a book. What book or books do you suggest the growing novelist should read to help them become a well-rounded writer?
My favorite writing books so far: The Art of War for Writers, by James Scott Bell. Zen in the Art of Writing, by Ray Bradbury. On Writing, by Stephen King. Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamott. Write Tight, by William Brohaugh. Plot, by Ansen Dibell. I’m currently reading The Art of Spiritual Writing, by Vinita Hampton-Wright, and I’m enjoying it. I’d say my two faves are the first two mentioned.
Thank you Tracy!
You can learn more about Tracy and her journey into the world of words HERE
You can see all of her books (and buy some!) HERE
Jotters, be sure to thank our excellent presenters. They gave this time and energy for free. Not one asked for any form of compensation. Each person was thrilled to be a part of this experience and I hope you learn a lot, meet a lot of writers, and get some time to put words on the page.
See you all tomorrow!