After a great career in teaching, Nancy found a second calling as a writer. Working with children her whole life has inspired her writing and she draws from many of those experiences. Nancy has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, teaching most of the primary grades during her school years.
She secretly wrote short stories as a child, typed them up and put them in a drawer. She’d give anything to see those stories one more time.
Nancy lives with her husband and their college-age son, plus a delightfully entertaining lovebird in Northeast Ohio. Ohio is her home but she loves to travel the U.S.
Her debut novel, ‘Waiting for Dusk’, was a surprise to her as much as it was to her family. Watching a PBS series on National Parks, her mind wandered to another place and that is where the characters of Katie and Andrew were born. The Swedish influences found in the book came from her mother whose parents emigrated from Sweden to the U.S.
And now from the author herself:
‘Waiting for Dusk’ is a fantasy romance novel for young adults. I didn’t set out to write it or any book. I recently retired from teaching and planned to live the simple, quiet life just like the cattle egret wished to do in a story read each year by my second graders. Little did I know this story of Katie and Drew would pop in my head and not leave me alone until I finished writing it.
I always enjoyed writing and kept journals and diaries as a child. I did like to write short stories but never thought of writing a book. As I grew older, I found I still liked to write things down in journal form but that was the extent of my writing.
When I was in grade school, I loved to read and tried to read all the fiction in our school’s small library. I loved Little Women and Beverly Cleary books—Henry Huggins, Ribsy and Beezus and Ramona. Biographies were another favorite. It was hard to find time to read while I was teaching and raising a family but I’ve gotten back to that. There are so many great books out there and only so many hours to read them!
The questions I get asked the most about my writing are: How did you think of your story? Did you make an outline? How long did it take to write it?
First, I’d like to preface all that with this answer. Everyone is different. There are no hard and fast rules for writing. Authors have all kinds of systems. Mine is mostly in my head.
How did I think of the story? I would say that the story just came to me. I began to think about it one evening and the next morning I was at the computer.
Did I make an outline? No, I didn’t write anything down except names and birth dates. The story evolved as I went along. I wanted it to be character-driven and sometimes I found the characters taking me in a different direction than I originally planned.
How long did it take to write it? The first draft was done in about four month’s time but was read over many times after that.
I drew upon a lot of my own history for this book. I wanted to pay homage to my Swedish roots so the character of Carl Johansson was born. The friendship between Katie and Lindsey is much like my friendship with my best friend. There are some elements from my past in there, too. I don’t think an author can write without doing a little of that.
My favorite part of being an author is hearing someone read your book and liked it. I was invited to a teen book club and the mom who invited me warned me that one of the girls never read the books. She came to book club but didn’t read. When I arrived on book club day, I was informed that the first one done reading was this girl. I was thrilled to hear that. Not so much that she read my book, but that she read a book. Being a former teacher there’s nothing better than hearing that news. I had a long conversation with this young girl and told her that she may be like me. I don’t like to read just any book; I want it to be a good book. There’s nothing wrong with being a discerning reader.
You can find more about Nancy and her writing via…
- Blog: http://nancypennick.wordpress.com
- Twitter: @npennick
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/nancypennickauthor
If you would like to take part in an author spotlight, take a look at https://morgenbailey.wordpress.com/submission-information/opportunities-on-this-blog (the spotlights are option (a)) or email me for details.
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I welcome items for critique for the online writing groups listed below:
Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Poetry Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group
Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group
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