Today we welcome author Nancy Jardine to Nesie’s Place!
Nancy writes historical fiction; time-travel historical adventure; contemporary mystery thrillers; and romantic comedy. She lives in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, where life is never quiet or boring since she regularly child minds her young grandchildren who happen to be her next-door neighbours. Her garden is often creatively managed by them, though she does all the work! Her husband is a fantastic purveyor of coffee and tea…excellent food and wine! (Restorative, of course)
A member of the Historical Novel Society; Scottish Association of Writers; Federation of Writers Scotland; Romantic Novelists’ Association and the Independent Alliance of Authors, her work has achieved finalist status in UK competitions.
Thank you for spending a little time with us here on the blog, Nancy!
Where are you from?
I’m originally from Glasgow (Scotland) but now live in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
Married with children, pets, or annoying roommates?
I’m married and live my husband. We have two daughters, one of whom (D1) lives next door with her husband and two children. D2 lives about a 45 minute drive away, so I don’t see her and her husband so often, or their two dogs. I regularly child mind my grandkids of 5 and 7 when their parents are working, and they pop-in and out a lot between the houses. During school summer holidays there are lots of impromptu ‘sleep-overs’.
When did you first consider yourself or know you were a writer?
My career was primary teaching, though I didn’t consider any writing I did back then as writing – it was mainly just work. With the exception of two local history projects, where I volunteered my summer holiday time (was nicely persuaded LOL) to write non-fiction books about the venues: a locomotive works and a primary school. When I retired from teaching in 2011, I decided those non-fiction books had given me the confidence and some of the skills to write fiction for publication. At first, I had the time to seriously get to work on fiction…and then the grandkids were born, hence the flurry of novels published from 2012-2014 and the slow-down afterwards. But this coming year I have high hopes!
How long did it take you to write your first book?
That’s hard to answer. There was an overlap between the writing and the publishing stages! I wrote an early version of The Beltane Choice, Book 1 of my Celtic Fervour Series, and sent it to The Wild Rose Press, a mainly ebook romance publisher in New York State. They politely declined the manuscript but gave me a couple of pages worth of suggestions to improve it. While I was doing those revisions, I decided to try a contemporary mystery which I wrote in about 4 or 5 months. I sent that off to The Wild Rose Press, they accepted it and published what became Monogamy Twist in 2012. When I finished the changes to The Beltane Choice, I sent the manuscript to Crooked Cat Books (a small independent publisher then based in Edinburgh) and they published the first edition in 2012.
Pantser or Plotter?
For Book 1 of the Celtic Fervour series The Beltane Choice I was definitely an almost total ‘pantser’. However, I learned fairly quickly that, although being a ‘pantser’ is my natural inclination, it pays to do a reasonable amount of plotting to keep on track, especially with timelines, historical events, and with aspects of a mystery that need correct sequencing. Each new novel has got more and more complex in plotting; in the amounts of main characters; and with multiple viewpoints depicted, so I now do more initial plotting. For Topaz Eyes, a contemporary mystery/ thriller my planning sheet covered my extended dining room table and was on piece of blank wall-lining paper. I’d created such a complex family tree (ancestral) that I needed a really big space to ensure that I kept up with my plot developments and timelines, which were crucial in that huge ‘fun-to-write’ novel. My Celtic Fervour Series is similar, with timelines and events that need to be absolutely accurate.
Have you ever taken the NaNoWriMo Challenge?
No. I’m not sure I would work well under that kind of pressure since I tend to need to research further as I write, even though I also do loads beforehand. That’s not to say I’d not try a NaNoWriMo style of ‘getting it all down’ strategy sometime in the future. I can’t write every single day, due to family commitments and life getting in the way, so setting aside that November time doesn’t seem like a possibility. However, I’ve done the April A to Z Blogging Challenge a couple of times where I’ve added a substantial post (average 1500 words) to my blog every day on Ancient Roman Britain/ Roman Scotland topics.
Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?
I’ve been all of those in the last seven years. As mentioned above with two small independent publishers first, contracted with them for two and four years respectively. I was hybrid when I self-published my historical time travel adventure in 2015, and now I’m self-published with Ocelot Press which is a co-operative of self-published authors who assist each other as and when we can.
What’s your favorite genre to write or do you only write in one genre?
Historical adventures and contemporary mysteries are my favourites. I loved writing The Taexali Game, my time travel historical, because that meant using the techniques necessary for contemporary mystery writing, along with the skills used for depicting authentic historical work. That novel was written for a wider audience from early teens through adult so the writing style was also a bit different.
What’s your favorite genre to read?
Historical, though I read all genres of fiction if something grabs my attention. I read a lot of historical non-fiction: some of which is research for my writing, and others just because I love history in general. ‘The King in the North- The Pictish Realms of Fortriu and Ce’ beckons very soon.
What are you reading now?
I just finished The Secret Diaries of Miss Ann Lister because I’d just watched the TV series. I usually would try to read the book first, but that’s not what happened this time. My kindle has a good stock of unread historical novels and some mysteries though I’ve also some paperback novels to catch up with- some crime, the rest historical.
Favorite beverage to read with?
A glass of delicious red wine. At the moment a good Malbec is a favourite.
What is your favorite non-writing, non-reading pastime?
Apart from being with my entertaining grand children, it would be gardening, which I do when the jobs are necessary or if the sun shines. (I’m a wimpish fair-weather gardener and in the north east of Scotland that can be intermittent!)
Where do you get the most writing done?
My writing desk is at my dining room window, where I can break off writing to watch the variety of birds hopping around the various trees and bushes.
Do you have pets who “help” or inspire you?
No. I’d probably neglect them like my poor houseplants! Though, I wrote an Irish Wolfhound – Thor – into my contemporary mystery Monogamy Twist after an overnight stint of looking after my daughter’s two dogs, who were relatively young at the time.
Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?
Not completely addicted. I tend to check Facebook groups a couple of times a day, but I also catch up with politics and the news via the internet. I hardly ever read a paper newspaper now and wouldn’t want to miss my internet news copy! Twitter and all the many other sites I’ve joined are dipped into occasionally during the week, but I’m not prepared to spend all day on visiting them.
What’s the inspiration behind After Whorl: Bran Reborn? Who’s your favorite character?
At the end of Book 1The Beltane Choice an absolutely lovely, strong secondary character – Brennus– gets a raw deal from me. So it was very fitting that he has his own story told in Books 2 & 3 of the series. Brennus’ dire situation after the battle of Whorl (end Book 1) was brilliant for me to launch into much more interaction with the dominating Ancient Romans. As Bran, he doesn’t have it easy but he’s a real survivor at a time when it must have been incredibly difficult to resist the power of Ancient Rome. In a convoluted way Brennus/Bran’s situations also allow me to introduce a main Roman legionary character who plays a strong role as Brennus’ story progresses.
What’s your next project or release?
I’m working on Book 5 Beathan the Brigante which continues the story of the Garrigill clan members. There’s also more of General Gnaeus Iulius Agricola, Commander of the Ancient Roman Armies, but it’s mostly Beathan’s story. (Hint: Beathan is the baby born at the end of Book 1 prophesied to be an important Celtic warrior)
Do you have any advice for new authors?
There are many routes to publication. I’d say try to find what suits you and your lifestyle the best. If you consider that being successful is selling lots of books via the internet (Amazon etc), you have to be prepared to devote a lot of time (and sometimes expense) in promoting your work. Small independent publishers don’t have the cash to push forward all of their authors, and neither do the big traditional ones (as far as I’m told), so being an author isn’t only writing the actual novels.
Thank you so much, Nancy!
Thank you for inviting me to your blog, today!
Scroll down to read more about Nancy’s latest release and enter her giveaway!
AD 71 Northern Roman Britain
Ravaged at the Battle of Whorl, Brennus of Garrigill is irrevocably changed. He embraces a new identity as Bran, vowing to avert Roman domination of Brigantia. Though how, when he and Ineda – his healer’s granddaughter – are forced to labour for the Roman IX Legion? Trading with the usurpers provides opportunities for gathering information, but after they are attacked by a Roman patrol, Ineda cannot be found.
Distraught with her loss, can Bran find a new occupation?
The adventures of the Garrigill Clan continue…
Purchase Link http://viewbook.at/heritis
Nancy’s Social Media Links
Facebook http://on.fb.me/XeQdkG & http://on.fb.me/1Kaeh5G
Amazon Author page
~ G I V E A W A Y ~
Win x1 signed paperback of After Whorl: Bran Reborn to one UK winner; 1 kindle copy to an International Winner
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