Please help me welcome the talented romance author, Nancy Sartor! She has answered some interview questions about her writing, and would like to share them with you.
How does your writing process work? In the case of BONES ALONG THE HILL, my protagonist came to me in the middle of the night. “Hi,” she whispered in my ear. “My name is Neva and I fix the faces of the dead.” Great opening, but that left somewhere around 80,000 words yet to be developed. I headed into research, write terrible drafts, asked my writing group to review and then rewrote. Whatever talent I have as a writer, I am one good editor, which is a good thing considering how awful are my drafts.
How do you come up with your titles? In the case of BONES ALONG THE HILL, my writing buddies and I were chatting. I said I hated winter. One of the men in the group said he knew a Japanese American who loved winter. She said with the leaves off the trees, she could see the bones of the hills. He may have said more, but I’d stopped hearing. I was writing variations on the words over and over. BONES OF THE HILLS, BONES ON THE HILLS, HILLY BONES, and finally BONES ALONG THE HILL. Since the cemetery is on a high hill behind Neva’s father’s funeral home, the title fit perfectly.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Women are not to be abused. Period. The novel deals with homelessness and human trafficking, but the basic point is that women are to be treated with respect by everyone all the time.
Are experiences in your book based on someone you know, or events in your own life? The house in which Neva, Moya and Zanna live once belonged to my friend. The funeral home is based on one here in Nashville. As Neva drives about the town, you can follow her on a map.
What books have most influenced your life most and which writer would you consider a mentor? Anything John Irving or Ian McEwen wrote has influenced my life. John’s works because his characters and stories are so wonky and wonderful. Ian because his writing is the pinnacle at which I aim every time I type a word.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I swim, garden, knit, grow herbs, read, and decorate my house endlessly.
Neva Oakley is a funeral facial restorationist with a legendary skill at making the dead look alive, a talent initiated by the death of her first love, Gray Ledbetter, who inexplicably took his own life ten years ago. Except for the ever-gnawing need to understand Gray’s suicide, Neva has moved past Gray’s death, at last. Hunky architect, Davis Pratt, promises a future she yearns to accept, but Neva worries that unless she can learn why Gray killed himself, she will carry his ghost to the church in her trousseau and her obsession with his death will threaten her marriage.
Davis is consumed with the need to find his younger brother, Stephen. When Davis was fourteen, his baby brother, two years younger than Davis, disappeared from their quiet residential road. Davis has vowed never to give up searching. When the search leads Neva and Davis to the Oakley cemetery and a murder tied to a human trafficking ring, impossible crimes suddenly threaten both family and friends, crimes that cannot be ignored. Not even the Nashville PD can keep Neva safe. Can she and Davis solve their respective mysteries and free one other to embrace their future?
BONES ALONG THE HILL is available on Amazon at http://amzn.com/B00PI4BJOO
About Nancy Sartor
Nancy Sartor is a Nashville born writer. She is a charter member and current president of Word Spinners Ink, a member of Romance Writers of America, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She is an enthusiastic graduate of Donald Maass’s Breakout Novel Intensive Workshop, Don Maass’s workshop on micro tension and the Writer’s Police Academy. She is a member of the prestigious Quill and Dagger writing group in Nashville.
Nancy lives in Rural Hill, Tennessee, just east of Nashville with her husband, classical composer, David Sartor, and two Maine Coon cats, Ginger (yes, that Ginger) and Autumn Fire, a kitten who does funny kitten things.
You can contact Nancy at:
Thank you for stopping by today. I hope that Nancy’s post has stirred up a desire to read her books. Please feel free to leave a comment, ask a question, let us know you have read the post.