I would like to welcome NANCY LENNEA today.
Hi Nancy, why don’t you tell us a little bit about you and how you got into writing.
I grew up with problem eyes so reading and writing were a chore. I remember taking a remedial reading class as a senior in high school. It helped. I wrote poetry. I concentrated on art and graduated with a teaching degree. It wasn’t until I worked as a 9-1-1 emergency medical dispatcher that I found the urge to write a book like the hundreds I loved to read. That urge occurred four years ago. I have sold two novellas and three full-length books since.
Wow, what an inspiring story. Could you tell us about your most recent book?
DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN is a romantic suspense set in the mountains of northern New Hampshire—about midway between Boston and Canada. I have filled it with stalkers, a murder, secrets, assumptions, mountain rescues, ghostly voices and a romantic happy ending.
Oh, all the elements I enjoy. But I’m especially interested in the romance element. How did you come up with your characters?
I am a plotter. I get the spark of an idea, a setting, a conflict, and how it all works out before I even see my characters in my head. Destiny is single, industrious, lives alone, and loves to hike on her mountain. Unlike me who has lived at home, with college roommates, then with my boyfriend-turned-husband. I guess I am industrious since I have always worked, even when the boys came along. I do love the out of doors, though hiking is not on the top of my list any longer. A brisk walk along the ocean—or in the grocery store—is thrilling, these days.
Sounds like you’re a busy woman! If you were granted super powers what would they be and what would you call yourself?
I would have the ability to fly, and to fly fast. I would not share my secret name. I have two identities as it is and that is enough to juggle, what with two websites, two blogs, and two publishers.
LOL! We won’t force it out of you then. Why don’t you tell us about your writing process?
I work whenever my husband is at work. Sounds silly, but the guy demands attention. When we moved to North Carolina, we agreed I would write full-time and he would pay the bills. It works, so far. I have used various methods to get my books started. As I said earlier, I am a plotter. For my current work in progress, I have sticky notes stuck to a piece of poster board. I find using Alex Sokoloff’s Three Act Play method works for me. At a glance, I can see the action—from love scenes to black moments. I can see where there are holes and where a character needs more mentioning. I drink iced tea and coffee (unsweetened) and try not to snack while eating. I take a break for lunch and in mid-afternoon to check e-mail, snail mail, Facebook, or read my latest paperback or e-book. My radio is stuck on my local country music station. Sometimes I’ll slip Taylor Swift’s Fearless CD into the computer. Her Love Story is my favorite song.
A plotter with scheduled writing time, you put me to shame Nancy! But inquiring minds want to know what happened to the first novel you ever wrote?
I sent it out to agents and a few editors. When rejections came, I placed it in the closet while I sent out my second book. Three and a half years later, I took it out of the closet. I discarded the first 77 pages, used what I learned at workshops and in on-line writing courses, and listened to my critique group. Then I rewrote my synopsis, polished my query letter, and sent it out. This first manuscript became my latest release, DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN!
You’re killing me here! I’m so impressed that you went back to that first book, many writers don’t. That brings me to the editing process. Do you have a routine you follow when going through it?
After I complete the manuscript, I read it several times (make that eight or nine times) while submitting chapters to my critique group. My mom is a great editor and catches errors such as when I use threw instead of through. When I think it is perfect, I print out the entire manuscript and read it aloud. Then I fix it (again). When sold, I go through three or four edits with my publisher. It is amazing what those editors will catch or change.
Thank goodness for editors. With all the books and stories you have out there, I’m curious who/what you attribute your success to?
I dedicated DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN to the men and women of New Hampshire 9-1-1. My co-workers encouraged me when I decided to write a book. They helped critique the story and offered plot points. I even named my heroine after one’s daughter! I am proud to belong to my local chapter of Romance Writers of America. The monthly meetings are instructional and the camaraderie is wonderful. They offer guidance and hope.
Support groups are invaluable. Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
I would like to leave them with this short blurb and excerpt. DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN is filled with fear, tension, and danger but I make Destiny and Jacob’s romance the most important aspect. I love happy endings! I also write paranormal romance as Nancy Lee Badger and you can find out more about my alter-ego at www.nancyleebadger.com. You are welcome to friend me under that name on Facebook, too.
In a quirky college town surrounded by the mountains of New Hampshire new art history professor, Jacob Oliver, hikes a trail on a crisp September morning. He contemplates his life. Divorced and forced out of his job with the Boston Police due to a horrific accident, he spots a naked woman beneath a majestic waterfall. Escaping, he falls and reinjures his knee.
Destiny Blake hears a noise. Someone is on her mountain. She finds a handsome man sitting in the mud. Love blooms and lust consumes them after she helps him to the safety of her cabin. Soon, assumptions pull them apart, leaving her vulnerable to the unwanted attentions of other men.
When Jacob decides he cannot live without her, he must save her from a madman who chases her up her mountain through the cold, snowy darkness of a November night. Ghostly voices push Jacob onward, and urge Destiny to fight back. Pain, hypothermia, and death threaten before the sun rises. Can Destiny and Jacob make it off Destiny’s mountain…alive?
The strange man groaned, then turned away from her. Destiny assumed his injury caused him pain.
She crossed her arms over her chest, stood in front of him, and stared at his chiseled profile. Lines on his forehead and at the corner of his mouth proved he suffered.
Beautiful…what a strange term to use concerning a man, especially when some might say his chin is too square and his hair is too long.
She wanted to kiss his pale lips to return some color to them. A sudden yearning to rub his arms and warm him back to life made her heart thump. An image of him lying in her bed with his brown locks feathered across her plump pillow snapped her back to the present. Waving off such lusty thoughts, she leaned over and ran fingers across his scalp, checking for other injuries.
His hair glided over her fingers like a curtain of moist silk. She swept bits of twig and grass from the strands, and then ran her hands down both arms as she searched for wounds. Under the shirt he’d ripped on the blueberry bush, his arm shook, but except for superficial scratches, she found nothing. She stood and found her voice once more.
“You must be chilled from sitting in the mud, so we best get moving. Your hiking boots will support your ankles as we head down the trail,” she said as her gaze again swept over his muddy jeans. She gasped at the bulge between his legs.
Josie had once told her that trauma victims sometimes suffered an unwarranted erection. This man may be hurt worse than she realized. She had to get him down her mountain, fast.
Her gaze roamed back up to his face in order to get things rolling, but his eyes locked on hers. Silence surrounded them both. He must have seen her slow perusal of his body.
“Jesus,” he groaned.
She bit her lip, internally seconding his words. She arched her eyebrows when he adjusted his position on the log. I wonder if he’s in pain from parts of his body other than his knee…or groin.
Oh Nancy, this book sounds so wonderful. Thanks so much for coming over to share. While Nancy and I settle back to enjoy some pampering from the cabana boys I’m sure she’d be happy to answer any questions you may have for her. On any regular day you can find information about Nancy’s books from her website and her blog.