The Not In Here Story by Tracey Zeeck
For National Adoption Month, this week’s Creator Conversation Q&A session is with author Tracey Zeeck about her new book, The Not In Here Story. In this question and answer interview, Tracey talks about her own adoption story, what she learned about writing her first book, and what she wants people to take away.
Tracey, tell everyone a little bit about yourself.
I’m a mom, wife, and I own a little PR firm in OKC.
In your own words, describe The Not In Here Story.
It’s the backstory of a family’s path to adoption.
What inspired this book?
Our own family! The origin of this book was a little story I wrote when our son was a baby to tell him his adoption story.
How did the book come to life with working with an artist and publisher?
The illustrated is amazing so that part was as good as it could be. He kind of “draws my thoughts” naturally.
The publisher had ideas for my story that made it a better book.
Both were instrumental in making this go from a “good story” to “the right book at the right time.”
What did you learn in the process of making this book?
Books take a long time. People won’t believe you when you tell them you have a good manuscript. Agents don’t do a great deal of work. They email things to people they know. You have to hustle to make the thing your pitching exciting enough for them to want to push send.
What was the greatest personal challenge you overcame when writing The Not In Here Story?
Losing my agent (he went to another agency and didn’t rep children’s books anymore). And not knowing what to do next.
What advice do you have for other writers?
[pullquote-right]”Don’t believe you have written a book until you sit down and actually write it.”[/pullquote-right]Don’t believe you have written a book until you sit down and actually write it. Thinking it isn’t doing the work. Type it out of you – even if it sucks (it will!) because only then can you start working on it.
What message would you like for people to take away after reading it?
Whatever they need. It’s beyond adoption. It’s about how, if you’re open to life’s surprises, you can find happiness. It’s about empathy, and how we don’t know what anyone’s really going through but probably something, so be nice. It’s about solidarity. I mean we ALL come from someone’s “tummy.” And it’s about paving the way to normalcy for all types of families.
Anything else you want to share or let people know about?
I have a book signing/reading on national adoption day – November 19th – at b&n on Memorial. 11 a.m. It also, coincidentally, is my son’s birthday that day. And Sugar Free Allstars will be there performing, too! It should be a great party! Come out and bring the kids or just yourselves. I want to see everyone there!