Monday, February 10, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Nancy Hill

What was Nancy's reasoning for wanting to learn how to write in cursive? What do typo's do when she's shut her computer off? Learn some tools of the writing trade in this week's author interview!

Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?


I've been writing for as long as I remember. I first wanted to be a writer when I was seven. I was just trying out cursive writing and thought it an awful chore but was eager to master it since I was sure that once I could write like a grown-up, I would be able to write books.

How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or do you prefer writing freehand?

I write all times of the day and night. I usually get up at 5:30 so I can write for at least an hour before I go to work. I write all day at work since that is part of my job managing the publications and communications department where I work. Then I go home and write some more. Clearly, I have a huge need to escape reality. I write every day. Sometimes I feel it’s an addiction and try to stop, but I've never been able to do that. I usually compose on a computer unless there isn't one around.

What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?

I have lots of favorite parts: making up the stories, getting to know the characters, the research, and I love the incredible wonderful feeling when things all start to fall into place or when an unexpected twist or connection pops into my head.

My least favorite? The boring stuff: editing, proofing. Especially the proofing. No matter how many times I proof something, there are always more typos waiting to torment me. I’m convinced that when my computer is turned off, letters move out of place to dance and play. Some of the letters can’t remember exactly where they belonged, so they end up in the wrong place. Some of the letters just disappear altogether. I wonder if they end up in someone else’s story, the fickle things.

How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them?

My characters just kind of pop into my head, although at times I see someone doing something curious or I overhear (okay, I’m eavesdropping) a snippet of a conversation that intrigues me, and I start giving the person a life that probably has no basis in reality.

Not positive why readers would want to get to know my characters other than the stories they have to tell.

What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?

I admit I am not good at this. I love to create, but I have a very, very difficult time self-promoting. No doubt that comes from my early childhood in which I was frequently told not to talk about myself and – horror of horrors – one must never, ever brag. Bragging included anything that included the words “I” or “me.”

I post things to my Facebook page – always with an apology for shameless self-promotion. I use twitter, always hoping I’m not annoying anyone. I use the kindle free five day program and send announcements about the free days to the wonderful people who send out lists of such things. I have a website I all but ignore because I’m uncertain how to promote it. My latest efforts are to reach out to the kind people who review books for free and then post reviews. And, for the first time, I have contacted someone—you— bout an author interview.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

When my kids were little, I would get up at 5:30 so I could write before they woke up. It’s a habit that stuck, so even though they grew up and now have homes of their own, I still begin my day that way. Now, though, I can also write in the evenings after work because I no longer have kids to play with.

What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?

I’m working on an anti-war novel set on the home front during World War II. I’m also working on a collection of short stories which I will illustrate with photos I've taken of cemeteries. That short story collection isn't a horror story; rather it’s about redemption and the quest for understanding.

Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.

I want to get back to a novel I wrote a few years ago. I put it aside because it wasn't quite right and rewriting it seemed an overwhelming task. But I love the story and need to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.

There are also two screenplays I really want to write. I wrote a bunch of screenplays a while back and became disheartened because it is so difficult to sell one, but I have two that I keep thinking about, and the only way I know to get them out of my head is to put them down on paper. (Although if I were to win the lottery, I’d no longer have to worry about anyone buying them – I could write them and produce them myself!)

What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?

Forget about the publishing part of writing. Just write. The more you write, the better you’ll get. If you have stories to tell, be kind and share them.

That said, take the time to learn the tools of the trade. You wouldn't try to build a house using your shoe to hammer in nails and a butter knife to cut wood, so why try to write a book without first arming yourself with the tools a writer needs—a good grasp of the language, a firm understanding of the rules of grammar, a foundation of story structure, character development, etc.?

Thank you, Nancy! Here is a list of Nancy's books:

Purchase: Gabriella: the tale of a misfit fairy
Purchase: The Dolltender
Purchase: The Dolltender's Christmas
Purchase:
It Could Have Happened: Fairytales
 for grown-ups





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