Monday, January 16, 2017

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Nan Weber

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

I am naturally curious. I am drawn to exploring, it feeds my curiosity. I sometimes stumble upon cultural artifacts and I long to know how they got there, who they belonged to. This drives me to research and of course from there I have to tell the story of what I have found. Biography takes me to other times, not unlike a time machine. I love it.

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

I don’t really schedule my writing time. The beginnings are usually an historic person, event or object. When find an idea or theme coming to me and I jot it down. I explore further from that point and go with research.

3.     How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?

     I write from my hand-written notes, usually to my laptop, but can also rely on hand writing. A connection happens when I explore with my pen or pencil.

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

Telling the story is my favorite part of writing. Finding a thread that other folks will relate to, and then following that path that takes them to another person’s life, that’s fun.

Nothing is least favorite. Nuts and bolts are all part of writing and it can feel as though the mechanics are taking up time but it’s all part of the work, and work it is. You must love your work.

5.     How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?

Get the Book at
Homestead Publishing 

My book subjects have literally found me. My first book, Mattie, A Woman’s Journey West, came about from exploring and finding a gravesite in Yellowstone Park. A story just shouting to be told. The words on a gravestone can speak loudly and straight to you. Mattie’s life had twists and turns that only became apparent after my own twists and turns of research. It felt like a miracle when home sources of Mattie’s came to me. Nothing she had written, but much of what friends had written for her in the form of a young working girl’s autograph book. Oh the fun of detecting all the lives that intersected with hers. They told me Mattie’s story.

Get Singing in the Saddle
here
Singing in the Saddle, The Life and Times of Yellowstone Chip was quite the same—Chip found me. Working on a renovation of an old Montana Dude Ranch I found a bit of information from scribblings by Chip Samuell, an entertainer and wrangler from the 1930s. After researching his life and then finding some of his own writing and music, it was clear he had a story to tell, so I also had a story to tell.

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

While my publishers do some of the marketing I find that it is not enough. So, I research where my subjects would do well, make contacts in historical groups, libraries, museums and book stores. I also us my website and social media to promote signing and events.

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

My current book is a biography concerning the works of Utah architect Richard Kletting. While he designed hundreds of buildings he is most known for the Utah State Capitol Building. I am co-authoring with Salt Lake architect and historian Allen Roberts. What a fabulous experience--to co-author. Two minds working to create and share a life story.

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

Three different projects vie for my attention. There is another biography that threatens to be told. It is still in the research stage but asks the question, “Myth or reality.” A first-person theatre piece is just about finished—all about an artist who broke with social norms to pursue her art. Thirdly, there is a woman who was constantly in the limelight of the 1880s mining towns because of her “profession.” She, and an adversary, have a brief and violent story. This could be an article but also has potential for a book.

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

     Just make a beginning, don't hesitate. Words can always be written until they speak for you. "Talent" is a combination of imagination and hard work. Often, I am ask how I got the idea to write a biography. It is simple: with a person's life itself. Their life dictates my direction. And I say, be ready for anything, a life can take an unexpected turn.

Website:
http://nanweber.com/
Publisher website pages—
Mattie, A Woman’s Journey West:
Singing in the Saddle, The Life and Times of Yellowstone Chip:

Facebook pages—
Mattie, A Woman’s Journey West:
https://www.facebook.com/MattieAWomansJourneyWest/
Singing in the Saddle, The Life and Times of Yellowstone Chip:
https://www.facebook.com/Singing-in-the-Saddle-The-Life-and-Times-of-Yellowstone-Chip-118811578203044/

Book Trailers—
Mattie, A Woman’s Journey West:
Singing in the Saddle, The Life and Times of Yellowstone Chip:
https://youtu.be/TJkiHmy2jG0
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