I'm so happy to welcome friend and author Nancy Straight on Romance Book Junkies for her book tour of "Meeting Destiny". I was lucky enough to interview Nancy and I would like to share that with you.
I’m so happy to be on your blog today, thank you for having me!
I know you get asked this question over and over but can you tell us a little about yourself? Maybe something juicy. ;) You’d like me to tell you something juicy and believe me - I wish there were something juicy to tell you!! I LOVE Starbucks’ White Mocha Latte and Mountain Dew, (but not together). I have a lead foot so I set cruise control when I drive, even in 25 MPH zones. I almost never win when I play Angry Birds, but have my 7 year old close, so he can clear the hard levels for me. I’m a huge fan of the show, Big Bang Theory, on CBS. I have a stray cat that I feed every night and morning but she’s never let me get closer than within 3 feet of her – I keep thinking eventually I’ll wear her down and she’ll let me pet her. I share my life with two fantastic sons, three rotten dogs and a husband that I adore.
When did you first start writing? Are you a full time author or do you do it on the side?
I started writing Meeting Destiny about three years ago (Aug 2009). As I was writing, I had no plans ever to try to publish it. I wrote it for me. I guess you could say it was a story in my head that was just screaming to get out. When I’d finished it, I let a friend read it and was surprised when she believed others would like it, too. After much prodding, I decided I’d publish it and see what happened. Meeting Destiny has been downloaded over 30,000 times in just the last six months, so I think she was right. LOL!
I’m not a full-time author. I write because I love it and it’s a real rush to meet so many people that have been touched by my stories all over the world. Maybe someday.
Do you have a author that has really inspired you?
Just one? OMG there are hundreds and the list grows every time I finish reading another great story! Shelly Crane, Rachel Higgins, Charlotte Abel, Amy Bartol and Shannon Dermott are amazing. Their writing styles are all very different, their books are not at all similar to each other - but I was completely absorbed while I read their stories. You know the feeling, “Let me grab my Kindle while I’m drying my hair,” kind of absorbed.
How long does it normally take you to write an average book or your last book?
Each book has been remarkably different, I think it’s based on how set the story is in my mind before I start typing. Meeting Destiny took a year. Destiny’s Revenge was three months, Destiny’s Wrath was three weeks (can you say, obsessed?). My latest book, Blood Debt, took three months and I’m writing its sequel now, Blood Ties, two months in and almost finished.
What do you think makes a story great?
For me? You’ll probably think I’m nuts, but I judge a story based on my physical reaction to it. I can forgive typos and grammatical errors. I can even look past poor character development if I love the plot. For me to be hooked; a story has to make me: laugh out loud, cry, my heart race or any physical reaction – if it does, it’s a great story. It means the author has found a way to reach through my kindle and drag me into the pages right along with their characters.
Can you describe your book "Meeting Destiny" in one sentence?
Lauren comes face-to-face with her Destiny, Max; she recognizes him immediately as the man that has plagued her dreams for years, after befriending a murder suspect they get caught up in a world of the paranormal she never knew existed.
Have you done lots of research for your books or do the stories just come to you?
The Destiny Series was a story in my head for a while and I was really just letting it out, so I didn’t do any research. My second Series, Touched - yes, hundreds of hours on the computer and a few trips to the library. The series has Centaurs as the paranormal characters and I had no idea how much I didn’t know about Greek Mythology until I started researching.
What are you currently working on?
The Destiny Series is complete (although some friends have made some pretty compelling arguments for a forth book). The Touched Series is what I’m focusing on now: Blood Debt (Book 1) released on 7/15 (Yay!!). I’ve finished the first draft of Blood Ties (Book 2) so it is being edited right now, and have just started Blood Bound (Book 3). From the titles, I should add the disclaimer that the series does not have any vampires. LOL! The touched series is about Centaurs.
Can you tell us about some of your prior achievements?
Meeting Destiny made it to #11 on Amazon’s Best Seller list one day – that was wicked cool!! – Although considering that it’s a free e-book I’m not a millionaire.
I was in the Marine Corps for 10 years and have traveled all over the world.
I put myself through college and grad school before I turned 30 in between family, work and fun.
Is there anything that I didn't cover that you would like to talk about or say to your potential readers?
I respond to every message, tweet and email that is sent to me. I don’t have an agent or a publicist so anyone that contacts me can be sure the response is from me. I love connecting with people that have read my books and I SERIOUSLY love to get recommendations on books I should read. I could write faster, but my love of reading keeps me off my computer and in my Kindle!
Just for fun:Hardback or Paperback? - Ebook!!! My house is cluttered with paperbacks and hardcovers, yet my little tiny kindle has over 400 books on it!! (Much easier to dust!)
Dog ears or Bookmarks? – Dog ears if I own it, bookmarks if the library does.
YA novels or Adult novels? - YA Novels (But I do enjoy steamy romance from time to time!!)
Library or Bookstore? - Bookstore
Reading glasses or No glasses? – No Glasses
Snack while reading or No snacks? Snacks: Nacho Cheese Doritos & ICE CREAM!!!
Beach or Mountain? Beach
Vampire or Werewolf? Vampire
Hot or Flirty? Flirty
Movie 1st or Book 1st? Movie 1st (The books are always better.)
By Nancy Straight
By Nancy Straight
Other books in series: Book 2 Destiny’s Revenge and Book 3 Destiny’s Wrath have been released
Genre: Paranormal Romance
ISBN: 978-1-4507-2109-7 (E-book) / 978-1468121377 (Paperback)
Number of pages: 295
Word Count: 98,000
Lauren is visited in her dreams for years by a stranger claiming to be her destiny. Destiny becomes reality when paths cross during a failed robbery attempt. Lauren and the stranger experience chemistry like no other and now her doubt over her long time relationship with her high school sweetheart is not her only secret…someone else knows about her keen intuition and sixth sense. A mysterious clairvoyant seeks Lauren out and tells her not only of her life now but what the future may hold. Soon Lauren is in the middle of a murder investigation and a questionable friendship with the key suspect. Law enforcement, friends and family are concerned for Lauren but unfortunately they are unaware of the true danger…Sinister forces are at work and will stop at nothing to destroy Lauren’s abilities.
His words made my heart soar, my whole body felt warm and my heart rate began steadily gaining speed. Knowing how badly this visit could have gone, I couldn’t help but push my luck, “Max, I need to ask you one more thing. Could you stay just another minute?”
Max glanced at the watch on his wrist, and I could tell he really did need to leave. “Yeah, but I’ve already been gone for way too long. My partner’s got to be looking for me by now.” He moved a hair closer to me, and I could hardly contain my excitement.
“I know this isn’t the best place, and I understand if you tell me no, but if I don’t ask, it’s going to drive me crazy. I was wondering if you feel anything weird around me?” This sounded so strange, but I didn’t know how best to articulate my question. I needed to know if it was only my imagination.
Max looked me straight in the eye, “Weird, like what?”
I felt the flush of embarrassment on my cheeks as I asked quietly, “Like, chemistry, a little?”
Max stood still as a statue staring at me sitting almost straight up in my bed. His smile faded a little as he leaned into me and whispered, “You mean like this?” He softly slid his hand behind my head, pulling my lips up to his. Gentle at first, then increased intensity until I found that I had wrapped both my arms around him, wires protruding from every direction, and my entire body tingled. I grew lightheaded as he eased his face away from mine. He gently lowered my head back to my pillow and moved his hand to my face. Max traced my lips with his index finger. After a few outlines of my lips, he responded quietly, “Chemistry, huh? No, I hadn’t noticed.” His wide smile reappeared with a vengeance.
My heart monitor went crazy, jumping well into the 100s as an alarm blared to life as if to tell the world what had just happened. Max reached over and pushed a button on the monitor and the alarm muted instantly. As he leaned in for what I was sure was going to be just as passionate as our first kiss, his pocket beeped.
Max stopped, rolled his eyes and fished in his pocket, pulling out his blackberry. He looked at the screen with disappointment in his eyes. “Hey, we just got a call. I really have to go. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for continuing this conversation tomorrow, but I really can’t stay.”
“I’d like that, too,” unable to say anything else.
He kissed my cheek, “I can’t wait to tell Missy about tonight. Bye.” Max darted out the door as he sprinted off to save someone’s life. The jealous part of me hoped he was being called to help an old fat man.
Nancy was born in Sioux City Iowa, left the cold of the Midwest in 1991 and only returns to see family in the summer time. She spent ten years traveling the world as a US Marine and settled in rural SC with her husband and two children. She has three rotten dogs, enjoys RVing with her family, reading and writing all types of Paranormal literature.