The Girl He Used to Know

Hello, everyone!

It’s been a while since I’ve updated you on my current work in progress, and I’m happy to report that I finished my latest manuscript this week, a second-chance romance/women’s fiction hybrid called The Girl He Used to Know. It always feels wonderful to type the words THE END, and this was certainly no exception.

You might be curious about what I mean by romance/women’s fiction hybrid, and I’ll be talking about that in greater detail in a forthcoming post about branding. But the short answer is that this book will combine the things I love most about the two genres. Women’s fiction holds a huge appeal for me because I’m drawn to the depth of the stories, and I thoroughly enjoy the heroine’s journey outside of the romantic relationship. But I also love watching the romance unfold between two characters, complete with a happily-ever-after ending. Some may categorize a book like this as commercial women’s fiction or even mainstream contemporary fiction. Regardless of what it’s called, the combination of these two genres provides exactly what I love most as a reader, and I’m hoping there are others who feel the same way.

Although I’ve completed the manuscript, this is only the first draft which means there’s more to be done before I’m actually finished with this book. The revision stage is hard work, but it’s also my favorite and I typically spend another month revising, editing, and polishing (and that’s before I turn the manuscript in for professional copyediting).

I don’t have a publication date yet, but if you’re wondering what the story is about, it follows two people who meet via the campus chess club and fall in love during their senior year of college The second-chance part comes into play when they run into each other at a Chicago grocery store ten years after they broke up. The book is structured in a series of past and present chapters so you get to experience what happened to them in the past and also see what happens now that they’ve reconnected in the present. I have mentioned this several times already, but I was inspired to write this book based on my love of Dan Fogelberg’s “Same Old Lang Syne,” the song about running into your old lover in the grocery store, and I decided to write my own interpretation. However, the hero of my novel is NOT a musician. The characters don’t buy a six pack of beer and drink it in the heroine’s car. Both of them are single. But I wanted to capture the spirit of what it’s like to give a relationship another try. To really explore what happens when you rekindle a past love using all the hindsight of the first relationship with the personal growth and maturity that comes with being ten years older.

I’ll post more information and publication details as they become available, so please stay tuned!

Tracey

P.S. Here are the lyrics if you’re not familiar with the song.

“Same Old Lang Syne”
Met my old lover in the grocery store
The snow was falling Christmas Eve
I stood behind her in the frozen foods
And I touched her on the sleeve
She didn’t recognize the face at first
But then her eyes flew open wide
She went to hug me and she spilled her purse
And we laughed until we cried
We took her groceries to the check out stand
The food was totaled up and bagged
We stood there lost in our embarrassment
As the conversation lagged
We went to have ourselves a drink or two
But couldn’t find an open bar
We bought a six-pack at the liquor store
And we drank it in her car
We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
We tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how
She said she’s married her an architect
Who kept her warm and safe and dry
She would have liked to say she loved the man
But she didn’t like to lie
I said the years had been a friend to her
And that her eyes were still as blue
But in those eyes I wasn’t sure if I saw
Doubt or gratitude
She said she saw me in the record stores
And that I must be doing well
I said the audience was heavenly
But the traveling was Hell
We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to now
We tried to reach beyond the emptiness
But neither one knew how
We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to time
Reliving, in our eloquence
Another “Auld Lang Syne”
The beer was empty and our tongues were tired
And running out of things to say
She gave a kiss to me as I got out
And I watched her drive away
Just for a moment I was back at school
And felt that old familiar pain
And, as I turned to make my way back home
The snow turned into rain