Friday, October 20, 2017

Nancy Christie: author interview, rafflecopter giveaway, and special deal

Today's spotlight is on fellow Ohio author Nancy Christie! 

Welcome, Nancy!

Hi Jan and it’s so nice to be back in Ohio! All month long, I’ve been on a blog tour and even though the travel is virtual, for some reason I’m still as exhausted as if I flew everywhere! But it’s all been great fun and I can’t thank you enough for having me here!

Nancy is here today to discuss her latest book release, RUT-BUSTING BOOK FOR WRITERS. As a published writer myself, I’m especially interested in hearing what she has to say regarding this incredible book. I thought readers and aspiring authors would also like some insight into the things that writers go through during the writing process. First, let’s find out a bit about the woman behind the book –

Nancy Christie wears many hats in the writing world. She’s an author of fiction and non-fiction, an editorial consultant, writing instructor, blogger, and so much more. Nancy has been writing since second grade—she would have started sooner but she had to learn how to print first—and, except for some “life intermissions,” hasn’t stopped since. A writer by profession and preference, Christie began her writing career working for newspapers and magazines, branched out into copywriting for companies and ad agencies, and eventually added writing workshops to her repertoire. Her articles, fiction and essays have appeared in numerous print and online publications. The founder of “Celebrate Short Fiction” Day, an annual celebration of short stories and those who write them, Christie is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), Short Fiction Writers Guild (SFWG), and the Florida Writers Association (FWA).

Now that we know a little about you, Nancy, can you tell us about your book, RUT-BUSTING BOOK FOR WRITERS and what inspired you to write it?

Rut-Busting Book for Writers is actually an outgrowth of presentations I’ve been doing: my “Rut-Busting” workshop series. And they are the result of my first book, The Gifts of Change. When that book came out in 2004, I created a “Rut-Busting” Workshop to help people embrace change and get out of their ruts.

Then I developed one just for writers—“Rut-Busting” Workshop for Writers—and this past spring, I decided it was time to put all the tips I developed plus all I learned from the authors and writers I have interviewed over the years on my blogs (One on One, Focus on Fiction and The Writer’s Place) and voila! A book is born!

Jan's review for Rut-Busting Book for Writers:

Whether you're an aspiring writer or published author, this book is a valuable resource. I read it not knowing what to expect, but I'm always on the lookout for advice that will make me a better writer and help me deal with the self-imposed pressure I put on myself in my career. What I found in Ms. Christie's book is practical information. One chapter in particular spoke to me. It was the one about forgetting where you are in the writing process and in your career. Another chapter hit home for me. It involved identifying the rut I was in. Face it, at some point, we all dig a rut and it isn't always easy to climb out. Ms. Christie stressed defining goals (for me it was redefining my goals). I smiled when I read the part  about not being afraid to celebrate success. There are so many common sense things in this book that I already knew, but I have to admit there were a lot of important things I'd forgotten. Not only does the author share her advice, but also advice from others. I found this book incredibly helpful. 

Nancy, would you care to say a few words regarding your other published books?

I’d love to! (What author doesn’t want to talk about her babies?) My “firstborn” is The Gifts of Change—an inspirational book about helping people make the most of the changes that come into their lives, even the ones they don’t want! It’s available through Atria.

My second book, Traveling Left of Center and Other Stories, from Pixel Hall Press, came out in 2014. It’s a literary short story collection about people who can’t or won’t get their life on track so they keep going “left of center.” Some stories are funny, some serious, and a few more than a little weird in a Shirley Jackson-ish sort of way. Two of the stories, “Annabelle” and “Alice in Wonderland” are also available as e-book singles.

I’ve had two short stories published in Woman’s World Magazine, but the experience only gave me a limited understanding of writing freelance. Can you tell us more about the freedom, joy, fear, and challenges you've experienced as a freelance writer?

Well, I actually separate my freelance writing life into two categories. There’s the professional part: that’s how I earn a living, pay my bills and keep the cats fed. I write primarily for ad agencies and PR firms, everything from 4-minute on-hold scripts to several-thousand-word case studies. When I started freelancing, it was for newspapers—back before computers!—then I shifted to magazines, and now do almost exclusively the corporate work. More money and faster payments!

The good side: having the freedom to work on my schedule—which generally translates to 7 days a week! Seriously, though, when my mother was ill with cancer, it gave me the flexibility to travel to where she was and spend weeks with her. Then, when my father was diagnosed with cancer, I moved him from Florida to live with me, and being self-employed enabled me to provide him with the level of care he needed without losing my income, although I did have to cut back as the cancer spread.

The bad side: the instability of the income and the need to be constantly looking for work. While I have some regular clients, I have learned that you should never stop prospecting so that’s what I do: send emails and make cold calls in search of writing assignments. My fantasy is to someday win the lottery so I can relax, just a little. But until that happens, I am always job seeking!

The other category is my passion for writing. That's the essay/fiction writing. I do it because I love to write, especially fiction, so although I don't turn down any money someone might offer me for a piece, my primary motivation is first just to write it and only then to try to get it published, if possible. I've had some short stories published, have the first collection out and have finished a second collection, Peripheral Visions and Other Stories, that I hope to release next year. 

I’ve also finished two novels, one of which has interested a publisher to the point where she wants to see it again after I do some rewriting and editing and polishing and perfecting. I love the story and I know it needs some renovating so that’s on my list for 2018!

You’re an amazing author, but also a great champion of other authors as well. You host an incredible blog called, One on One: Insights Into the Writer’s Life. Can you tell us about this project? 

Thanks for the compliment! (Imagine me blushing…)

As for the One on One blog, it came about after I fought tooth and nail against doing any kind of blogs at all! Then I started the one for The Gifts of Change (Make A Change blog), Focus on Fiction (originally named Finding Fran) and The Writer’s Place (for writers of all genres).

I had an idea that I wanted to write a book about living the writing life but didn’t want it to be just my experiences—I don’t think that would be very interesting!—so I decided to start by interviewing other authors to see how open they would be to answering my questions. God bless them all, they were and it’s been fabulous, with a lot them also contributing to Rut-Busting Book for Writers.

But I still want to write the book that triggered the blog idea so that’s on my To-Do list (which keeps getting longer and longer and longer…)

Writing is clearly your passion. When you’re not writing, what do you like to do? What helps you clear your head and recharge your batteries to go back to writing with eagerness and a fresh perspective?

I love to be outside! That comes from me being such a tomboy when I was a kid, always playing outside. I work in the garden or the yard, run, walk, bike ride—anything to get the blood flowing and work out the kinks. This summer, I hauled out my rototiller and redug my garden, then moved shrubs and saplings, then trimmed branches (the ones the storms hadn’t already knocked down!) and hauled countless bags of mulch and topsoil. My poor car—I treat it like a truck!

Physical activity is perfect for when I am feeling frustrated or frightened or tired—and sometimes I feel all three at the same time!

Two questions you posed to me when I was on your blog, made me smile. I’d like to pose them to you as well to see how our answers are alike or different. What’s the worst advice anyone gave you about being a writer? What’s the best?

Hmmm… the worst advice... Well I don’t know if it qualifies but it was something someone (who shall remain nameless) said to me when I was in one of my “bad” writing times. I just couldn’t write anything—this was before I started writing professionally—and was desperately afraid that I would never be able to write again. And that person said, “Why don’t you pick another hobby?”

So here’s the thing: in the first place I didn’t choose writing. It chose me. As for the idea of never writing again—well, that would be akin to not breathing. I can’t imagine not writing. I certainly am thrilled that I have had some work published and that I have several books out, but those are all bonuses. Even if I were never going to be published again, even if no one ever would read my work again, I would still have to write. It’s what I do and who I am. (For heaven’s sakes, my license plate reads “Writer 1” and that costs me $100 a year to have!)

Best advice? I’ve been given a lot over the years and it all distills down to don’t give up. Keep writing. Keep perfecting your craft. Keep stretching your abilities. Keep raising the bar.

If you can, describe your writing life in one sentence.

It’s the framework on which the rest of my life rests and the addiction I have no desire to beat—the thing I love most to do and that makes me feel whole and complete.

You have something special for my blog followers for the month of October. 

I do, Jan. Thank you for mentioning it. If they order the paperback or digital version of RUT-BUSTING BOOK FOR WRITERS through the My Book Orders webpage and use code RBBW02, they will receive a 15% discount off the price. 

** Now on to the rafflecopter giveaway that runs from October 23rd through October 25th. One lucky winner will receive an ebook version of RUT-BUSTING BOOK FOR WRITERS. Be sure to enter for a chance to win this amazing book:

a Rafflecopter giveaway  


Keep up the great writing, Nancy! Thank you for being my guest today. You’re welcome to come back anytime.

My pleasure and thank you for having me! And I’d love to hear from any of your followers about any of my books, especially my new little one: what they liked, found useful or were amused by. Drop me a line or post a review. We writers live for readers’ comments!

If you’d like to follow Nancy and her career, you can find her here:

Twitter:  @NChristie_OH

To request an interview or schedule an appearance or workshop by Nancy Christie for your event or organization, contact  or