Friday, 30 September 2011

IN CONVERSATION WITH NANCY M BELL

On this most auspicious occasion, the launch of
her beautiful novel, Laurel's Miracle, let us  welcome  our guest of honour, Nancy Bell.

Hi Wendy, thank you so much for having me as
 your guest.

hands over hostess gift of home baked gingersnaps to Wendy

 Yum, perfect for the party table, thanks.

Cover artist: Kaytalin Platt

So, Nancy, what prompted you to start this story about Laurel’s Miracle?
 That’s a long story for sure. I suffered a life changing injury in August of 2005. Actually, it was 6.01 pm MST August 2, 2005. I know the time because I looked at my watch a nanosecond before I caught my leg on a piece of farm equipment in the corral. I spent the next four months on crutches and mostly in bed, so I had tons of time to think.

Going from a million miles an hour to zero in a minute is a very humbling experience. I took the time to start studying and researching some things I just hadn’t gotten around to. One of the things was the earth energy lines which cross southern England. I have always been fascinated by Glastonbury/Avalon and the Arthur legends. I read anything I could get my hands on to stave off the boredom and became engrossed in it.

I spent quite a bit of time going to physical therapy at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary and was quite moved by a fellow patient whom I never really met, I don’t even know her name. She was quite young and fighting cancer.  The germ of the idea for Laurel comes from there. I just wove the story in my own way and gave her the miracle I hope really came true. 

 That is lovely, so touching, Nancy, but I'm sorry about your poor leg.
Yes, well I broke my pelvis and did nerve and ligament damage to my spine.
Trotting horse, immobile farm equpment and me, I lose. :~) Upside is it gave me the time to write.

Oh, that was a bad accident. I admire your spirit 'to get on with it.' Having a passion for writing must have helped. Can you tell us a little about Laurel’s background?
Laurel is a thirteen year old southern Alberta girl who lives on the family ranch near Pincher Creek, Alberta. She’s a bit of a loner and likes the company of her horse more than most people. She does have two friends who live on the next ranch, Chance and Carlene. They spend a lot of time together helping out on the ranch and just riding on the prairie. Her mom is a special woman who is open to the magic of the natural world around her. Laurel’s dad, however, doesn’t hold with such nonsense, although he’s not sure why he feels so strongly about it. 

That last sentence has just added another dimension to the story for me. Did you let the dad discover what was holding him to his reaction?
I don’t include him in the story other than the fact Laurel refers to him sometimes, but if you read Laurel’s Miracle you’ll find out what the secret is. There is more to find out in Arabella’s Secret which I haven’t finished yet. Arabella is Laurel’s grandmother.


 Why did you choose the YA genre to tell her story?
Honestly, it wasn’t a conscious decision, Laurel just presented herself to me and off we went on the wild ride of telling her story. Her name was inspired by a horse I owned for 19 years, her name was actually 
photo: Michelle Kannenberg
Laura’s Miracle. She was a foal from a nurse mare at  a huge thoroughbred farm, when an expensive TB mare died Laura’s mom was given to the orphan TB foal. That’s why big farms keep a nurse mare band, Laura wasn’t doing well and a friend of mine who worked there told me about the little black foal. So long story short, the foal came to me. My friend’s name was Laura which is why we called the horse Laura’s Miracle because it was a miracle the foal survived. 

Did you write the story from beginning to end? 
Laurel’s Miracle is the only thing I have ever written out of sequence. I actually wrote the ending in one eight hour stint (thought I was going to die I was so sore) but it had me by the throat and I had to finish it. So I had to map out a plan, I knew where I wanted her to go and in what order I just had to figure out how to get her there and still keep the story interesting and fresh.

In the process I read Hamish Miller and Paul Broadhurst’s The Sun and The Serpent and it helped me show Laurel the way to her Miracle. I also made a wonderful friend in Hamish Miller, although I only ever corresponded with him by email. He was an exceptional man.

That is pretty special. Had it not been for your research, this novel, the young patient, your leg injury, that instant of inattention you wouldn’t have had experienced this wonderful friendship.
The patient wasn’t that young, she had small children at home which made it worse. She was a very brave woman from what I observed.


Being a MuseItUp editor as well as an author, do you find it difficult to turn off your internal editor during the first draft?
I can’t seem to turn it off <laughs> I edit my stupid email for heaven’s sake.

Well, that must really hurt. Hahaha.
What do you like about writing?

Photo: Frances Watt
I love the magic of it, the thoughts and actions flowing from my fingers and so often surprising me because I didn’t think that was where the story was going at all. I love research, it’s addicting and I have to be careful I don’t get so caught up in following one lead to the next that I forget I have a story to tell and I need to get to it.   


What don't you like about writing?
When my editor tells me I have too many uses of ‘that’ and I have to go weed them out before she comes after me with a whip. Honestly, I love the creative process. I don’t know how NOT to write.

My editor has a thing about 'that' too, and 'had' ;~)
Is there anything about the writing process you found surprising?
How addicting research is. My characters constantly surprise me with their thoughts and actions. They seem to grow and mature without any direction from me which I find a bit unsettling at times. I mean, am I just a conduit for them to tell their stories through?


If you are just a conduit, then you are truly blessed as a writer.
Thanks, that’s so sweet of you to say that.

Apart from the impact of the brave patient on you and the foal’s name, are any story lines based on things that have happened to you or you have heard about?
I would have to say, no, not directly. However, everything we see or hear or experience is grist for the writer’s mill. So in that respect, I do pull emotions and thoughts and sometimes ideas from my own experiences.

Well, the dog in Christmas Storm which releases in March of 2012 is based on a foster dog I cared for. Lily was quite the character, the peacock incident is a gift from her of sorts. I still miss her, but she is very happy with her new family out on Vancouver Island.

What advice would you have for other authors?
 Believe in yourself and your work. There are so many naysayers out there, “You’re not a writer because you not published”, “Oh, you write , that’s not really writing” and the list goes on. Never be afraid to take constructive criticism and implement it. Talk to people, go to writers' conferences and talk to editors and publishers, learn all the aspects of your craft.

What are you passionate about?
This will sound hoakey, but Truth and Love. Anyone who knows me knows I am an animal lover. I believe each life is sacred and deserves respect, my concept of ‘life’ includes flowers, trees, bugs, the land, in short everything which exists in all worlds on all planes of existence. Learning and growing and having the courage to look my own faults in the face, acknowledge them and then strive to change them to something closer to my idea of what I should be. This doesn’t mean there isn’t a warrior in me who wants to take a few heads when cruelty is perpetrated on innocents; I am of Celtic ancestry after all. 

That doesn’t sound hoakey. If more people thought like you do, there’d be harmony on our planet. And your charity . . .?

Yes, $1 from every copy of Laurel’s Miracle sold between September 30, 2011 and December 31, 2011 will be donated to Dare to Dream Horse Rescue in Dalemead, Alberta. They buy horses at auction which would normally go to the meat buyers and end up at the packing plant. They work with these animals and rehome them; they also incorporate a youth ministry into the mix. This is a wonderful cause and one I support whole heartedly.

Where can we get to know you better, Nancy?
 You can visit my website -

Nancy M. Bell    the m is because there is another author writing as Nancy Bell and I want people to find me.


Nancy Bell Author Page  at MuseItUp Publishing
BOOK VIDEO   this is a lovely book trailer

Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog, Wendy and best of luck with your own writing. I understand The Unhewn Stone was released recently from MuseItUp Publishing. Congratulations.
 
Thank you. Now the PARTY begins via the comments. One lucky guest will WIN a copy of Laurel’s Miracle. So welcome EVERYONE! Come and feast on Nancy’s special day!

109 comments:

Wendy said...

It's wonderful to have Nancy here today on the occasion of the release of her novel, Laurel's Miracle. The doors stand wide open, the tables are full of food and drink and the music is blaring. Grab a plate, take a seat and welcome Nancy with loud applause! :)

Emily Pikkasso said...

Hi Wendy, thank you for the lovely celebration you have created to mark the release of Laurel's Miracle. I love the blog, here's hoping lots of people join us or we'll have to eat all those gingersnaps and other goodies ourselves.

Hugs
Nancy

Anne E. Johnson said...

Congratulations, Nancy! I wish you all success with Lauren's Miracle.

Enjoyed getting inside your head a bit in this interview. I could sure relate to your 8-hour stint to finish it because you couln't tear yourself away. Love it when storytelling flows like that!

Roseanne Dowell said...

Nice interview and your book sounds great. I'm thinking it's something my granddaughter might like.

S.Durham said...

Sorry you had to go through that grueling recovery for your leg, but I guess it's true: things happen for a reason. Because now we have Laurel's Miracle to look forward to! Congratulations Nancy, Looking forward to reading it!


Cheers, Sara

Emily Pikkasso said...

Hi Anne, thanks for dropping in. Did you get some cyber party food? It's yummy. Isn't it like magic when the words just keep coming and its hard to type fast enough to keep to them?

Nancy

Wendy said...

Come on in Anne, have you met Roseanne and Sara. You know Nancy, of course. Here have some pavlova. This is meringue with cream and fruit on top an Aussie dessert. A glass of bubbly?
Nancy look who's here our Muse sisters, Roseanne and Sara. Red wine or ouzo? I snuck some from Lea's bar and some cheese -shhh :)

Emily Pikkasso said...

Hi Roseanne, it would be great for your granddaughter, not a touch of Emily anywhere to be found. :~) It deals with bullying and touches on domestic violence but not in graphic way at all. There are horses, friendly mythical creatures, and adventure. I hope she likes it.

Thanks for dropping by. Have some gingersnaps. Made them myself.

nancy

Emily Pikkasso said...

Hi Sara, yeah the pain part sucks, but it has given me the freedom to write. Can't complain too much. Have some bubbly, and some purloined cheese. I so enjoyed the journey of reseaching and writing Laurel's Miracle. it kept me sane. LOL

Hugs, thanks so much for helping me celebrate.

Nancy

Emily Pikkasso said...

Wendy, you didn't by chance swipe any of Lea's cheesecake did you? If you did, please pass a BIG piece over here. Today I celebrate, tomorrow I diet. hehehe

Nancy

Karen Cote said...

I wanna play! Gingersnaps? Yummy!! Are there any Snickerdoodle cookies? Beer? Root Beer, that is...LOL. This isn't an Emily Party, It's a Nancy party. And what a beautiful and wonderful being she is.

Congratulations dear Nancy. A long time waiting, huh? Now that's its here I'm sure the "miracle" has always been in the friendship you give others. You are amazing my friend and I wish the absolute best to you. You've been through a lot but you give back so much more than was taken from you. Love you so very much.

Thanks Wendy for hosting this fine writer. She is a gift to us all.

Wendy said...

Lea's forbidden cheesecake is the ONLY one I enjoy.hehehe I have trouble swallowing the ouzo, though. Any water? No, I forgot the water.

Wendy said...

Hey Karen! Snickerdoodle cookies? hmm might have to ask Nancy for a miracle to get some of those unless someone brings a plate. Lovely to have you here. Root beer, such a good idea. You are quite right. We mustn't confuse Emily with Nancy today :) Try some kangaroo sausage or crocodile steak?

L. K. Below said...

Great interview, Wendy and Nancy.

Nancy, I'm also terrible with "that"s. Now I make it a policy to go through every WIP with the "highlight" button turned on so I can weed them out before submission.

I'm also an animal lover, especially of horses. Best of luck with the release of your book!

Emily Pikkasso said...

Hi Karen, you dear lady are an inspiration to us all. Thank you for dropping by. Here snack on this while I make some snickerdoodles and get you a rootbeer.

Love you

Nancy

Karen Cote said...

I've actually tried Crocodile Tail! Taste like chicken. No kangaroo sausage though. Vegemite Sandwich?

Hugs Wendy and thank you for the nice party. I'll try to sneak Emily in later with ouzo and bring some water. No Cheesecake though. I don't touch Lea's Cheesecake. Survival instinct.

Emily Pikkasso said...

Hi Lindsey, I'm so glad you dropped in to help me celebrate. I do the highlight thing now, and even when I write emails I find myself editing out the the thats. I love horses, have all my life. I even rescued a gopher (kind of like a ground hog only smaller) from the dogs and nursed it back to health. My boys used to kid me that if I hit one with the truck I'd get out and give it CPR. I really try to avoid the little things but they do like to play chicken with cars. Read somewhere most of the ones who get mushed on the road are males, must be some kind of gopher male initiation rite or something.

Thanks for dropping in, please help yourself to the goodies.

nancy

Debra Kayn said...

Great interview Wendy and Nancy!

Nancy - You always make me smile, because I see so many similarities in myself. From ranch living to our love of animals.

Your book sounds wonderful, and I love the inspiration behind the story. Although I am sorry to hear there was pain along the way. I wish you many, many sales. :-)

Karen Cote said...

Uh? Wendy? When Nancy said "snack on this" did you detect any sarcasm? Surely NOT from OUR Nanceeeee. LOL.

Ahhh, I can smell the snickerdoodles baking...

Emily Pikkasso said...

Probably wise, Karen re the cheesecake but I'm walking on the wild side today (for Nancy) and having some. Ouzo, bad, sets Emmily free. I don't drink, only a glass or wine or mead on occasion
Not sure I could get crocodile tail past my lips, Emily would though
Hugs
Nancy

Emily Pikkasso said...

Hi Debra,
Thanks for coming and joining the celebration. Seems farm girls are the same all over the world, and horses sure provide lots of common ground, even spanning the language barrier. Have some cyber wine and gingersnaps, I think there are some snickerdoodles somewhere.. help yourself. Thanks so much for dropping in.

Hugs
Nancy

Emily Pikkasso said...

Karen, Sweetie, I meant to say, here snack on this no sarcasm intended at all. I'm just excited so many people are dropping in and typing too fast and not reading it over before I hit send. Love you

Nancy

Rosalie Skinner said...

Hi Emily, Nancy and Wendy, I brought a plate of lamingtons and pavlova.
Congratulations on the launch of Laurel's Miracle Nancy... what a dramatic episode to inspire it.

Is there any cheesecake left?

Karen Cote said...

*whine...whimper* But I LIKE sarcasm. Will you promise me some in Montreal? Love you too darlin!! Much.

Emily Pikkasso said...

Hi Rosalie, I saved you a piece of cheesecake Thanks for joining the celebration and bringing goodies. Pavlova, yummy. NOt sure about dramatic, more like really dumb episode, one should pay attention to where one is riding. Six inches to the right and I would have missed the thing I got hooked on. Oh well, today is a day of celebration! Thank you for being part of it.

Nancy

Emily Pikkasso said...

Of course Karen. I will be my sure to inject a little sarcasm into the conversation in Montreal. LOL I can't wait to meet everyone in person and have fun. The book signing is going to be a blast, all of us supporting each other.

Hugs
Nancy

Rosalie Skinner said...

Montreal... Ahh.. not this year... Thanks for the cheesecake Nancy! Survival instinct... hmm thanks for the warning Karen. I will watch for Lea...
Maybe I could whip up a baked cheesecake.. it's a cooking sort of day. Just in case.

Nancy, Karen, you will have to represent some of us missing authors at Montreal...
It should be a awesome time.

Wendy said...

These are safe for kids and all - no sarcasm attachedWe are all kids at heart :) Just mind the coconut doesn't stick in, under, on your teeth. hehehe. .(Karen I think Nancy's was simply an editing error hahaha. I hope.)
Hi Lindsy, Debra, Rosalie. Nancy will get you something. Rosalie knows her way around these tables so...
I'm away for a couple of hours so don't go away. I'll be back with some fairy bread for the kids.

Emily Pikkasso said...

Rosalie, we will remember all Musers in Montreal and promote everyone at the book signing. Someone says they can skype part of it or share it somehow on the internet. I'm not techy girl, but we'll put any info regarding that in the author's loop so if someone wants to join us that way they can.

We will miss you there. N

Killarney said...

Yay! Happy release day! my daughter can't wait to read this one and A Step Sideways.

blackwoodsforest said...

what a great sounding story. And I love that you're donating some of the sales to a horse rescue. I volunteer at a horse rescue near my hometown.

Emily Pikkasso said...

Hey Killarney

THanks for dropping in, have some cheesecake it's hot hehehe

Emily Pikkasso said...

Hey Blackwoodsforest

Thanks for dropping in, yes, I'm so excited to be able to help Dare to Dream Horse Rescue and celebrate my book release at the same time.

Nancy

Rebecca Ryals Russell said...

Nancy, What a tragic accident to cause such a happy ending. Life has a way of throwing curve balls and if we can't adapt--oh, well. Been there myself. Welcome to the YA world. Your story sounds wonderful.

Emily Pikkasso said...

Hey Rebecca, thanks for coming. Have some snickerdoodles and kick back and enjoy yourself.

Hugs
Nancy

Kay Dee Royal said...

Nancy - Wendy,
Such a special interview - I am consistantly learning more about you, Nancy...all that's good and wonderful (smile).

How your story orginated is heart touching...as Wendy pointed out, so many threads coming together at the perfect moment...Laurel's Miracle was certainly meant to be.

Congratulations and I look forward to your next book in the series.

I bought your book, Nancy, so don't include me in the drawing...wanted to slide in and show my support.

Emily Pikkasso said...

Hi Kay Dee, thanks for joining in the celebration and thank you for buying Laurel's Miracle. One more dollar for Dare to Dream Horse Rescue. :~) An old friend once told me, You don't meet an author in her living room, but in the pages of her books. True, and now we have online interviews, even more true. I'm sharing things I would probably never mention in normal conversation. That's why I love reading everyone's interviews, I get to know more about how they think.

Don't forget to grab some goodies and some refreshments. :~)

I value and truly appreciate your friendship Kay Dee. Hugs Nancy

Emily Pikkasso said...

Hey everyone, I gotta run into town for a bit. Pick up some stuff, I'll be back in about an hour. DOn't eat everything before I get back with reinforcements.

Nancy

Rosalie Skinner said...

Hi Killarney, Blackwoodforest, Rebecca, Kay Dee,
Grab some cheesecake. It's fresh out of the oven, baked cheesecake, yumm.
There are some kangaroo steaks on the bbq and I think there are still some vegemite sandwiches.
I am opening another bottle of champus. Where's your glass? Let's all raise our glasses to Nancy's success and to lots of sales.

Wendy said...

Wow! This place is really jumping. Just got back with more lamingtons, the fairy bread for the littlies and choc mouse and strawberry cream cake. Glad to see you are mingling Killarney and Rebecca, Hey Lisa I see you hiding in the forest :) Want some fairy floss?
Hi Kay Dee, great to see you here. Always nice to learn more about Nancy and you are in for a special treat because Nancy is author of the Month in Calamity's Corner and talks about the Power of Words.(Insightful for sure) It is sent out tomorrow.

Emily Pikkasso said...

Hi Rosalie, Kangaroo steaks sound yummy. Haven't had any before, I'm adding Australia and NZ to my bucket list. :~) MMMMM fairy floss, so bad for you but so good.

Thank you for the toast, Wishing us all huge sales and much success.

Nancy

bookwormvlm said...

Great interview Nancy. One of the best I've ever read. I have known you so long but I actually learne a few things today that you hadn't told me before. I can't wait to have a copy of this book in my hand. Someday, you're going to be one of those authors whom everyone in Canada knows. Looking forward to seeing you out here at the Writer's Conference in Surrey and at your BC book launch on the 20th of October. Congratulations, Lynne Murray

Roseanne Dowell said...

Sorry I had to leave for a bit. Gingersnaps. I love gingersnaps. Is there any of Lea's cheesecake left?

Wendy said...

Nancy, you're not wrong that cheesecake is HOT all right, it's contraband.

Karen, speaking of banning 'that', that's not a problem for me. That word 'that' is one that I rarely use. I say no excuse for that. But had 'had' been on the banned list I would have had a hissy fit and would have had to lie down. Can't manage without 'had' and even less without 'had had'. And, I never use 'went'.
More root beer? Hic.

Emily Pikkasso said...

Hey Roseanne, you're in luck, I just got back from swiping some more from Lea's private stash. I brought some more gingersnaps and there's snickerdoodles in the oven for Wendy. Almost done.

Glad you came back to party some more.

Nancy

Emily Pikkasso said...

High five without spilling anything. :~)

Thanks for coming Lynne, yes I'm just full of surprises. You know how I hate to talk about myself, you'll always learn more about me in my writing than in talking to me. I can only hope to fulfill your prophecy, being well known would be kind of cool. Does that mean I need to get some dark glasses and a wig??

Hugs
nancy

Wendy said...

Hi Roseanne,
Well worth coming back for Nancy's gingersnaps, It's a Miracle there are any left. And yes there is cheescake but shh. we should call it by a different name, forbidden fruit.
Speaking of Miracle's has anyone seen Laurel?

Emily Pikkasso said...

OOOps, too much of Wendy's rootbeer in me. 'Scuse me.

Emily Pikkasso said...

I think Laurel is A Step Sideways looking for Gort who is lost somewhere in time. You'll have to read book 2 in The Cornwall Adventures to figure that one out. :~)

N

Wendy said...

Hello Lynne,
A big welcome to the party. Grab a plate. Want some lamb chops? The juice is oozing out of them. Mmm. What about a lemonade (have to restrict Nancy to that -can't afford to let Emily loose.) Or would you rather some bubbly. You can have a crystal flute. I'm so pleased you came.

Wendy said...

Ah! So Laurel is already a step sideways. No wonder she isn't here in person, but she is in spirit :) We love Laurel.

Lindsay, I like the highlight button too esp when I use different colours for different words. My ms has such a pretty rainbow effect, it's seems a pity to alter it. lol. But Annie and Nancy insist, so... ,sigh> Want some of my rainbow cake?

bookwormvlm said...

Thanks for the hospitality Wendy. I'm more of a vege burger gal myself and I see you have a whole plate of them there so i'm heading over that way. Lemonade would be lovely. Is there any cheesecake? (^_^) Lynne

Roseanne Dowell said...

The gingersnaps are excellent. And that cheese uh...forbidden fruit is to die for. No wonder Lea keeps it for herself. Delicious.

Emily Pikkasso said...

hehehe, the 'forbidden fruit' is to die for, and I may have to just do that if Lea finds out I've hijacked some of her private stock.
karen has outed me on the gabroom loop, I'm thinking antartica is looking mighty fine right now. :~)

N

Roseanne Dowell said...

It's a celebration, maybe she'll forgive you. Besides, she's got tons of emails to read, maybe she won't pay attention to the loop

Emily Pikkasso said...

I can only hope Ro. Meanwhile I'm scoping out the quickest route to nowhere so I can disappear at a moment's notice. Oh, by the way, pass that chee..I mean forbidden fruit this way. In for a penny, in for a pound. At this rate , it will be a pound of weight on my hips heheheh

Roseanne Dowell said...

then have two slices one for each hip. I always have to feed each side.Don't want to be lopsided.

Rosalie Skinner said...

I just bought home some lovely avocardos and ham, vine ripened tomatoes and rocket. So, tossed salad anyone?
Just incase the cyber calories are beginning to count.
Can't wait to read this month's CC Wendy...
Forbidden fruit, there are some crumbs left.
Rootbeer, hic, goes down well. Thanks Wendy.

Roseanne Dowell said...

Oh man, Rosalie, you would have to remind us about the calories. Okay, pass me some salad. Do you have ranch dressing? Sure would rather have another slice of cheesecake, but I guess I should save some for someone else.

Wendy said...

Lynne,
I'm hogging the plate of snickerdoodles but I'll share with you. Have ONE. What is this delightfully strange taste. I've never had one before. It's not cinnamon. Thanks for baking them Nancy.

Does anyone have a favourite word. I like saying 'fruit' and 'bucket' but I think now it will have to be 'snickerdoodle'. That could be a dog breed like 'labradoodle'. We aren't eating dog biscuits are we?

Too much lemonade ;)

Rosalie Skinner said...

Favourite word? I like subtle..but it's a little difficult to grasp.
I if it didn't sound like such a problem I sort of like LJ's 'Conundrum' too.
Never heard snickerdoodle before but after another glass of cider it could become a favourite.

No Cinnamon... Wendy.. not after what happened last time. :O

Roseanne, I have ranch dressing! :)

Roseanne Dowell said...

I hate to eat and run, but my favorite word right now is sleep. It's been a long day. Thanks for inviting me, sorry I couldn't be here longer. Crazy day. But it was a great party, especially the cheese..uh forbidden fruit. Night ladies, don't party too late.

Wendy said...

Rosalie, lol.
I remember having to jump in the pool to wash off the downpour of cinnamon during your party. Have another cider. Your salad looks good. What is ranch dressing? anything like Ceasar dressing? Something you'd find on Nancy's farm.

Can somebody please tell me what is in these delicious snickerdoodle cookies we are eating?

'subtle' yes that word gives the neck a good work out. Stretches the ligaments. Look in the mirror when you say it. Not a subtle look, he Rosalie? hehe.

Emily Pikkasso said...

Thanks for all the lovely food and companionship. I have had a blast and I love each of you for sharing this day with me. Thank you for the wonderful memories. I, like Rosanne, need to go to bed. It has been a long and exciting day. Save me some salad for tomorrow. My fav word is hyperbole, sounds so good rolling off the tongue.

Night ladies, and Wendy, thank you again. Your parties ROCK. Nancy

Rosalie Skinner said...

Hehe.. Night Nancy.. Wendy's parties should come with a warning hey!! They are the best.
Great to be here. Will help clean up and then clear out.
Hyperbole.. lovely.
Wendy, when you get the recipe for snickerdoodles... share please.
I don't want to look in the mirror Wendy... not since I have entered another age bracket. Like a vamp, I am avoiding them. :)
Congratulations again Nancy, may your books never go out of print.

Wendy said...

There is no time in cyber space so the party continues on. We will still be here when you awake. Sweet dreams Nancy!

Heather Haven said...

This is one of the most inspirational blogs I've ever read. I can't wait to read Laurel's Miracle. If I win it, great! if not, I'll buy it. it's a win-win!!

Rosalie Skinner said...

Heather, you are right. Laurel's Miracle has so much story behind it, you just know it's going to be a captivating and memorable story.
Come in and have a cup of champagne or a slice of cheese... I mean forbidden fruit. We have snickerdoodles too if Wendy hasn't eaten them all.
Wish I knew what they were... they look great.

Wendy said...

Hi Heather,
So good to see you here. Nancy is a gem isn't she? Lovely you came to celebrate with her on her big day. We've all raised our glasses to her, but holding our breath Emily doesn't appear now that Nancy has turned in. :) I believe there are some of Nancy's homemade ginger snaps and snickerdoodle cookies if you are interested or some of Rosalie's salad with crocodile or lamb. Red, white or cider? :)

Wendy said...

btw Karen Cote,
It's not just forbiddn fruit that goes missing from Muse but little blue elephants as well. Love 'our' elephant.

Michelle said...

Thank you so much for sharing your inspiration with us. I'm sorry for your injury. I understand how horrible it can be. My husband suffered a life changing injury recently that left him unable to walk for quite sometime. I've watched him struggle with the changes in his life - it is very, very humbling.

I like how you said sometimes you don't realize a story will 'go' the direction it does. I found that to be true, as well. When I was writing my novel, Concilium, I intended the heroine to be mousy and shy...boy did she show me! That wasn't her at all. She is strong, independent and a tomboy through and through. the exact opposite of what I intended her to be. It's funny to me that my characters dictate who they'll become...other people (non writers) think it's weird. ha ha ha

Thanks again for sharing congratulations!

Michelle
Concilium, July 2012

www.michelle-pickett.com

Rosalie Skinner said...

Wendy, Nancy, Karen...There's an elephant here? WOW. That's great news.
I thought what I saw was from mixing champagne with ouzo and cider. Thank goodness.. now... it's blue? Right? not pink?
Getting better, hold on while I just drain this glass... and tell me all about them, I mean it...

Wendy said...

Hi Michelle,
So glad you could make it. Have a lamington and coffee or something stronger? Yes you and Nancy are right characters do have a way of surprising us. I'm so pleased to hear your heroine refused to be mousy. It's the independent ones that entertain our readers. My hero began as a farmer's son but refused to move past chapter eight so I had to allow him to be himself, an innkeeper's son and then there was nothing stopping him racing through his adventure to the end.

Wendy said...

That is funny Rosalie,
And I thought you were drinking apple cider. lol. I swiped Karen's cheeky blue elephant from the gab room. I can't post it here but it is roaming freely. It's a calf. It will turn up in a future CC, for sure.
When Nancy wakes up, I'm sure she'll love it, too.
So don't worry just mind where you step. Perhaps we'll need to take A Step Sideways. :)

edithparzefall said...

Hi everyone! Sorry I'm late for the party, but I brought a ceg of Bavarian beer and Nuremberger Bratwurst to make up for it.

Great interview, Wendy and Nancy. Always interesting to drop by Wendy's blog!

Edith

Rosalie Skinner said...

Hi Edith,
Great to see you here. Just watch out for elephant droppings. The smell.. no it's not the bbq. I just forgot to watch where I was walking.
When I finish cleaning my shoe I will show you where we are hiding the cheese... I mean the forbidden fruit.
Wendy is around, Nancy is taking a nap. Help yourself to whatever you can find. Hmm... Maybe a glass of Bavarian beer will wash away the smell of...hmm... yeah, well, will cleanse my palate.

edithparzefall said...

Hi Rosalie,

I was wondering about the smell and the strange lumps on the ground. :-)

Hey, you got any ginger beer around? Can't get it over here.

Cheers,
Edith

edithparzefall said...

Just watched the book trailer for Laurel's miracle. It's beautiful, enchanting and charming.

I wish you great success with the book, Nancy!

Wendy said...

Hi Edith, Thanks for the goodies. Help yourself to lamb and kangaroo.

Nancy better watch out or I might keep all that Barvarian beer for our Octoberfest.
We have Ginger Beer, a cordial for kids, (did you mean that one? hehehe I don't think so!). I discovered a lovely ginger tasting beer but it comes from Victoria. I'll get some via one of Nancy's magical creature couriers, as soon Nancy comes back from dreamland.

That is a beautiful video of Laurel's Miracle, I agree with you. I hope everyone takes a look at that. It is quite short.

edithparzefall said...

Hi Wendy,

It's still morning here, so the alcohol-free ginger beer would probably serve me better. ;-)

And a bite of that forbidden fruit maybe?

Annie said...

Baffled--thought I was early for the party and alas I'm comment 81. Any gingersnaps left to dunk in my white wine?

I have been waiting,waiting,waiting in line to buy this one and am so excited now that the day is here.

A super interview in that you, Wendy, always ask original questions, and Nancy has given us honest and thought-provoking answers.
(hmmm two thats so far...)

Congratulations on a brilliant book and a splendiferous launch party

Annie

lionmother said...

Nancy, I'm really late for this, but I brought a lot of goodies: homemade chocolate chip cookies and a homemade chocolate babka. I made one specially for you! I made one the other day for Rosh Hashanah dinner and people went crazy eating it!

Wendy, you throw a great party. I was wondering about the strange smell and the droppings, but now I know.

Nancy, I couldn't be happier for you!!! Hearing you tell the whole story about Laurel's Miracle made me want to read the book more. You are the best editor ever!!! I can't wait to read your book!!!

Again, sorry for the delay, but I had tooth problems - don't ask!!! Also, it's the Jewish holidays and I'm not really supposed to be here yet. Actually, the cheesecake tempted me too. I don't need a big piece, just a sliver. Then again, Karen is probably right. I'll pass on it. Would love a lammington, though:)

Rosalie Skinner said...

The wonderful thing about cyber space parties, is there is no late, only early and in time.
Anne, gingersnaps for you, Lamingtons for Barbara and alcohol free ginger beer for Edith, coming up.
I am just placing blooming jasmine around the place to get rid of the smell. If the breeze picks up we'll be right.
Thank goodness the elephant is only young and doesn't fly. :)

Wendy said...

Hi Annie,
You aren't late. We are early. Our 30th started on your yesterday. You are soooooo right on time. I love Nancy's honesty too. I can't wait to read Laurel's Miracle too.
Nancy made these lovely gingersnaps, have two.
Oh you used the banned word...twice!! Well watch out Karen's cheeky elephant might do a number on you. Karen doesn't know I snatched it from the gab room. It is so cute.

Wendy said...

Hi Barbara,
The party is still just beginning! So happy you could make it. Nancy should be back soon -when her new day begins.Chocolate babka, yum, I haven't had that before. Thank you. Have you found the lamingtons on the tables -or what about one of my Swiss Chäs-Chiächli. They are hot cheese tartlets. Barbara stay a while and mingle. It's great to have you here.

Rosalie, I think the jasmine is doing a great job of wiping out the elephant scent. Maybe that wasn't such a good idea to swipe that. Had better get Karen to take that back to her circus. Oh no! used the forbidden word. hic

edithparzefall said...

I'd love to try your Chäs-Chiächli, Wendy, and a gingersnaps, should go well with the ginger beer. :-)

Jenna Storm said...

So happy for you Nancy! Best of luck with your release. I love reading about mythical creatures.

Emily Pikkasso said...

Wow, I go to sleep and then do a tiny bit of house cleaning and you guys are still here partying away. Love the smell of jasmine, I know it's early here but bratwrust...yummy. Nice to meet you Edith, great to see you Barbara and Jenna. Thanks for bringing more goodies. I'm going go find that blue elephant and take a ride. I'll make sure not to trample any flowers or leave any 'presents' where they don't belong. Hey do you think I could storm Lea's secret hideaway and make off with more chees..I mean forbidden fruit? Back in an elephant flash. :~)

Nancy

Emily Pikkasso said...

Snickerdoodle recipe I found on the net.

Ingredients:

1 pouch (496 g) Betty Crocker* Sugar Cookie Mix
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup (50 mL) all-purpose flour
1 egg
1/4 cup (50 mL) sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cinnamon

Method:

•Heat oven to 375°F (190°C) for shiny metal baking sheet or 350°F (180°C) for dark or non-stick baking sheet. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, melted butter, flour and egg until soft dough forms.
•Shape dough into 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls. In small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon. Roll balls in sugar-cinnamon mixture. Place 2-inches (5 cm) apart on ungreased baking sheets.
•Bake 11 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute, remove from baking sheets to cooling rack.
•If desired, roll tops of warm cookies in additional sugar-cinnamon mixture.
•Cool completely, about 30 minutes. Decorate

J and S said...

With visions of snickerdoodles transforming to labradoodles and bouncing enthusiastically around in my mind (they are part lab after-all), I must ask if that's a mini schnauzer in Wendy's arbour photo? The first family dog I ever knew was a schnauzer named Fritz, so these big dogs in small frames are near and dear to my heart (despite how "wordy" they can sometimes be...).
Glad to see I'm not the only one who likes to eat around here, so I've brought along a quinoa salad to complement the veggie burger platter (that may be a little hard to find among all the delicious looking desserts : )
Nancy, I know how much heart and soul you put into everything you do, and wish you the very best as you unveil Laurel's Miracle to the world of literature.
Love, Sandra
PS Those are three fine looking horses pictured in your field (the other horse and pony are perhaps out filling their faces in another part of the pasture... ; )

J and S said...

PS I've got to eat and run, but hope everybody enjoys the party as long as it lasts!
Sandra

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Hi - jumping in a bit late from Scotland! Laurel's Miracle sounds such a lovely story, Nancy - really enjoyed reading the interview with Wendy.

Emily Pikkasso said...

Hi Rosemary, glad you could make it. Be sure to grab some of the goodies and look out for Karen's elephant. He leaves little presents and they're not raisins :~)

Nancy

Emily Pikkasso said...

Hi Sandra and Jim, great to see you here. Be sure to take some food home for Jim. yes, those horses are pretty good looking eh? Michelle says they were looking at a motorcylce going by. She took the pic on her phone on the way to the school bus.

Hugs, thanks for dropping in and celebrating with me.

Nancy

Charlie said...

Wow, Nancy, what a great following! Congrats on the book. It's on my TBR list! yay.
C.K. Volnek

Emily Pikkasso said...

Thanks Charlie, I'm overwhelmed with the response. I am a lucky woman to have such good friends.

N

lionmother said...

No Nancy! We are lucky to know you!!

Wendy, I did try the Swiss cheese tartlets. They were delicious. I see that Nancy brought more of that "forbidden fruit". I hope Lea doesn't come and see it. Quick everyone grab a piece.

The snicker doodles taste delicious! Are they really made with store bought dough? I've always made cookies from scratch. By the way, do you need more cookies? I have some left over from my book launch. But I'll have to pry them out of my family's fingers.:)

Wendy said...

Oh no! cinnamon- I knew there was cinnamon but I hoped not. That means my bat/sibyl is hovering. Let's hope the elephant is keeping her at bay.

Thank you for the recipe, Nancy. Do you have a mythical flying creature to act as courier? I do but he's still in my wip so doesn't count yet.

So you liked the Chäs-Chiächli, Edith, well you'll probably love these jam cookies called Spitzbüäbä. Do you like mulled wine? Nancy has some over there.

Wendy said...

What do you fancy, Jenna. I hope you are helping yourself to the party food. As Rosalie rightly claims, it is calorie free. Speaking of mythical creatures I'm trying to get Nancy to bring some out so you can meet & greet them before you read Laurel's Miracle.

Wendy said...

Welcome Sandra and Jim, so good to have you visit our garden party for the launch of Laurel's Miracle. Yes that is Spitzli our mini Schnauzer. She's a delightful little dog and very wordy. She answers back if she thinks I've been too strict or too slow. lol. Not wordy at the moment though. Her rt knee pops out all the time and has slowed her to a stop. Walks a little then waits for me to carry her. Will have her op on Tues. I'll be calling on Nancy for a 'Spitzli miracle'.Then she'll be back to normal in a week or so and I'll be yelling at her to 'heel' and 'slow down'. :)She's only 2yrs old.

Wendy said...

Never late for you, Rosemary. It's always lovely having you around. The decanter is full of your favourite drink. Here is a glass please help yourself.

Charlie, over here! I was hoping you'd come!! Nancy has a magic potion for drawing a crowd, doesn't she? It's called Friendship. Just watch her mingling. Oh, isn't that sweet she's giving a gopher CPR. The elephant must have accidentally stepped on it. It's moving. All is well. Trust our Nancy.
Barbara, don't pry the biscuits out of your family's fingers just them all. lol

Emily Pikkasso said...

Funny you should ask about a mythical flying creature...there is one in Laurel's Miracle. His name is Morgawr and he is a friend of Vear Du. Morgawr is a sea monster but he told me wanted to be able to fly, so I thought why not? He gives Vear Du a lift to his meeting with Laurel. He's quite sweet actually

N

Wendy said...

Good, then will you let Morgawr fly down to Victoria to bring back the ginger beer for Edith. Thanks.

Emily Pikkasso said...

The Winner of the free copy of Laurel's Miracle is....Roseanne Dowell Thanks to everyone who came and celebrated with me.

Wasn't it a party??? Thanks Wendy for hosting me

Nancy

Pat McDermott said...

I'm so late, I'm just catching everyone going out! My son's wedding is today and I'm in a dither. But I wanted to stop by and wish Nancy all the best with Laurel's Miracle. Nancy, I think it's wonderful how you turned your unfortunate accident into a fascinating writing project that found its way into print. Congratulations! I look forward to reading your story. Right now, I'm grabbing the last snickerdoodle. Got to fly!

Wendy said...

lol, Pat.
So glad you called in on your way out. Congratulations to your son. Have a wonderful day as Mother of the Groom. I'd suggest you take a party pack from our tables but you certainly won't need that at a real wedding reception.

Pat McDermott said...

I don't know, Wendy. The karaoke pretty much did me in!

Pat McDermott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Donald R. Anderson said...

I'm late too! But it sounds like both a good story and an amazing background, so better late than never! I once wrote 8,000+ words in a day but I think you've got me beat with writing the ending of a novel in 8 hours!