I'm welcoming multi-published author Nancy Brandt as today's Authorsday guest. I've known Nancy for several years from when we belonged the same writer's group. Now we meet online.
Say hello to Nancy.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer? When I was in about fourth or fifth grade, our English teacher asked us to write a descriptive paragraph or an essay. I can't remember the exact assignment, but I know mine was a long description of a cave full of gems and gold and other sparkly, shiny, glitzy stuff. From that day on, I went into every English class until I graduated hoping we'd have to write something. I think that's when I knew I had to be a writer. I didn't realize then that clearly I wanted to write fantasy.
Also, my father told me when I was in sixth grade that I should be a writer. I thought then that would mean I'd be rich!
How did you pick the genre you write in? When I graduated from college and couldn't find a job, my sister gave me a copy of How to Write a Romance and Get it Published. I thought romance would be easy because, after all, how hard could it be, the book made it sound simple, and my best friend in high school used to devour Harlequins, reading at least one a day, so clearly they were simple, uncomplicated books.
My first book was published about 20 years later! Clearly it was simple!
I started writing fantasy because I didn't like doing research and I've always had a thing for unicorns and magic.
What do you know now that you are published that you didn’t know pre-published that you wish you knew? Published authors are just as insecure as prepublished authors (well, maybe not Nora!) and it doesn't get any easier; you just have the knowledge that you did it once to kinda keep you going.
What was the best writing advice someone gave you? Just keep going and worry about editing it when it's done. I can't edit while I'm composing and it's nice to know other people work that way, too.
What was the worst? Did you know it at the time? "Get the guidelines of the publisher you want to write for and write to that." I tried to do that, but a nagging voice in the back of my head kept saying, "Yeah, but what if you write a book geared to a specific publisher and they reject it? Where else can you send it?"
Tell me one thing about yourself that very few people know? I'm addicted to digital scrapbooking and have started designing kits that I sell in 8 online stores. I really have to be disciplined or I design and play on the internet all day and not write a thing.
Describe your book. Sword & Illusion is the sequel to Attack of the Queen, my fantasy novel published by Wings under the name Honor Cummings.
Moonrazer, Exalted Warrior of the Sarl, is getting older and coming to a time when battles end and Sarl women's bodies change, preparing them for attracting a mate and bearing children. Having only known the warrior life, and being the first Exalted Warrior in seven generations, Moonrazer is uncomfortable with the changes she is undergoing and her sister, Whiteshadow, Spiritual Leader of the Sarl, is pushing her into finding a mate as quickly as possible. Whiteshadow has her own agenda which, if things go as she plans, will lead to a radical change in the way the Sarl live and Moonrazer's death.
Prince Varian of Tellan, a wizard, needs an heir in six months or the Dragon Moon Prophecy will mean the end of his entire family. His first wife from a political alliance with a non-wizarding kingdom left him a year after their marriage and he spent ten years searching for her with no luck. Eventually, he declared her dead and remarried. Five months ago, his second wife and child died, for no clear reason, in her bed. Varian receives a summons from his first wife, who, on her own death bed, tells him that he did, indeed, have a child by her sixteen years before. A daughter, who was left to die on a rock in a stream, because her mother feared to have a wizard child.
Discovering that Sarl warriors were camped near the stream at the time his child was born, and receiving an invitation to be a participant in the ritual by which the Exalted Warrior will choose her mate, Varian goes to the home world of the Sarl, in the hopes of finding his daughter.
Can they overcome all the obstacles in their way, including the fact that she chose someone else to be her Consort Intended, find his daughter and thwart the Dragon Moon Prophecy, or will events take them in a direction they never expected to go?
What do you consider your strengths in terms of your writing? Dialogue and POV.
What do you consider your weaknesses? Description and plotting
Who is your greatest cheerleader? My husband. He is also my first reader and editor. He reads my books before I submit them and critiques and edits them for me. He also helps me talk out problems and plotting issues. We've written a book together that is currently at Baen, and he is writing his second science fiction book.
Nancy Brandt is the author of two published novels. She writes sweet romances under her own name and sword and sorcery type fantasies as Honor Cummings. She is married to a physicist who has taken their family all over the world for his work. Her first book, Fabric of Faith, was completed in a small apartment in Potsdam, Germany as a way to keep herself company when none of her neighbors spoke English. She is a stay-at-home mom with two children, a daughter who is a freshmen in college and a son who is in kindergarten, and two constantly starving guinea pigs. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, she now lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and is still coming to terms with Christmas shopping in sandals and shorts and seeing flowers blooming in January.