Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Interview With The Fabulous Nancy Straight!

R&M:  Welcome everyone to R&M Fab Book Reviews!  Today we had the chance to talk with Nancy Straight, the author of Blood Debt!

R&M:  First I would like to say welcome to our blog, thank you for being with us today! 

Nancy:  Thank you for having me!

R&M:  You are so welcome!  Well, when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Nancy:  Would you believe that a lawyer made me realize it?  I used to work with a lawyer that I had a great deal of respect for, one day he was reading something work-related and out of the blue he said, "Ms. Straight, you are one of the most compelling writers I've ever known."  That was one of the most unexpected and flattering compliments I had ever received.  His compliment stuck with my for months, until one night, I started typing.

R&M: That is definitely a different way of finding your calling!  So, what was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Nancy:  The kindness of complete strangers has been by far the most surprising and humbling things I’ve learned since I began writing.  When I first joined Goodreads, I think I had sold maybe twenty-five books.  I was still very new to the site, a friend request came in from Charles Young, followed by a message saying he had read Meeting Destiny and loved it.  Charles was my very first fan and I still message him regularly.  If any of you have ever sent a message like the one I received from Charles to a “Rookie” author, I can guarantee you will never comprehend the lifelong impact your simple act of kindness has made (or will make) in that author’s life! 

As for the bloggers of this world, OHMYSWEETGOODNESS I LOVE YOU GUYS!!  I have never met a group of people so willing to selflessly give up hours every day, taking a chance on someone they’ve never heard of to devote hours of reading, then evaluate their work and promote on Facebook, Twitter and blogs.  I will never be able to repay the kindness I have been shown by you and others just like you, but know that a day doesn’t go by that I don’t know how lucky I am.

  R&M:  Wow, well thank you!  What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

Nancy:  Hmmmm, I like to write with my dog, Flash, curled up next to me.  Is that a quirk?  We both like ice cream and Doritos when we write and find that it gives us both inspiration!!  Although Flash doesn’t have to worry about fitting in blue jeans so he always encourages me to seek more inspiration than what I really require.  J  My kids know when I’ve had a particularly productive night by the empty Doritos bag crumpled up in the trash and the empty ice cream bucket in the dish drainer.

R&M:  That’s usually how our families know to avoid us! *laughing* So, about Blood Debt, how much of the book is realistic?

Nancy:  The premise of the book, Centaurs, is total fantasy, but the characters feel like old friends.  As they wind through all the twists and turns of the plot it’s difficult to not share in their struggles.  The heroine, Camille, is someone I think we can all relate to.  Most of my friends are very strong, confident, successful women and I did my best to put a little of each one of them into Camille.  Other than Camille being a full-blood Centaur, I think she could be your neighbor, or sister, or daughter, or friend; she feels very realistic.

R&M:  We absolutely loved the Centaur concept and Camille in particular. She seems to have a lot left to learn and go through though.  So, we have to know, what was the hardest part of writing your book?

Nancy:  Geeze, writing is the EASY part.  MARKETING is the part that makes me want to put a hot poker to my eye!!  My goodness I could write about clipping toenails if I had to.  But marketing my books is a challenge.  I have finally gotten over my fear of twitter and I’m getting better at Facebook.  Luckily, I have met some amazing people along the way (like you Ruthi), who have gone out of their way to help me find readers.

R&M:  Marketing something is always a hard prospect.  We would love to know, what do you think makes a good story?

Nancy:  Romance, Baby!!  I’m sure the correct answer is a deeply layered plot, endearing relatable characters, action, suspense, and I agree all good stories have them – but romance is what absolutely engrosses me in a story.  I love it when an author can give me a physical reaction: tears, sweaty palms, my heart rate speeds up; for the talented authors that can make my body react to their words, I quickly become a fan for life!

R&M:  True, you can’t turn down a really good love story.  So many of the books we love include some aspect of romance.  What books have most influenced your life?

Nancy: Books?  There are books out there that I LOVE, but it’s their authors that have been the most influential.  I’ll try to keep it short and only talk about five, but there are easily hundreds!

I purchased Shelly Crane’s Significance Series, and like everyone else who’s read them, I was totally hooked.  I loved the story, the characters, the pace – the book was an instant favorite.  I’d never heard of Shelly so I Googled her.  I found her website, her Facebook page, and several blogs where she had done guest posts.  I reached out to her asking for advice.  I was hoping for (not expecting) maybe a sentence or two on what promotions were working for her.  Shelly wrote me a short novel’s worth of advice.  I was so blown away I cannot tell you how many times I read her note.  The months that followed, I continued to ask for her opinion and each time she responded and was a real gem.  She is a World-Class, Genuinely-Sweet, Independent Author.  I hope every one of you that reads this buys all of her books and falls in love with them the way I have.

Rachel Higginson series was recommended to me by one of my friends on Goodreads.  OMG I read her series every spare second I had: in my car waiting for my son’s school bus to pick him up, in the kitchen while I was waiting for the oven to preheat, riding in the car on the way to the movie theater with my husband, at night, hours after I should have gone to bed. 

Charlotte Abel is an Independent Author that first reached out to me about cross-promotion.  Before I agreed, I read her book Enchantment – again, I fell in love!  I’d never heard of cross-promoting before but was eager to do anything I could to work with such a talented author. 

Shannon Dermott is cool.  She’s a mom, a writer, she has a job and she’s a college student.  Where she finds five minutes in her busy life to write, I don’t know.  Her books, Beg for Mercy and Waiting for Mercy were so awesome that I read them twice! 

Amy Bartol is one of the most gifted writers I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet.  Her Premonition Series kept me reading until 4am.  If books were drugs, hers would be crack!

R&M:  Authors do rock, and we think being influenced by them is a high compliment!  One final question before you go, what do you like to do when you're not writing?

Nancy:  READ!!!!  I have two kids, three dogs, and an awesome husband that all keep me on my toes.  There never seems to be an absence of things to do, but when I get a moment to myself and I’m not writing, my nose is ALWAYS firmly in my Kindle.   

R&M:  Well, we would like to thank you for taking the time to talk with us today and to provide your readers with a little more insight.  We wish you continued success in your career!
Hey everyone, we would like to thank you for coming and viewing our interview with Nancy Straight, the author of Blood Debt!  Please stick around and check out the review of the book, as well as any other reviews that we have done.  And don’t forget there is giveaway contest so please make sure that you enter!  Thanks!  Authors Are MY Rockstars!  Happy Reading everyone!

Nancy Straight was born in Sioux City Iowa, left the cold of the Midwest in 1991 and only returns to see family in the summer time.  She spent ten years traveling the world as a US Marine and settled in rural SC with her husband, two children and three rotten dogs.  She is the author of four New Adult / Young Adult Paranormal Romance novels: Meeting Destiny, Destiny's Revenge, Destiny's Wrath and her newest release, Blood Debt (Touched Series Book 1).  
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