Seven and a Half Questions With A Novelist: Nancy Rue

It's great to highlight other authors and their work, so today I'm doing a Q&A with author Nancy Rue. She is a fellow novelist at David C. Cook (publisher of The Solitary Tales). Nancy's latest novel, Unexpected Dismounts, recently released.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Nancy: "I knew one day when I was ten years old and I finished reading a Nancy Drew book for about the fifteenth time and I realized I didn’t want to BE Nancy Drew anymore – I wanted to write stories about a very-cool girl, the way 'Carolyn Keene' did. (I’m glad I didn’t know at the time that there was no such person as Carolyn Keene; that really would have messed with my head!)"

What is your "brand" as an author?

Nancy: "The Nudge would be my brand, I think. If we’re living authentically, we can feel God nudging us and we have to act accordingly. At this point, I’m practically black and blue . . . "

So what's up with the motorcycles? Do you really ride them? :)

Nancy: "I ride as a passenger with my husband on our Harley Davidson Street Glide, and it is pure bliss. It’s like we’re one person, leaning into the curves and cruisin’ down the straightaways. You smell things from the back of a Harley you miss when you’re in your climate controlled car – gardenias and steak houses and even cow pooh. I need to be clear, though, that I don’t 'drive' a motorcycle. I tried – I really did – took the Rider’s Edge course, the whole thing. I counseled myself out after falling twice in the first hour. You can read about it in Chapter Three of The Reluctant Prophet. I’m happy behind my husband, leaning against my sissy bar, wearing the leather jacket and chaps that make me feel like I can do just about anything. So many things are about the wardrobe, you know?"

What is the role of a novelist?

Nancy: "I think that varies from author to author. My personal job is to write what I’m Nudged to write. That doesn’t mean it’s only about the message. I’m committed to creating good literature and delighting my readers, even as I try to show what it looks like to follow the Nudge. I don’t want my books to be like the kid playing a tooth in a school play about dental hygiene. There has to be a story and characters with pulses and good language. God has chosen to use me, so I just try to use my gift full-out. Sometimes I even come close."

In one sentence, describe your most recent novel.

Nancy: "There are two kinds of Harley riders: those who have dumped their bikes, and those who will. Unexpected Dismounts is a ride for those who aren’t afraid to fall."

What would you like to say to writers aspiring to be published?

Nancy: "This is not a glamour gig, so only write if you can’t NOT write. If that sounds like you, write every day. Write what’s in your heart. Hone your craft. Put your body and soul into it. And don’t even think about publishing until you have a manuscript that speaks in your own authentic voice. Then and only then show it to an editor or an agent. Please, please, please do not write to the trends or ask 'What‘s selling right now?' That’s not God talking in you. You might sell something that way, but I guarantee you, it won’t be of lasting value. And isn’t that what we all want to create?"

(Half question) As a writer, do you ever feel like you're losing your mind (or is it just me)?

Nancy: "Losing it? No. Already lost it a long time ago. I’m not sure you can BE a novelist if you’re entirely sane."

How does God reveal Himself to you when you're working on a book?

Nancy: "I see it most when I have my protagonist journal for me. I ask her a question in a blank book and then I write what she says to me. That’s when I know God is telling me how to spin out the story. I mean, where else would that come from? I also know God is totally in it when I come to the page in the morning and read what I wrote the day before and I don’t even remember thinking it, much less typing it. I really feel honored when that happens, I really do. I can’t believe God has picked me as one of the people God wants to use as a scribe. I’m not a good cook. Plants die within the hour of coming into my home. And nobody – and I mean nobody – wants me on their volleyball team. But I can write, and that’s a God thing."

Thanks for joining us on the Unexpected Dismounts Blog hop with Nancy Rue. Nancy’s publisher, David C. Cook is sponsoring the blog hop with an opportunity to win some great prizes, including a $200.00 gift card for American Express. To register to win & RSVP for the facebook party today.
If you are interested in hearing more from Nancy, you can visit her website, subscribe to her blog: The Nudge, join her on Facebook and/or follow her on Twitter.

Tomorrow we will all be joining Nancy on her own blog: The Nudge. See you there.

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