Posted by Calisa Rhose
I am so honored to introduce my cyber friends here on the ranch to another of my crit partners, and a talented writer. She’s here to let me dig into her gray matter a tad so I have her lassoed in the round pen. Let’s meet and then begin!
Ladies and gentlemen, (insert Oprah voice here) Nancy LaPonzina!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hi Calisa! I’m so excited to be here with my critique partner and chat. Congratulations again on the recent release of Home! Love the cover!
Ah, what a lovely thing to say. Isn’t Nancy a great sport? Even tied up she didn’t forget my novella. I love my cover, too, Nancy. Thank you! So, let’s get to the reason you’re here and then the li’l smokies ought to be warm and the wine chilled. As happens often on the ranch, we’ll party into the night!
- Which comes first for you—plot or characters? Ahhhhh, for me it’s plot. Snatches of scenes here and there work themselves together into a bare beginning, middle and end. Then the characters find me—a face in a magazine, a name from a dream or overheard. Sometimes once I have a heroine, I ask her more about her issues and she’ll introduced me to other characters. Having said that, I suddenly became aware of a character for a third book barely on the drawing board. And I don’t even like her name. Can I say that out loud? And I know she’s someone who works with books and therapy—a bibliotherapist.
- What aspect of writing comes easy to you? What is difficult? Believe it or not—revision. When I go back for line edits, I sometimes wonder who wrote this stuff? But I move along at a fast rate changing the words, changing long phrases into shorter ones, and it’s pleasing to see it “change for the good!” I suppose because the left brain editor gets her way during this stage and I don’t have to send her packing because this is her time to participate. Difficult would be structuring the POV character to let us know what other characters are experiencing through behavior and dialog. My characters could be called “thoughtful” so by that description, they are very aware of what others are doing or not doing in a scene and I have to show that.
- What inspires you? Inspiration comes from interests and questions I have. I generally write a list of issues to explore upfront. I find this is the best way to carry a story though the middle. It makes it easier if I’m interested. In Nardi Point I wanted to explore: the dynamic of beauty in a relationship; the effect of coincidence in pairing; preserving meaningful life moments against capitalism and greed; and exploring the toxic workplace. I have a big interest in archaeology; the metaphysical including astrology and dreamwork; alternative healing therapies, journaling; healthcare, and creating wonderful outdoor spaces of spiritual rest.
- Who are some of your must-read authors and why? I’m reading more women’s fiction than in the past. I’ve read Marilyn Brandt, and right now I’m loving Sarah Addison Allen for setting, North Carolina, her touch of the unexpected but inspired magic. I’m on my third book of hers right now, Sugar Queen, and it’s the kind of story I dread finishing because then it won’t be there for me to dip into. Now that’s a good book when that happens!
- What did you enjoy most about writing your latest work? Nardi Point’s setting is local. Seeing the culture and environment of Raleigh, North Carolina from a writer’s viewpoint and how quickly this developed into my story was very exciting. One of the strongest tenets of writing advice is, write what you know. Well this was absolutely the case with Nardi Point.
And now for some fun to let your readers get to know you better.
1. Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry and why? Oprah (Calisa says: see how she adores me? 😉 ) or Martha Stewart. Both women have great clout, savvy, and presence in the publishing industry and are tested taste-makers.
2. Dog, cat, or neither? Cat right now. We have a rescue Maine coon, Copy, who loves to reach up to our faces and “butt it” in greeting. Then he rolls to the floor and rolls completely over three or four times. I wondered to our vet whether he may have been trained to do that. She gave me a look and said the challenge of teaching a cat to roll over would be amazing. So I took that for a no.
3. Favorite movie and why? Well, Out of Africa, and yes, Sound of Music have to top the list. I believe in large part to the wonderful soundtracks. If you have a great story with great music, the complexity of the movies is so rewarding and entertaining. And I really like to be entertained!
Nancy LaPonzina writes in the beautiful countryside of Franklin County minutes away from Raleigh, North Carolina, under Carolina blue skies. Her very first story, The Mystery of the Missing Desk, was a second-grade suspense written on three-hold punch, loose-leaf pages bound with pink satin ribbon. Most of her professional life was spent as a technical writer, website content provider, Registered Nurse, Big Four tax paraprofessional and CEO administrative assistant. However, school newspaper columns, publication in national magazines ARTnews, Ingenue, American Girl, True Astrology Forecast, Psychic Astrology Horoscope, web content contribution for Examiner.com, LiveStrong.com, and editor responsibilities for community service organizations, all confirmed paper, books, journals—all things writing—are her true touchstones.
Her women’s fiction explores thoughtful characters involved in challenging situations, and braids in touches of archaeology, the metaphysical, and alternative healing modalities. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Triangle Area Freelancers, Friends of the Youngsville Library, General Federation of Women’s Clubs of North Carolina, Youngsville Woman’s Club, Holistic Nurses Association of America, and the Coe Foundation for Archaeologic Research. She lives in Youngsville, with dear husband Thom, and their rescue Maine Coon cat, Copy.
Her debut novel, Nardi Point, regionally set in Raleigh, North Carolina is available April 17, 2012 from Rebel Ink Press, Amazon/Kindle, Barnes & Noble/Nook, ARe, and BookStrand.
THAT’S TOMORROW FOLKS!!!!!!!!!!!
Should the past make way for the present …
Stylish, brunette Laurinda Elliot is the type of accomplished business woman glossy magazines feature on their covers. Effectively managing a software product development team in Raleigh, North Carolina, Laurinda’s drive and savvy delivers all the perks: an upscale townhouse, Porsche Boxer convertible and designer clothing. Yet she now yearns for a different success—one that brings surprising first time experience with vulnerability. Her uber software code developer partner Dan Riser, can’t buy into the new direction she leads them, but goes along to keep the peace, and more importantly, beautiful Laurinda.
Or the present make way for the past—and love …
When prehistoric Native American pottery artifacts are discovered on the couple’s North Raleigh building site in the Nardi Point subdivision, the ancient past collides with the present and Laurinda and Dan’s relationship hangs in the balance. Laurinda must trump construction economics and greed to preserve commitment to her dream, uphold her friendship with holistic healing practitioner, Leyla Jo Piper, and answer to a new romance, all while attempting to conserve North Carolina history. Will digging up the past, bury her future? Nardi Point explores the thread of life that blends past, current, and future to recognize the importance of knowing who we are in the story of life.
Get your copy at All Romance eBooks: http://bit.ly/IrAedz
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4IvixrsfiE
This has been FUN, Calisa! Thanks so much for having me firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for visiting and letting me pick your brain, Nancy! I love your book cover. Good luck with your debut release!