Saturday, July 3, 2010
Tell us a little about yourself. I am a mature, college educated, wife, mother, and all around modern woman who happens to like all things Scottish and loves to read regency historical novels. I started writing toward publication about three years ago. I signed my first contract for a contemporary romance then, just this past February, sold DRAGON’S CURSE. Both books were released in June and I am thrilled. I grew-up in Huntington, NY then moved to New Hampshire to attend college. I stayed many, many years. My husband and I moved to Raleigh, NC recently to be near family. I write full-time.
What inspired you to become a writer? I have always loved to read and one day my Scorpio-driven type ‘A’ personality said “I can do better than this.” I discovered it is NOT very easy to write a novel. It takes works, training, editing help, critique help, and lots and lots of rewrites. I am a voracious reader and have met some of my favorite authors in my writer groups. They keep me focused toward success.
What were your first steps toward publication? Writing the story came easy. My son arrived home from a tour in Iraq and it felt as if a damn broke open. Maybe the relief from a year of stress had melted away. Whatever happened, the story was finished in one month. After several rejections from agents, I received a request for the full manuscript from Harlequin. Even though they eventually rejected it, I kept going. I have completed six manuscripts to date and have sold three. I’m liking them odds!
What is one speed bump that you encountered along the way and how did you overcome it? I worked feverishly on a Scottish historical with a bit of time travel and a present day witch in order to be able to pitch it at the annual Romance Writers of America conference in July 2009. I waited patiently for my turn with one agent and one editor. Both requested I send them the first three chapters so I raced home, edited it to death, and proudly sent my ‘baby’ out into the world. Alas, the publisher said ‘no thanks’ and I NEVER heard from the agent. Ah, well. I have since worked on the manuscript, using information I learned over the last nine months to make my writing better. I will again pitch my book at the next RWA conference.
Who or what has been the biggest help to you in becoming a published author? If I named names we would be here all day so let me make a shout out to my chapter mates at Heart of Carolina Romance Writers. Besides them, I belong to several on-line groups which are where I realized e-publishing was one way to get published. Sort of a stepping stone, especially for a novella length story like DRAGON’S CURSE.
What sparked your heart to write Dragon’s Curse? I love Dragons (and horses, and unicorns, and mermaids….watch out!) but I love stories where Scotland is a prominent feature. My husband is of Scottish ancestry and we still volunteer each year at the New Hampshire Highland Games (www.nhscot.org.) I decided to combine the two. I thought caves, then thought islands, and did a little research. Scotland has a plethora of beautiful islands and I discovered Fingal’s Cave on the uninhabited island of Staffa. It is the oddest looking place I have ever seen. The story flew and I came up with the tale.
Where do you go from here? I think the term ‘juggler’ might describe my life at this point. I have full-length contemporary romance also just out under my pen name, Nancy Lennea. Check it out at www.nancylennea-inlove.blogspot.com. I just sold a full-length romantic suspense which I hope will come out later this year. I am finishing up SPELLBOUND HIGHLANDER for the RWA conference and already have 1/3 complete on a story that takes off from that story. I just started another paranormal set in present day Raleigh, NC at the new Museum of Art. I am aggressively pursuing getting an agent because I would like to submit work to one of the large NY publishers.
Any words of wisdom for new authors with dreams of a publishing contract? Don’t try to do it alone as I did for the first year. Gain membership in at least one writers group. Writing is a solitary profession and the camaraderie is priceless. And just remember: Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
Thank you Nancy, for chatting with us today. Congratulations on the release of DRAGON’S CURSE.
Nancy Lee Badger writes full-time and lives with her husband in Raleigh, NC. She loves everything Scottish. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Celtic Heart Romance Writers, and Sisters in Crime. She stays busy celebrating the release of her Scottish historical DRAGON’S CURSE available from Whispers Publishing at www.whispershome.com to get your copy today.
Visit Nancy’s websites: http://www.nancyleebadger.com/ and http://www.nancyleenea.com/.
Visit her blog http://www.rescuingromance.nancyleebadger.com/ For excerpts and more information.