What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least? I love being my own boss. After my two publishers closed their doors, I ramped up my indie-publishing and turned my writing into a business. What I do not like is my solitary writing. Hubby heads to work, and I must get myself in the chair, and write. I joined my local chapter of Romance Writers of America as well as the Triangle Association of Freelancers. Monthly meetings get me out of my cave.
How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing? I volunteer every fall with my family at the New Hampshire Highland Games (check out https://nhscot.org/ ) I have been doing this for over 15 years, so in 2009, while working in the information tent, surrounded by kilts, bagpipes, and athletes turning the caber, I thought “I should write about this.” My job as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher, EMT, and volunteer firefighter, filled my head with several other story lines. My Scottish time travel romances and my romantic suspense novels were born.
Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book--as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with? My characters scream at me, but the loudest usually start out as ‘secondary characters’. These are men, women, villains, horses, etc. who are a minor part of the story, but become an integral part, or turn up as the lead character in another book. In My Hunted Highlander, my last Scottish time travel novel, a little boy became a focal point, even though I did not plan any of it. My heroine was a pirate, and I wanted to show her softer feminine side. Where other characters screamed, Keegan whispered to me. I love that kid.
You’ve written 16 novels, SMOKE will be released October 7th, and are working on SMOLDER, the 18th novel. What’s your favorite time management tip? I wake up early, and instead of rolling over, I get up and go to work. I’ll check emails quickly, make sure any friends on Facebook who are having a birthday are remembered, then open my manuscript and write. I don’t edit or spell-check as I go. I don’t separate into chapters, either. After the first draft is finished, then I go back and clean it up. You cannot fix an empty page!
Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer? Well, I used to be a panster, writing whatever came into my head. I usually had the beginning and the end in mind, but I find that I cannot write fast enough. I now write a 3-4 page outline, and find that the story flows much faster. It might take a road less traveled at certain points, but what used to take 7-9 months now takes 3-5 months.
If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be? Read lots of books, then write the best story you can, making sure you put your heart and soul on the page.
Did music help you find your muse with this book? If yes, which song did you find yourself going back to over and over again as you wrote? Even though I am a mature woman (i.e. older than most writers) the song that moved me to start writing is Love Story by Taylor Swift. She released the song in 2008, soon after I started writing a romance novel. I found her music video, and play it when I need inspiration. I was so impressed with the romance, setting, and costumes that I have started a series that is fitting for the Regency historical genre. I hope to bring that series out next year.
What can a young dragon do to prove to his older brothers that he is their clan’s best chance to save their species? In the Black Cuillin Hills, Evan heads to the village of Morhban to find a way to interact with humans. To learn their language and customs, and to get close enough to a red-haired beauty to mate with her, the brown-winged purple dragon shifts into a copper-colored horse. When his new hooves protect her from Lord Toal MacMorgan’s inappropriate demands with a well-placed kick, she thanks Evan by brushing his silky coat. Things are looking up.
When an unfamiliar horse kicks Toal into the creek, releasing Vika from his roaming hands, her appreciation turns to horror. A sputtering Toal demands that the animal die. Anger makes Vika agree to a wager. A three day hunt will determine the fate of the horse she names Spark. Failure will mean his death, and the loss of her freedom. Pirates, wolves, a wild boar, and a handsome stranger lead her on a wild ride. She discovers her heart is in as much danger as her life.
Evan broke the kiss, and moved away, enough to make Vika’s hands fall away. He walked unsteadily to the bush, and stomped it until he had extinguished the fire. As he cooled his feet in the stream, he took a deep breath. He steeled his features, so as not to show her how bewildering her touch had felt. His chest hurt, which confused him. He wished to save his clan, so he would not allow his expression to show he was at war with himself.
Turning to face her, his shoulders stiffened. She had stopped crying, but her cheeks were damp with tears. Her skin was pale from fright, and she was shaking uncontrollably. His first concern was to let her know she was safe. The second was to keep his distance until he could discuss his new feelings with his brothers.
“Do you believe in dragons now?”
She nodded. “I thank you for saving us from that horrible demon!”
He laughed. “That was no demon. ‘Tis a dragon, one of a few that be said to live among the black rock peaks of the Cuillin Hills. Aye, they be large and dangerous, but when was the last time you heard of someone disappearing from your village? Wolves be much more dangerous.”
“Oh! I forgot about Orin and Spark!”
“Me brother Orin dealt with a wolf, today. Our horse, Spark, killed it by stomping on it.”
Evan grinned, and tightened the cloth around his waist. The air had grown chilly, and blew his hair across his face. Brushing it back, he watched her eyes widen.
“Your hair. ‘Tis the same shade as me horse.”
His laugh echoed through the trees, and he turned away in order to catch his breath.
Nancy Lee Badger loves chocolate-chip shortbread, wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander, the clang of broadswords, and the sound of bagpipes in the air. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, Nancy moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time.
Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Triangle Association of Freelancers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers. Nancy and her family volunteer each fall at the New Hampshire Highland Games surrounded by…kilts!
Amazon Page http://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Lee-Badger/e/B003UWZJME/
(brand new, cat not included) as well as Shortbread Scotties,
Purple Jelly beans, a Pirate Pencil, and a Visit Scotland brochure
*international winner will instead receive ebooks from Nancy's backlist
Giveaway Ends August 21st
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