- N. N. Light
Author Interview | Meet prolific author and podcaster Nancy Christie and her latest release #books
I am so excited for today because one of my favorite authors is here visiting N. N. Light’s Book Heaven. She agreed to sit down with me for an interview. Who is she? Her name is Nancy Christie and she’s a prolific writer, author, and podcaster. She’s also the founder of Celebrate Short Fiction Day. Grab your favorite beverage and join us. Nancy, take it away.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
The names just come to me and once they do, I would find it very hard to change them. That being said, there are some names like “Sara” and “Paul” that I am very fond of, which leads to the same names showing up in multiple stories, even though the characters are different. This created a problem when Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories was in pre-publication revision. I needed to change some character names to keep readers from being confused—not an easy thing to do since it was like re-naming one of my kids!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Still writing, I hope! My goal is to continue to write novels and short stories. I love writing both kinds and have a long list of short story ideas that I dip into every now and then. As for my Midlife Moxie Novel Series, I have a list of titles and brief descriptions of each story. If I average one novel a year, I have enough to keep me going at least for the next five years!
Have you always liked to write?
The short answer is yes. It was something I did instinctively, even as a child. The first thing I wrote was a short story when I was eight years old. After my mother died, I found it. She had kept it all these years. Writing brings me so much joy. I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t write.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Since I can never resist telling people what to do, here are three pieces of advice. #1: Never compare yourself to other writers who may be better known or more successful than you. It just takes all the energy out of you. #2: Make time for writing every day, even if it's just half an hour. The longer you go without writing, the harder it is to get started again. #3: Stop making excuses for why you aren’t writing. Either write or stop talking about writing and being a writer. (Brutal, I know, but there you are.)
If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?
If I hadn’t become a writer, I would have liked to be an archeologist. Even as a child, the idea of uncovering past lives—of finding people long dead and learning how they lived—fascinated me. I suppose in a way that’s what my fiction does: it reveals the lives of people that no one knew about and tells their stories: what motivated them, what they feared, whom they loved. (That being said, I am afraid of spiders and scorpions, so maybe not.)
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I am definitely a pantser—I write by the seat of my pants. With my short stories, I never know how they will end until I get to the end. And when I started writing novels, I followed the same process. I didn’t plan out the scenes in advance, didn’t have a list of characters and a detailed biography for each, and wasn’t sure what the various plot points would be. I just started writing, and once the first draft was completed, I went back through it multiple times to smooth out the rough edges and add scenes and secondary characters that I thought would advance the story. Of course, this meant I had to make notes on the fly, or I could end up with a character who was allergic to shellfish (mentioned in Chapter 2) eating a shrimp cocktail in Chapter 8!
What is your best marketing tip?
HAVE A WEBSITE. Social media is not a substitute for a website. And make sure you have all the components: a bio, downloadable images, a description of each book along with sales links, and a way for people to reach you. I do author interviews and I can’t tell you how many authors I wanted to have on my podcast that I had no way to reach. And please update your site once a month.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
Reinventing Rita is my sixth book but first novel. I have two books for writers (Rut-Busting Book for Writers and Rut-Busting Book for Authors), two short story collections (Traveling Left of Center and Peripheral Visions) and one inspirational book (The Gifts of Change). December 2023 I’ll be releasing my third short story collection: Mistletoe Magic.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
I am finishing up revisions to my next novel, Finding Fran, writing my third novel, Moving Maggie, and revising a few short stories that will be in my fourth collection, The Language of Love.
Do you write naked?
Lord no! Too many windows in my office! Besides, I get cold easily.
Have you ever been in trouble with the law?
Does having a minor fender-bender count? I was so terrified when I had to go to court. Luckily, all I got was a fine.
Do you drink? Smoke? What’s your vice?
I don’t drink because it makes me sleepy. I don’t smoke because it’s not good for me and I hate wasting money anyway. Vice? Binge-watching Acorn TV and MhZ network and eating chocolate and reading.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
Here lies Nancy Christie, still writing…
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?
I was a tomboy and my favorite toy was my bike. I used to pretend it was a horse. In some ways, I am still a tomboy and still love riding a bike. (And I’ve also developed a taste for riding Harleys, but only as a passenger.)
What do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?
I dream a lot. And have nightmares. And talk and walk in my sleep if I’m really tired. The good thing is, I remember most of my dreams and nightmares and have used them as inspiration for stories. (When you’re a writer, nothing is ever wasted…)
Thank you, Nancy, for the insightful interview. I agree 100% with your marketing tip. I can’t tell you how many times I search for an author’s website and they don’t have one. Very frustrating. Readers, check out Nancy’s new release by scrolling down…
Title: Reinventing Rita
Author: Nancy Christie
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Fiction
Is fifty too old to start over and reinvent yourself? That's what Rita Reynolds has to decide after a series of unwelcome occurrences arrive in time for her fiftieth birthday. Suffering from a bad case of empty-nest syndrome combined with the possible loss of her part-time job, Rita is also facing the unwelcome realization that, since her divorce, she's been coasting on the highway of life. Now, it’s time to hit the gas and start moving ahead, if she can overcome her fear that it might be too late for a fresh start.
REINVENTING RITA—Chapter 1 Excerpt:
“Well, that’s not how it was supposed to look! Can’t anything turn out right?”
I dropped the paint roller on the tray and pushed my hair out of my face, then took a better look at the color. It was meant to be Marine Blue to go along with the nautical theme I had envisioned for my son’s room, figuring it would be more appropriate for a twenty-one-year-old than the sports motif wallpaper that had been on the wall since Zack turned twelve.
That was the idea anyway. But as the paint dried, it was a darned sight closer to robin’s egg, giving it the unmistakable air of a nursery. Granted, he would only be staying here during summer break, but still I wanted it to be perfect.
I wanted everything to be perfect—the color, the room, the entire three-month visit. I wanted it to be so perfect that, when Zack graduated next June, he might just come back here to live.
But so far, nothing was going according to plan. Not only had I selected the wrong shade of paint, but I was also now left on my own when it came to picking out new curtains and bedding for Zack’s room, since my mother had backed out of our Sunday shopping plans.
“Oh, honey, I forgot to call you,” she said when I finally reached her. Lately, every time I called my mother, it either went straight to voice mail, or if she answered, it was a brief conversation because she was on her way out. For a woman in her mid-seventies, she sure had a busy social life.
“I can’t go. I promised the group that I would be one of the drivers for the trip to the outlet mall in Pennsylvania.”
“Couldn’t you have told me this sooner?” I asked.
“I’m sorry, Rita. But can’t you get your boss to go with you?”
“No, I can’t. Weekends are busy days at Design2Go, and Donna can’t take time off from her business to go shopping just because I need advice,” I said.
“Well, maybe we can do it another day. But now I really must go. Have a good day, sweetie,” and without waiting for my answer, she ended the call, leaving me thoroughly aggravated, although I wasn’t sure whether it was at her or the prospect of venturing alone into the home linen and accessory arena.
Design had never been my strong point, which made my position as a salesclerk at Design2Go problematic. People flocked to our thousand-square-foot store for everything from curtains for the kitchen and towels for the bathroom to décor for living room walls and throw rugs for the laundry room. And my job is to help them develop a look that was uniquely theirs—despite my woeful inability to distinguish between trendy and classic, modern and contemporary, or organic cotton and polyester.
And apparently, if my most recent purchase was any indication, between nursery room blue and the navy shade I really wanted.
Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Reinventing-Rita-Midlife-Moxie-Novel/dp/166788347X/
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3nvii0L
Nancy Christie has been making up stories since she learned how to write, and she plans to continue as long as her fingers can work the keyboard. She can often be found walking the streets of her neighborhood, reciting lines of dialogue or recording plot ideas on her cell phone before they escape her mind.
Reinventing Rita (the first in her Midlife Moxie novel series) is Nancy's sixth book. Her other books include The Gifts of Change, Rut-Busting Book for Writers, Rut-Busting Book for Authors, Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories and Peripheral Visions and Other Stories. Mistletoe Magic, her third fiction collection, will be released late 2023. Her books and short stories have won awards and earned contest placements.
Nancy is the creator and host of the Living the Writing Life podcast and founder of the annual "Celebrate Short Fiction" Day. She's a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, Women's Fiction Writers Association, and the Florida Writers Association. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Goodreads. For more about Nancy, visit her website at www.nancychristie.com.
Social Media Links: